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Green Racing Project Blog

Methow Valley Training Camp

16.Jul.2017 by Ida Sargent

The US Ski Team camp plan has fallen into a predictable pattern over the past few years, returning to the same training locations at the same times of the year.  This year as a women’s team, we wanted to mix it up and add a new location for renewed inspiration. So while I absolutely love summertime in Craftsbury, I was excited to travel to a new location with my US Ski Team teammates.  The goal was a shorter intensity focused camp with quality hard interval workouts together in a positive team atmosphere.  Our normal camps also usually become overly busy with sponsor and media requirements, testing, and other meetings and events and we wanted an opportunity to focus solely on our training without this simultaneous busy schedule.  So what better way to tune out distractions than to drive a few hours into the woods of Washington, turn down a dirt driveway, and continue for a few more miles before establishing our training base camp in two little cabins on the in the Methow Valley.  The training plan had hard intervals every other day interspersed with longer distance sessions that included rollerskiing up the pass and long runs in the mountains.  It looked intense on paper but without super high volume and the with benefits of the quiet cabin life, it was easy to relax and embrace the training and the company of the team.  Soon we were rocketing through one workout after the next.  We stayed in some wonderful cabins in Mazama that were mostly free of internet and cell service (I say mostly because Jessie Diggins still had service and setup a hot spot for us all so we weren’t quite offline).  Pete Dickinson, a PT who travels with the team in the winter, is the dad of Craftsbury Summer Training Group athlete Kelsey Dickinson, and lives nearby, set up a table on our porch for an outdoor PT and massage studio.  And our coaches, Matt Whitcomb and Tim Baucom, kept the fridges full of food and the training plan full of excitement.  Besides Sadie Bjornsen, who grew up a few miles from where we were staying, this was the first time spending any time in the Methow for the rest of us so we had a blast exploring new trails and roads and I’m already looking forward to another visit there!  If you haven’t been to the Methow Valley before, I would urge you to make a visit!  From the Dolomitesque spires of the mountain peaks to the crystal clear and freezing cold rivers and the countless miles of trails in between, it is a sunny outdoor playground!

 

Checking out the map on the first morning  as we learned our way around the Methow Valley.

 

To the mountains!

 

Tree huggers

 

Following Jessie and Kikkan on a long rollerski up Washington Pass.  Besides the intensity training, we did a lot of team technique work, helping each other make changes by sharing cues that we thought about and technique changes we were trying to make.  Then following each other during the workouts was a great opportunity to practice these changes.

 

Striding towards the snow!

 

Tim manning a feed zone in the middle of a rollerski OD.

 

Interval time!  Lots of head to head workouts taking advantages of different strengths and hammering together as a team.

 

Pain faces and grimaces nearing the end of our mock team sprint time trial

 

More smiles mid L4 bounding intervals courtesy to some much needed cooling efforts!  It was hot and sunny every day which was a nice change from some of the rainy weather at home!

 

Scoping the best route into the falls?

 

A rope swing into Patterson Lake that rivaled the rope swing at the Dreissigacker’s cabin.

 

The meadow in front of our cabins

 

Cabin life at its best!  Eat, sleep, train, and chill!

 

After an awesome camp, I headed back to Craftsbury which despite being nearly 3000 miles away, is surprisingly similar to the Methow Valley.  It’s a little greener due to a fair amount more rain and the mountains are not quite as high nor the lakes and streams as cold.  But all the trails, lakes, and quiet roads are perfect for summer training and adventures.  The spotty cell service tunes out a lot of real world chatter.  And most importantly, we have an awesome group of skiers and biathletes working hard together.  I’m looking forward to a solid block of training at home over the next month and a half!

 

Here’s the GRP ladies rolling in a train on a recent long rollerski workout

Girls with Guns – Lake Placid Gallery

13.Jul.2017 by Caitlin Patterson

The US Biathlon women (spearheaded by Emily Dreissigacker) put on a fantastic Girls with Guns biathlon clinic in Lake Placid on July 9th. Enjoy the photo gallery below, and click on any photo to see a larger version.

All photos by Caitlin Patterson.

BKL Camp Week

4.Jul.2017 by Hallie Grossman

Last week, Caitlin wrote a post about a typical “week in the life” of a GRP athlete in June. This post is similar, but with a twist: a week in the life during BKL camp (a recovery/ easy week for some of the biathletes and a bigger volume week for the skiers).

Twice every summer, the junior coaches put together two Bill Koch League day camps for kids 8-12 and the GRP gets to help throughout the week. Last week, 18 eager BKL’ers, some part of our regular crew and some from further away, descended on the Center for five days of fun and training.

Monday

Camp begins at 9am sharp, with name games and ice breakers. Kids then broke into two groups, one heading to the local roads for rollerskiing and the others staying at the Center for some agility practice via an obstacle course. Because kids like competition, there was a competition for the “best cheerer” as part of the obstacle course. Throughout the week most workouts and activities ended with a healthy dose of water time. Kids don’t seem to care whether it’s hot or cold- the water’s always fun!

