Monday, July 13, 2015

Life at the Snow Farm

After about 40 hours of travel last week, we touched down in New Zealand. Forty hours of travel sounds pretty miserable, but I actually found the travel here easier than it ever was traveling to Europe. There is a long 12 or 13 hour flight from California to Auckland, but it's night time when we fly, so it's easy to fall asleep and when I woke up, I watched a movie, was served breakfast, and then landed in Auckland. The part that I still can't wrap my head around is that the day of July 8th did not exist in my life. I took off from L.A. at 10:30 p.m on the 7th and landed in Auckland at 6 a.m. on the 9th. Figuring out the time change is a little tricky. The east coast is 16 hours behind New Zealand, but I find it easier to calculate 8 hours ahead, yesterday. So if it's noon on Tuesday in New Zealand, it's 8 p.m. on Monday in Vermont. Got it?  The time change makes it very easy to fall asleep at night and very easy to wake up in the morning. It's perfect for the big hours of training we're putting in at the Snow Farm.
Hoods up and we're ready to go! (Ben, Paddy, Liz, and Ida)
The Snow Farm is just over an hour northeast of Queenstown, New Zealand. We are here training for about two weeks and I think it's the best place I've ever been to train. There are around 35kms of trails groomed right now and the skiing is literally right outside of our doors. The building at the snow farm is very big with a couple dining areas, a cafe, ski rooms, a small gym, and a some hotel rooms. There is plenty of space, so we never feel trapped up here and we head down to the town of Wanaka to do strength or walk around if we have an off day. For those who get car sick, the drive to and from the Snow Farm can be a little rough, but we pile the sickies into the front seat and they survive.
Jessie, Andy, and Liz on one of our runs down in Wanaka. If you're lucky, you can see the eels swimming around in Lake Wanaka. (Anouk photo)

Jessie, me and Liz heading out for a run in our Johaug gloves

Enjoying some off day sweater tea and muffin in Wanaka
Okay, now for the good stuff. The skiing. The weather has been unbelievable since we arrived. We eat our breakfast in the mornings and watch a beautiful sunrise, then we get ready to go skiing. It's not warm, so we bundle up with a lot of layers, but the slowly rising temperatures and the constant sunshine warm us up pretty quickly. Anouk Faivre Picon of the French National Team is joining us for the camp and it has been so much fun to have her. Ida is very good at french and I can speak a little, so we get to practice our French while Anouk works on her english. She claims she isn't very good, but I beg to differ. So far we have been doing a lot of easy distance skiing with some technique, speed, and strength thrown in. Starting this week we will begin to add a little intensity into the plan, but the main focus of this camp is to get on snow and get in a lot of easy volume training. The Snow Farm is at an elevation of about 5,000 ft or just over, so we have been careful about keeping the training easy and hydrating a lot. I haven't felt a huge altitude effect and it's been pretty easy to go easy, which leaves you feeling pretty darn good! That said, I was ready for our first off day of the camp today because my legs definitely didn't pass the stair test this morning.

Anouk and Ida out on one of our favorite loops, "The Loop"

Dynamic warm up for a speed session

Liz and Bernie!

The gals (Anouk, Liz, Jessie, Ida, and me)

And again. The ladies at sunset. Bon nuit!
The snow farm has also been an ideal place to recover from some big hours. Each time we come in from training, there is a delicious home cooked meal waiting for us upstairs. When we get hungry in between workouts, the coaches' room is always well stocked with wine gummies, tim tams, cereal, and PB&J makings. The rooms are very comfortable with plenty of space for afternoon reading, movie watching, blog writing, and video review. By the time dinner is over, we usually try to keep ourselves up for another hour or so before giving into the heavy eyelids and excitement of going to bed only to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow. Make sure you're following us for updates on the next couple weeks at the snow farm. We haven't been shy about rubbing this winter wonderland in your faces. That's all for now!
Sunrise this morning at the farm

All smiles skiing with Jessie (Anouk photo)

Paddy and I got in a long ski for the Prouty ride my family does each year in memory of my Aunt Jennifer

Loving being back with my buddy Liz


Plenty to smile about

Sunrise at the farm

Even the clouds are beautiful here


No comments:

Post a Comment