Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cuddy Park Rollerski Race

Last weekend we had a classic team sprint race downtown Anchorage. We put together two pretty competitive APU woman's teams that battled head to head between the rounds. Becca and I were teamed up against team pink- Katie Ronsee and Greta Anderson. In the semi-finals Katie and Greta finished a strong 16 seconds ahead of us, so Becca and I were forced to readjust our strategy. We decided to just go like hell from the gun for the two laps each of the Final round and not worry about conserving energy. Fortunately our plan worked out, this time taking the win and crossing the finish line 44 seconds ahead of team pink. 

The boys race was fun to watch as well. National Champ, Tyler Kornfield, and David Norris went up against the Hanneman brothers who held their ground quite nicely. With a tight race up until the last lap where Reese Hanneman put down some quick pulling- the Hannemans pulled through ahead. 

It was fun to see the people putting it on get so into it. They even had an announcer for the finishing area.! Fun stuff. One of the mothers at the race caught some shots below.

One more week of training in town and then we head up to the glacier for our last on snow training camp.

Racing around the 1.3km loop

Tag off exchanges between partners

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More Photos

More photos as promised. Erik took some pictures with a "good" camera.

Reese Hanneman and I enjoying a nice L1 ski


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Glacier Camp 1

I just returned from my first week of on snow training up on Eagle Glacier, about 40 miles outside of Anchorage, and 6000 feet up from the city. We were scheduled to helicopter up last monday, but due to some crazy weather and bad flying conditions, we were postponed until tuesday afternoon. Finally a little hole opened and we were able to zip up to the mountains on one of Alpine Air's helicopters. 

Looking down on Girdwood and the ocean from our house.

For six days I lived the "eat, sleep, train" life up on the glacier with 16 other APU athletes. From the second I was dropped off from the helicopter that first day, I spent the next six days in a sort of awe/daze. It was unbelievable to me that we could jump in a helicopter at sea level, and five minutes later live like we were in the middle of the winter.

the youngest bunch of the team.

The weather was a little funky most the time- rain/hail/snow mixed with super strong winds, which made for some hard core training. I spent the entire week in my rain jacket with exception to one day when the sun came out. When the sun did shine though, it really couldn't have gotten better! There is nothing like skiing in a t-shirt and seeing mountains for miles and miles.

Mountains and more mountains!

 It was actually good it was only sunny one day, because I would get so distracted looking around and snapping pictures constantly that I would forget that I was supposed to be skiing.

Erika and I soaking in some vitamin D

Our two interval days were by far the worst weather- which was a little ironic.  Nicely enough we were thinking about going hard, so we were forgetting about the winds that you would occasionally need to duck down in order to keep yourself from blowing over, or the rain that seemed to soak you to the core within the first five minutes on snow. But at the end of the workout you always came in feeling like one hard core bad-ass! Our coach Erik was constantly reminding us these are the days that make the champions.

Amazing trails- thanks to Casey's bomb grooming!

The 16 athletes and the two coaches lived in this little house perched on the side of the glacier, right on the top of a huge cliff down to Girdwood. Living conditions are great up there.

Eagle Glacier Holiday Inn and Suites

 Plenty of drinking water, plenty of food, plenty of books and movies, and plenty of heat. The house has this sweet drying room set up where you hang your boots and all your clothes right when you walk in the door- and then everywhere else in the house stays dry and warm. 

brilliant drying system in the entry way filled with clothes and boots.

The upstairs has a bunch of bunk rooms that everyone lives in and then this little strength area where we knocked off some dead lift, squats and pull-ups halfway through the week. We spent a lot of time in those bunk rooms- sleeping 10 hours a night and 2 hour naps in the day.

my bunk room- we do make our beds sometimes

Our weight room designed for keeping up on the beach muscles!

One thing you have to get used to is sleeping in the light though. Perched on the top of a glacier in Alaska means it never gets dark at night! 

10 PM on our roof. Too excited about the blue sky to go to bed!

I have never realized how lucky it is to ski during the summer. It is just a nice way to break up all your dryland training and rollerskiing as well as keeping a constant check on your winter skiing technique. Erik spent a lot of time going over technique videos as well as filming out on the snow and reviewing during the day.

