I’m back in Vermont now adjusting to the 16 hour time change, remembering what it feels like to sweat in humid weather, eating delicious veggies and berries from the garden, and swimming several times a day. But before I get fully settled into summer, here are a few more photos from winter training camp in the Southern hemisphere.
Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category
There’s an old saying the XC skiers are made in the summer. But sometimes, it’s best to find winter in summer. Rollerskiing is great but it’s not skiing and the time spent on snow, working on technique and logging quality kilometers is invaluable. Every time I start skiing after a few months break, I’m amazed by how awkward, long, and slippery my skis feel. Little stabilizing muscles immediately scream out after being dormant and unused on the stable and firm pavement. The classic rollerski ratchets are gone and it’s time to remember how to make wax work again. And of course there is always the pure enjoyment and love of skiing, the blissful feeling of a ski gliding along the snow. For the past few years the US Ski Team has traveled to Alaska in July for some glacier skiing. This year we decided to go to actual winter and so we made the longer southern journey down under to find it. I quickly lost track of the hours spent traveling, especially when we crossed the international date line and jumped into tomorrow. But many many hours later we arrived on New Zealand’s South island and all the hours on the plane were immediately worth it. I’m also a competent plane sleeper and was in snooze mode for over eight hours of the twelve hour flight from San Francisco to Aukland, so I arrived relatively fresh and was ready to ski!
We flew into Queenstown, New Zealand and then drove up into the mountains to the Snow Farm, New Zealand’s only Nordic ski area. The lodge, where we are living for the camp, is 14 kilometers up a road that serves as a rally race course in the summer time. The switchbacks can be treacherous, especially for those susceptible to car sickness but at the top the landscape opens into an unreal panorama of white rolling hills backed by views of the larger Southern Alps. Apparently it is the best snow year in over a decade so the skiing has been incredible with over 30 kilometers of trails open. The first week was cold and clear and we had a long string of extra blue conditions. Then a front came in with some warmer temps bringing klister conditions for a couple days but the warmer weather was followed by more snow so we should finish the camp off with more hardwax skiing. We live directly on the trails which creates the perfect training environment conducive to large amounts of skiing, eating, and sleeping and not much else. Most days we spend over four hours skiing and logging lots of easy distance. The altitude here is only 5000′ which isn’t too high compared to many summer skiing destinations so we have a couple time trials and interval sessions built into the training plan each week. There is a small gym up here too but we usually drive into Wanaka, the nearest town, a couple times a week to go for a run and hit up a larger gym. On our off days we’ve had time to get off the mountain and explore the local area but with this much training it isn’t possible unfortunately to head off on any bigger adventures or sightseeing trips. We have four more days of training left here before debarking on the big journey back in time and north to summer. How’s that for confusing?
Here’s some pictures from the week so far.
Hey There Sports Fans,
Ben here to update those interested in progress of the Men’s Double Sculls event at the 3rd World Cup in Lucerne.
I last wrote in the beginning of this week, touching upon our positive feelings of progress and excitement to race. In the present moment, I feel the same way I did last Sunday, but this past week has been a puzzling and rocky ride. John and I tend to feel quite comfortable rowing together, but since the first time the boat touched water on the Rotsee, we have had the roughest time negotiating the boat’s stability.
Once crews start to arrive at the course, opportunities to practice in flat water rapidly disappear. If a boat is not going well or something feels off, the problems only amplify with increasingly challenging and unpredictable water. Bless the Rotsee for being the best rowing course in the world, but curse it for the tempest it becomes during race week. You have to love rowing for throwing you those extra hurdles.
That being said, John and I have been fighting tooth and nail to prove ourselves a relevant crew, and with some success. Our 3rd quarter of the race has improved undoubtedly, which I couldn’t have said earlier this season. However, we are learning our lessons the hard way, and our inability to create a stable platform has cost us a lot of speed overall. We have kept a good attitude, which I see as one of our strengths, and I feel confident we will work through this problem and come out as better rowers. Part of the benefit of rowing in World Cups is figuring out how to correct kinks so as not to encounter them when it counts the most at World Championships.
Going forward, John and I will race the B final tomorrow, giving us one more chance at qualifying for Worlds through the World Cup by finishing top 7. A.k.a. we have to win tomorrow to forgo trials.
We will kick of 9:30 am Swiss time.
Competing against: Serbia, France, Latvia, Norway, and Denmark.
Over and Out,
Ben and I have been in Sarnen, SUI for the last week following WC 2 in Varese and we will be training here for one more week before we move over to Lucerne for World Cup 3. We have been enjoying the mountain scenery and glassy water while also taking some time to hike around the area. We hiked up to see the sunset on thursday night. Here are a couple of pics.
Ben and I have enjoyed a fairly easy week this week recovering from racing the week before but will now begin to do a lot of hard work in the boat to prepare for WC 3. We were encouraged by our speed in Varese but were not quite able to finish out the regatta the way we wanted. We are eager to fine tune some things and show up Lucerne ready to have a great regatta. More to come as we get closer to racing!