Saturday, January 31, 2009

CMC Sprints!

I'm sending this from my Blackberry so it will be short...

WOW what a race!

At 9am we had the prelims and after the first round we had 5 guys within 1 second of each other and 10 guys within 6 seconds! It was crazy and has never happened before! It necessitated running 3 rounds with prelims and finals. We had 2 heats of women and 3 of men. In each heat the first 2 went to the A final and the second two went to the B final and everyone else was done. We had some exciting prelims with close finishes but nothing prepared us for the finals!

The women's final was amazing with Gracey leading coming into the final stretch but Kari made a last minute surge to just nip her at the line. Britanie followed close behind and Marie wasn't far back from her. It was exciting!

The men's final was even closer with Zhenya coming up the final hill in front but with Dan on his tail. Dan made a huge move and came along his right side forcing them both into a lunge to the finish. We had Devin filming the race and it was a good thing because we needed the film to see that Zhenya just edged out Dan by less than a foot!

They were closely followed by Eliah and Joe (Air Force). With John and Justin finishing in another photo finish!

After the race there was a fantastic
Pizza lunch provided by Drew & Jenna as well as some awesome drawings. It was a great time socializing and watching the videos from the races.

The full results will be posted on the website early next week.

We have a classic 10km at the Frisco Gold rush tomorrow so we're looking forward to one more excellent race!

Christi

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Skiers of the Week!

After an amazing weekend with some great results and even better times we have our two skiers of the week!

First we have to tip our hats to the shear guts and character of Morgan. She is on strict orders not to skate until her legs heal. We were planning to have her only race the classic race on Friday, which she did and performed amazingly. She soon asked if there was any way she could race on Saturday. There was a 10km freestyle race on the golf course so I thought she could try that. I started working on getting her registered for the 1okm when she asked if she could do the 21km on classic skis! I was floored, last week was the first time Morgan had done a race as long as a 15km and now she wanted to do a 21km on classic skis! Since the race is a freestyle there is no reason you can't do classic, it's just not fun because it's slower AND there were no tracks set! Actually that's not entirely true, they were set on the downhills! Morgan not only finished the race but she was really racing hard AND when she finished she said, "That was so much fun!" You can't ask for a more positive and gutsy race than the one Morgan put together.

Our second Skier of the Week is Dan. Dan put together the two best races of his season, lowering both his classic and his skate points and placing within the top 15% of both races. It was a good weekend of racing. As you know though we don't just make people skiers of the week for speed. Dan was wonderfully helpful and cheerful all weekend. Dan was encouraging to his team mates, even during the race! And at the end of a long weekend and long race he jumped in and helped travel wax everyone's skis. Thanks to Dan for his great leadership both on and off the trails!

Congratulations to both our Skiers of the Week!

YOU ROCK OUR WORLD!

Alaska and Aspen write up...

I just posted a novel on my personal blog telling the tales of the last 3 weeks of my life. please read if you are bored

thanks,
john

www.johnkirlin.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 17, 2009

yeah man,

Well, we're on the end of the intensity week and i am feeling it. It was so much easier to ski without classes but i suppose that is or should be the reason all of us are here. Wednesday were short skating sprints. Sets of V1 on right, V2 and V1 on left were done with easy skiing between. Thursday i did a ski strength day consisting of double pole, no pole and V2. It was hard to stay awake for very long Thursday night to get much homework done, which as i look at it is a good thing. You shouldnt do homework in the first week of class anyway...Friday was classic natural intervals, many of them done out of track because i didn't want to be on the same tiny loop all practice and few other trails were tracked. On tap for this weekend, nice skate saturday and easy classic sunday.

congrats to the elite teams for the classis races! good job guys
results are @ http://www.rmisaskiing.com/pdf.php?id=94

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Skiers of the Week!

We just completed our first official USCSA Qualifier and we had some amazing results and some amazingly fun times!

Our first skier of the week is Shannon. Shannon came onto the team 3 years ago and skied for 1.5 years before she was beset with multiple health problems from being hit by a car to mono. It just wasn't a great couple of years. This all changed this weekend when she put together two solid races that were faster than any of her races prior to this time. She's been training hard all summer and fall and been a dedicated member of the team. She was also just named to the President's Honor Roll for last semester so not only is she an inspiration on the trails but she rocks in the classroom as well.

