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!