|Lots of photos taken on Hope Pass|
The last several hours of Haliburton, and for many, many, many hours after, my mantra was 'never again'. I said it with anger and enthusiasm to anyone who would listen! Since then, after some good rest, my mindset has shifted to that of enjoying the recovery and looking back with satisfaction at having raced two challenging races in the last month. I look forward to using these races as stepping stones, and to being better prepared to not suffer as much along the way next time. (It's gotta get easier, right??)
Did the altitude tent help? I get asked that a lot. For me (adaptations vary widely among individuals) I think it helped significantly at TransRockies to allow me to use what fitness I had without being nearly as debilitated by the thin air as I would have been. For high altitude races I think it would be hugely beneficial for anyone to try. As for increasing my actual baseline fitness...it may have helped marginally, but not in any way that makes me feel like I have taken a leap to another level. I wish it was that easy (actually that's not true, it would erase what I love about running), but the only thing that has ever made ME feel on another level is increased mileage. It is the only thing that I find brings about significant changes; everything else is just the small stuff. Small stuff is good, and it can certainly all add up to elevate the big stuff, but the big stuff has to be taken care of first. If you're maxing out training and looking for that slight bit of an edge, I think that's where it would be useful. And as mentioned, everyone is different. It was definitely an interesting thing to have had the opportunity to try.
What's Next? It's somewhat tempting to look for a trail race in October, but I'm not going to. I have my big trip and big 100K in November to look forward to, and my priority is to be healthy and rested for that. I'm excited to soon get back to some good training after a bit more rest, and to start sprinkling in some hiking with poles, as that will help for Trailwalker. We're planning to hike most of the way, with a bit of running mixed in here and there to shake up our muscles. Aside from a couple of hikes a year and a good amount of uphill hiking recently at TransRockies, I don't really have much to draw on in this department. I'm so excited to finally get to be out all night in a race (umm, remind me I said this later D?), and as Derrick so helpfully pointed out, the time on the legs will be invaluable experience should I ever choose to do a 100 miler. [NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!]
Other than that, I'm really excited to see what Derrick decides to race next. He's been sifting through some very appealing options. There are so many cool races out there!