Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lake Placid Week One

We spent our off day on Monday making the trip up to Lake Placid, NY for our annual USST training camp. The camp is two weeks long and we will wrap up the first week after a long run/hike adventure in the Adirondacks tomorrow morning. The camp consists of two big weeks of training with three intensity sessions a week, a speed session each week, some strength training, and a lot of easy distance and technique work. We have a smaller group in LP this year, which has been really nice for logistics and group size during training and it's been great to train with a handful of people that I don't get to see everyday. It's also fun to have the entire SMS T2 team here and see the familiar faces that I train with the rest of the summer. We kicked off the camp with some hard uphill skate intervals on day 1 just to make sure everyone was nice and tired from the beginning. Just kidding, it was a tough workout, but on the other hand, we got it out of the way! We're staying at the Olympic Training Center where we have access to all kinds of recovery methods including ice baths, physical therapists, massage, and constant food and hydration, so it really is an ideal place for a hard training camp. We've had beautiful weather so far and everyone is looking really strong. We held a classic sprint out at the jumping complex today. It's a long tough course with a couple technical downhills and two really big uphills, but I think most of the blood shed today was from collecting lactates, so I view it as a success. The coaching staff has been amazing, providing us with instant video and feedback and I'm looking forward to the next week of tough training! Here are some photos from our week so far.
Group of girls working together during a double pole workout (Matt Whitcomb photo)

The coaches put together a couple video clips for us to watch before each workout that highlight some good technique that we might want to work on. Here is the group before a classic day watching some World Cup footage of Marit Bjorgen and Therese Johaug (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Classic sprint day! (Bryan Fish Photo)

The start of one of our heats (Bryan Fish photo)

This is my teammate Ben Saxton eating salad. He isn't a huge fan of vegetables in general, but he has come a long way since last year. He now eats a huge bowl of spinach at both lunch and dinner. The spinach is undressed and doesn't have anything else on it, so it doesn't seem like the most appetizing option to me, but hey, it's progress!

Ida and I are roommates at the OTC and so far we've managed to wear matching outfits on most days. Here we are after the sprint workout today sporting matching everything except for our ski boots. (Bryan Fish photo)

I'm not sure why I'm smiling in this photo because I'm pretty sure it's in the middle of double poling up a massive hill, but I guess Matt caught me at the right time. (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Practicing cornering with Annie H during our classic threshold workout (Pat O'brien photo)

Jessie had her 23rd Birthday on the first day of camp and we got her tank tops that we all spent the afternoon tie-dyeing. THanks for being born, Jess!

On the way up to Lake Placid we stopped to go climbing. It was a beautiful day and a (mostly) fun adventure. I don't think of myself as someone who is afraid of heights, but the jury is still out on whether climbing actually makes you more or less afraid of heights. About 3/4 of the way through the climb I was voting more afraid.

Attempting to crack climb

Simi leading the way

Before leaving for Placid, we spent an evening at the Bondville fair watching the truck pull. It was very entertaining, but after about 10 trucks,  Jessie and I decided to wander around and see what else the fair had to offer (ferris wheels and candy apples!!!)

The fair had a petting zoo with goats!

Truck pull. Vroom vroom

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Big Week and SMS Camps

We had a busy week last week with one of our biggest training weeks of the summer in addition to the SMS Camps that were going on at the school. Between all the camp kids running around, the Canadian men's team being here for a camp, the Craftsbury girls last week, and Rosie Brennan visiting now, it's been an exciting time to be in Stratton. After returning to the east, I had a relaxing few days and felt ready to jump into a big week of training. I think we either had an OD or intervals almost every day last week. It sounds like a lot, but if you're smart about taking care of yourself and listening to your body, you can actually feel pretty good and that's always fun. We had two continuous threshold workouts and one sprint practice. I think the sprint practice was one of my favorite workouts of the summer so far. After a prelim, we took turns breaking the wind at the front of the pack and drafting behind the leader. The leader would go as hard as possible for 1:40 and then they would pull to the side and the rest of the pack would do a sprint finish for 20 seconds. It was fun to go as fast as possible and it was also pretty impressive watching the boys' group because it was basically a North American World Cup sprint final.

