Monday, December 29, 2008


Here are my revised goals for the season, A goals are what I think I can do if everything goes PERFECTLY, while the B goals are what I would be satisfied with.



A: 140 pts
B: 170 pts

A: 180 pts
B: 200 pts


REST- I have a tendency to ski to much without resting when the season starts

SKATE-Stand tall

LOWER BACK STRENGTH- While this has greatly improved, it still is the weak link in the chain

RUN 2-3 TIMES/WEEK- Always have to think about next season

FLEXIBILITY- I think some of my back problems are due to core inflexibilities

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wednesday Night Race Series!

Last night was the first official Wednesday Night Race Series ( here in Laramie, Wyoming and boy was it fun! While there are many options for fun in this race the most exciting for Rachel and I was the fact that we didn't have to time the race! We actually got a chance to race in Laramie for the first time since 1999! It was a kick in the pants.

There were nearly 30 people in attendance and we all started after dark with our headlamps. We all started with our headlamps but shortly after the start Joe was annoyed by his and threw it off and Zhenya's died. Despite the extremely dark night Joe knows the trails well enough that he was able to negotiate the course with very little trouble. Zhenya was not so lucky. After skiing in front of Joe for about 1k and having Joe shout, "Left, Right, Left" Zhenya went for what he thought was a trail and went up to his knees in the powder. While Zhenya floundered in the snow Joe saw his chance to take the lead and took off. He kept expecting Zhenya to pass him but it seems Zhenya was bound and determined to ski most of the trails at Happy Jack, after skiing the wrong way several more times, hitting an extremely large rock with both his ski and his leg he finally wandered into the finish. Zhenya probably skied 6-7km for a 4km race! We truly wish we could have had a camera on this race, with Joe trying to find the trail in the dark and the russian rocket flying here and there, in the powder, hitting rocks!

The race went a little more reasonably for the rest of the crew, those who had batteries and kept their headlamps on their heads! Gwynn struggled with a sore back, Grigory missed part of the trail, Fitz skied easy and relaxed and amazingly fast, Rachel succeeded in her mission to catch a woman who was being a pain in the race and Christi caught Rachel on the uphills and lost her on the downs, despite having factory matched skis and the same wax! (Turned out she also has huge rills from testing last week and that they weren't fast at Zero and fresh snow!)

It was a great fun workout and we thank Nat for setting is up!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Well, Welcome Home!

Well, i managed to make it home to Grand Rapids,MN in one piece Saturday night, and just in time. Later that night it started snowing and didn't let up until last night. The wind was swirling making visibility real bad. My dad , brother and I did round one of snow removal sunday afternoon and there was a solid 8 inches. Then this morning we got rid of another 4-6 inches. No shortage of snow now. And today the current temp is -15 F. The Nor Am biathlon race moved here form West Yellowstone was cancelled. We'll see if it warms up for the races later this week.
from the "ice box of the nation"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Skiers of the Week!

So after watching the press releases of the Div I teams we decided that we needed to institute a Skier of the Week. The coaches will choose this person based upon the skier or skiers that impress us the most for the week. This can be by racing super fast or by doing something extraordinary to help their team mates.

This weekend we actually had two skiers of the week.

First is Adam Karges.

From Breckenridge Classic Race
Adam had a good season last year as a freshman and left UW inspired to go for more. He trained hard this summer and though it has been evident in his improved running time trials and his loss of 15lbs it has never been more evident than it was this weekend! Despite the fact that the kick zone on his skis is completely wrong, due to the loss of weight, and he had no kick Adam managed to drop 150 USSA points from last year's race and 20% points! In fact both his points and % points in this first race were way lower than the average for his best two races last year! Adam is a Sophomore and we are looking forward to 3 years of racing. This is a phenomenal accomplishment and we congratulate Adam!

From Breckenridge Classic Race
Our second skier of the week was not to be outdone. Despite the fact that he was left off the results from the classic race Michael Fitzgerald, better known as Fitz, had an amazing race on Sunday! Fitz also had a decent season last year, qualifying for Nationals but not skiing what he felt was his best. He has high hopes for this season. On Sunday, despite feeling inconsistent throughout the race, tired in some places, great in others, Fitz managed to knock over 20 points off his best skate race from last year! Fitz also got inspired at the end of last season and has spent the summer and fall rocking on the training. Fitz is also a sophomore and if he continues at this pace everyone had better watch out!

The results can be found on the UW Nordic Webpage at:

Great job to these amazing skiers.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Sunday's Skate

Day Two:
10km Skate

While many of the very busy student-skiers left after Saturday’s race, the minimally less busy student-skiers stuck it out for Sunday’s race. Saturday wrapped up for the UW team at Dick and Evelyn’s house with some delicious food. While some choose to rest/study after the race, others, including myself, went to the Leadville aquatic center and played an intense two hour game of water basketball preceded and followed by the Kinner belly flop and the wannabes. After the active recovery, the team spent the evening at Dick and Evelyn’s eating delicious tacos and enchiladas with green chili, studying, waxing and watching Love Actually. An early bed was followed by an early morning.
After eating some biscuits and gravy, cereal for the weaker stomachs, we packed up the beds and the van and set out for the race. We got to the race just in time to hear about the thirty minute delay, not surprising. After a good lying down with the feet up under the hanging rack of rental skis, Justin and I set out on our new Rachel approved warm up. When we got back from our warm up we were treated to amazingly waxed skis. I got up to the start area feeling much better than I did on Saturday and after letting a few ghosts go before me I started my race. Within a few seconds the guy in the Rossi suit dominated me. But unlike Saturday, I did not get passed again until Zenya passed me on my second lap up the Lazy Giant (as I just named the long gradual uphill). I was only passed by four skiers on the same lap as me and six skiers altogether. It was a great improvement over Saturday when I was tracked four times on one corner. Christi summed up my race the best, she said I looked toasted and then ok at different stages of the race and that’s exactly how it felt. It was not great but it was a serious improvement over Saturday, at least I made Sunday’s results (I hope). After the race, we packed up the van again and set off toward Laramie and lots of studying. The ride home was uneventful, except for the endless laughter! All in all, a great first weekend of racing and I couldn’t be happier that it is out of the way.

Race the Breck

So as Christi and John have stated in previous posts, the team made the hike to Colorado over the weekend for some races. We saw two bull moose just chillin' on the side of the road up by Chimney Park, so that was cool. The convoy arrived in Leadville and hunkered down for the night. Saturday morning came too early and we were off to the races, literally. We got to the nordic center and the weather was surprisingly warm, making a hat unnecessary. Coaches asked me if i reconfigured my wax pocket due to me losing close to 15 # this fall, and i extended it about a centimeter in each direction. You never want to drag but especially on this course. When i tested the wax , the tracks were solid but not glazed like most of the course. I was kicking up the gradual incline hard and the wax was good. When i started the race i didnt have the same kick. The tracks were glazed from the amount of traffic and with my awesome technique during the race (yeah right), I couldnt find that same kick. So i was going to ride the muscle express for the duration of the 10 km's. Well it worked but it wasnt the most efficient method of getting from A to B. Other than that i felt good, not really in terms of tempo though. i felt sluggish and didnt have the turnover, but that will come. And possibly best of all i have none of the feelings i had last year after the first race which led me to a four week pnuemonia campaign. I think granted it being the first race our team performed well and have a lot to look forward to in the coming months.


Breckenridge NRL Races

Last weekend was the first race of the season and it sure is nice to get it done!

From the coaching standpoint it was an extremely successful race. We managed to work out a few of the kinks and get everyone on skis for the first race, despite a 15 degree difference from the forecast! Everyone made it around the course and mostly had a good time.

There were some good races and some not so great races and a lot in between, that's pretty normal from a whole team perspective.

Most of the athletes didn't look all that perky but that's what we expect for the first race of the season. The important thing is that we get out there and race!

The results have been extremely slow for this race and we're still waiting on the skate result. The classic results have finally arrived and they can be found at: I assume the skate results will eventually arrive there too. I will have a complete version, with all the racers on one list on the UW Nordic Website at fairly soon.

It's snowing like crazy here so a great weekend of racing is being followed by some fresh snow. It just doesn't get any better than this!

I have created a personal blog...

I will be some of the things that I post on here and more on my personal blog

Gold Run NRL

Day 1:
10km Classic Race

The day started off pretty early. I woke up at 6am with the smell of Evelyn’s pancakes being cooked on the wood burning stove. If you have ever been on a trip where Dick and Evelyn Boggs were your hosts, you know that the food alone is well worth the trip! After eating a big breakfast, we quickly loaded up the vans and were on the road from Leadville at 7:20am.

It was a warm day already. We had waxed with FastWax blue, but after testing the conditions, we found that we were going to need to re-wax with red. The track conditions were extremely variable. The snow temp was right around 0*C. Parts of the course were really icy and glazed while others where wet and slushy. It made for interesting waxing. Luckily it wasn’t snowing or we would’ve had to gone with “Harrys” and I , thinking I wouldn’t need them in December, forgot to bring my RCS Zeros.