Playing “World Cup.” Apparently it’s, “everyone’s favorite game.”

Tuesday

Descending Elmore

Hike day! The crew headed to Mt. Elmore for some fire tower views and slippery rock scrambling. The morning concluded with swimming and lunching at Lake Elmore, which was unfortunately cut a bit short because of imminent thunderstorms.The afternoon drew out everyone’s hand-foot coordination skills, with a slightly rainy kickball tournament.

Despite BKL camp being in full swing, the GRP athletes were still engaged in training weeks of varying volumes and other work projects. The weekly Tuesday Night Race (this week at Hosmer Point) still went off without a hitch.

Tuesday Night Race dip at Hosmer Point. It’s wonderful to see the community come together on a weekly basis for this event.

Wednesday

Wednesday morning gave kids an opportunity to shred the mountain bike trails. These kids are speedy! While the campers were biking, some of the GRP did a skate speed rollerski workout. In the afternoon, the group was split in two: half canoeing and half doing biathlon.

Amelia showing us how it’s done on the range, while wearing an awesome pink skort.

Though I have not done a lot of biathlon with the BKLers, it is really cool watching them shoot. They are all supportive of each other and offer bits of  encouragement and suggestions. They do a great job parroting coaches’ snippets of advice to their peers (and I’ve noticed the same thing with mountain biking skills), which shows that kids really are listening and taking in what you say.

Wild strawberries make any uphill journey sweeter.

Thursday

Orienteering in the morning (while some of the GRP did rollerski intervals) then in the afternoon, the groups flipflopped, giving everyone the chance to canoe and do biathlon over the two days.

Rain drops didn’t deter anyone from a spirited relay race.

Friday

Adventure race day! Before the race began, I did a 2k on the skierg as part of our testing regime which happens throughout the summer and fall. With the 2k complete by 9am, it was on to the races!

Here’s a smattering of pictures from the adventure race. I won’t go in to much detail because I don’t want to give any of our secrets away! But know that there was a lot of smiles and planning/ plotting and water involved.

“We are a human conveyer belt”

Lava lava everywhere

Alex working on sight alignment with a camper

Cooperation is key here

Then…pizza!

Rope swinging then make-your-own pizza is a BKL camp tradition. Kids get creative with pizzas of all sorts, including crowd favorites of pesto and sausage then some lesser known treasures like simply garlic and olive oil. This year,  many of us learned what “mochi” are and a few campers got really in to making mini pizzas.

Mini pizzas for days

Hungry kids devouring their creations

Smores!

 

The campers wrapped up their week with a lip sync competition, which is pretty hilarious with a group of 8-12 who have some very different opinions on singing and dancing.

Some were in to the signing. And some were not.

Though the camp was done, the training week wasn’t quite over…

Saturday brought an OD rollerski/ run workout with a roll from East Craftsbury to Lake Willoughby then run over Mt. Pisgah for most.

Rollerskis can take you a long way…(Caitlin Patterson’s camera/ Pepa’ picture taking).

 

 

Mid-June training life in Craftsbury

28.Jun.2017 by Caitlin Patterson

Last week was a fairly standard summer training week in Craftsbury for the GRP, but that’s not to say it’s boring or without unexpected (and expected) challenges. For most of the summer, we follow a cycle of two hard weeks then an easier week. Last week was the first of two, so we’re heading into another similar-if-a-little-harder week of training. A look at last week:

Monday –

Pre-workout: wake-up, stretch, put on my puddle boots and go let the chickens out of their coop. Then breakfast, tea and maybe toast, maybe eggs, maybe oatmeal.

Morning workout: 2.5 hour skate rollerski followed by a few minutes of jogging to stretch out. It was hot and humid, so the jog took the form of running to a creek nearby so that I could swim.

Mid-day, I spent several hours preparing information and finishing calculations on an energy project for our upcoming dining hall renovation at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

Afternoon workout: 1.5 hour run on the dirt roads with teammates Ben, Adam, and U23 training partner Lewis. We GRPers are really enjoying the company of our 3 summer training partners this year – Kelsey Dickinson, Lewis Nottison, and Adam Luban. Read more about these three athletes here: http://www.craftsbury.com/general/about-the-center/news/detail/1857/

Hey chickens, good morning.

Tuesday –

Morning strength circuit orchestrated by coach Pepa. A HARD one, with lots of jumps and several arms exercises right in a row. We do 4-6 rounds of our circuit, and during the first round, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it past 3-4 at most. But… strangely enough most of us felt better throughout, and made it through 6.

Mid-day meeting about the dining hall project with the architect and various other staff at the Outdoor Center.

Afternoon, run including the Craftsbury Outdoor Center Tuesday night 5k race at “tempo” which is a medium-hard pace. I expected it would be a struggle to run fast on the trails after our morning’s circuit, but my legs actually felt good and I had fun cruising the single-track trails during the race.

