Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
We have year-round access to a plethora of fresh, healthy foods so there's no need to choose vitamin-fortified and uber-processed products when you can readily get superior calories (more vitamins, minerals, phitochemicals, etc.). As often as I'm able I go for fresh fruit, both raw and cooked vegetables, fats from unprocessed nuts, olive oil, and fish, some red meat and poultry, some dairy, some vegetable protein, and plenty of whole grain rice and other grains. Eating broadly and well insures your body has the building blocks necessary to maintain health and vitality, whether you're an athlete or not. Don't get me wrong, I love sweets and treats as much as the next guy so I'm not suggesting you always forgo cookies or pie or chase a fad vegan or protein diet. You have to be smart about your choices and that requires, among other things, a commitment to continued education on the subject. As I mentioned above, I routinely use PowerBar gels or bars (notably processed products) during long and/or intense sessions for the quick sugars they offer, but I will just as readily down a piece of fruit or some raisins and nuts.
Something to ponder. The average car has around 3 thousand moving pieces and breaking only a few of them through poor maintenance or putting the wrong fuel in the tank will render the entire machine useless. In contrast, the human brain has over 100 billion neurons alone and comprises only a few percent of the body's weight. The take-home message: Spend time to re-consider the items you're using to fuel your system because there's always room for improvement.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
While in UT, the team's focus was on quality volume training with the inclusion of a number of head-to-head intensity sessions that were designed to challenge ski pace and shooting focus. We did many hours of running and hiking in the Wasatch range above the Heber Valley and Park City. Our timing was impeccable, so we hit the foliage peak in the aspen and oak groves. Spending several years in the Northeast has only added to my eagerness each year to watch the forests put on a color show and this year was one of the best for colors in the West that I can remember.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Not much to report on the training front this week, but here's a video I shot with ConocoPhillips, one of my Alaskan based sponsors from this past season. As title sponsors of the Olympic coverage throughout Alaska, ConocoPhillips had this spot produced as a feature piece that played during the Games. Check it out. I think they did a fantastic job of showing their support of winter sports in Alaska and, in particular, highlighting the sport I've come to love.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Don't try this at home - wild Yaks!
Monday, March 8, 2010
I'm sitting in the airport in Tallinn, Estonia waiting for the flight back stateside. The U26 European Championships in Otepaa this past week were very well organized, which made them a great event to take part in. My racing this week wasn't stellar - heavy legs made the skiing more painful than usual and slow skis didn't help much in the 20K individual. I did have a strong showing in the 10K sprint, finishing 38th with 90% shooting. That finish set me up well for the pursuit race yesterday, but unfortunately I had one poor shooting stage that really knocked me out of things. While the field consisted of only athletes of U26 age, a number of the best ranked biathletes in the world made that cut so there was no room for major errors in skiing or on the range. All in all, a great learning experience and one that will certainly inform next season's training plan. I was able to get quite a few pictures so I've included a few as a video I shot of the stadium approach and range.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The first two weeks of February I put in a volume block and on the weekends raced two North American cups in Jericho, VT and two at home in Lake Placid, NY. Despite the rainstorm in January that wiped out much of the snow pack in the east, the crews worked overtime to get the tracks ready for racing. We had excellent conditions in Jericho and I pulled out a third place finish in the sprint race and came back to win in the pursuit. The following week in Lake Placid I narrowly won the sprint and in the pursuit put together a solid shooting day to win. I was really happy with the racing, especially because those races were the first competitions all year that weren't trials races so I was able to use them more for training purposes than strictly racing. I enjoyed experimented with some technique ideas on course and faster range approaches.
Before I sign off I want to express my condolences to the family of Jim Bowles, President of ConocoPhillips Alaska. Jim was killed in a snowmachining accident recently and I know that he'll be missed.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Based on my results from the racing in Nove Mesto and Alternberg, I was called up to race the World Cup races in Antholz, Italy, a beautiful town located in a long mountain valley in the Dolomites. On the way to Antholz I had opportunity to stop in Ruhpolding, Germany to watch the men's World Cup relay and get a feel for the World Cup. The race was exciting with our men posting a season best 6th place in front of over 25,000 spectators. The picture and video below will give you a little taste of the action.
Germany and the Czech Republic have a reputation of being pretty grey during the winter months and while we were there the reputation was lived up to. Italy, however, is on the other side of the Alps and because of this feature tends to get all the sun that Germans wish for. It was great going over the final passes into Italy and being greeted with increasing amounts of sun. The biathlon venue sits at the top of the 20-ish mile long valley like a cherry crowning the perfect sundae. I know, perhaps a cheesy comparison, but it's true. Antholz is the perfect combination of old world charm and modern flare.
