Kick Awesome Autumn

The majority of my training is outside - on roads and trails exposed to whatever mother nature is in the mood for. This autumn season, mama nature has been dishing out some fantastic weather and it couldn't have made for better training or team morale! This past training block has just come to an end and I am feeling tired but fit heading into this rest week before the next phase of training. Before I know it I will be doing race updates!

This time of year, I have to remind myself to be patient for the winter season. There is a lot of work yet to be done to fine tune before race season. My approach is to treat each workout as a piece to the perfect race, keeping the focus in the moment as well as applying it to the big picture. The Academy women have been getting stronger and stronger as a whole and also use this mindset to approach each workout. It's all about Opportunity. Maximizing each technique session, intensity, strength workout, distance training or recovery block to juice all the possible benefit. This is how the Academy women have tackled their training to date and will continue to do as individuals and as a team heading forward.

This past training block was largely focused in and around the Bow Valley. One of my favorite workouts to date was traversing Centennial Ridge, just outside of Canmore at the beginning of September. Starting at Ribbon Creek, ascending a total of 1600m over 18km and 4 hours later we finished at the Wind Ridge parking lot just outside of Dead Man's Flats. Absolutely top notch training day and just one reason why I love my job!

Alberta World Cup Academy women traversing the saddle of Centennial Ridge
How to run in the mountains - Exhibit A
Taking in the gorgeous vistas. Just goooorgeous.
Putting in some fancy footwork.
What is the first thing you want to do after a long and cold run? Sit in a river may not be the first answer - but dang it feels so good when it's over. Icing to reduce the swelling from all that running!
Those snowy mountain top photos may not have been the exact definition of a kick awesome autumn weather you had in mind so here are some Bow Valley colour shots.
Putting in the hours on the endless pavement options in the Bow Valley. This shot is along Vermillion Lake on a 3.5hr rollerski
Ski walking up the backside of Sulphur. That long traverse goes by a lot faster when the colours are poppin off!
Wannabe carrots. I can be satisfied with these succulent suckers. They may be small - but they pack a mighty tasty punch. And they're purple, so extra points on that front. 
Next up - the Academy headed to New Denver, BC. In it's prime, New Denver was a silver mining town in the 1800's which boomed and eventually busted. Located on Slocan Lake in the Valhallas, the mining-boom-to-bust town was replaced by those with a laid back swagger seeking a slower pace.   New Denver provided us with an environment to focus our training efforts in a beautiful lakeside setting and finish off with some suffer - at the Kaslo Sufferfest!

Sailing at sea. Not quite - but still peaceful. Taking the Shelter Bay ferry across Upper Arrow Lake to continue our trek to New Denver.
Morning sunrise on Slocan Lake. Getting my hippie on.
Sometimes I wonder why do we even bother going inside?

Annika pretending like she actually enjoys training. Yea right?!

Cable car across the river. Just act natural.

No need for a bridge when you have a cable car!

Say what you want - but I didn't ask them to pose for this picture. Patrick SJ, the undiscovered astrologer, showing us 'what's up'. Team fire on the lakeside.
Running up the fire road towards Idaho Peak. Fireweed fluff just looks so dang beautiful!

Don't be fooled by the smile - this was post 10km Kaslo Sufferfest trail run. I came away with the win and was joined by Kate Brennan and Marlis Kromm to sweep the women's podium - Academy style!
Back in Canmore now and the scent of snow lingers in the air. Call me psychic, call me crazy, but I can sense that snow is coming. The next week will be low hours and relaxed schedule for me. Allowing me to take in some of my favorite activities - such as combining sunrise hikes with a mountain top breakfast! My 'go-to' pumpkin muffins up for the making on my favorite recipe blog, Smitten Kitchen.

The morning rays waking up EEOR
'Now when the sun come up - I be there to way wuddup in the morning'

Happy Birthday Michaela! Celebrating Canmore style - Pumpking Muffins on Ha Ling

Beautiful ladies. Styling their Buff headwear

Sunrise moment

Thanks for reading! Now get off your computer/iPhone/iPad/Blackberry/Blueberry whatever and get outside. 

May the best of your today's be the worst of your tomorrow's,