Kikkan, Taz & I joined the rest of the US Ski Team in Whistler Saturday afternoon (well, most of the team) for a training camp. We had a nice easy classic ski this morning up the access road to the venue and around some of the paved rollerski trails. It's good to check back in with the US Ski Team coaches and get some more perspectives on technique and training. It does take me a little bit to get accustomed to such close perusal from multiple coaches-- it seemed like a fair bit of time today that either Wadsworth or Whitcomb was pacing me either in a car or on a bike once we got to the trails.
So my alarm is set to NPR and since I didn't have practice until 9 this morning I wasn't too concerned with waking up with the radio started. The first two times I heard them say that Sarah Palin was going to be McCain's VP running mate I thought I was dreaming still. Crazy. After watching Obama speak last night I thought that maybe there was a hope that Alaska would vote democratic for once. Not a chance now.
We have been doing 60 second double pole intervals out by Kincaid all summer. Then we started doing some of our skate speeds out there too. Then we started making some of our double pole intervals 90 seconds. Then Dylan spray painted blue lines for all of our starts and finishes. Now I have no idea where I'm supposed to ski out there.
Bike to Rogers Park Elementary. Do a lap around the area since I overestimated how long it would take me to get there. Guest teach Pre-Algebra. Bike to Sears for errand. Bike to Carrs. Buy groceries. Bike around Lake Hood to look at all the pretty airplanes. Bike home. Weigh my bag so I could impress myself with how much stuff I was carrying. 24lbs, wouldn't have impressed RJ. Bike to Sand Lake Elementary. Get set-up to volunteer with Mr. Maurer. Bike home.
Training time (according to my odometer): 2:35 Time actually spent away from home: 6:30 Time spent in anything motorized: 0
I really like when I can just go about my day and at the end of it find that I've accomplished my training for the day.
It was pretty nice to have a pretty drug-free Olympics. And not for a lack of testing. I noticed that Phelps was tested seven times in twelve days. I'm going to take this as a sign that my fellow athletes are choosing not to dope. Good.
APUNSC is offering a 1 month pre season program during September (regular training starts Oct 1st).
Here's what Holly has to say about it:
In addition to our regular winter only program we have decided to add the “Early Bird” September special. This program is similar to last year but there is a new twist – It’s three days per week. Those signed up for the program will be guaranteed one strength session, one roller ski session, and one session on foot per week. This is the perfect way to ease back into official training – or, for someone completely new to the program to try it out! It’s affordable, it’s efficient, and it will prepare you for October 1st training! This program is $90 dollars for the month of September!
I gave a speech the other day. I realized as I was talking that in spoken speech I maybe wasn't going to be able to avoid dangling prepositions. I hadn't written my speech so I was just improvising on the spot which resulted in ending so many sentences with prepositions. In writing I have more time to consider the sentence structure so I think I'll still try to avoid dangling prepositions there. In fluid, spoken English though I'm going to concede that they're allowed.
I know you've been dying to know how I've been progressing at that goal.
565 racers (311 women & 254 men). It's not very often that I'm in a race where there's more women competing than men. That's kind of cool.
I must add that Lost Lake pretty much wrecked me. I really didn't want to get up this morning-- not because I was tired, just because it hurt so much whenever I moved anything. I don't understand why my entire body hurts from running. Maybe because all the running I do otherwise is nice and slow and recovery oriented. At least our workout Monday morning is double poling and not hill bounding.
I raced Lost Lake this morning. Another good trip down to Seward. The area is beautiful and it's good to get out to random places every now and again. Last year I did the 15.75 mile course in 2:10:17 & this year I did it in 2:04:39 (so says my watch, I don't recall my official time). And my goal was to beat my previous time and maintain a high energy output throughout the entire race. So goal accomplished.
