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