Training in the Summer!
I love spring and summer in the mountains! This has been one of the best summers of my life! I have been able to spend much of it outdoors doing the things I love. I have had the privilege of closely observing the changes on the New River Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the rural, country roads. Because I am training for the Virginia Challenge Triathlon I have a lot of scheduled time in between work hours training outside biking, running, and kayaking.
Each week presents a new array of wildflowers blooming. What a joy to drink in the beauty and breathe in the fragrances while training. The workouts are hot and grueling, but because of my surroundings I remain mostly in ecstasy with a heart bursting with gratitude to the Maker of it all.
Heat has really become a problem because of attempting longer distances biking and running weekly. The surrounding area affords many opportunities to cool down. While running the rural country roads I have been known to detour to the creeks with my chocolate lab, Lady Godiva, and we lay in it together. The cold water is so refreshing and washes the salty sweat from my face that tends to run in my eyes at times. While biking the New River Trail I love getting in Chestnut Creek Falls and allowing the falls to give me a natural massage. I climb on the rocks just underneath them and lay my head back and enjoy savoring every cold drop! Leaning slightly forward, I allow the falls to become my masseuse penetrating my usual stiff neck and shoulders from long rides.
There are all kinds of great swimming areas to cool off in the New River. I always welcome the summer showers. Swimming in the river during summer showers is a highlight!! Biking isn’t quite as much fun as it can create safety hazards. However, I have enjoyed getting covered in mud as the tires sling the mud all over your back and on whoever is riding behind you. It is an excuse to take another dip in the river to clean off.
Taking a leisurely ride down the river in your kayak is different from training. If I am training, I tend to paddle really hard which can create a lot of sweat also. Therefore I don’t stop as often, but I do stop to take advantage of easy access to cold, refreshing water. I have also rewarded myself more than once swinging off a great rope that hangs off a huge limb that will carry you half way across the river. Such fun!
Endurance athletes work hard to accomplish long distance feats. We spend many long hours training. But as you can tell I have a lot of fun in the midst of the hard work. It is very fulfilling and gives you a real sense of accomplishment when you have completed your scheduled workouts. May I encourage you to attempt participating in the upcoming New River Duathlon, August 2? It is a great event to cut your teeth on! I challenge you to consider the New River Challenge that takes place in September. These are both local annual events. We are so blessed to be able to have the events available, and to have the opportunity to train in a paradise of beauty we tend to take for granted. Let this be your summer to get outside and train for an upcoming event. Recapture the incredible childhood many of us grew up with…summer in the mountains.
Cooling off in Chestnut Creek Falls after speed work and biking on the New River Trail.
Around the middle of a 13.5 mile run Lady Godiva, my running partner and I make good use of a creek to cool off in!
Finishing that steamy run we take another much needed dip in the pond heading up my drive to home.