I only had two points of lost focus (which for a 2hr+ race is pretty good). I stopped to eat blueberries & I rolled my ankle. The blueberries was more like a veer over to the side of the trail and quick grab (and on an uphill so I was walking already anyway). Then I realized that eating blueberries, no matter how excited I was about it, was not productive to my race.
I rolled my ankle just before the feed station by mile 8. Initially I couldn't put any weight on it and thought I was done. So I hopped off the trail and visions of hobbling 8miles back out and not running for the next month flashed through my mind. All of a sudden I was overly upset. Then I realized that I was thinking like a spoiled, hypochondriacal athlete so instead I limped the 100m to the feed station ate a gel, drank some water, started walking, noticed it didn't hurt to take a step, felt immensely more cheerful, and ran to the finish. Yes, I did take some anti-inflammatories (Thanks Rhianne!) and put ice on it when I got home.
Sarah Schoen gave me a ride down and since she wasn't racing, just running up the trail to cheer and enjoy the day, I gave her my camera. So thanks to Sarah for taking pictures. I'd put her in charge of my camera any day. What I'd forgotten until just now is that she worked for a National Geo photographer one summer so I suppose that has something to do with it.
Full results will eventually be found at the Lost Lake website. Mandy Vincent-Lang rocked it (dropped her time from last year by 10+ minutes, I believe) and came in third, I was second, Cedar Bourgeois won.
Our first day on the glacier was a day off and Erik decided to take advantage of the presence of 2o or so athletes to do some maintenance at the Thomas Training Center on Eagle Glacier. He wanted to be able to drive the Piston Bully up onto the rocks (recall this was the first day before it snowed and we built the snow road) for the winter so it would be easier to find in the spring without damaging it. I was pretty impressed by how quickly and well we could make a fairly flat incline for the PB with our random tools and no real experience among us. We also collected buckets of nails and random construction debris left over from when they built the facility.
So it snowed last Saturday night when we were on the glacier and Erik had this great idea to have us make a snow road so that they could drive the piston bully up to park it in one of the trailers over the winter. I'm sure it'll help keep down the wear on the PB but I'm also suspicious that he just wanted to keep us busy on Sunday after our OD and while we were waiting for a ride down in a helicopter (the snow made hiking not impossible, but rather unpleasant). It also means that they don't have to spend tons of hours digging out the PB next June. So we spent a solid chunk of time creating a 9' wide level path of snow between the glacier and the trailer so the PB could drive it without ripping its belt apart on the rocks. Anyway, we moved a lot of snow on Sunday. I haven't seen the coaches since then so I don't know if the PB ever actually made it into its garage. I hope so.
Here's a clip near the completion of the project when we took a break from shoveling to help pack down the driveway. There's something about seeing Lars Flora, Strandberg, Southam, Randall, & Ellis marching in a row that makes me laugh. Kalysta Schmidt is the one in the yellow t-shirt. At the end is a clip of Bobby Miller from the first day on the glacier showing what happens when you take nice boys from the suburbs of Minneapolis and transplant them to Alaska.
My, um, film making here is less than impressive... my computer is all in French which doesn't usually phase me but when I opened up iMovie and tried to do some editing the vocab requirements totally defeated me.
I had a fabulous OD run up from the Glen Alps parking lot. A little bit on the trail, a little bit off, up valleys I'd only previously skied, to lakes I'd never seen, up ridges I'd seen but never climbed. It's nice to have this kind of playground so close. And I even had a photographer along with me so I'm actually in some of my pictures!
It graupeled while we were up on the glacier (I'm not sure if I can make that into a verb, but I'll attempt it) and I was shocked to find through a very informal and not thorough survey of my fellow glacier inhabitants that Becca Rorabaugh and I were the only ones familiar with the term graupel. We found that it was a word we'd both learned from our dads (thanks dad!).
In case you're curious about my other definitions...
m-w.com says, "a bucket similar to a clamshell but usually having more jaws." Which doesn't really make much sense.
ultralingua says, "An instrument, usually with hinged claws, for seizing and holding fast to an object; a grappling iron." Which is why ultralingua is my online dictionary of choice.