Erik working with other new team member, Reese Hanneman during training.

 I have never seen two people work their butts off so hard in my life. The coaches, Erik and Casey, were constantly on the run grooming, hauling gear around the glacier, talking with athletes, and fixing everything so everyone was comfortable. It was amazing to see how hard they worked, and how much fun they had doing it. Super great!

Klister, Klister and more Klister. Everything in this little waxroom is sticky!

Patrick Johnson busting out the kilometers- on average I think he passed me three times a day!

I am back in Anchorage training now for three weeks before I head up to the Glacier again for my last camp of the summer. Looks like I will be participating in the Alaska REG uphill time trial this friday so check for more updates. I have added some photos from the glacier- but more to come! I only took out my camera on the nice days- so don't let it fool you :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Washington to Alaska Adventure

For the past five days my brother and I have been road tripping from Washington, across Canada, and up into Alaska. I must say, I now have a new appreciation for how far north Alaska is. A three hour flight over the ocean from Seattle to Anchorage just doesn't really define the reality of it.

Beginning of road trip

Sun roof allowing me to keep constant check on my bikes above.

Radar detector, CD's, rear view mirror that you can't see with because my car is so full... set to go!

The first night we didn't get very far, just across the canadian border where we visited one of my good friends in Summerland. I was set on spending the afternoon on Lake Okanogan because I figured it was the last time I was going to feel 90 degree weather like that in a long time!!! 

Lunch of a Road Tripin' CHAMP!

Summerland Sun

The next morning we woke up early and drove hard for 15 hours across B.C. to Fort St. John where we spent the night in a pretty sketchy one star hotel. We were there enough time to cook a bowl of canned chili in the microwave and get in six hours of sleep before we hit the road early again  for the 15 hour section to Whitehorse. From then we spent the next day relaxing in Whitehorse with another college buddy- walking around town and getting a workout in. It was super nice to have the day off after two long days of being cramped in the car.

One rule of thumb- when you see gas.... you get gas! Not many places to stop in the middle of no-where. Here a small gas station right as our gas light went on.

Lots of pretty views

Erik and I hanging out in the sun at Whitehorse

Soon enough we were back in the car for the last section of the trip- the 13 hours from Whitehorse to Anchorage. I was pre-warned about this section, so I had an idea of what was coming- but I didn't really realize the degree of craziness. Right before you cross the border, back into the US there is about a 100 mile section of huge frost heaves that could very possibly swallow your car. I actually couldn't even believe they considered it a road. It was almost as if a river ran down the middle of the road at one point. After the huge ruts and bumps, the next hour was on dirt roads, where they were doing a bunch of road construction. After driving the crazy bumpy pavement- the dirt road actually seemed like a relief.

Sign Post Forest. We actually found a Bjornson Street.

lots of wildlife right beside the road.

The trip was super long, but also very pretty. Lots of wildlife, lots of road construction, lots of RV's, lots of people living in the bush, and lots of open land.  I have to say one of the craziest things we saw during the trip was on the last day, when we were driving through the upper yukon, we passed a large native, walking a baby in a stroller down the side of the highway, with a huge gun wrapped around his back. If I wasn't scared of the man's intentions, I would have stopped and taken a picture- because it was sure a sight to see. I have come to realize there is a reason people are out in the bush- not necessarily a bad reason- just a reason... and its better to not ask.

Glacier we drove by near Anchorage

I have some pictures from the trip- Erik and I decided to randomly take pictures along the way. We were switching driving a lot, and Erik was too lazy to pull out the camera- so we missed some of the super cool sections.... but still some shots to explain the trip.

Lots of Road Construction!

Hanging out waiting for pilot car.

Oh yeah.... we hit a moose twenty miles from Anchorage on the way into town and crushed my car. It was raining hard and the dang thing came out from behind the overpass at a pretty good speed. Luckily neither of us were hurt.... but my car was. 2400 miles of road tripping... and the last twenty minutes "the shit hits the fan".  BIG BUMMER. I guess it makes for a good "You know your in Alaska when....." story. I took my car into the shop and it looks like it is supposed to take three to four weeks to fix. I suppose its back to the "These boots are made for walking".

And its off to my first Glacier camp with APU this weekend!