The first race of the year is always hard. Its really easy to set high expectations of how you think you should be performing. After several years of setting high expectations for myself, I’ve learned that it is best to treat these early season races as just “race training”. I’m not going out here to try to win or beat anyone to score for the team. I am simply just racing to strengthen my body and work back into “race shape”. So the only goals I set for myself in this race was to stay smooth, relaxed, and ski technically well.

The course was on a golf course. Golf courses mean lots of double pole! There is only one long gradual hill on the course. This is an easy course to go too hard on because you can see what everyone else is doing and its super flat. The one long hill isn’t very steep at all. If you were strong enough, you could double pole the entire thing. I though am not strong enough for that. So my main focus was to get a good knee drive and long glide.

The course was two 5km loops. The second lap here is always super rough. The long flat double sections seemed to get just a little steeper and much slower all while my arms got weaker and weaker. All I could do now is think “tempo tempo tempo!”

On the final long downhill, I got passed by two very fast skiers from the University of New Mexico. This was great because I was able to try and pace off of them for the last kilometer of the race. This was much harder than I had originally anticipated. I have always been thought of as a tempo skier but there tempos were much quicker than mine and they were much stronger! It was all that I could do to keep them in sight!

All in, this was a good race. I had accomplished my goals of skiing smooth and staying relaxed. I felt even better after seeing the results because I had beaten two CU and two DU skiers. This felt awesome knowing that those are two of the top teams in the nation!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 3: Thanksgiving Camp!

Today started out a little rocky with a new inch of snow which turned the hill down to the Safeway into an ice skating rink. Ashley, Rachel, Grigory and I made it down in Ashley's Subaru just fine but when we were driving into Snow Mountain we found out that Gwynn had gone into a ditch to avoid piling up on the numerous other cars that were in the middle of the hill and the other car was stuck at the top of the hill. We couldn't do anything to help so we went ahead and started skiing and they joined us after the tow truck and police report. I blame the whole incident in the fact that someone needed to gravel that hill in the morning!

Just when we thought the skiing couldn't get any better it does! another 2 inches fell overnight and it was just enough to make the skiing absolutely amazing! It was perfect corduroy and newly groomed. In fact the groomers took the trail even further up the mountain that it had originally been! There are no other teams here, it's like we have this perfectly groomed ski trail just for us, it couldn't be any better.

We did some great classic technique work along with some video. It was an amazingly beautiful day and by the time we left it was snowing and it is still snowing! We will probably not be able to drive up to the waterfall tomorrow and have to/get to ski from much lower down. Who knows, if we get enough snow maybe we can ski in the valley!

Anyway, everything is going great and we're getting some absolutely amazing training in!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Second Day of Ski Camp!

I meant to write something yesterday but completely forgot so here's the run down on both days.

In August we reserved a condo that would sleep 12 people, thinking that would be enough but thanks to an awesome freshman/newbie class we quickly outgrew that condo. So on Sunday night, yes the one right before Thanksgiving, I began the hunt for another condo. Thanks to the bad economic outlook and the fact that there is no snow in town this was an easy hunt. It wasn't long until condo owners were throwing amazing deals my way. We ended up in a condo that would sleep 8 people for less than $100/night! It's awesome! That was the beginning of an amazing time!

As you drive around Fraser, Tabernash and Granby you can see a decided lack of snow. Actually, saying lack of snow implies that there is some, which there is not. Completely dry and bare. It doesn't look remotely promising for a ski camp... The Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center assured us there was skiing and when we stopped by the nordic center then even charged us $5/person. We were thinking this was a ripoff as we drove up the ski trails, places that I had always skied, to a road blockage. We walked past the barrier and there was some snow on the trail, little but we were like the dehydrated sailor "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" with no snow so the small amount looked extremely inviting. That was until we just kept going up and up and up and the snow was extremely variable, in fact I don't think you could call it snow most of the time, really just ice and rocks.

After what seemed an eternity of uphill in Zone 3 we crested a hill and saw an amazing sight! Groomed trails, with even a classic track! For some reason, due to elevation, north facing slope and trees, the snow up on Blue Ridges was amazing! Like mid-winter conditions, perfectly groomed, not icy and plenty of it! Suddenly the $5 wasn't looking bad at all! We skied for well over 3 hours, working on skate technique and doing a little video work. Everyone was smiling and happy and we really couldn't have asked for better conditions considering there are only a handful of places in the lower 48 that can actually ski at this time at all!

We opted for not skiing for the afternoon, due to the fact that the trek up to the snow is fairly long, and went for a short run. Michael then made an amazing dinner followed by video analysis and we were all ready for bed.

Thanksgiving Day dawned cloud and snowy! Yay! About an inch fell and it was enough to make good skiing a little better. Another 3ish hours today and we're going to Devin's mother Susan house for dinner tonight, we're really looking forward to it!

Things have worked out exceptionally well so far and we're looking for a little more snow tonight and even better skiing tomorrow.

We're rocking the the training camp!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Letter from the Coaches!

We just wanted to let you know that the Art Auction was a huge success. We made a one night total of over $3000! In fact once all the donations are added to that number I am guessing we'll be looking at closer to $3500! We'll know the exact amount once we get the report from on the online totals but it is easily our best ever one-day fundraising event!

We just wanted to let you know how proud we are of all of you! Everyone on the entire team got out there and worked hard, looked good and made this great event an huge success. We know you all worked extremely hard and we can't tell you how proud of you we are, you make us look good. I just thought I'd let you know that we had many business owners from around town, tons of faculty, staff and students as well as several high ranking administrators and you all behaved in a manner that continues to make the Nordic Team one of the most supported club sports on campus. It is due to your hard work, commitment, cohesion, team work and dedication that this event was a success.

We also want to give a special thanks to Trevor and Liz who have really put their heart and soul into this event, working on it tirelessly the entire fall semester. Also to Marie, Gina, Adam and Joe who stepped up the last two weeks and really pulled the committees together and got the last minute things done.

We'd like to send out a special Thanks to Ken, the owner of Cross Country Connection. He donated the space and the food and bought some art. This is way beyond anything we could have expected so be sure to say thanks when you go into the shop. We would have a hard time running a ski team in the town without him.

To put it into perspective, the $3000 you just raised will pay for the elite team races or it will more than pay for the entire week at Thanksgiving camp, or it will pay all the entry fees for USCSA Nationals, the list goes on....

You Rock our World!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy, snowy Jack

I went to Happy Jack today intending to run.. And instead I skied, the whole area is skiable! Nearly got blown off the parking lot, so the winter is there.

Fall Training

Well we just ended the third training rotation of the school year and things so far are looking pretty good. We have a great slew of excited freshman and i think all the returning skiers really took training over the summer seriously. In my case, i did a lot more ski training rather than just biking and am excited to see how it will help me this winter. I also increased my training in zone 1. This, i am hoping, will help me in longer races this up coming year. So, so far YTD i have 30 more hours since school started last year, and have already got to 80% of the total training i did last year. I am also a bit leaner and have been feeling better overall.
it should be a great winter.

pray for snow


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Old Balls on Skis!

Hey All! I figured I would give you all some insight into skiing post college! I have joined a Master Skier Program with the Alaska Winter Stars in Anchorage (I know, Katie and Liz, they are like your nemesis but maybe you won't hate them so much now? :)) I workout with the group 2 times a week, they have workouts 5 times a week but let's get serious, I am a 23 year old single girl, and well, sometimes my priorities lie in other places. The make up of the group is about 20 people, mainly men in the 40-50 range and a few women in the 35-50 range. I convinced my friend Amy, a first time skate skier, to sign up to so we cover the under 30 demographic quite nicely! I went to my first circuits practice last week and then this week I went to my first on snow practice. That's right, we have been skiing in AK. There is awesome skiing about 1.5 hours from town at Hatcher's pass, but in town at Kincaid Park there is a sweet 3 k loop that is pretty much ice but it is skiable. So, I show up at my first circuits practice expecting a few jumping jacks, etc, I mean let's get real, there are a bunch of old people in this thing! WRONG! My first circuits practice was quite possibly the toughest practice of my life! We did bungees, medicine ball, box jump, bench press, ab stuff, whatever you can think of, we did it! UGH! All while listening to techno music that our totally awesome coach, Jan Buron had chosen. Jan is this crazy Polish guy who is probably one of the funniest people I have ever met, I am really looking forward to being coached by him, I hadn't realized it until now but this is the first time I have had a non-American coach. So after I barely survived these circuits, we then go for a 20 minute run, then do plyos in the parking lot.... needless to say they are whipping me into shape! My second practice was skate technique and the best way to describe it was I think I probably looked like a horse on ice skates. RIDICULOUS! You would have thought I had never skiied in my life! Luckily, after a few minutes my technique came back and we practiced the transition from one side V1 to the other side while on a hill, and I was able to demonstrate it expertly (Thanks Christi and Rachel!) ......
Being in a master's program is interesting to me, I am still trying to figure it out because I mean, what are all these skiers here for? Why am I there? Before now, skiing was about results to me, I skied in HS to make the varsity travel team, making All-State, etc, then in college it was about going to Nationals. Now I sit at practice in the dark at 8 pm 2 times a week with these people who aren't working towards a national title or to make the team or anything like that, they are simply there for the love of it. It is great, I guess I always have been one of them but it took me a while to realize it, and I still don't think I will ever be able to shake that competitive edge. Luckily for me, Anchorage has a sweet citizen's race series.

