Thursday, May 6, 2010

APU Startup Camp


The past month since I finished my racing season has been a whirlwind of events. The original plan was to spend the summer in Bozeman with my sister and train and work there before heading up to AK at the beginning of August to start school and training with APU. I spent three weeks in Bozeman starting a new job, moving into a new house, making new friends and training buddies, setting up a bank account, and finding the best training areas and gyms in town. I figured I was getting myself set up for a great summer. Turns out I was getting a bit ahead of myself. 

After talking to my new coach Erik Flora, we decided it was best I spent the majority of my summer in AK getting to know the team, the new coach, and the new training. May, June, and July are the most important months to do some really valuable training. So, after all was said and done I decided to spontaneously hop on a plane and come up to AK for three weeks of training. After these three weeks I plan to head back down to the lower 48 for about a month of "real summer" before I drive back up to AK at the end of June for good.

Last week was my first week of training with APU, which happened to be their annual "Startup Camp" Let me tell you, it was a true "start-up". Erik, my new coach, is a firm believer of getting back into the training right away. The least amount of fitness lost in this short resting period is the best. What this means is we started with a bang. After taking nearly a month of relaxing and "fun exercise" we got back into the grove of things. The first workout included a 90 second uphill test skate rollerskiing.  I happened to set a record high on my lactate level, and got a warm welcoming back into anaerobic training. 

The rest of the week we spent rollerskiing, crust cruising, snow skiing, swimming, running, strength training and biking. Workouts varied from sprint relays to level four intervals up "Wall Street" (a massive climb that goes up for about 10 minutes) to distance training to just general pain. I found myself hanging on to the group for dear life in several occasions but for the most part enjoyed the new team. The best quote of the week was Erik Flora standing on the top of the interval hill describing our workout as simply as "go like-a-hell". And that is exactly what we did. 

It is a great group of athletes on the APU team that are all doing the same as me- committing themselves to this sport. On the trails these guys are all business, but off the snow it is a fun bunch. Everyone is incredibly nice and helpful which makes it really easy to get along with them all. I am super excited for this new change. 

While skiing for the APU team, I will also be taking full time classes at the school. I signed up for fall courses a couple days ago- so its official! I was lucky enough to receive a full ride for tuition so I am super stoked about that. Back to the books for me.

I spend the next two weeks training here in AK before I head back down to Washington for a few weeks. I will then be attending a "National Elite Group" camp in Park City with the US team coaches for 10 days. Shortly after that I start the long drive up to Alaska- thats an adventure in itself.

Here are some pictures from our crust ski up Glen Alps above Anchorage. The first trip definitely was the best ski of my life. Unbelievable crust,  beautiful sunny day, a bunch of people ripping around. Couldn't ask for better!

Looking up the valley we skied up. 

Fitz and I on top of a massive hill- you can't quite tell that.



View down to Anchorage from above.



Girls team doing intervals.  Becca and I bringing up the rear.

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