Between Obscurity and Oblivion
I went mountain biking in Park
City today. It was 50 degrees, the trails were completely dry and
it was an excellent ride. Unfortunately, that also means that there
is no skiing anywhere in the area. It's a bit disappointing, since
we were skiing here two weeks ago. But I welcome the break to rest
a bit, have some fun, and get psyched for the heart of the race season.
But I'm still praying for snow.
It snowed a few inches on Friday.
Not a lot, but enough that we can ski on the golf course now. However,
since I had to ski for 3 hours today, I did not want to go in circles
on the golf course. Instead, I went touring up in the Uinta Mountains,
just east of Park City. It was incredible. I skied mostly on groomed
snowmobile trails, climbing up to Soapstone Pass, which afforded great
views all around. I then headed along the ridge towards Cold Springs.
On the way back down, I jumped off the trail and carved some smooth
tele turns before bushwacking back to the trail. It was 15 degrees,
sunny, and very little snowmobile traffic. Maybe not the best training
for a racer, but I think of myself as a skier first, a racer second.
As a skier, it doesn't get much better than backcountry tours.
I did a pretty insane interval
workout today. Since I will not have raced further than 15k this season
before I get to Nationals, Torbjorn suggested that I do a workout
that consisted of 6x5 kilometers. Essentially that is 6 5k races back
to back at slightly less than race pace. I was actually excited about
the workout beforehand. There is something very invigorating about
doing a workout that borders on insane. It was pretty hard, but the
whole time I had a grin on my face, knowing that none of my competition
was doing anything quite like this. Of course that may be for good
reason, but that is another debate entirely. Mentally, it is going
to be nice to know I've done that when I step to the starting line
of the 30k and 50k races at Nationals.
White Pine Relay
Torbjorn and I did this as a team. He did the first leg, a 4k classic
sprint. I did the final two legs 2x4k skating. I figured that it was
such a short course that I could hammer the whole way and be fine.
I started dead-even with a Biathlon National Team skier. He was only
doing 4k and therefore took off like a bat out of hell. I jumped on
for the ride and followed him for the whole first lap. We were flying,
our split times were only seconds off Rune Kollerude, a Norwegian
standout for the Univeristy of Utah. But when my ride tagged off to
his anchorman, I dropped like a lead weight. My second lap was 50
seconds slower than my first! I managed to hang on well enough to
finish third behind the Biathlon team and the Utah team, but I was
quite embarrased about my blow-up. In the long run it might be a good
thing, I usually start conservatively and move up throughout the race,
so its good for me to go under once in a while.
Today I leave for Spokane for
YOKO/ Continental Cup FIS races. Check the Racing
page for results, etc.
After the catastrophe in Spokane,
I am now back in Park City for a few days before heading home to New
Hampshire. Today I did intervals. They were initially supposed to
be level III, but since I only did an informal time trial in Spokane
rather than two races, I picked the pace up a bit. I did 4x 5 minutes
followed by 10x 30-50 seconds. I felt pretty good, but in the back
of my mind, I am looking forward to training at sea level for the
next month or so.
Flew home to New Hampshire
today. I am very excited to be home for Christmas and in the east
for over a month. I am not excited about the fact that there is no
snow. If we don't have any place to ski, I will be heading north to
Mont St. Anne very soon.
I have been home for almost
a week and I have scoured the North Country of New Hampshire and Vermont
for decent skiing. In the past week I have skied at the Balsams, Mt.
Hor, Waterville Valley, Franconia Notch and other less notable venues,
never going to the same place twice. I guess what that means is that
no place is very good. Mt. Hor, near Lake Willoughby , VT, was the
best so far. They had a 5k loop that was good enough to hold a high
school race on (which they did on Tuesday while I was there) but I
still scarred my skis some more. Hopefully more snow is on its way.
What is that clicking noise you hear? That is my classic technique
finally clicking the way it should. Today for the first time all year,
I felt like I was firing on all cylinders. Today I went to Franconia
Notch and skied on the bike path which was decent except for all the
snowmobiles flying by. I did intervals. 2x5minutes level IV (very
hard) followed by fifteen minutes of 30-50 second accelerations with
a minute rest in between. I felt great! The harder I went, the harder
I wanted to go. I have been working on my classic technique very hard
for the past month and today it felt great. I get the feeling that
things are starting to come together just before Nationals. I can't
wait to do some real racing.