Saturday, August 25, 2018

New Zealand Week 1

It's Saturday afternoon in New Zealand which means it was a week ago that we were packing our bags to make the long journey across the world. If you calculate the time change and the fact that we lost a day while traveling, we haven't quite been here for a week yet, but time is still flying. I say it every year, but our camp in New Zealand is one of my all time favorites. We are training our butts off, but the living is easy, which is what allows us to put in some big hours! We stay up at the Snow Farm, which is the only cross country ski area in the country and is located between Queenstown and Wanaka. The skiing is amazing this year, and the view out our bedroom windows is of the endless kilometers of perfect skiing. The sleeping is great. Something about the jet lag when flying this far west makes us so confused that we pretty much sleep from 9-7 each night. Then on top of the amazing sleep and skiing there's some of the most delicious food we've ever tasted that is prepared for us three times a day. When most of your day is taken up by skiing, sleeping, and eating, training camp life is pretty good!
Since arriving at the Snow Farm, we've mostly been doing easy distance training. Most of us haven't been on snow since May, so it's important to remember what skiing feels like and to retrain all those stabilizing muscles that don't need to work as hard on pavement as they do on snow. We took our first stab at intervals this morning and will continue to do a mix of easy training, speed, and some intensity over the next couple weeks. With the amazing snow pack, just about everything is groomed and we were able to ski one of my favorite trails in the world yesterday morning on a classic distance workout. One of my favorite parts about camp at the Snow Farm is watching the faces of people who have never been here before. We're all like little kids in a candy shop when we get our first clear day on snow up here, but people who have never been here before take it up a couple levels in the excitement category. A couple of my SMS T2 teammates, Alayna and Kyle, and our coach, Pat, are experiencing the Snow Farm for the first time and it's been a blast to watch them rip around the trails. In a few days we head down to the town of Wanaka for a mid camp break. We're at a little altitude up at the Snow Farm, so being in Wanaka gives us a few days to recover at sea level and go for some sweet runs. It's winter up here, but Wanaka has a much more spring like feel, so it's fun to pull out the shorts and running shoes and explore some different scenery. After the break in Wanaka, we will be back at the Snow Farm for almost two more weeks where we will continue to train and have the opportunity to jump in the Merino Muster and the NZ Winter Games. It's a fun atmosphere because we still have a couple months until the season, so these races are pretty low pressure, but give us the opportunity to find some areas to fine tune before the season starts. So with almost one week down and two more to go, everyone is doing well and we are feeling extremely lucky to be training in what has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Thanks for following!

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