So anyway, where am I going with this? Good question. I guess there is skiing outside of college, even when you aren't training for the Olympics! My biggest piece of advice for those looking to the future : DO NOT get out of shape. Trust me, you will regret it! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good news articles!

I just found a couple of good articles out in the news today.

The first one is a summary about why you need to get enough sleep. We have more detailed articles if you are interested but this one sums it up nicely.

The second one is just a quick one about the Industrial Food Chain that is really straight forward if you are interested in diet.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Training...

Well it's that time of year, when nordic skiers start to get grouchy. This might seem a little counter intuitive for some people, I mean it's getting cold and it's actually snowed! Therein lies the problem, it's cold, it's snowed and we're still rollerskiing!

This is the time of year when the training gets the hardest. Despite the fact that we ran in snow yesterday there is very little chance that we will actually be able to ski for at least 3 weeks. Starting now though, every day we'll gaze at the ski and look for snow, we'll put on the ski clothing and go for a run and we'll even put on the ski boots, hats, gloves and rollerski!

As we move into this part of the season I want to give a quick rundown of the team and training. So far we have 40 people who show up for practice at least half the time, this is the largest, consistent groups we've ever had. Within this group we also have some of the most dedicated people we've ever had.

The men's team has returned from the summer inspired. Last fall they were inspired but hadn't put in the time during the summer to really make a difference when they started racing. They have definitely put their money where their mouth is this time with several of them doing perfect training all summer. They do not want to be 3rd again and they have done everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen.

The women's team is also looking strong. Returning two of our top women, who missed last year, as well as some great talent from last year and several dedicated and fit new freshmen should have an astronomical effect once we start racing. We've never had such a complete group of women, not just a superstar but potentially 3-4 superstars!

We also did some changing in the training this season. The first major change is providing the opportunity to train with the team 6 days/week. We have required practice M, W, F and Sun and optional practice T, R. Our hope was that it would give the athletes who were training every day someone to train with and it might inspire some who didn't always train every day to put in a few more hours. So far we feel that this is exactly what's happening.

We also added a fall low altitude camp where we went down to Fort Robinson, Nebraska and did some hard workouts. You can read all about that in an earlier blog from John. We think this camp was a huge success for both low altitude and team cohesion.

On the whole we feel that this fall has seen the best training we may have ever had. What I mean by this is that we have such an amazing group of athletes. We have often had a handful who are extremely dedicated and fit but this is one of the first times we've had upwards of 20 who are with many of them coming to fall with a solid summer of training.

Anyway, whatever happens this season we are extremely excited and proud of all our athletes, it's been a great fall!

You Rock Our World!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


It's snowing in Laramie!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I'm done with a three day intensity block (3x5x1:00 classic on tue, 10x1:15 track, and 4x4:00 this morning) and done with my responsibilities for the week, all that is left is catch the Gangl tonight, and then off to Columbus, Georgia for my buddy Erik's wedding, let the debauchery (and by that I mean rest of course) commence!!!


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Night classes suck

Ugg. Usually I'm in bed before nine, but thanks to my mandatory Tuesday night hell of class from 7-9, I'm about an hour behind. Other than that class though, today was a good day. I woke at 6 as usual, took my time getting out the door because I had enough time today, and did a nice specific strength/intensity workout. 

I double poled to the hill just east of 30th and Reynolds, turns out it is just about a minute long, which was exactly what I wanted. I did three sets of 5X1 hard up this hill, with only the recovery of coming down, plus a little more time and a drink in between sets. The first set was double pole. This went pretty well considering I've been kinda slacking on my double pole, which isnt good. However, I was still manage 4 very good quality intervals, and the last one was still pretty good, I just bogged down on the steepest part of the hill a little. The second set was double pole kick. This is usually my weakness, but thanks to my newly strong back, I felt better double pole kicking today than I've ever felt in my life, hoorah. I felt amazingly strong on the last set as well, which was just striding up it technically well with a lot of power. 

After my intervals were finished, I took a slightly longer way home and ended up with a total workout of 1:15. I'm going to try to add in a little more warmup and cool down inn the future, but I think this workout may become a staple of my routine, I felt it helped me a lot mentally, and definitely makes me work technique and strength a lot. 

Up for the next couple days is a track workout of 400m repeats tomorrow, and then either a long slow skate or V2 intervals thursday morning, depending on how I feel after the track. 


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Weight Vs. Performance

My pre-bedtime discussion this evening will focus on the topic of weight vs performance, more specifically, weight vs uphill performance. I was riding along with a visiting friend of mine today who is a competitive cyclist. He's about 21 and a very strong rider with some solid results. As is a common problem with young cyclists in America, he's never had a coach. As we rode, the topic turned to body weight and climbing in cycling races. He was talking about how he felt his strength was in the hills, and he tried to keep his weight down because he wants to continue to be able to excel there. This is a pretty common sentiment among cyclists, especially younger ones, and is a myth which I think sometimes pervades skiing as well, which is why I would like to address it.  

When going uphill, it is not a matter of WEIGHT, but USABLE weight. While carrying extra bodyfat up a hill isn't going to help you out any, carrying larger amounts of muscle up a hill is not going hurt. In fact, it often helps. 

Of course, the best climbers in cycling look like skeletons with skin.....

but there is a big difference between a race that requires more than 3 hours of climbing, like a mountain stage in the tour de france, and a ski race where the total time climbing MIGHT be a half an hour. 

The biggest problem I see with athletes who try control their weight, which was this young cyclists problem, is that they end up shorting themselves on recovery. If you are counting and cutting calories, your body does not have the protein to repair muscle damage, nor the carbohydrates necessary to refuel muscle. So you end up with a toss-up, do you gain weight, but weight that enables you to generate more force, OR, do you keep your weight down so you don't have to generate as much force? Well, it seemed to me like an easy question to answer, but like many cyclists, my young friend remained unconvinced. So I steered us towards a long climb, told him to keep up. At the top I sat and waited a few moments for my friend to catch up. When he made it up, I asked him how much he thought I weighed, and we determined that I outweighed him by about 50 pounds, him being about 5' 9" and 135lbs, and I being 6' 1" and 185 lbs. I asked him again what he thought was better, being more fit, or being more light? He seemed to have changed his mind.

As I said before, it is not about the WEIGHT, it is about USABLE weight. As my friend noticed, it doesn't matter if you weigh very little and don't have much to carry, you still have to be STRONG to climb a hill fast, whether that be on two wheels or two skis. It comes down not to weight, but the ratio of specific-strength to weight. 
So the take home message is don't worry about what you weigh, toss the scale, and focus instead on optimizing that ratio, trying to be as absolutely specifically strong as you can, and eating well to minimize body fat, and then just kick some ass! 

Until next time. 

Friday, October 03, 2008

Ahh rest days

Today was a glorious rest day. 
Until fairly recently I hated days off, I just got antsy and lost motivation because I felt like I wasn't actively striving to reach my goals. I knew rest was absolutely the most important part of a successful training plan, and I did ok at easy days, but days completely off felt horrible. Recently though I've been much better at staying focused on rest days by focusing all of my energy on conserving energy. Wait,......
What I mean is, when I take a day off now, every spare second I have I am either laying down with my legs elevated (very good for decreasing inflammation due to muscle fatigue, thus speeding recovery), eating, or napping (often with my legs up). All of those are performed with a water bottle at my side (I try to drink enough to pee clear all day, hydration (not to much though, and make sure you get some electrolytes either with your food or drink) aids recovery as well). This helps me focus because it keeps me feeling like I'm doing something. A day off now isn't a LACK  of training, it's an ABUNDANCE of rest. Think about it. 

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I little bit of perspective goes a long way

This morning I had a crappy workout. Well, it started out that way at least, legs not feeling to snappy, just not feeling that into it. As I rollerskied, I was starting to get down on myself, as I often do when I don't feel so good. As I thought about it, I wasn't feeling BAD, just not awesome. after that realization I got to thinking about it, and I haven't had a "just ok" workout in a while. that got me feeling better, because as a rising athlete you're always told "Everybody has bad days." After that I felt much better, relaxed a bit, and the rest of the workout was MUCH better, I still felt a little tired, but my technique improved and it started feeling fast and easy again. After I came back home I checked my training log, and the last time I didn't feel absolutely kick-ass was August 19th. I'll take it. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Let's Get Some!

