While we were in Solder Hollow last week the Biathletes had two races up at the roller ski track. The rest of the GRP was able to watch the race on Tuesday and I messed around with Gordon’s new GoPro. I wouldn’t say the footage was anything special, but I decided to throw it all together into a little video so everyone can get some idea of what the races were like… Anyway here it is:
Archive for October, 2013
Around and around and around the 2km loop of “Frozen Thunder,” a track of white at the Canmore Nordic Center, in Canmore Alberta. We skied lap after lap of the trail but I stayed psyched and enjoyed almost every lap, consumed with the novelty of being on skis again. The snow had been saved from last winter, buried in a huge ditch and covered with wood chips during the warmer summer months. In mid-October it is laid out around the loop providing some of the earliest skiing in North America. The loop took anywhere 5-12 minutes depending on the snow conditions and intensity of skiing and we skied for three to four hours every day. This may sound boring but when you finally get to put away the rollerskis, you’re surrounded by beautiful mountains, and have nine straight days of sunny and warm bluebird skies, any complaints are few and far between. The transition to snow is always a fun time and I always find lots to think about as I try to remember how to glide the long boards across the snow. Even with a couple weeks of on snow training intermixed thoughout the summer, I usually feel like Bambi on ice for the first day or two before I get my ski legs underneath me and feel my technique come together. The familiarity comes back quickly and this time of the year always reminds me how much I love to ski. Rollerskiing might be similar in movements but it doesn’t come close to comparing with the speed, glide, variability, challenge and fun of actual snow skiing. The Bow Valley and town of Canmore in the Canadian Rockies is also beautiful spot and an awesome location for a training camp. After a busy time in Park City filled with meetings, testing, and other events, it was nice to “relax” during this camp. When we weren’t training we could usually be found walking to Beamers coffee shop for fast internet and hearty muffins, hanging out at chez Chandra Crawford drinking tea and practicing yoga, or enjoying the classy and cozy digs at the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge.
|Here I am skiing behind my teammate Noah Hoffman. Frozen Thunder was just a strip of white trail but great ski conditions. (USSA Nordic photo)|
|Sun and smiles every single day of camp! The clouds didn’t surface until the last morning when we woke to rain and snow at 4am for our drive to the airport. (Noah Hoffman photo)|
|Canmore has a wonderful and welcoming ski community. As soon as we arrived in town, Chandra had the entire team over for dinner and cooked a delicious meal that ended with pancakes and maple syrup. Yum!|
Trips like the one we’re currently on tend to offer the most valuable training: intense focus, inspiring new terrain, other coaches to learn from and athletes to learn with. But training camps can also be, well, draining camps.
In addition to the physical fatigue caused by a camp’s heavy load of training volume and intensity, acute mental degradation can (does) result from the co-habitation of 11 teammates and 2 coaches over the course of 17 days. This phenomenon is amplified when access to external social outlets and alternative productive activities is limited.
Pretty pictures of Utah’s scenery offer a lovely and accurate portrait of our western surroundings, but fail to capture the daily struggle we all experience internally, and increasingly externally, over the course of a training camp. Below I have outlined the common stages of PTSD (commonly known as Prolonged Training Sanity Deterioration), based on real life happenings at this very camp.
As a visual guide, I’ve borrowed this image from a Study Abroad program.
Phase Green Days 1-3, Arrival Confusion & Honeymoon
Day 1: Travel. Sanitizes all surfaces and self with lysol wipes.
Day 2: Procurement of own food begins. Hoarding ensues.
Day 3: Calf massages, athletic tape, and horse cream
Phase Blue Days 4-7, Oxygen Deficiency (“The Plunge”)
Day 4: Oxygen saturation at 91% (wayy too low). Takes iron supplement. Feels like garbage.
Day 5: Starts to question life choices.
Day 6: “My back hurts.” [Absence of further thought.]
Phase Purple Days 7-8, Initial Adjustment
Day 7: Day off. Leaves home. Eats Mexican food. Feeling feliz.
Day 8: Feels rested. Does sprint workout with national team and “actually doesn’t look that bad.”
Phase Orange Days 9-12, Tension (“Confronting Deeper Issues”)
Day 9: Wonders how it is possible to feel so bad, when felt so good just yesterday. Call of Duty (men). Reads whole book (women). Star Wars (all).
Day 9.5: Someone gets sick. Quarantine enforced.
Day 10: Dream sharing, including: C.O.D. nightmares (see Day 9), and coach’s announcement of dream that two team members are dating.
Day 11: Declares publicly, “I miss my girlfriend.”
Day 12: Day off. Excitement wears off quickly with realization of dearth of activity options. Goes Bowling. “It was the best night of our lives!” Goes in hot tub. Gets dehydrated. No regrets.
Phase Amber Days 13-15, Losing it.
Day 13: See Boys can’t lift chair.
Day 14: Subconsciously pulls down own pants mid-conversation, revealing underpants to un-expecting audience.
Day 15: Sends text message to teammate from upstairs to downstairs. Discovers living organism colony in water bottle. Changes return flight to include stopover in Cali.
Phase Red Days 16-17, The End is Near
Day 16: Takes nap on road during practice. Eats donut size of face. Neglects to remove backpack after training and eats lunch wearing backpack.
Day 17: WE GOTTA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In all honesty, it has been a productive and fun camp full of long workouts, great Mexican food, and beautiful mountains. But we all can’t wait to get back to Craftsbury, and hopefully regain our collective sanity. Yikes!
Unfortunately our time out west is coming to an end, and most of us are headed back to Craftsbury early friday morning. Here is a quick photo update from the last couple of days….
Tuesday biathlon races up at Solder Hollow:
Dutch hollow evening run:
Yesterday afternoon most of us went on an easy distance run on some single track bike trails a town over from where we are staying.
OD classic up to mirror lake
Today we classic skied up a pass and ended around 10500 feet. The ski was around 32 miles of mostly uphill kick double pole/striding.