Friday, July 22, 2011

US Ski Team Camp- Town Training in AK

For this past week we have been training in town with a massive group of top ladies from US and Canada. We have now been renamed the "North American Training Alliance". It has been so much fun though, around 20 girls a day rippin around on the rollerski paths, running trails, and gyms.

North American Training Alliance

Double Pole durability on the way out to Girdwood

Focusing in behind Olympic Medalist, Chandra Crawford

With all our fluorescent Rudy Helmets and bright Bjorn Daehlie clothing we have been making quite the scene coming down the trail. The benefits you get from doing speed workouts and intervals with all your closest competitors is endless. It is fun to see how much more you can accomplish as a group. Our first interval workout of the camp APU girls were cutting 30 seconds off our fastest times..... magic of a group.

Team bringing it in after intervals

Massive group hammering out some skate intervals

TRUE group training!

Besides being intense it has been tons of fun. Everyone is staying on the row in Univeristy Housing, so for the first time ever we have been cooking BBQ's in my front driveway and hanging out on the streets. Lucky for all of us the sun hasn't stopped shinning, so this has become my all time best week in Alaska. I am beginning to really fall in love with this place.

3hrs into our OD... still smiling!

Skate Speed

The Fluorescent Bunch taking up the road

Yesterday I set a rollerski distance PR. We decided to do "The Tour de Anchorage" where we ski down the chester creek trail, down into the heart of the city, along the ocean coast line, through Kincaid, past all the shopping centers, up along Campbell Creek, and finishing off at the University just under 51 kilometers and 3.5 hours later. Along the way we ran into some wildlife, spent at least 1 mile on a single track dirty trail, and crawled under five bridges.... all with our rollerskis on. My old roommate started the challenge of doing the Tour of Anchorage without taking your skis off, so I had to top him, and I made sure that everyone else did too :) I caught some hilarious pictures of the group climbing along the boulders and river bed with our skis on.

The group off-roading under the bridge

Ida and Jessie living the "alaska adventure" to its fullest!

We have one more day of training, which includes a time trial and strength before heading to the Glacier for the week.

Getting chased by the Crawf during skate intervals

Knock on wood, but with the weather we have been having, the glacier is going to be amazing!

Too fun!!

Thanks to Lauren Loberg, Matt Whitcomb and Holly Brooks for many of the photos

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July Glacier Camp

Just returned late last night from my second glacier camp of the summer. This camp was a bit different than usual for several reasons.

1) New faces- we had lots of new team members, skiers from other teams, and outsiders coming to join us for this camp. New people means new training partners, new skills and strengths, and new jokes. It's fun to mix it up every once in a while.

2) Good weather- this is the first camp I have been never been to Eagle Glacier when we have had so much good weather. The first two days I skid in shorts and a tank top. The final days were a bit darker with some wind and overcast... but not too much fog and not very much rain.

and sometimes the weather is not so nice......

3) Soft Snow- I think my "soft snow skiing" improved 300% over the course of the week. July is always a transition between glacier snow and winter snow, so we get some super soft days. With only one clear night, things weren't really freezing at night. I think I had my hardest 3 hour workout of my life mid-week when we had a 3 hour skate ski in the slush. I felt like I was swimming through a pond! At 2.5 hours I was seeing metallic colors and going down fast. Old school HUGE ski baskets were the money this week!

4) New Pisten Bully- Gradually throughout the week parts of the new PB were being flown up to the Glacier. The final day this huge chopper flew up the body of the machine... it was amazing to watch. That thing is heavy! Next camp should be awesome. I don't think I have ever seen Casey and Erik so happy in their life!

PB waiting to come up at the beginning of the week

The parts coming in at the end of the week

5) Coming Away Alive- for the first time in the four camps I have attended, I came off the week glacier camp with the wheels still attached. Normally by day four or five, I begin fading, and fading fast. Thats what its all about though- training and getting faster! GOOD FUN.

Don laying down the law.... trash your trash right!

6) Speed Ball Championships of the World- for the first time I played speed ball with the APU team up on the Glacier. Last year I was dealing with some bad knee injuries.. so I sat inside for this session, but this camp I got to join in. I had no idea! This team plays more aggressively than a football team! Biting, tackling, kicking, heckling.... all things allowed. It was HILARIOUS! Between chasing the soccer ball from one side to the other, I couldn't stop laughing at this hilarious game. Look for Reese's video to come out soon with what exactly it looks like.

7) Erik Flora Cooking- Enough said- that man can do more than coach.... turns out he can make a mean gravy and pot roast as well.

The rest of the week was full of school work, lots of training, resting and technique analysis. I now have a couple days rest before jumping into the Alaska REG Time Trial. Following that, the US Ski Team camp starts. One week of training in town and then one more week on the glacier. Should be some good training and good fun coming soon!

Also- one more week for the Womans Video Challenge!! Submit your videos. APU womans coming soon!