So after watching this , i found a strong desire to never roller ski again...ever.
(the video format didn't work but here is the youtube link)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall Intensity Camp

So it's Sunday night and I'm sitting in the library, again. I needed a study break so I figured I'd post a new blog.

This weekend, a group of us from the team traveled to Nebraska for an intensity training camp. Some of you may be questing "why Nebraska?!". Like you, I was also wondering why in the wide world of sports would we be going to Nebraska? Were we just going to harvest corn and chase cows with our ski poles waving frantically in the air? To answer that question, we were traveling to Nebraska to do a Low alititude, intesity training camp. The elevation there is somewhere in the ball park of 3000' above sea level, and for those of you who arent familiar with Laramie, we reside at 7200' and do a majority of our training in the region of 8000'. With that being said, it now makes more since why we'd go to Nebraska for a low altitude camp, but intensity? This usually means hill bounding and a time trial. I was quite sceptical of their being any hills taller than a cows rear end in Nebraska, but I was soon to put my disbeliefs to bed.

Friday afternoon, we had three car loads leave Laramie early so we could get to our destination and make check in time and still have time for an early evening run. The rest of the crew were to leave sometime later around 4pm due to class constrictions. The drive was long as any drive through Wyoming and to part of Nebraska would be expected to be. Things were looking pretty dismal and flat as we trekked futher into the corn state until, to my surprise, we started seeing some sandstone formations, trees, and were now dropping in elevation rather quickly. We then pulled into Fort Rodinson, Ne. I have never been to this place but I was quite impressed. It was an old cavilry fort built in the late 1800's and early 1900's. As we first opened the doors, we were all amazed at the size of the house we had rented for the weekend. It was an old officers home and was simple HUGE! With sleeping for twenty, we were more than comfortable.

After settling in, we organized and went for a slow run down an old railway that has been transformed into a gravel jogging/bike path. It was really interesting to be at this lower elevation because the tempuratue was warmer and the humidity was higher than what we were used to back in Wyoming. After our run we had an amazing spaghetti dinner and then awaited the arrival of the later group who had seemed to manage to put a group of all out of state freshman in one car and hope they'd be able to follow. Well as it turnded out, that was too much to hope for and we didnt see the last group of younin's until somtetime after 10 pm.

The next morning we were heading out to do some hill bounding. We ran out a dirt rode into a field hoping that it would lead us to the hills off in the distance. I dont know if we were lucky or if it was some kind of cruel joke, but we managed to come across the most brutal hill in the ENTIRE STATE!!!! This thing was steeper than the alpine resort that we do our bounds on during our summer camp! AND ITS IN NEBRASKA!!! I was pleasantly surprised and my legs were quite unpleasantly shaking at the end of my final bound.

Later that afternoon, after lots of food and rest, we went for an easy roller ski on the most amazing pavement ever! The entire fort had a one to two lane wide roads that went all over the place and had some mild little climbs and downhills to them. This is by far the best place I have ever roller skied. We then grilled a bunch of burgers and brats and were able to just relax the rest of the evening.

6am came way to early this morning. The sun was still down and it was quite chilly outside. It was looking up to be a great morning for a roller ski time trial. After a short breakfast, we were off. There is a scnenic drive about a qurter mile away from where we were staying and this is the location where coaches had decided to do our 6km time trial. The course started once we crossed the first cattle gaurd. Its started off as a long mellow climb good for V2. Kari had started ahead of me and her and I were coming up to a heard of huge long horn bulls. As Kari stopped I decided to just keep going as they started to run parallel to the road. It was really cool and I was reminded of the running of the bulls and then quikly rememberd images of people getting trampled and then immediately thought maybe I should've done as the tall cowgirl did and stopped. Luckily they crossed the road and kept going and I was able to continue onward. After another cattle gaurd and maybe 2km, the road started climbing rather quickly and did not stop until the end, 4km away. It was a great test on my legs as they were burning and my technique was begining to fail about halfway up. It was all I could do to hold it together and finish strong. At the top a few of us guys were walking around getting ready to get a ride back down when all of a sudden Zgenyha (no idea how to spell his name), the Russian Monster, had already started to go back down on his rollerskis!!!! I imediately thought "DEATH!". Next thing I know, Joe and Dan are on their skis and heading down too. "CRAP! Now I have to do it!" I thought and put my skis on, took a big gulp and started my deathwish down. I was shortly followed by Grigory, our other Russian Wonder. Now if any of you dont know what roller skis are like, well just think of them as really short skis with two wheels and absolutely no way to stop! We quickly gained momentum because the top was the steepest part. The hill was a curvy, one lane road with no guard rails, some gravel, and lots of cow poop! it was like doing GS alpine race trying to avoid the mass quantities of crap! The whole time I'm thinking this is nuts! One little thing wrong and I could end up seriously injured if not dead! Yikes! Finally we got to the two lane road and there was a little bit of an uphill ahead to slow down on so I got in my full tuck and bombed the rest reaching speeds over 30mph if not closer to 40+mph After the run off hill it was a gradual long down hill to the two cattle gaurds. I started my roller ski "snow plow" and look back and Grigory is still tuck skating. "What is he doing?! Does he not know there's a cattle gaurd there?" I thought as I begin to slow down enough to stop by turning around. Lucky for Grigory there was a pull off shoulder that he was able to just bairly make it around to slow down and turn around. Otherwise it would've been a definate cattle gaurd faceplant! After that, he and I skied easy all the way back to the fort and met up witht he rest of the group.

Next thing I know we are all packed up and ready to leave. And after another long drive and almost losing the same car that got lost the firt time, we were back in Laramie and falling back into our normal day to to routines. So here I now sit, still in the library, having not studied my anatomy for the last hour, thinking that you know what, Nebraska can be a pleasant surprise and be a fun adventure when you go with the right group of people for the right reasons.

Until my next rediculously long blog post,

John Kirlin

Saturday, September 20, 2008


so i did the UW STXC MTBR this weekend while eating KFC, approved by the USDA and shown on ABC. any other letters i can through in there? well, this was to be my first mountain bike race. I have done some road races but never a mtn race. So i figure i'll try the short track because its like a crit ,but on mtn bikes. So i got up at seven ,had a good breakfast and headed up to Happy Jack. i registered, got a cool number plate and headed out to ride the course. It was nothing technical, which is good for me. It went through the "meadow" ( not the meadow ski trail) and down ridge. Now, i have never done a mtn bike race before but i thought this course was a good one, a good climb and a long descent to rest. There was a good number of us in the "C" division. The race ended up being 4 laps, the first lap i got a head of a few guys and rode the climb fast to put in some distance. 2nd lap nothing happened, i just rode. 3rd lap i caught a CSU rider and attacked towards the top of the climb, no counter. He caught me on the descent and i stuck to his wheel through the line. We get the bell, 1 more, i knew i had to put in a strong attack to get me to the line ahead of him. Well, i was out of the saddle ready to jump and he dropped his chain and swerved into a tree. Bummer dude, but i was going to attack anyway so it worked out well for me. I held him and a guy from School of Mines off to finish top ten.
overall a good experience, i think i will have to do it again,
keep the rubber down.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What makes YOU feel tough?

As I was midway through a two hour pouring-rain-rollerski this morning, I started to think about what makes me feel tough, which made me wonder what makes other people feel tough?
For me, it's doing workouts in crappy conditions that would make a sane person say "Hell no."
Nothing makes me feel like more of a badass than hillbounding in rain/hail/snow/mud. This morning made me feel pretty tough because it was 6AM, pouring rain, and everyone else is passing me in their heated cars with hot cups of coffee in their hands.

But what makes you fell tough? And do you do workouts specifically to make yourself tougher?
If you have access to this blog, feel free to write a long post in reply, or if your a reader, please reply in the comment section.

Keep your tips sharp


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tenderfoot Triathlon!

This first weekend of school we have started a new tradition of going to Salida, Colorado for the Tenderfoot Triathlon.

This year we only had one tough guy who was willing to head to the race with us, John Kirlin. So John, Becca, Rachel and Christi headed up there on Friday with an early race start on Saturday morning.

Saturday turned out to be an amazing day, beautiful but not too hot.

They did the start of the swim differently that before and it was great because we were able to choose our own group of four for the swim so we all went in one lane, it was way better even though I, Christi, was the slowest swimmer and had a few laps after everyone was done.

The race was an olympic length triathlon with a 1km swim, 40km bike and a 10km run. It was a excellent fun time! Everyone finished in a reasonable time, Rachel, Becca and I didn't have our times by the time we left but John did and he won the 20-29 age division and was 6th overall! He did fine on the swim, did a great job on the bike and had a real solid run time. Quite impressive for his second triathlon!

