Monday, September 21, 2015

Lake Placid Camp

Lake Placid camp was a little different this year. Instead of our normal two week camp, we condensed the camp into one week. One really hard week. The first day of camp we did intervals in the morning followed by intervals in the afternoon. Two more intensity days, some speeds, strength, and a lot of easy distance later, the week was over. I loved the new format of camp. The Olympic Training Center is an ideal place to train and recover, but I also haven't spent very much time at home in Vermont, so I was happy to make the camp a little shorter and allow for some more time spent at home. I don't feel that we lost any quality by making it a shorter camp because we condensed a lot of what usually do in the two weeks into one week.

The beautiful rainbow that popped out on our ferry ride over to New York

Double pole intervals (Reese Brown photo)
The USST showing at the camp was pretty small, but the number of younger athletes who joined us made up for it. The campers consisted mainly of the SMS T2 team, the Sun Valley Gold team, and a big group of younger NTG athletes from all over the country. I think it's particularly fun to have a bigger group of younger athletes because it wasn't too long ago that I was one of them. This is probably one of the first camps where I've been one of the older athletes. I got to room with my USST and SMS teammate Julia Kern, and when she told me how she had the pre camp excitement jitters, it put a smile on my face and reminded me just how lucky we are to be able to be doing this. I don't get nervous, or even super excited for camps anymore, but I remember when the idea of a camp where I could reunite with all my friends AND train with Kikkan Randall and Liz Stephen made me feel exactly that same way. Now they're my teammates, as well as my dear friends, and I hope that the younger girls at Lake Placid camp can now confidently add our names to their list of new friends.
Cooling down in the river after bounding intervals (Pat O'brien photo)

Skate speeds with Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury (Pat O'Brien photo)

Hanging with the NTG girls before our last workout of the camp (Jessie photo)
Skate threshold intervals with a good crew (Reese Brown photo)
We skated, classic skied, bounded, ran, did strength, mountain biked, and double poled. I think we covered it all and no one was the strongest athlete every single day. We worked together to push and pull each other through a hard week. I personally had a handful of good days and a couple workouts that I had to physically and mentally push through. Although we didn't do the Climb to the Castle this year, we still did the annual Whiteface bounding intervals which are one of the toughest workouts of the year for me. That may have been a workout where my goal was to survive, but there were other workouts where my goal was to thrive and each person came in with different strengths and goals for the new day. I learned a lot from following others and hope that everyone else made some gains from following me. After the classic sprint qualifier, Jessie took me down the scary downhill three times to show me how to ski it safely without losing time. She could have kept her amazing downhill skills to herself and dusted us all on the downhill, but instead she shared her knowledge to help make everyone better. That's just one example of good teamwork that stands out from the past week, but I think there were a lot of success stories of working together and everyone came out of the camp a better skier.
Bounding intervals up Whitface Mountain. Phew! (Pat O'Brien photo)

Double pole intervals with Annie Hart and Jessie (Reese Brown photo)

Classic sprint time trial with Coach Matt and his awesome cheering (Pat O'Brien photo)

SMS T2 team after bounding intervals
Rounding the corner during the classic sprint with Jessie, Annie, Hannah, and KO (Pat photo)

The camp wrapped up with my favorite workout of the week...a run in the Adirondacks! We ran up Algonquin and then to Avalanche Lake. We started the morning in a bit of a fog, but halfway through the run the skies cleared and we had some beautiful views. Today marks the first day of fall and that was visible in the changing foliage. After the run yesterday morning, we packed up and headed back to Vermont for a couple more weeks before heading out west for most of October. Thanks to Lake Placid, my coaches, Matt and Pat (and all the other coaches at camp), and all the athletes who made it such a good week!
Jessie and I tend to have different ideas about how to appropriately dress for colder weather... (Jessie photo)

Overlooking Avalanche Lake on our run (Jessie photo)

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