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FLAGSTAFF, AZ

March 26, 2007

I’ve been in Flagstaff for 16 days now and I’ll be here until April 11th when I head out to L.A. to run a 10 000m at Mt. Sac.  Flagstaff is a great place to train, it sits about at about 7000 feet above sea level, there are plenty of trails, a good track and the weather has been cooperating.  For the first 10 days Cal Staples and I were here with a slew of Canadian Triathletes.  We ran with them a bit and they showed us the ropes of Flagstaff.  For my last 2 weeks I’ll be staying with Pieter Desmet (Belgian Steepler) as Cal is off to Stanford at the end of March for his 10 000m.

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My first track workout here was an eye opener.  I hadn’t felt much altitude effects while running and doing fartlek but when I got done my first mile of a 5 X 1 mile workout on the track I was sucking wind hard!  I averaged 8 seconds slower for my next four mile repeats.  A couple days later Cal and I went to talk to the legendary Jack Daniels, and he told us what the altitude conversion on pacing should be for a VO2max session… about 16 seconds a mile, not 8 as we had thought.  We made that workout a lot harder by going out as fast as we did but, we still averaged about the right training zone.   All in all, I feel like I’m in good shape aerobilcally and still getting in plenty of milage up here.

Last weekend when my coach, Dave Scott-Thomas, was here we drove 1.5 hours to the Grand Canyon.  The GC is very impressive! Dave was wondering what it would take to walk down, accross and up and get to the other side.  He said he could do it with one Sweet N Salty granola bar…. after more discussion on just how tall the cliffs way down below were he said “OK, two Sweet N Salty’s”.  The picture of the desert on the top of this blog was taken by Cal on our drive back from the Canyon to Flag.

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Some weird things about being up this high:  Chip bags are ready to explode, water boils at a lower temperature, stuff in the oven takes an extra 10-15 minutes to cook, the tops of yogurt have a convex shape and from about 8am to 11am the temperature usually rises 15 degrees Celcius.

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