I've uploaded pictures, graciously taken by my mother, to the ski team picture gallery. Check them out!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

20 on 20

Before I was a skier I was a runner and before I was a runner my sister was a runner. I was talking to my sister the other day about running and the topic of marathons came up. I expressed some interest in running a marathon and she told me about what kids on her team used to do for their birthdays. They would run a mile for every year that they were alive. I thought it would be a great idea to try and see how I did on a longer run. Unfortunately, I overlooked the fact that my sister and the kids who used to run the birthday runs are really good runners. I still can’t beat my sister in running races, which is going to change next year in the bolder boulder. If only my leg hadn’t fallen asleep! Perhaps I should have drawn the connection between her old teammates who ran this insane run and her old teammate who just won the Leadville 100 mile trial run. But did I? Of course not!

On my birthday I woke up at 7:45 to try and finish the 20 mile run early. (I suppose I could have run 20k but I’m a real American). In my stupid string of ideas that eventually lead me to try this run, I thought “You know what would be fun? To run this whole thing on a track!” Well I did start on a track and I ran 21 and one half laps on the LHS track before I gave up that horrible plan. While I was running on the track I started in Zone 1. After I did some calculating I realized it would take me almost six hours to finish at that pace! I couldn’t handle running for six hours on a track so I gave up and got in my car and drove home.
When I got home I was really bummed. I didn’t want to give up and after some encouraging words with Julianne over texts I decided I would finish the run or at least try my best. So I decided to go up to happy jack and measure out seven and a half miles in my car down the dirt road opposite the tie city parking lot. And I did. After a few more encouraging texts, setting my water bottles behind trees along the road at 3 mile intervals and a plan for my girlfriend to come cheer me on an hour after I left the parking lot (2:13 into the run) I set out. The out and back run was much better than the track, though it wasn’t perfect. I went from running on a flat track on a relatively cool morning to running down a dirt road with a lot of hills at almost 9,000ft at midday in 85 degree weather. But hey, there was more to look at! I didn’t run this stretch of the run at anything close to Zone 1. My max HR was 190 and I think my average was around 170 something but I couldn’t run for six hours! On the scale of eventful runs this stretch of the run, the out part, was extremely uneventful but that was all about to change at the half way point.
I thought Julianne would have met up with me sometime before the halfway point; she was going to drive up and cheer me on! But I got to the half way point and turned around and nothing. I ran back to my first water bottle and realized that I didn’t want to drive all the way back out there to pick it up so I decided to carry it. About that point, 14 miles, is when the difficulty of the run hit me. I can honestly say that’s the first time in my life I’ve run for 3+ hours in zone 3. Small goals my friends! I picked objects that were pretty close to me and I made it my goal to get to that point, so on and so forth leapfrogging from object to object. At about 16 miles the clouds were getting really dark. I heard thunder off in the distance but I kept going. When the flashes and thunder were seven seconds apart I was about to assume the lightening position. Just then the double OG, Julianne, and her pug rolled up in her 1990 Honda Accord on the dirt road. It was awesome to get some encouragement on the last past of my run, I gave her my water bottle and I took off at a good pace for about half a mile but then the storm was getting really bad and I decided to call that section of the run at 17.5 miles and I got a ride back to my car from my awesome girlfriend.
I thought, “Hey I’ll just run the 3.5 miles that I have left in town.” I got back to town and there was an even bigger storm going on in town. At this point, I just wanted to be done, but how could I quit so close to the end? I couldn’t! So I bit the bullet and started to run the last 3.5 miles on my parent’s treadmill. Running on a track is heaven compared to a treadmill. I ran to 18 miles and couldn’t take it! I got off and went upstairs, still pouring and thundering. It might be worthwhile to add, by this point it was already three something in the afternoon and I didn’t want to spend my entire birthday on the run. So I ate my pride and ran the last 2 miles on the treadmill. It was horribly slow and painful at that point but I did it and I made it to the end of 20 on 20.

The whole event took me from 7:45 am to 3:40 pm. The actual running was somewhere around 4 hours but I can’t tell you the exact amount of time because I don’t know. Is there a marathon in my future? I’m not sure, but I am pretty sure that I should stick to middle distance sprints (and skiing of course!)! I wish I had something more to write about other than my epic runs but that’s about all I’ve done this summer. I’m sorry if my tale was boring but I hope you smiled at least once reading this ridiculous story of mine.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

july so far

so the summer is going fast... from the 6-11 my family and i went on a bike trip to Glacier Waterton International Peace Park. we spent 2 days in waterton doing biking and some hiking . Then biked across the border, into the park ,back out and into St. Mary on the east side of glacier park. we then stayed in st. mary for 2 nights doing a ride to two medicine lake and then the next day the famous going to the sun road. it was deffinently one of my favorite rides. the construction wasnt fun though, we had to wait 20 minutes on the way up less than 2 miles from the summit and our legs were hard to get going again after that. the nest night we stayed in whitefish and did a ride around whitefish lake. it was awesome to be out west again. i thought i was lucky to have the week of the trip land on a volume week so that worked out perfectly, i was able to get just over 17 hours that week.

i was also proud of myself for actually training this weekend when i was at my cabin, that normally doesnt happen. i will have grand plans to train up there, but i normally dont get it done, so that was nice . but i think that next time i wont run at 8 pm without a shirt because the mosquitos are horendous this year,

well , live and learn,

peace out homeskillets

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tri-It-Hi Triathlon

Talk about good old fashioned fun.
Beautiful day, beautiful people (TONS of those), and racing 'til you drop. Just my kind of style.

The Leadville tri is a standard sprint triathlon, 500m swim (in a pool thank God, I think any standing water near Leadville only de-iced about a week ago), a 20K bike (12.2 miles for you Americans), and a 5K run. Then awards and people watching. (Authors note: triathlons are probably the best people watching there is, and for one reason: triathlon suits. Ya know what triathlons suits are? Underwear. Just awesome)

The UW Nordic contingent included myself, Rachel and Christi on tandem, Becca, and Kyle Steitz (for those who don't recognize the name, he's an incoming freshie from Steamboat).

My race started pretty well, with the three other guys in my lane with much faster swim times than I had ever put up, and me set to hang on. Hang on I did, however I think I may gone a little hard. On the swim to run transition I felt rather dizzy from lack of oxygen (for those who don't know, Leadville is at 10,200 ft) and the hard pace. I had a very good transition, and then started the bike leg. The bike leg felt pretty ok, until about 4 miles in when I took a wrong turn, went about a mile up a naty hill, and then back down to return to the course (many thanks to the guy on the motorcycle for turning me around). The best part of the race came after I returned to the course. About a hundred yards ahead was a guy riding fast and hard, and being pissed about the wrong turn, I chased him down, and we dueled for the remainder of the bike leg, with him gapping me by about 15 seconds by the end. I talked to him afterwards, and he said I was the first person who has ever passed him on the bike leg (and it wasn't his first rodeo). He ended up turning in about the 3rd (out of almost 300) fastest bike time. The run didn't feel so well, I was still pretty bummed about the lost time on the bike (I think it was about 3 minutes), so I wasn't exactly committed to putting myself through a lot of pain on the run, although I definately pushed it enough to make it hurt. When all was said and done I sat in 14th out of about 300 racers, so pretty good for me.

Thanks to Ferne and the Boggs's for the neverending amazing hospitality that makes Leadville my favorite town to race in any sport!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How about that rest day!

I know most of you struggle with rest days, either taking too many or, more likely, not taking enough.

Joe found a great blog posting with ideas for how to best deal with those endless rest days without going completely crazy.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Excellent Fun Ride!

While some people were nursing a hangover and sleeping in on July 5th Rachel and I took advantage of a wonderful opportunity provided by Trevor driving to Denver to ride somewhere different.

We drove to Fort Collins bright and early on Saturday morning and left our truck at Christi's uncle's house. We put together our folding tandem and took off riding towards Boulder. Not the direct direction though, we found a much better route!

We started by riding the Fort Collins bike path to the very end of the route, right up to the base of Horsetooth Reservoir. We climbed the hill and headed towards Masonville. It was an amazing ride, lots of hills but nothing too tough. Masonville was beautiful, with the green land, flowers, lakes, rivers, etc.

After Masonville we road downhill for awhile and crossed the road up to Estes Park. We didn't ride up that road long but turned off on a small, quiet road heading over the next set of hills. It was a great road, more cyclists than cars and the view from the top was great. At the top we decided to ride on down to the frontrange so Trevor could have some chance of finding us. We road down towards Berthoud but then took another small road down to Longmont.

By now it was past 11am and it was getting REALLY hot. We were tired, dehydrated (despite having lots to drink and drinking it) and ready for a ride. Trevor and Shannon picked us up at a gass station in Longmont and we were excited to have had such a great ride!

Due to the extreme hilliness of the ride it took us about 4 hours to do 42ish miles. The approximate route we took can be found here.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Good article about training when you're sick...

I usually send these articles out to the list-serve but I thought others might benefit from the article as well.

