Fall is upon us, even though the calendar says summer, it sure feels like a change of seasons out there. And what’s even scarier is seeing snow in the mountains, like what we experienced yesterday afternoon at Mount Temple. It was only a dusting, but it’s a stiff reminder that with a click of the fingers, winter is going to be howling through here like summer didn’t even exist. So with the seasons changing, kids back in school, road running turning into XC, and rain to snow, it’s time to think about XC nationals.
As of late, I’ve started a new job, which would be my third job in a quarter of a year, but this job is here to stay (fingers crossed) and life is finally stable. I went from being a server at a golf course, to being “the dude” at Strides (if that is even a job title), to now being the Technical Representative for New Balance. A month into this job, I couldn’t be more satisfied, or busier for that matter. Life went from having no free time, to having more no free time. Trying to mix work with athletics and some sort of social life is nearly impossible. As a 22 year old, a social life to most is very important, but I’m different and weird (which is fine by me), and would rather push my body to it’s pure physical limitations than hanging out and getting fat.
So over the past month with a new job and getting prepped for XC season all in one, how does one get into such good shape? Bike. How do you stay injury free? Bike. How do you get in quality with less impact? Bike. And finally, how do you get fast? Bike. Getting in only a couple hours a week is my bread and butter to getting fast. As a pure runner (I ain’t no triatlete), my secret to success is spending time on the bike. My quads, hips, and gluteus are all stronger than ever, taking away impact from my calves and tibia. The numbers don’t lie either. Since ending the dreadful walk runs 3 months ago, I’ve ran more miles per week consistently at a quicker pace with no pain (while getting in the 60k of biking too), I set a new PB for 5k without doing any tempo/speed/strength workouts, and my body has never felt so powerful. This is all thanks to the broken leg that opened my eyes to the world of cross training.
As I mentioned above, it’s XC season, and once the Dino Dash ends on Saturday, the focus will switch over from the road to the hills. This time of year is all about one race, XC nationals in Vancouver; the pure mud bath. After I test my fitness on Saturday (hopefully going under 15:30 in the 5k), I’ll be cranking up the miles to hopefully have a chance to represent Canada at the World XC Championship. After that, I only know 3 things are for certain; 1) I’ll be working my weeks away with NB (A job that I adore!). 2) I’ll be in stupidly good shape. 3) Calgary Half Marathon is on June 7th.