Our second skier of the week is a newcomer to the team. Eliah has lead the team in every race he's done this year and continued with some smoking fast times this weekend, winning both races. He lead the classic race almost from the start and finished over 1 minute ahead of second place. In the skate race Eliah and Tom duked it out for 14kms until Eliah was able to pull ahead for a narrow win. Both races were great! If you imagine that Eliah was chosen only for his speed you would be mistaken. Eliah was incredibly helpful throughout the weekend. Always the first to help haul stuff to and from the vehicles, even as he is preparing for the race. He rarely asks what he can do to help, he just looks and see what needs to be done. There is no more helpful thing to a coach than an athlete who is not only low maintenance but helps everyone and always does it with a smile.

Congratulations to these fine student athletes. You make us proud in everything you do!

YOU ROCK OUR WORLD!

Issues with Tissues: Volume 1 addendum...

After careful perusal of the first Volume of Issues with Tissues I realized that there was something that needed to be clarified. Basically despite the mandate that everyone take care of themselves it is still of vital importance that we all do our best to respect each other.

So...

Even if Fitz behaves like the bright young man he is and brings ear plugs and eye covers this is not an invitation for mass chaos. Eliah's new band, Eliah on harmonica, Ava on violin, Gracey on trumpet and Morgan on recorder, cannot practice until the wee hours of the morning, despite the obvious quality this band promises. They need to be respectful of Fitz's desire to sleep as well as his desire to listen to them at a time when he can truly enjoy their music. It is also not alright for Shannon to wake up at 4am, remember she doesn't have to make donuts and then have a dance party to celebrate in the middle of the bedroom. This activity can be done in the common room if she invites the coaches.

While it is impossible for everyone to be completely quiet and not wake anyone it is also important that some effort is made to "put rubber heals on your voice" as my grandmother used to say. Basically no yelling, singing and especially no trumpets (sorry Gracie) early nor late. Talking, cooking and recorders should probably be tolerated and laughing is always welcome!

The Coaches

Monday, January 12, 2009

Devil's Thumb Ranch Report

Although this is a few days old I wanted to do a quick update on the 15km race at Devil's Thumb.

It was fairly warm, 22˚F, and snowing lightly when we arrived. DTR staff had groomed the race course but hadn't marked it when we arrived but started doing so a little after many of our athletes started warming up. We gave out a few maps to those who asked but many of the athletes just didn't get it done so never got to ski the loop before the race. No worries though, they would learn it during the race since it was a 5km loop!

The most interested problem we faced was the fact that the course crossed the road 3 times! On two of the crossing Rachel, Brian and the Lewis parents were able to shovel enough snow to ski across with no danger to the ski. For the 3rd road crossing there was nothing to be done, DTR had pushed snow across the road when they groomed but the county snow plow had destroyed that so the racers had to take off their skis and run across the road! It turned out to be pretty fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it, except Kinner who had trouble getting his skis on!

The race went amazingly well with Eliah and Tom skiing together for the entire race and Eliah dropping Tom at the end of the last loop. The women, Gwynn, Kari, Gracie, Britanie skied together for one loop and then started to separate out. Gwynn and Gracie skied together with Gwynn being slightly stronger at the end and Britanie leading Kari for most of the race but she never took a feed and Kari took two so she ended up catching and dropping her on the last lap. Everyone else skied well and had a good time. It was a brutal 15km course so it was great to have an idea of how it works. Hopefully the stars will align and this will be the course for Nationals.

The forecast for Sunday was a low at night of 5˚F and a high of 26˚F so we base waxed with Fast Wax Blue and put Fast Wax Tan on top. Our skis were rocking on Saturday and it seemed it would be the same on Sunday. However, by race time it was about 25˚F which is really not Tan's best range. We were waxed a little cold for the conditions but only Kinner had better skis so it didn't have an enormous impact.