Those of you what have worked with us know that we are always harping on not training when you are sick or injured. I found an article that's very clear and concise about how to tell and why. There are actually 4 parts of the article and they're all useful, except for the second one that talks about running a marathon when you are over 40!

Anyway check it out!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Old balls +1

That's right Johnny, you will be old balls + 1! I soon will be (gulp!?!) 23 years old! Still one month to go for me!

I thought I would just give everyone a quick update on my training, etc, here in AK. I have been working a week on week off schedule on the north slope of AK so to keep myself motivated while in the field I signed up for 2 half marathons this summer. The first was the Mayor's half marathon, here in Anchorage and it was June 21st. I trained for about 7 weeks for it and I am definitely thinking I could have used some more training! I did 2 weeks of 6-miles a day on a treadmill (time on slope), then did 2 weeks of "altitude" training at about 4 miles a day with the Bolder Boulder thrown in (my trip home to WY), then a week of 6-miles a day on the treadmill (slope), a week of hiking around AK (friends came to visit), then a few days of the 6-miles on the treadmill at various speeds, then it was time to "taper" for the race! I kept increasing my speed and incline on the treadmill with every subsequent workout so I would not hit a plateau. My goal time for the race was set at under 2 hours, I had run a half in January in 2:08, and one last April at 2:16.

So race day comes and it is a beautiful AK summer day...meaning rainy and about 50 degrees! It was all pavement but followed the coastal trail so the scenery was beautiful! I was shooting for 9 minute miles but started fast, my first mile was under 8 minutes, then every mile after that was 8 minutes give or take a few seconds, then I hit mile 10. From miles 4-10 I ran with a 54 year old woman whose goal was to beat her time of 1:53 from 9 years ago, she runs half marathons and marathon all the time, definitely one of those "old" people I want to be! We stuck together until mile 10, which we hit at exactly 1:20....then I started to fade a bit so she took off and I was on my own, at which point my legs decided that 6 miles on the treadmill didn't quite make them strong enough, I averaged just over 10 minute miles for the last 3 miles but was able to run up the last hill at the end. The result was I finished in 1:55, 5 minutes under my goal! I was pretty stoked!

My next race is the middle of August and I think I am going to shoot for 1:50, I am done working in the field so I can get much more pavement running in so hopefully that will help!

I hope everyone is doing well with their summer training! Tonight Katie, Liz, Russ, and Patrick and I are meeting for dinner! I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is it fall yet?!

So I'm sittig at home on my lunch break covered in dirt and concrete. I've been working ten hour days and they havent been very fun. On top of that i'm still trying to stick to my training the best as I can and also play drums in my band several times a week. I am ready for a vacation! I've also been noticing my brain going into knowladge withdrawls. So I actually started studying the other night. Who would've ever thought that I, John Kirlin, would be studying chemestry in the summer! I know i never saw this coming! Maybe I am just getting old. Friday is my 23rd birthday, so according to the Gangle, I'm old balls plus one. YIKES!

I'm ready for the fall semester to start. I'm excited that we are getting some new skiers, and am ready to start kicking ass again with our returning athletes!

Well its about time for me to head back to the concrete! hooray!

P.s. Fitz, way to get your ass moving on that run! Next time I'm in town, I'll run it with you

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2 Hour Volume Run

My whole life Pilot Hill has been looming in the distance. From the days of my young athletic career I had the goal of running to the top. I finally achieved that goal on Sunday! The two hour Zone 1 run I had planned on Sunday was never meant to summit the “hill.” Setting out on 2 hour runs can be a daunting task for me so I figure the best way to ensure that I will run for two hours is to run for an hour from my house. When I hit an hour I’ll turn around and then I’ll be forced to run the two hours whether I want to or not. As it turns out, Laramie isn’t that large and when you run for an hour in one direction you’ll end up out of town and when I’m out of town I run on the dirt roads that litter the perimeter of the city. I hadn’t planned on running the hill climb but when I got to 50 minutes up a dirt road and I noticed how close I was the summit I knew I couldn’t stop so close to my goal. 35 minutes later I got to the top! It wasn’t as great as I had hoped, I just wanted water! Next time I’m going to take a page from coaches’ book and bring a water belt, even though I hate running with one. To add to the blistering heat when I turned around at the summit I saw a thunderstorm coming. Turns out I was the tallest thing within miles and I was six plus miles from home! I won’t say that the return run was anywhere close to Zone 1 but I made it home safe and accomplished one of my life goals. In the end I found my new favorite Sunday Volume run. I’m not sure how long it is from my house, but I used Google Earth and figured out it’s a change of close to 3000 feet in elevation. It’s a great run! If anyone wants to go and you are in town let me know! I hope everyone’s summer training is going well, I know mine is!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer Ski Camp...

Well it's been a couple of weeks since the end of the High School Summer Ski Camp and no one has written about it!

I chalk this up to being busy or having too much fun, this has been my reasons for not posting.

So here it goes...

Day 1: We (Rachel, Christi, Team Leaders and Ev & Dick) all arrive at the camp about 1pm on Saturday to get setup and ready to go. The team leaders for the camp are Joe, John, Justin, Erin J, Gracey and Topher. Topher isn't here yet, I think we forgot to tell him to be early and Justin decided to go hunting with his car and hit a deer on the way down. He won't join us until Sunday.

Quick meeting and moving into cabins and the athletes start arriving.

This is a fun part as the athletes arrive and we get to meet everyone or see familiar faces again.

This year we have a special treat and the Yoga instructor from UW Campus Rec has agreed to come out to the camp and do a Yoga session for the early arrivals. We have most of the athetes there, just a few running a little late, so she holds an hour session on the grass in front of the lodge. Very cool, Yoga builds flexibility, strength, concentraion and body control all of which are essential for skiing fast! It is also a wonderful activity to help with relaxation, which the coaches and most of the college athletes can really use!

After a wonderful dinner of mexican food we have the Welcome and the explanations of how the camp will work. Everyone is excited and looking forward to skiing in the morning. The only problem is that it started to rain about 5pm and now it's snowing. We're not sure about the crust in the morning, afraid it won't be hard enough to ski on.

Day 2: Sunday dawns gloomy and cold and we're still a little worried about the crust. We arrive and the crust is not our problem, it's strong and hard but there is 6 inches of new snow on top of the crust! Wow! Exciting for those of us that can't get enough snow but really tough to skate in. We basically just trudged around through the deep snow, it was like a winter wonderland!

Back down for a fantastic breakfast, rest, lectures/meetings, lunch, rest, then out for our distance run. It had turned into a beautiful day for running, not too hot. We started as one group and gradually split everyone up into smaller ones, according to their heart rate. It was a wonderful run!

We came back to the camp and did a strength circuit on the grass. Great fun despite some confusion about which station was next.

After another amazing dinner, spagetti this time, we had a special treat of having Sarah Konrad come out and give a talk and answer questions. Sarah is the only American woman to qualify for two events in the same Olympics, Cross-Country and Biathlon. She's a great person and is always a treat for the athletes to talk to and ask questions of. We're lucky because Sarah lives and works in Laramie at UW!

After the lecture is free time and individual meetings with the college coaches for those athletes who wish to ask specific questions, want individual training or just want to talk about anything!

Day 3: Bright and beautiful. The skiing this morning was AMAZING, as good or better than we've ever seen it! Hard, fast crust, tons of snow so miles of skiing and a nice temperature. It can't be beat!

Back for Breakfast, meetings, rest, meetings, lunch, rest, meetings and finally we're ready for the really tough workout, hill bounding! We always do our hill bounding at the base of Snowy Range Ski Area. It's a great place with a steep hill and it's deserted at this time of year. As a testament to the massive amount of snow we had the place we usually do bounds still had some snow so we moved over to another run. It was beautiful, not too hot and a hard workout. The skiing for the past 2 days was so hard that many of the athletes were starting to get really tired but on the whole it went' extremely well.

Back for dinner and a rest and then we had Don Quinn for our evening lecture. Don was the high school coach for Lake Country High School, in Leadville, Co for over 30 years. During this time he had upward of 30 High School champions and a bunch of National Champions. All from a small town in the Colorado Mountains! Don gave a great lecture about skiing and life.

The day ended with free time, more individual coaching meetings and blowball!

Day 4: Another amazing day of crust skiing. So much fun that it seems like a dream. We did a little technique work with those who were interested and the rest had their last fun day on snow for the summer.

Breakfast and then one of the best activities of the camp, the teams course. This year it had a theme, map and a storyline. There were no instructions given verbally just maps handed to each group and they were off. It was great fun and everyone had a great time.

At the conclusion of the teams course is lunch and camp clean-up. Most everyone is sorry to go. They made great friends, skied, ate amazing food and hopefully learned something about how to train for skiing.

