Sunday, August 25, 2013

Training at Altitude

For these past two weeks, the APU team has been in Park City, Utah for an altitude training camp. With the Olympics in Sochi taking place at a high altitude venue- we have made it a goal of ours to focus more time and energy at being efficient and comfortable training and racing at altitude.

For the past two week we have had several different focuses for the camp.

#1- Footwork!
Having spent the majority of the past year and a half trying to figure out my feet, I dedicated these last two weeks to the "Canyons". Zuzana and Erik F have been working on a plan of strengthening my feet through uphill hiking. In Anchorage, I call this the "bear march", because I start at the base of Anchorage and march my way up to the hills... often encountering bear poop, bear tracks, and sometimes bears. The Canyons in Park City were a whole new story! Not only are there far fewer animals, but it is an alpine slope, so there is a gondola you can ride down for free! These past two weeks I finally got to do some intensity on my feet, something more than running from the crunching bushes in Anchorage.
Holly and I rocking the 2XU recovery socks... trying to avoid the elephant feet after bounding intervals
Tyler hanging out at the base of the Canyon Gondolas

#2 Distance
Through the course of the two weeks, we split our energy between intensity and distance training. Distance training is always fun in Park City because you are surrounded by deserted roads that go forever into the mountains. One of the important things about distance skiing at altitude is learning to move efficiently. With less air, training can often require more energy. It is fun to play around with different techniques, and different movement patterns to exert the least amount of energy for as long as possible.
Tom Kelly photo

#3 Time Trial- Practice Racing
Our second to last day of camp we had a Practice Sprint Race. Erik Flora and Sam Sterling drove around for 15 hrs, searching every canyon within 60 miles of Park City to find the absolute perfect course. (little traffic, wide roads, and big hills) Generally we would do our time trials on the Olympic Courses in Soldier Hollow, but they are currently repaving it (which we are all super excited about). After driving around for a combined 15 hrs, Erik managed to find a PERFECT course. His goal was to simulate the Olympic Sprint courses in Sochi- and he succeeded! With nothing but fumes left on our second to final day of camp- I sure did manage to put myself in the hurt zone! But- that's what it is all about!
Tom Kelly Photo- Chasing the girls up the "A Climb"

#4 "Other training"
A couple afternoons of the week, we get to do our own training; some less focused training that doesn't involve skis on our feet or intervals on our mind. Noah Hoffman was nice enough to let me borrow his bikes for the two weeks I was there. Having never hit the mountain biking trails in Park City- I was in HEAVEN! There are so many awesome trails there- with great climbing, fun dissents, and a healthy amount of technical riding. I had tons of fun getting to know the trails of PC. Thanks Hoff!!!
Kikkan and Rosie after a sweet OD bike ride
Rosie and I at the top of Park City Resort

#5 Team Time
This year we have gotten a whole new batch of boys on the APU team. Many of them I have been around, and even been on a team with in my past; but it has been tons of fun to get to know them better and spend some team training time with them. It is fun to see how much energy and excitement this new group of men have! They are all around the same general age, and have been "biggest competitors" with each other for the past eight years of their lives- but it is amazing to watch them come together, push each other, and share their strengths with each other. This camp is the first time I have gotten to spend an extended period of time around them; and I am super fired up for them!

Teammates making some awesome meals!

Kale Chips!

NOW! Back to Anchorage for a month before returning back to PC for our final altitude camp of the training season!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


These past ten days have flown by! For ten short days, I got to spend some time at home, in the Methow Valley. Every time I go back to the Methow, I fall back in love with it a little more. During my high school years, it was easy to forget how amazing the valley is; with all the great training, and small town living. So, as you would imagine, ten days wasn't enough!
Mom jumping into Rainy Lake after a warm training!
Mom and I in the North Cascade Mountains that I miss so much!
It was great to get some family time. I only get to see my parents and sister about two or three times a year, so it is always fun to spend summer hours training and playing in the water with them! My mom is super fit, so she happens to be the best training partner ever. Not only that, she is up for everything! Even an occasional aqua jog, or an uphill only hike. I also got to go for a great ride with my dad, who also manages to stay super fit building houses 12 hours a day! I sure know where I get my good blood from!

Some awesome family time!
Mom's garden that just keeps growing larger every time I visit!
The Bjornsen girls!
Mom, set for her first trip overseas this winter to watch World Juniors/ U23s in Val di Fiemme
Happy Birthday MOM!
Kaley and her newly announced "fiancé" Congrats you two!
It was great to do some different training than I normally do at home. I grew up mountain biking only, so it was also fun to do some new adventuring on a road bike in the Methow. One day I biked from home up to the top of the North Cascades and then back up to Cutthroat, where my mom had run from- which was sweet! Turns out the North Cascade Highway isn't as flat as I was thinking!

One of the highlights of my trip was the Fast and Female Power Hour, "Skate Skiing in Skirts". It was so fun to see some of the local girls, and also the girls from Leavenworth! We had a fun ski, and even kept ourselves from overheating by plunging into the river half way through. In honor of "Dancing with Diggs" in our past Fast and Female events- we got our dance moves on during our ski in our skirts. We were laughing about what the tourists visiting town and driving by were thinking watching us ski by. We had a lot of fun though- so thanks so much to all the girls that showed up! You girls all looked great and you are doing some awesome summer training!

Talking with the girls about "spreading the love and dominating the world". 
Skiing in skirts!

Lydia getting her "dancing with Diggy" on!
It has been so fun getting to know the Leavenworth girls and watching how much fun they are having! These girls drove 2.5 hrs to come join, the day before they left for a three day camping trip! You guys rock!

It was great to spend some time with family, visit home, and see a couple good family friends. I only wish I could have more time to stay! I am now in Park City, Utah with my APU teammates doing an altitude block. Thank god for my heat training these past ten days! It is hard to adjust back to western summer temperatures after spending so much time in Alaska!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fast and Female Power Hour in Winthrop!

Calling all ladies, young and old for the Fast and Female power hour event, "Skate Skiing in Skirts". 4pm at the Mazama community center on Thursday, August 8th. Bring skate skis, a skirt you can ski in, a bottle of cold water, a helmet, and a bundle of energy! We will learn some of my favorite skate drills, techniques, and methods of having fun on wheels all summer! Everyone is welcome!