We're extremely proud of everyone! What a great race!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Issues with Tissues: Volume I

It was a wonderful weekend with fun races, we know you all LOVED racing hard, taking off your skis, running across the road, putting them back on and then racing hard again! I'm sure it will be the highlight of your college career!

However, it seems that we had our annual issue with sleeping and waking up. Due to the fact that there are upwards of 20 athletes and coaches at almost every race we do and we love each other so much and want to be in the same cabin there is always a potential for conflict with sleeping schedules and habits. Some of you are night owls and love to stay up late, some of you are early risers and want to get a start on the day, some of you are just tired and want to go to bed early and get up late and some of you just want to pull the blankets over your head and hope the world goes away. It is easy to see why there might be some conflict when there are 24 people with at least 20 different schedules and habits. You can add to this schedule problem the fact that many weekends there are a minimum of 3 different groups who need to do things at 3 different times: Coaches, Men and Women. When the men and women race at different times there are always problems.

OK so we've established that the small conflict this weekend was normal and inevitable so what do we do? Due to our extreme ages and experience with traveling and living with a huge variety people from noisy girls to obnoxious boys, norwegians, germans and swedes, coaches who thought everyone should get up early and go for a run if they had too much time and coaches who didn't sleep at all we have a few words of wisdom. Due to our position as coaches these words of wisdom can be looked on as mandates. While it is our team motto to treat everyone with respect, here is the most important mandate when it comes to sleep and rest, take care of and worry about yourself first! If you like to get 10 hours of sleep and can't sleep with lights bring something to cover your eyes. If you are easily (or even not easily) woken and don't want to be, bring ear plugs.

The bottom line here is that in one house with 24 people everyone can be as quiet as they can possibly be and someone will still be woken. Spend your energy purchasing ear plugs and not being mad and you will be happier and well rested and so will everyone else. In fact with a little forethought on your part you can become part of the sunshine club with Marie and Gwynn.

This concludes Volume I of Issues with Tissues, please stay tuned for more updates throughout the season.

Christi, Rachel & Ashley

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Anchorage: Next to Last Day

Better day. 

15K mass start classic
Zhenya: 38th overall, 22nd RMISA, 3:11 out, I'm not sure, but possibly the best result by one of us at an NCAA race? Not sure about the place, I'd bet on the USSA points and percent back being the best though. 

Joe: 80th overall, 36rd RMISA, 6:41 out, better than yesterday, back worked much better, however it was still definitely the limiting factor, this needs to be remedied. 

John: 82nd overall, 38th RMISA, 8:16. He felt pretty good, just a little tired, was pretty happy with it. 

Tomorrow, 15K mass start skate, should be better for me, Johns not to happy about it. Then we head out tomorrow night at about 1:00 AM, ugg.  


Joe

Everyday is a miracle

Does everyone remember when Nicholai was wearing only his whitey-tighteys and his beard bonnet? Cause I don't, but I can visualize it and Little Marie tells the story oh so well. Today was fun, but not quite as fun as I imagine that sight was. Today I felt as if my little red boots sprouted wings and carried me to the finish as if each boot was a thousand little sparrows. What a snow mountain ranch miracle!!! This reminded me of a quote from the old country that my grandfather used to recite. "A warrior in battle is not measured by his weaponry, but dictated by skill and valor". I like to apply this to everyday of my life, but especially to ski races, and today it held true. I was confronted by many challenges that I can only imagine a warrior would face. The competition was stiff, and by stiff I mean it was like they were all level 10 blacksmiths with a +15 charisma. I really had to level up in order to match the skill level of those valient skiers. Coaches Christi, Rachel, Ashley, B-rye, and Kelly really put a lot of love into our skis and I could certainly feel it radiating up through my feet and flooding my soul with a feeling of pure delight. Oh what a beautiful day! It truely was....... a miracle!
From what I could tell, everyone was spectacular and certainly looked like the most beautiful skiers in Wyoming spandex that I have ever seen. Such gems! I strive to look as good as my tremendous teammates. An ox's heart is strong and respective, yet when the soul is removed from that ox, his heart can not compensate. What I mean is the teams soul keeps the heart pumping and rejuvenating life in that ox. A ski team, just like an ox cannot survive soley on one teammate or just a heart.
Tomorrow we will be blessed with the opportunity to race on the beautiful trails of Devils Thumb, poorly named for the negative energy it omits, and thus I will call it Angels Pinky. I, as will the rest of the team, will dream of sunkissed snowflakes and Martin Sundbys hot bod and gappy tooth. We are perfectly radiant after a delicious meal of Christy and Rachels lasagna. Good night my ski princes and princesses!