1. A device consisting of several hooks for grasping and holding; often thrown with a rope; 2. A light anchor for small boats.
These last two weeks of training have been my favorite so far. Make that three if I include this week of recovery. The first week was in town mostly on rollerskis, the second week was on the glacier skiing for seven days and the third week is back home not thinking at all about training and enjoying the other aspects of life. Our hard weeks have been low volume this cycle but high intensity. I've never felt so confident in my training before. We train hard and we train specifically. I know my coaches think about our training and have an overarching scheme for the training and racing season to get us in the best shape possible. I also trust their eyes on my technique and know that they know how to decipher what they see me doing differently than what my perfect technique should look like. It's a very worry-free way to train. All I have to do is to train hard when I'm supposed to and work on my technique while I'm skiing. And then I get this week of not-really-training to enjoy life totally guilt free because I know the next five weeks are going to be another set of tough training.
We finally made it back from Eagle Glacier. After more than a foot of new snow this weekend we didn't really have the option to hike out so we were dependent on the weather being good enough to have Alpine Air fly us down. Anders & I drew the short straws and were up on the glacier awhile after our teammates waiting for that one last helicopter to be able to come in and get us. I do have tons of photos to share. None of them actually of skiing but I'm sure you will enjoy them... tomorrow.
Here's a sweet video of Fleet Foxes on Letterman! I'm so proud that my cousin is getting to share his passion for music with a wider and wider audience.
There's some babies coming into the ski world... Pat & Kristina Casey are due in October (I think) and James & Annie Southam are due at the end of November. I don't know what Pat's schedule looks like for the fall but if your favorite part of the West Yellowstone Ski Festival is seeing James Southam you'll be sadly disappointed this year.
I made an important life decision the other day while running. Running seems to ease the decision making process for me. Usually when I try to make a decision I analyze the pros and cons of each outcome and try to reason through what makes the most sense. When I think about a problem while I'm running (this doesn't work as well when I'm skiing because usually I'm thinking about skiing but I can run without thinking about running) I simply pick what feels right.
Anyway, I've decided to stop dangling my prepositions. Is that an anti-climatic decision? Because I've been thinking about it, agonizing over it really, for probably eight months now. Typically I dangle my prepositions frequently. Most people do, which is why I hadn't been able to decide if it was an acceptable practice. There's only two people I know who don't dangle prepositions in their spoken or written English. That's a pretty small percentage considering how many people I've met so far but it's reassuring to know that it's possible so I think it's time to kick the habit. A girl can only have so many vices.
I will concede, though, that it's more of a matter of style choice rather than strictly correctness so I won't presume to be critical of other people choosing to dangle their prepositions.
On Friday the Olympics start! Being up on the glacier I won't get to check them out until I get home but I wanted to give a big congratulations and good luck to my In The Arena teammate Mike Hazle who will be competing in the javelin throw!
I'm on Eagle Glacier from August 3-10 with the fabulous APU team!
I can't believe that it's already our fourth and last trip up to the glacier for this summer. It's August which means that we really only have one more quarter to work on our fitness before it's time to let the fitness level coast a little bit and work on our RACING.
On Monday, August 4th, The Fleet Foxes are going to be on the David Letterman show... CBS 11:30 PST. So if you watch TV you should check into it. My very talented cousin is the lead singer & songwriter, Robin Pecknold.
(I really like having a cousin who's a rock star because it makes my life as a skier seem less alternative to my family.)
Sorry about the last names... I don't know them all. And I also took two different pictures of the women's result list and missed no. 11 and Greta's time. I'm sure official results with teams and ski types will be up soon on the APUNSC website. Almost all the racers were APU, AK WinterStars or UAA athletes.
I felt solid. Skied hard the whole time. I will say that although I have Marwes like everyone else was using, mine do seem to be a lot faster.