Taking on the Challenge of Altitude

In order to reap the benefit of altitude training, you really need to be in the mountains for a solid month.  While that would be nice, we don’t seem to have the time to make that happen, so I just make myself believe that what exercise we do in such high elevation is making a difference. You will often hear of and see cross country teams spending a week in the mountains, running the streets and trails, soaking their legs in the creeks, and roaming the shops.  Last weekend we were up in the mountains and competed in a 10k. This weekend I decided to sign up for a triathlon.  Per our usual Mammoth trips, we completed various hikes, bikes, and runs.

I originally thought the triathlon was going to be a family affair, but was suddenly left on my own.  Meghan needed to focus on her own cross-country training, my dad claimed the swimming was too short and it would be a waste of time, and my mom had been nursing a sore ankle.  This being said, I then had two more people supporting me in the transition area than my normal zero. (Dad was supporting but also riding the bike route to see how his time would fare in comparison to the rest of the group…See where I get my competitive spirit/mindset?).

It was definitely more of a low-key affair that I had predicted, most people signing up the week before and one woman putting the entire thing on.  However, we had legitimate t-shirts as souvenirs, and those who did participate were serious about the sport.  There was one woman, who I’d like to call “the Beast” and who I thoroughly admire and look up to.  I was one of the youngest participants and although I was nursing an injured foot/leg/right side of my body, managed to earn 3rd place for women overall.  The 500m swim took place in the community pool outside of town, the bike along a well-paved road all the way out to Lake Crowley and back (passing some friendly and intrigued cows along the way), and the run along a dirt and rocky road under the burning sun.

If you happen to take a trip to Mammoth and are looking for some outdoor activities, there are a number of bike paths (both paved and unpaved) that could be used for biking, running, or walking.  We love the 5ish mile path (5 miles one way) that winds past Twin Lakes and Lake Mary and ends up at Horseshoe Lake.

There is also a great path that makes a wide loop around the town, enters Shady Rest Park, and rides along the Snowcreek condos as well as “The Creek.”  This creek is great for icing and countless teams use it as their post-run ice bath, even colder when there is a large amount of snow/glacier runoff.

Last but not least, here is a little taste of what we (maybe just I) ate along the trip. A trip to Looney Bean Coffee Roasting Co is a MUST.  Their scones seem to melt in your mouth, their latte’s are out of this world (I don’t know where I can find one just as good), and they make a good blended latte or even milkshake.

I experimented with the “Blended Looney Latte” with chocolate covered coffee beans, but was a little disappointed with how watery this particular batch turned out.  Also, it’s worthwhile to stay away from the “sugar-free” syrups because they leave drinks tasting a little chemically.

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