Blogger Gwynn signing off, Until next week!

Snow Mountain Classic!

Done with the first real race of the season and it went extremely well!

We had 20 people racing today, 18 in the USCSA Qualifier, 7.5km classic, and 2 in the 15km classic (Grigory and Rachel). We had an awesome coaching crew of Ashley, Brian, Kelly and Christi and it was a good thing. Getting 20 pairs or skis waxed for a mass start race is always interesting but when the clamps for the benches are sitting happily in Laramie it is even more interesting. We managed to work out a system that allowed three of us to wax at once but it required Brian to hold skis while Kelly actually waxed the ski. Despite the difficulty we actually got everyone waxed in great time and the skis rocked!

It was -15˚C when we got there but by race time it warmed up to -6˚C with moderate humidity (50ish%). We had based waxed with Fast Wax Blue HS-20 and put Fast Wax Tan HSF-20 on top the skis were rocking fast. For more information about Fast Wax go to http://www.skifastwax.com/ For the kick we went with 3 layers of Rode Green for base wax covered with 3 layers of Star Top Blue. The kick was amazing and everyone was amazed with their skis.

We didn't get a copy of the results to so I can't report for sure on those but Eliah won the 7.5km and Dan was 3rd in the race and Gwynn was 2nd in the women's followed closely by Gracey. Everyone skied well and we're extremely proud. We'll link the results, once we get them, to the webpage.

Tomorrow is the Devil's Thumb Skate race. We'll be racing on the course that will be used at USCSA Nationals so that will be great experience. It will be an extremely small field with only UW, WSC and USAFA but it will be fun!

More tomorrow!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Anchorage: Day,... I've lost count

RMISA 10K classic individual start.
Zhenya, 31st, 2:55 out of first, better day. 
John, 43rd, 3:00 behind Zhenya, better day. 
Me, 45th. Out of 46. 1:05 behind John. I don't think I even need to say how my day was. 

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Long Cold Day

Ooofda, I"m going to keep this short because it's late and I'm tired, today it was theoretically cold enough to race, although with a small increase in temperature (I think it was maybe -4F, maybe), there was also an increase in the one thing we, as Wyoming boys, missed. Wind. About 20mph of it, gusting to about 30. F-ing cold. My nose was turning white just standing there. But we raced. Johnny and I not so well, I in around 105th out of 118 and John in 117 out of 118. Zhenya had a much better day, finishing 59th and qualifying for the U23/juniors heats. They were chaos, damn cold, dark (did I mention the prologue started at 2:00 and the heats started at 4:00?), and quick. Zhenya kicked ass in the quarters and easily finished third to qualify for the semis. Then about ten minutes later his quarter started, which did not go well, with him getting losing contact in the first half and then just chilling in the second half to conserve energy for the B final. 4 minutes later they started the B final. I'm not kidding, he hadn't even gotten his coat on by the time they started. In the B final, he went really well until about half way, and then the afternoon caught up with him, and he finished last in the heat. After that, he cooled down, I went to warm up in the Chalet, and we had some dinner and came home. Tired. and cold. Tomorrow is scheduled as a 10K ind start classic race with just the RMISA, no open field. However, the good warm forecast for the weekend has left us. It is again supposed to be a high temperature of -2F, which means we will AGAIN be waiting and postponing, and waiting, and postponing, etc. DAMNIT. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Burrrrr