I got back in the states just over one week ago and I'll be here for most of February. I have two weekends of North American Cup racing this month and then I'm taking a short trip to Vancouver to watch my girlfriend, Sara, in a couple of her races as well as a couple of the men's races. I leave on the 25th of this month for the European Championships in Estonia and will get to race at least four events there during a two-week period. I'll have some racing after Estonia as well but the final schedule is still up in the air. For now my focus is on nailing the training and racing week by week.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
It has been a whirlwind of a week. I hoped to have more time to update you on the races, but alas the racing and training ended up taking up consuming our time. The weather and skiing in Altenberg spanned the gamut from clear, hard conditions with no wind to stormy soft tracks complemented by snow-storms and some of the nastiest wind I've shot in all year.
The team time trial dawned clear and cool. We arrived at the venue to find perfect hard corduroy tracks and no wind to speak of. There were only the six of us
A few hours after the race on Thursday clouds rolled in, snow began falling, and by Friday the conditions were completely changed. On Saturday the tracks were really soft and the wind was randomly coming from every direction, which made zeroing our rifles frustrating and, depending on how you look at it, nearly pointless. In
After the race on Sunday I was in a very close third place on the points list. The first racer was automatically named to the Olympic team and since the 5th spot was by coaches’ discretion, the decision came down to a couple of us men. I’ve been thinking about this day for a very long time and I can tell you the wait for the final decision was horrible. Nothing quite like waiting for a decision and knowing that there is absolutely nothing more you can do to affect the outcome. There’s no way to sugar coat this so I must unfortunately relay to you that the decision didn’t come out in my favor. I’m in the process of regrouping and doing my best to get focused on the remainder of the season, but it’s going to take a few days to get over the disappointment.
I traveled to
While the season is far from over I do want to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all of you who have supported me in my athletic endeavors thus far and joined with me in this Olympic dream. I’m only the motor that makes the skis move and the bullets fly. Without the continued and generous support of friends, family, fans, and sponsors, my dream of pursuing the Olympics would have never taken flight. I do want to mention my three sponsors for this season as their financial support has made my pursuit possible. I would first like to thank ConocoPhillips, my title sponsor for the season. Dykon Blasting, my cousin’s company in
Just so I’m clear, I may not have made the team this year, but this season is only half gone and 2014 isn’t that far away. I’ll be back for more!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Following the trials in MN I traveled home to Alaska to spend a few very quick days with my family. I don't get to be home very often and I haven't been with my family for Christmas in three years so it was very special to spend the holidays in AK. Early this week I flew from Anchorage to Munich, Germany to get back to training. I've been training in the Bavarian town of Ruhpolding, home to one of the most well known biathlon venues in the world. We arrived to spring-like conditions. There has been plenty of snow at the venue thanks to lots of early snow-making and stockpiling by the organizers, but the training was pretty slushy for a few days. After Minnesota's ridiculously cold weather, having a few days at 40 degrees was a welcome change. Seeing green grass in the fields, although a little weird at this time of year, was also pretty cool.
My training this week has been more fine-tuning. I put in some good volume and made sure to get in speed and strength as well. A pretty typical week for the most part. As of today it's less than one week now to the first race. I haven't raced in about two weeks so I'm really looking forward to getting back in the start pen. There was rumor that a lack of snow in Alternberg, Germany might force a change of venue to Austria, but the rumors were never realized. Snow has been thin in most parts of Germany for a while now but a huge storm rolled in last night and we woke this morning to several inches of fresh snow and as of this evening had accumulated around 6 inches and counting. Spring to full-on winter in less than 24 hours!
Of course, one of the benefits to racing in Europe is the occasional opportunity to check out the beautiful architecture and fun cultural novelties. The cute little inn where we're staying this week opened its doors in 1414 and it appears that many of the other structures in the town may date from a similar time period. Coming from a state where there are very few structures older than 100 it's neat to see buildings over 500 years old that are still functional. New Year's Eve was pretty chill for us athletes. I had every intention of getting to sleep relatively early. However, the townspeople in the area had a very different idea. At midnight I woke to strobe like flashes on the ceiling and explosions everywhere. It's customary in the states for towns to have firework displays on New Year's Eve and for some citizens to even light off a few bottle rockets. This was truly unlike anything I've ever seen. I contemplated pulling a pillow over my head to drown out the noise and lights, but then decided that I had to go see what was going on. From a small balcony a couple of my friends and I watched the most amazing fireworks display I've ever seen. Just as a side note, I watched a New Year's fireworks display from the roof of the Dunes Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas that culminated with the implosion of the entire complex at midnight and I've seen several other similar displays since then. But, the displays here came from every hill and street in and around the town. I've never seen anything like it. People everywhere were shooting off rockets and the sky was filled with a huge simultaneous display that lasted nearly half an hour. To add to the beautiful colors was the fact that safety seemed to be only marginally important. Nobody got hurt that we heard about but one misdirected rocket ricocheted off our hotel and went off next to our team bus full of all the skis. Another rogue rocket bounced off a couple of buildings before exploding beautifully a few feet above the river across the street. I saw some huge rainbow trout in there a few days ago and have to wonder if any of them were stunned by the explosion. Regardless, the colors were amazing and I'd come for New Years in a heart beat. The fuzzy picture below will give you a taste of the craziness
Happy New Year!