Pictures from the camp can be found at

We had a great time and hope to see you all at camp next year!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I have been in Idaho for about 2 weeks now. The bike path is long and has some very pretty parts to it. So far the weather has been rainy and cool which I like because I am not ready for 100 degree weather. It is supposed to be 85 this weekend so it is coming :( I joined a gym so I can keep up my swimming and lifting so I can get everything back that I lost from surgery. Everything is going great; I have done activities from camping to checking out the night life in downtown Boise. It's great. The best part is I get to see Ashley!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


well, i've been home for almost a month now, and it has been nice. i got a new road bike and have been riding that and gotten into some running. so far i have been trying to follow the plan and i think this will show some improvement , im hoping...but now i,ve started work and have still been able to do some training after that so everything is going good. except the bird eating mosquitos!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Final Wrap-up part 2

We made it to the airport with little trouble and with so much time to spare they couldn't even check their luggage, which was annoying after having to haul it all day. All they wanted was to get rid of it!

As soon as we saw them through security we went to Enterprise to pick up our reserved car. We got a VW Polo, really nice little car, and headed to Blackpool. Should have been a 4 hour drive but there was an accident in Preston and it took us a little longer. We still got there in time to visit with my relatives Joan and Arthur before they headed to Scotland while we minded Eleanor.

The purpose of this part of the trip was solely to visit Eleanor who is my Grandmother's cousin. Eleanor is one of the most amazing and special people I have ever met. I feel blessed and lucky to have her in my life. We were hoping to get a chance to take her out a little but at 92 we weren't sure this would happen.

It did! First we spent the morning planting some flowers she had waiting for Rachel. It was fun. Then we went up to Fleetwood to do iChat with my parents and Holly and then went to Charity shops in Cleveleys. Rachel and I bought about $200 worth of clothing to wear to work, shirts and suits for about $40! I love Charity shops!

We had a great dinner of Fish & Chips and then delivered Eleanor back to her house and headed to our Bed & Breakfast. It is a great place, Norwood, with great food.

The next day we were more ambitious and headed to Tatton Park, about a 1 hour drive. It was well worth it, the flowers were truly amazing! The fun part was trying to push Eleanor's wheelchair through the deep gravel, over the grass, through the woods and over the roots. We managed it with no mishaps so we'll call it a success.

We went home after that and made Eleanor Pancakes. They don't have them in England and she loves them from her visits to the US. We said goodbye after dinner, went back to the B&B and packed.

Thursday went extremely well, long but well. No missed planes, lost luggage or anything. When we go to Denver we had texts about tornado warnings in Laramie, which actually hit! Our house was spared all but the back gate so we feel lucky. My parents drove us up, which was good because I fell asleep about 20 times, through the wind, snow, fog and mess that was left after the tornados. Talk about freaky!

Anyway, we're home now and getting caught up on some work and getting ready for the ski camp, yay!

It was a fantastic trip! You can find more pictures than you can possibly want to see online at

Friday, May 23, 2008

Final Wrap-up

Well, as you can probably tell internet access became extremely few and far between after the last posting. Boy a lot has happened since then.

A quick wrap-up of the last part of the trip.

Canterbury, really cool, old, cathedral with great story about a murder. Town was really cool too. Great fish and chips and high tea.

Dover - Amazing castle, the White Cliffs, really great walk along the cliffs, tons of snails, great lunch at the tea house, not so awesome "The Siege Experience", cool tunnels in castle, Kabob place for dinner, freaking steep hill back up to campground.

Drive back to London - Cool house and amazing garden, GPS rocks but was set on bicycle so went the long way back, driving on left on tiny roads in not tiny car, great Indian food, reached the Generator in the middle of party night, little overwhelming.

London Day 1 - British Museum, ROSETTA STONE!, temples, egyptian artifacts, amazingness! Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliment, SoHo, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, great lunch and dinner, more more more!

London Day 2 - Amazing breakfast, changing of the guard, the Tube, Tower of London, Tate Modern, SoHo for chinese dinner, cute french guys and their cafe for coffee and dessert, more more more!

On Monday Trevor and Ashley flew out. The trip to the Airport was amazingly easy, for this type of thing. We left the Generator with all our bikes and gear packed. Trevor and Ashley had wheels and Rachel and I carried ours. The wheels worked well but needed a little practice to manage.

More later... It's time for dinner!

DU camp Day 2.


The plan for the day was to drive out to Red Rocks and do stair intervals, but it appears that the one high school in the Denver Metro area that isn't graduating at DU yesterday and today had booked the amphitheater for their commencement ceremony. So, the coach decided that we would head out to Falcon park, about a five minute drive away, with a sweet uphill trail system. Once we got there, we ran uphill for thirty minutes for our warmup, I was pretty stoked that I was able to stay in zone one the whole time on the warmup and keep up with all the DU guys. After the warmup we did a zone 4 interval ladder, 1-2-3-4-3-2-1. This was pretty rough stuff, with enough guys to push the pace the whole way that they only got faster throughout. On the first one we all stayed together, on the second one the DU coach tore past us and gapped Havard Selseng and I by about 20 meters by the time we finished. At the start of the third, Havard yells that we can't let him win another, so I dropped the hammer and didn't look back until Havard came around me with about 30 seconds to go, and it was just the two of us. The rest of the intervals were the same, with Havard and I gapping everyone else, with me leading until about 30-45 seconds to go, at which point Havard would lead until the finish. On the very last interval I managed to push hard enough that Havard couldn't come around, and I actually gapped him by a bit at the end, a damn good finish to my two day hard block! Afterwards, as we were coming down, I got some pretty inspiring comments from Havard, who is a total badass. He is Norwegian, as you might be able to tell from the name, and quite fast. We were having a conversation about trying to lose some extra body fat which we had both accumulated thanks to "college diets" (read: beer). As we talked about it he said to me "if you ski as fast as you run, it isn't hurting you." To which I said something to the affect of "well you kick the crap out of me on skis." He gave me a surprised look and said "Well you've definitely got the endurance, so it will come soon." Yes!!! It's awesome to see that my work finally seems to be paying off, enough that a truly elite skier thinks I can be really fast! I'm pretty exited about the training camp and all that we've done, and especially how I've handled two of the hardest training sessions in years on two consecutive days with really fast guys.

Here's to hard work.


Thursday, May 22, 2008


Lots of things to talk about today, and not enough space to write it! 
First, I drove down to Denver via Ft. Collins, and apparently drove straight-dead-center through a storm that produced nearly ten tornado's in two states, all right along the path I drove. While I seem to have missed the twisters, I definitely drove right through some of the hardest rain and hail I've ever seen. I stopped the car (borrowed from Dan and Karin Bergum, to whom I am forever in debt, 30mpg is so much better than 9) because I was honestly worried that the windshield would break. The highway had so much very hard hail on it that it felt like driving on a gravel road, nuts. It wasn't until I got to Ft. Collins and the sun came out that I turned on the radio and realized I had just driven right down the throat of the lion. Weee!!

I got to Denver about 10 minutes until practice started for the DU ski team. This was the purpose of the trip. Three days of trying to hang with and learn from some of the best college skiers from the country. The workout today entailed a ski up Lookout Mountain. No idea how high or what grade or anything, not that steep, but frickin long. And pretty much uphill for a long long long time. On our way up we did four seven minute "L3" intervals. I use quotations because I was not in zone three. Well, I was on the first on, but went downhill from there, haha. Skiing with me was Mike Hinckley, Harold Loevenskiold, and a kid whose name I think was Karl, not sure who he was. Oh, and Garrot Kuzzy. Garrot, not being mortal, did single-stick intervals up the damn thing while we skated. I'm not sure if he was doing the same intervals, but he definitely beat us to the top. Damn. Anyway, first interval I stayed with them in the right zone, but after that I was about 6-7 beats higher than them, but staying with Mike and dropping Harold and Karl every time. It was awesome!!! Even though I was going a bit to hard, it felt great to push that hard. By the end of the last interval, I was pretty damn tired, but it felt awesome to be skiing WITH or ahead of two guys (Mike and Harold) who've both finished in the top six in the RMISA (rocky mountain ncaa region). I'm going in the right direction. I think for the rest of the summer I would like to come here and train with them a couple times a month. This is what I need to get fat. Skiing behind Mike while he V2'd the first two intervals was frickin impressive, I was doing my best to keep up, and I was V1'ing. On the third interval, I said "screw this, I'm hanging with this guy", and V2'd for nearly the whole thing breaking into V1 for about the last 30 seconds, which were steep enough that even Mike let himself slow down. It was awesome to sit behind him and figure out how he could V2 straight up the side of this damn mountain, very powerfully, and yet be efficient enough to hold it for seven minutes hard. And then to be able to DO it was so cool! Training with those faster than you is always an eye opening experience, and one which should happen often to make you a stronger skier. 

Keep up the good work. 


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Medicine Bow

Today I roller skied up the road to Medicine Bow peak, and saw a bit of leftover snow on the way up,...........

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13th, 2008

The Weather

Well folks, 
It looks like there is not going to be any sort of snow shortage for ski camp. It's been snowing down in town since about 6:00 last night, and we have about three inches where it stuck, I would imagine Medicine Bow peak got about a foot. We may not be crust skiing, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we get a powder day in there!!

