Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Travel, HOT weather, & lots of combos

Greetings from Lake Placid. I’m back here for the remainder of the week after spending Monday and Tuesday in Jericho, VT where we put in three great combo workouts. Last week was fun although the 24+ hour trip back from Alaska on Monday was long. Even that though went as smoothly as can be expected and I wasn’t overly exhausted when I made it back to Lake Placid. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were spent training in Lake Placid and then Friday morning we left early and traveled the two hours over to Burlington, VT and the Ethan Allen Firing Range where we would spend both Friday and Saturday training.

Friday proved to be one of the hottest days of the summer at close to 90 degrees with nearly 100% humidity. We had three hard drills on Friday that were brutal given the oppressive heat. I made it through two and a half of the three combined hard skiing and shooting drills and unfortunately broke one of my roller-skis so I had to put running shoes on to finish the workout. Saturday was another hot day and we had a 12 Km cross country roller-ski time trial. The New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) put the race on as part of a series they sponsored this summer. V2 rollerskis provided a batch of matched-speed skis. The speed of rollerskis varies greatly from brand to brand and even from batch to batch of the same make and model of skis, so matched skis level the playing field. The time trial went very well given the hot conditions. I finished in fourth place, one minute and five seconds out of first place, a time posted by Andrew Johnson, a 2006 Olympian in cross-country. That was an encouraging result. Check out video from the race by clicking on the following link: . Saturday afternoon we had another combo workout and then headed back to Lake Placid to spend Sunday, our rest day, at the Olympic Training Center (OTC).

Sunday was a much needed rest day. We are usually pretty tired at the end of a hard week so we spend our rest days doing very little activity in order to recover adequately in preparation for the next week of training. We do use our rest days for catching up on chores and other things that a regular training schedule often doesn’t allow, so even sitting around can be very productive.

The past three days have seen more great training. We drove back over to Jericho, VT Monday morning for more combo training Monday and Tuesday. The weather was much more cooperative. Monday we had a shooting workout in the morning and then some easy combos in the afternoon. Tuesday morning we had a level 3 interval workout that consisted of roughly 70 minutes of on-time (8 x 8.5 minutes). Shooting during these workouts is difficult because of the elevated heart rate, but this is especially necessary now that we are less than three months away from the start of the competitive season. It’s a steep learning curve, but I’m confident I’ll be ready when the first races in Canmore, B.C. roll around in early December. Tuesday afternoon we did an easy combo workout and then loaded up and headed back to Lake Placid. We drove most of the way back in pouring rain and lots of lightning. The rain was coming down so forcefully at some points in the trip that most vehicles pulled off the roadways to wait it out. I love storms and that was impressive.

This morning Sara and I did a three-hour bike ride. Fall is finally here! The weather was crisp and blustery and the leaves have finally started changing. Apple trees are starting to drop there delicious bounty all over the back roads and deer are becoming more prevalent on the roads and trails. As the foliage hits its prime I'll do my best to get a few good shots posted for those of you on the west coast who don't have quite as much color out your back door. Tomorrow is a hard running time trial with four shooting stages so I had better wrap this post up for now and head to bed.
Keep checking back. There's lots more to come...

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