Warming up for sprint practice with coach Pat

Sprint practice
Ben, Simi, Lenny, Alex, and Devon during sprint practice
Camp kids lining the course
Our T2 team tried to help out with the SMS Camps as much as possible. We ate our meals with the kids down at the school and got to know them pretty well by the end of the camps. They were all lining the course and cheering us on during our sprint practice and hopefully they left the camp fired up about skiing and summer training. It's always refreshing for us to see kids who are eager to learn and full of questions. Being healthy role models for those kids is one of our biggest motivators and the SMS camps have been a great way for us to make a lasting impression on them over the years. Be sure to check out the SMS Blog for tons of pictures from the camps!
Camp buddies

Simi helping with drills
SMS T2 doing a Q and A with the kids

SMS T2 and coach Pat in the back
Shirt signing on the last day.
This week we have a recovery week before heading to Lake Placid for two big weeks of training with the US Ski Team at the Olympic Training Center. I'm tired after a big week last week, so I've been enjoying taking it easy and not worrying too much about training. We had our final Summit Sisters hike up Stratton yesterday and now I'm looking forward to spending some time with friends and family back home before heading to New York to see my teammates!
Summit Sisters hike up Stratton
Baby Basil is the first baby to complete a Summit Sisters hike!

Haylen sporting her new T2 truckers hat


Ben and I took our new Fischer head shots. What do you think?!

New pink HR monitors from Polar!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Western Adventures

After our glacier camp in Alaska, I spent a few relaxing days at home before heading out west for twelve days of adventure training. I did the most skiing I had ever done in a week while in Alaska and finished the camp tired, but psyched about skiing and our team. I took some time to rest and let the training sink in and then I flew back out west to visit some friends and family in Montana and Colorado. One of my favorite things about our sport is that you can cross train in so many ways. My time out west was the perfect mental break from ski specific training, but I was kept busy each day chasing people around the mountains. My sister and I visited our cousin Anya in Bozeman and we woke up each day, picked a mountain to climb, and spent most of our days above treeline "bagging peaks" as Isabel would say. After Bozeman, I went to Colorado for six days for some more adventures including climbing my first 14er, attempting rock climbing, riding a horse for the first time in ten years, and SUPing (which is a great way to be on the water without actually being in it).
Anya brought us up to 10,000 ft on Blackmore Mtn straight from the airport when we arrived in Bozeman

Sunrise coffee with Anya, Kelsey, and Isable

Kelsey and me giving Lander a kiss on top of Hard Scrabble

Our buddy Ellery came for a visit! (me, Ellery, Anya)

Rock climbing up Sphinx Mtn.

Anya doing a handstand on top of the Briders

Anya was a trooper and did ski walking intervals with me one morning

We got really close to a goat when we climbed Sphinx Mtn. I was pretty excited about it.
Summit Sisters in Colorado

So many pretty wildflowers

Taking a break above the trees

Checking out the burn zone

After Alaska, the SMS T2 team had a vacation week, so a lot of people went home, but we're finally all reunited back in Stratton. It's great to have the team back together and we're lucky to have been joined by Ida, Caitlin, and Liz of the Craftsbury Green Team for a few days as well as the Canadian National Team men who are training in Stratton for a couple weeks. I'm ready to get back to rollerskiing and building strength and this stretch of beautiful VT weather is making it easy to spend a lot of time outside. The SMS camps start this week, so we've been helping out with the camps when we can. We also hosted a Fast and Female at SMS before camp started yesterday. It went very well and we owe a big thanks to Jessie for organizing it all!
Skate speed day with a big group of girls at BMD

Showing the Craftsbury girls one of our favorite places to ski on a beautiful VT evening

The Fast and Female crew

Attempting some human pyramids

A group of my favorite little buddies at SMS camp
Be sure to check the SMS blog this week for photos from the SMS Camps and you can read about our Fast and Female event on our SMS T2 website! We will be training in Vermont for the next two weeks before heading to Lake Placid on August 25th for our next USST camp.