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Somewhere Between Obscurity and Oblivion

December Journal

December 2

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.

December 6

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.

December 9

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.

December 12

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.

December 17

Today I leave for Spokane for YOKO/ Continental Cup FIS races. Check the Racing page for results, etc.

December 22

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.

December 24

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.

December 30

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.

December 31

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.

© 2003 Cory Smith. All Rights Reserved.