Week 5 in Boulder

After a tough bike session on Sunday, Monday was set to be a slightly easier day, with just a short swim and bike, followed by a run with some 5k paced intervals.  Thanks to some bad weather and even worse timing on my part, I delayed my run until the evening and ended up doing it on the treadmill.  Without a fan, those 5k paced intervals were pretty tough!  Of course, earlier in the day I had the Monday’s obligatory pitta burger.  On Tuesday morning I did my vo2 interval session on the bike which was – as always – a killer workout.  After surviving the morning session, I took it easy for the rest of the day until the evening, where I did a 75 minute run along one of the local trails. 

By now my routine is probably becoming rather predictable – you guessed it, on Wednesday morning I did a 3 hour ride climbing to Ward.  The hour long climb is a perfect opportunity to get in some solid tempo work.  It was a slightly overcast morning and I was a little concerned about the potential for rain, but fortunately it held off and I stayed dry.  On the way back I stopped into Boom Yogurt Bar for a refreshing frozen yoghurt.

Yes, I went for the unhealthy toppings!

I was up at 5am on Thursday morning for my weekly ‘long’ run, which is currently around 14-15 miles.  In the middle of the session I had 15 minutes at threshold, which I did along a paved road, as I find the loose footing on some of the trails challenging for faster paced running.  With the early morning session out of the way, I only had a swim left for the day.  I’m still easing back into things in the pool, concerned about overexerting myself too soon.  Once again, the evening aquathlon at Boulder Reservoir was cancelled, so we decided to take advantage of having the evening off by going out for dinner and seeing the new Batman film.  It’s great to have some down time outside of training and it was a really fun evening.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw my schedule for Friday – only a 2.5 hour ride planned.  Once that was out of the way in the morning, I got everything prepared for the next day’s race in Aurora.  I’ve written a race report which you can read here.  After a post race burger (another tradition in the making), a few of us drove to the Rocky Mountain National Park, which is about a 1.5 hour drive from Boulder.  Unfortunately it was a bit overcast that afternoon, but the views were still stunning.  We got up to 12,000ft and decided to go for a very short jog, just to see what it felt like.  If I thought that adjusting to an altitude of 5400ft was tough, running at 12,000ft was a whole new level!  It was a really fun afternoon and great to get out and explore some of the local area.

On the way to the Rockies!

Running at 12,000ft is tiring!

There was no time for recovery the day after the race, as I had a long 5 hour ride planned.  That in itself wouldn’t be too bad, but there was a lot of intensity thrown in the middle and towards the end of the ride.  Despite going through 4 bottles during the ride, I was desperate for fluids by the end.  After 5h01’ of riding I got back to town and enjoyed a cold drink and a burrito, before recovering for the rest of the afternoon.  The ride topped off a good week, but next weekend its back to the longer distance racing at Ironman 70.3 Boulder.  The race will have some seriously tough competition, but it should be a good test to see where I stack up against some top athletes.