Woke up to -21 this morning, I don't think we'll be racing today. The high tomorrow is predicted to be zero, so racing should happen. The plan then, is to have the sprint, which has now been cancelled 4 times, tomorrow. Since we've already had a distance race, now a sprint is needed for qualification purposes. So that, for us, means that tomorrow will be the sprint, and then we have a day off, and then a 10K classic (UAA invite) on satuday, and a 20K mass start skate on sunday. This will end up giving us 4 races instead of 5, not to bad considering all the shenanigans, and considering how much GOOD skiing we've had, it will end up being an awesome way to get ready for the season!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Anchorage: Day Six

Another un-exiting day, i.e., waiting all day and checking the internet to see if the race was cancelled, which it was, and eating cookies (now we're out). 
Now we are hanging out with Gangl, who got in at about 4:00 this morning, and watching Scrubs, sans commercials thanks to her DVR. 
Tomorrow is supposed to be the sprint, but the high is also supposed to be around -9, which would definitely not involve us racing. Crap. 

Monday, January 05, 2009

Anchorage: Day Five

We finally got to race today!!
Today was scheduled for a 10K/15K skate, but due to the cold weather, it was shortened to a 5K/10K. They also decreased the time interval between races, from 30s to 15s, in order to try to keep all athletes racing in the "warm" window. Well, that worked pretty well, except for those of us who started late (we were bibs 361, 390, and 394), we definitely missed the window, haha. There were people on the course watching for frostbite, so I had several volunteers yell "Cover your nose on the downhill!" When I finished I had a guy instantly cover my nose with his glove, as it was looking a little white. This was the same guy who pretty much boxed Johnny's ears when he crossed the line because they were white, and Zhenya's cheeks are both very red and almost blistered from the cold. But we got to race!! Woohoo! We had bought athletic tape to cover faces, but when we warmed up it was much warmer, and by the time the temp started dropping really fast (sun went down about when we started at 2:45) we didn't have time to go back to the car and get it, slight oversight on our part. 


The race itself went so-so. Here are the full results. Johnny felt terrible, as you can see in his post below. Zhenya felt good, but had an APU guys step on his pole and rip it out of his hand, forcing him to go back and pick it up, and then ski the final kilometer with the pole not strapped to his hand, he ended up in 118th place, and was a little pissed. 
I on the other hand, was rather pleased with my race. I ended up in 138th, my second best place in US nats competition, and about 40 seconds behind Zhenya. My roughly done USSA points say about 215pts which is a good start. My race a couple weeks ago was 240, and my goal for this week is 180-200, so I'm on the right track. I started smooth, and felt absolutely bulletproof in the first 4K, then started to tire a little. I caught John at about 6K, and thats when it started to get hard. About 7K in my back started to tire, and a little later I actually started get a cramp in my right butt cheek. I think that as my back and legs have gotten stronger I've changed my technique a little to use my legs, and my back still isn't quite ready for it yet, but it lasted pretty dang well today. 

So, surprise, surprise, the schedule has changed for tomorrow. For some reason they decided to change the classic race from wednesday to tomorrow, and then have the classic sprint that was cancelled yesterday on wednesday. This is a little rough, especially with as tired as my back got today, a classic race on a really steep course tomorrow is going to be really hard. However, surprise surprise as well, it's supposed to be f-in cold tomorrow, so there's a good chance it'll get cancelled as well, and that means we would have 4 races in four days after that, ugg. I might have to get selective about what I race, this is n time to bury myself. But, that's a decision for another day. Time for more food, and bed.

'til tomorrow, 



Joe  

An Apology

Hey everybody,
I need to clear something up. When I wrote my post the other day I forgot that the fact that I have been coaching myself for years was not make clear. If you didn't know this it would sound like I was speaking badly of the UW coaches, Christi and Rachel, in that post. This was not my intention at all because, as I said, I've been in charge of my own performance for some time now. The frustration I was voicing was aimed only at me, the blame for my lack of results is only mine. I apologize if people took this the wrong way, and I especially apologize to Christi and Rachel for any harm this may have caused.


Joe

10k kick in the pants

Well I just got back from the first race of US Nationals. The first thing I can say about the race is OUCH! This race hurt! I am thankful though that they decided to make it a 10k skate instead of a 15k. The 15k course was super brutal and I may not have been able to finish it going off of how I performed today.