Kelsey and Matt Moody in a recent Tuesday Night Race

Wednesday –

Morning classic rollerski, 2.5 hours including 3×6 speeds of about 10-15 seconds. These kinds of speeds are a good opportunity to work on tempo and power, and we go as fast as we can possibly manage on the terrain of choice. Successful session with a few good technique modifications, and we always have the opportunity after our workout to review video that Pepa takes during the speeds, which is very helpful.

Adam and Ben out on the roads near Greensboro

Classic rollerski after a sprinkle of rain

Afternoon – coaching, riding, and taking photos at the first “Bike Club” of the summer season. 40 kids signed up for this year’s bike club, an organized once-a-week program at Craftsbury coached by ski coaches and GRP athletes. We’ll be splitting into groups roughly based on experience to learn skills, share tricks, and ride the single-track.

So many excited Bike Club kids!

Thursday –

Our morning workout consisted of uphill running-with-poles intervals on a dirt road gradual climb near the Craftsbury village. After a 30+ minute warm up, we ran up the hill 4-6 times, taking 9-10 minutes each time. Our coaches drive us back down the hill in between intervals, otherwise the rest would take too long. This was a particularly nice workout because while it’s ski specific with the poles, I also felt like it was good practice for my legs and the upcoming running races I’ll be competing in.

Mid-day several of us headed to the garden fields for a little post-lunch hoeing of weeds and mulching (applying thick layers of hay) between rows of squash and melons.

Afternoon Crossfit strength workout with fantastic coach Cady from Green Mountain Crossfit. Cady ran us through a warm-up circuit/stretching for a few minutes, and then we launched into a ladder of deadlifts, 5-5-3-3-2-2-2 reps, working up to our 2 rep maximum weight for the last set. The final challenge of the strength session was 11 minutes of dead lifts (at a lighter weight), hand stand push ups (or normal push-ups) and box jumps. Recipe for soreness tomorrow!

Friday –

The morning was rainy, but Kelsey, Hallie and I ventured over to Belvidere Mountain about 30′ drive away for a run/hike with poles. We saw the fire tower looming above from the summit, if not much else, and enjoyed splashing through puddles on the trail for 2.5 hours.

In the afternoon, with continued rain showers looming, I opted for a 30′ skierg followed by 40 minutes of assorted core strength, arm/shoulder strength, and balance exercises. If you think it sounds hard to fill 40 minutes with core strength, (no heavy lifting, not really any weights) think again and follow your closest nordic skier into the gym. Between banded exercises, variations on sit-ups, variations of planks, balancing and hopping on blue balance disks, it’s not hard at all to fill the time, especially with friends and music.

Saturday –

Time for a morning OD – skate rollerskiing for 3:45 through the rolling green hills around Lowell, Troy, and other such small towns north of Craftsbury. It was a scenic day of skiing, and we passed countless barns and cow fields. I did get caught off guard by a tar snake – that’s a light-hearted term for those slimey strips of tar they use to repair road cracks – which took me down and resulted in a little road rash, but the shock of falling passed quickly and it wasn’t a bad scrape at all.

The men’s crew passing a stack of hay bales. Thanks Pepa for snapping these next few photos on my camera!

The women’s group behind a tractor. Don’t worry, we weren’t actually tailgating it, it had just pulled out and soon outpaced us.

Right to left: Ben, Mike, Adam M, Lewis, Adam L

Afternoon strength – 20′ running to warm up, a few minutes of mobility and core strength, and then lifting. Several of our go-to exercises are such things as back squats, dead lifts, pull ups, bench press, dips, and beyond, typically around 4 sets of each exercise with medium weight. Strength really truly can make you feel better, like this afternoon, when I came into the gym a little sleepy and grumpy but left it tired in a different, better way, but also feeling happier.

Training week, complete! 23 hours, 130 miles covered, only a few drops of blood.

On Sunday, an easy day off from training, I spent the morning with a mix of weeding the berry patch and writing emails and crossing other computer-related to-do items off my list.  After lunch at the Outdoor Center, most of us from the GRP and a bunch of coaches and Craftsbury junior/BKL skiers drove to Sterling College for an afternoon of trail work. It was a few hours well-spent digging in the mud, finding rocks with a crew of Craftsbury kids to use for drainage features, carrying and rearranging logs, building boardwalks, and taking a few photos to capture the process. In the evening, Susan, Liz, Kelsey, Kait and I ventured out to Stowe to enjoy a bluegrass concert through Music in the Meadow at Trapp Family Lodge, a great end to a busy week!

Part of the trail crew. Our total numbers were at least 3 times this many but most of them were elsewhere when I took this picture.

Anna and Audrey (COC ski coaches) getting in their afternoon workout in the woods!

Tools for the trails

A group of Craftsbury BKL skiers helping with the drainage projects, and building a jump

Drainage

Lewis and Adam working on the boardwalks

What’s that pig looking at? Nothing strange to see here at all. (Ski speeds on the grass a few weeks ago.)