Hope all is well and looking forward to seeing those of you who are coming to the camp!!!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Day ?, what day is it?

Well the last couple of days have gone brilliantly! We rode out of the Motorway services to the glow of another amazing day. Clear, warm, no wind – absolutely gorgeous! We rode about ½ a mile to Leeds Castle and were seriously blown away by the place. It was positively breathtaking!

We walked in from the car park through the Duckery where Rachel found a rare type of black necked swan that she talks about in Micro. Apparently a huge source of sustenance for this variety of swan in the wild is a somewhat obscure group of algae called labyrinthula. We managed to get a bunch of pictures of the swans as they swam back and forth looking positively regal. We then went a couple of steps further and saw the most interesting looking duck/goose bird. I thought to myself that they resembled a NeNe from Hawaii but seeing as I am currently in England I put that thought out of my mind. Soon we passed a sign that said they were extremely rare and endangered NeNe’s from the island of Hawaii! Crazy!

After an extremely beautiful walk up through the duckery we came into view of Leeds Castle, what an amazing site. It’s built onto two islands in the middle of a lake/moat and it was partially built for the sheer point of being beautiful and it was not a disappointment! The castle was amazing with an extremely old medieval section dating from the 1100’s and a newer part. The Castle was lived in until 2001 until the daughter of the last owner passed away.

The castle also had amazing grounds that contained lots of lakes, meadows and beautiful landscape, gardens, aviary, hedge maze and grotto as well as a birds of prey show. It was an awesome time and we left there at about 3pm for Painter’s Farm. It wasn’t far and the ride was amazing, over the top of the North Downs in Kent. The campground was also amazing. Unforturnately there wasn’t anywhere to eat so we had to go into the nearest big town, 3kms, to find a great Chinese buffet. The only problem was riding back up the hill so stuffed we could hardly move!

Today also went amazing, we slept in a little because we didn’t need to go anywhere fast today. We got going about 10:30am found a great bakery for breakfast and bought some lunch or dinner, whichever we needed it for, and started the pilgrimage to Canterbury. Beautiful ride, lots of fun until we hit a divided A road and couldn’t get across, we were able to find an overpass but it threw us for a loop for just a moment. We found the National Cycleway Path into Canterbury and managed a stunning view of the cathedral from above, amazing! The town is also amazing and confusing, those medieval builders just didn’t have cars and bikes in mind when they designed them!

We stopped at the Information Center, or as Trevor put it non-information center since the guy there couldn’t answer any of our questions including when the tours of the Cathedral started, ate lunch and headed to the campground.

We got there in plenty of time for us to wash some clothes, shower, post Rachel’s grades and eat our dinner from the bakery. It’s still beautiful but getting a little cooler. We’re planning on seeing all the sights we can in Canterbury tomorrow.

We’re running out of battery and can’t find anywhere to charge up so we’ll get back on when we can.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Adventure Continues...


We’re alive and well and finally got a chance to get to internet again, hopefully you saw our previous post on the blog, we only had 10 minutes and needed to try to reach a bunch of people so thought that was the best bet.

Anyway, it’s been extremely interesting. London took us 7+hours to get across, then there was a huge fire somewhere which shut down the train so we had to figure out how to get to Greenwich on the bus, which turned out to be way easier than we ever expected.

We spent the afternoon in Greenwich which has an amazing cool sailor’s hospital, queen’s house and of course the Prime Meridian, or as Ashley likes to say Time = 0. It is where time begins as well as the place that is 0 degrees longitude. Cool place thanks to my Dad and sister for giving us that idea.

The next day was wonderful, lots of awesome bike trails and fun places to ride. The bad news was that the campground we were headed for didn’t take tents, we found this out before we left Rochester so we asked around and found an reasonable hotel. It was a little like staying in a brothel but probably wasn’t in as good of shape. The roof and wallpaper were falling down and we had to use my Gerber to control the cold water. Sounds bad but it was a place to stay and worked fine, 15 pounds/person. We were psyched the next day because about 15 miles away was Leeds Castle and there were multiple campgrounds both on the map AND the information center in Rochester found them there as well.

We got up early, got breakfast and did a tour of Rochester Castle, which was really quite nice, one of the ruined ones so it was fairly inexpensive and really fun for Ashley and Trevor as it is their very first Castle! It also had an amazing view from the top of the keep, which is always great. We did have to share it with 30 French teenagers but it was worth it. We wanted to check out the cathedral, it looked amazing, but they were having a university graduation ceremony in it! Can you imagine how cool! I might even enjoy them if they were held in such cool places!

After that we looked at the cycling map and noticed that it wanted to take us over the top of the North Downs on an A-Road and that there was a series of C-Roads that skirted the North Downs. Seemed like a no-brainer to us so we headed out around the foothills of the Downs. Turns out this was a brilliant move, not many hills and beautiful! We happened down this small road and found a thatched farmhouse. As we were admiring the house a guy came out and told us the history of it, it was built in 1743 and his family has lived there the whole time. It has no modern conveniences, like plumbing because it’s an historic house and they aren’t allowed to mess with it. His blind uncle still lives there and the guy was born there. Anyway, it was REALLY cool!

We ate lunch at a great little cafĂ© in a park and road on gleefully for the last 3 miles to the campsite, which was closed! It was still there but they were doing some kind of upgrades or something and they were going to open in 2008, apparently not by May 2008! Anyway, we weren’t too worried because just 2 miles away was another campground on the map so we headed that way. From a distance down the road we saw a tent symbol! Yay! As we got closer we realized it was crossed out! Boo! Now we were getting a little worried, there weren’t any other campgrounds on the map and we asked a guy and he only knew about the closed one, not a good sign. Rachel had had enough and went to the Ramada Inn to get a room for the night only to find out that all the hotels in the area are booked for some kind of car rally! Yikes. She coaxed and begged and he made a call to the Travel Inn. Yes they had a room, a small one with 2 single beds but a room! We took off only to find that the tandem’s back wheel is flat! We’re afraid we’re going to miss the hotel room so Rachel switched spots with Ashley and her and Trevor started riding towards the Travel Inn. Ashley and I fixed the tire and started following them. It wasn’t long until we saw them on the way back, they didn’t know where they were going and they were worried we would get lost and we would never find each other again. It was a good thing they came back because we were all headed the wrong direction, we found this out because of the amazing GPS my parents let us borrow for the trip. I typed in accommodation and it found the Travel Inn and showed us how to get there. It’s a good thing too because it was actually on a travel plaza for the M-6, which is the British equivalent of an Interstate. We would never have gone that way because it looked like you were actually getting onto the Motorway, not a good choice on bikes!

Anyway, it all worked out great and we’re safe and comfortable, not sure where we’re going to stay tomorrow but... At least we’re going to see a really cool Castle tomorrow! Leeds castle is supposed to be the most visited castle in England, hopefully it’s as amazing as it’s advertised.

One last thing is that we are all getting heat stroke and sunburnt, yes I said sunburnt! It has been in the 80’s, muggy, hot, and we’re seriously not packed for heat! We have rain gear, long underwear, jackets, gloves, warm hats and socks and very little for riding in the heat! Can you imagine! Who knew we’d get a tan in England!

Anyway, I’m still having a great time. I think Ashley and Trevor are doing grand. Rachel is having a nervous breakdown from now being able to find campgrounds two nights in a row but hopefully we can work this out for tomorrow by getting online today. Write more when we have internet again!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wow! What a beginning!

Things went amazingly well up until the time we got to downtown London. We were following this amazing bike path map that was finding the best route from Heathrow to our campground. It took us an hour to get from Heathrow to downtown and that was 1/3 of the way and then it took us 7 hours from there to the campground!

We wandered, following the map, what appeared to be aimlessly crossing the Thames 4 times, 3X on bridges 1 on an underwater pedestrian tunnel. The tunnel was interesting because it had about 200 steps down and back out. Let me tell you, with 3 heavily loaded bikes, one of which was a tandem complete with trailer, this was not as fun as it could have been! Although how many people can say they've been at the bottom of the Thames and still be breathing!

We pulled into camp at about 10:15pm, set up our camp in the dark and then Rachel and I went to find food. Found a great little kabob place open at that time so had some yummy, if extremely spicy kabobs. No one was complaining...

It was a great experience because even though we weren't sure we were going to make it to camp but it was a wonderful experience as random Londoners helped us carry our bikes up and down the stairs and offer to give us directions. No one complained a bit and we made it, just a little late.

We also didn't have a lot of things go wrong that could have, we didn't have any technical problems with the bikes, we didn't get a flat, we did get through the tunnel, we didn't ever get lost and we got a tour of the city riding by Pariament, London Bridge, Tower of London, Chelsea Garden Show, Chelsea soccer stadium and a bunch of other awesomeness.

We are now in Greenwich waiting for a walking tour, life is good!