My race started off pretty well. I went out at a comfortable pace and felt really strong. That was sort lived. By the time I got to the top of the first big hill, I knew that this was going to hurt. I was maybe 2k into the race and the guy who had started 15 seconds behind me was already passing me. This was ok because he is someone who I should be able to ski with and was planning on just pacing off of him. This plan proved to be much harder than originally anticipated as I fell further and further behind.

I managed to survive the first lap and was hoping that I had saved some strength for the second. I started up the large climb around the 6km point and then out of no where, Joe was coming around me. My goal was to not let him catch me because he had started a minute behind me. That goal had officially been thrown out the window and now he was pulling away at a much faster pace than I could keep up with. My new goal was to finish.

It was all I could do to finish the race. I was cold, miserable, and feeling rather embarrassed due to my performance. I was slow today. I felt washed up and useless. Today I looked at the results and saw my name nowhere near the names of the people whom I used to ski with and have beaten in the past. Sadly, my name was minutes behind the times that I know I could’ve posted. Today was rough. Today was a real kick in the pants and ego. Today hurt.

Woohoo!!

The current temp at the stadium is -1.5F, so it looks like we'll actually get to race today, about time!

Joe

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sprint cancelled, 15K skate changed to 10K

Day Four and a Half

Well, as predicted the start has been delayed again, about 15 minutes before the womens start, I'd be a little pissed if I was them.
The current temp at the stadium is -12F, 8 degrees colder than the FIS rules, I kinda doubt we'll be racing today. What happens next is going to be interesting/really bad for the college skiers. There is a rumor going around that they may just move everything back a day, instead of just canceling the sprint. This would mean, for all those racing in this weekend UAA invite, 6 races in 6 days. Let's hope they don't screw this up.


Joe

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Anchorage: Day Three

Today alternated between mildly irritating and incredibly frustrating. The mildly irritation part was the jury vacillating between canceling and holding the race. If I had been one of the womens racers I would have been pretty pissed, because there were three times when the first women were warming up and were told that the race had been pushed back anywhere from a half to two full hours. Irritating. In the end, the race was rescheduled for tomorrow, which is supposed to be just as cold. so, I can imagine tomorrow will be just about as irritating. 

The incredibly frustrating part however, was just personal. My mounting frustration about my skiing came to a peak today when I was trying (and "trying" was definitely the operative word) to ski up the steepest hill on the sprint course. Hard. Well, as I was struggling as hard as I could, some rather fit but decidedly middle aged women passed me, in the tracks, gliding nicely. I was going flat out, as hard as I could, and she passed me. Now, I really don't have a problem getting my ass kicked by women, it's a natural part of life, and I think all men should have it happen to them. However, she didn't pass me because she was going fast. She passed me, because I was going slow, and simply could not kick, bogged down, and nearly fell back down the hill. I was actually embarrassed to be skiing that badly. I mean seriously, what the hell? I've made skiing my priority for over 5 years now. Why am I still such a terrible skier? I was so pissed I just took off my skis and walked to the car and sat there until the guys were done skiing (plus the requisite Howdy Tantrum of throwing my skis half way through). Once in the car I had a long hard think about what the hell I'm doing. I mean really, I've been a "skier" for 5 years, and I still can't make it up a hill that I saw at least 20 people (and not all pros, not even mostly pros) make it up EASILY. It's not that I'm to weak, it's not that I'm not fit enough, it's just that my technique SUCKS. And it got me to thinking about my other frustrations with skiing. I looked at my USSA points for the last couple years today, and I haven't gotten better. Sure, maybe an average of 4 points better per year, but that is about 5 seconds in a 15K. 5 seconds. I've worked three years for a third of a second a kilometer? It's time for me to figure out what the hell is going on, because I know I can be MUCH faster than this. I'm not sure exactly what I've been screwing up (many things I'm sure), but I'm going to spend some serious time thinking about things, and from now on I'm not going to accept any excuses from myself about poor performance. No more justifying slowness, no more saying, oh well, at least my technique was good (like that ever happens), or at least I finished hard, or at least I got a "good" year of training. No. From now on, it's about speed. If I'm not getting faster, it's a failure. Bottom line. 



Joe

Anchorage: Day Three and a Half

Well, the sprints have been delayed another 2 hours, so the women now don't start until 1:30, which means we don't until about 2:50, with me starting bib 314, John 315, and Zhenya 316. 
Because of the setback, they will not have heats today, only the prologue. The heats are not scheduled for tomorrow, even though the temp is supposed to be as cold or colder tomorrow. If the prologue gets put off until tomorrow, we will try to do the whole schedule tomorrow, which I don't think will happen either. Whichever way it ends up things, Mother Nature is sure kickin' our asses.

Right now we are hangin' out at the house and watching american Gladiator reruns, doesn't get much better. 



Joe

Friday, January 02, 2009

Anchorage: Day Two

Today was nice and relaxed, woke up, went to Anchorage Mountain and Hiking, or AMH, the big ski shop here, and picked up a few essentials, like long underwear bottoms for John who had forgotten his in Laramie, not a great mistake when it's 11 below. And 11 below is exactly how cold it is supposed to be tomorrow when we are supposed to race, hmm. They've already moved the start back an hour and a half already, but considering the guidelines of -4F to start, and a HIGH tomorrow predicted of -11F, I don't think we're going to get to race. So, that being said, we are having a nice relaxing night of food, more Rocky, and "What is that, American Idol: Russia? Shit, that would be Russian Idol."~John Kirlin


I skied part of the classic course today, and it seems to much as I suspected, a very east coast course. Not many long hills, but lots of transitions and VERY steep hills. I am looking forward to this, because steep hills in the classic technique are one of my major weaknesses, and it will be very good for my to ski a bunch of these steep uphills this week in preparation for the season, they will definitely make most of the hills in the mountain west feel gradual, although long. 

The sprint course for tomorrow has three climbs, which get easier as the course goes. The first climb has a long gradual sections, and then two levels of a pretty steep climb, not quite steep enough to warrant herringbone, but steep enough that my crappy classic technique bogs me down and I lose a lot of speed in the steep parts, which sucks for a sprint. Oh well, just for training eh? After that hill, there is a really fun/fast downhill to steep uphill which you can double-pole up fast with effort, and then a good downhill rest into the stadium, and then one climb up around one end of the stadium, down again, and up another climb out of the stadium, this hill will most likely be double pole kicked, as you have a lot of speed going into it, and then some fast descents preceding the 150 meter uphill double pole to the finish, all in all over  minutes, so looooong, and slow. Brutal, but awesomely fun course, I'm hoping we actually get a chance to race it!!

Well, it's bed time here, talk to you tomorrow!!


Joe 


Peace

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Anchorage: Day One

Travel:
Our arrival into Anchorage was a little delayed this morning due to strong winds on the flight up, so our 10:58 arrival was pushed back to about 12:10, and then Zhenya's 11:36 arrival was pushed back to 12:44, and the baggage check was really slow. So, by the time we got our bags and were ready to leave the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, it was about 1:30. On New Years. Ever heard of a worse time to try to get a cab? I sure haven't. We rolled into Gangl's place at about 2:30 this morning, and got to sleep at about 3:00. Which, considering Alaska time, means I was up for nearly 24 hours, not the best race prep. 

Today:
We spent quite some time trying to find a grocery store, skied in the cold, and are now, lazing around watching Rocky on Gangl's 7 feet across flat screen TV. Sweet. 


Some thoughts:
It's f-in cold here, but not as bad as Fairbanks. The high for the next 5 days in Fairbanks, THE HIGH, is thirty three degrees BELOW zero. Fahrenheit. Holy crap. Willie, keep it in your pants bud, or it might fall. 

Even without the Fairbanks cold here, we are still in danger of not being able to race due to the temp. On saturday, when we are supposed to have our race, the predicted high is -7F, which is 3 degrees colder than the FIS rules, so we'll see what happens there. I must say, having skied at about 0 today, I'm not sure how much I want to ski at 07, damn. On the upside, my lungs felt very good today, and I think that they are handling the cold here much better than at 8000 feet and dry. 

Until tomorrow


Joe