Sunday, September 26, 2010

The (early) Fall Edition

Following the European camp, I took a handful of much-needed days off. It's been a while since I've had to work so hard to recover from a training block. Of course, 'off' days are filled with catching up on mundane tasks like laundry, but even so, that's typically far less taxing than even the lowest training days, so it's possible to chomp through a list of chores and still manage to recoup. We did have lobster one evening - a huge perk of being so close to the ME coast and a great way to spice up the recovery schedule!
My most recent block of training spanned the past three and a half weeks. September brought cool nights, a tinge of pastel color in the maple groves, and baskets of fresh apples and sweet corn. With the beauty of fall in the eastern woods also comes the seemingly mandatory rainy periods. It's always a gamble concerning how long the rainy spells will last, but we lucked out and had several spans of fantastic weather. I was really happy with the quality of the training I was able to put in. The volume training was productive, I learned some new things on the range, and was able to put in high quality interval sets. There were also strength sessions to be done - some in the gym and a couple in alternative locations. My coach took a few of us bouldering in the 'world famous' Saranac Lake rock garden. That was a first for me and I'm sure won't be the last - I'll probably get a pair of shoes before the next outing though.
Rock climbing is just one of the many activities readily available in the Adirondacks. The Lake Placid athletic community is dynamic, with numerous sports and all age groups represented throughout the year. While our training schedule makes it tough to be consistently involved with junior programs, it's a blast to lend a hand when possible. I got a chance to help lead the IronKids training session one evening, which didn't disappoint. However, kids in the 8-12 year age bracket haven't yet learned how to pace themselves and most have compressed springs in every limb, so going for a run is more like a mile-long series of wind sprints interspersed with more questions and comments than is possible to address. Not to worry though, we let them burn off most of the week's pent-up energy and then sent them home with PowerBars. I'm sure their parents were stoked with the ensuing sugar highs!
One week ago I traveled west to Boise to spend a few days training there with Sara before heading to Heber City, UT for the annual fall altitude camp. The high desert weather never disappoints in the fall and with the BSU football team chasing the history books, Boise was anything but its usual sleepy self. Walking the streets of downtown or partaking in any of the media outlets was enough to infuse anybody, even non-footballers, with a tangible sense of electric expectation. That was a fitting atmosphere for the week, I thought, because Sara was inducted Friday evening into the Boise High hall of fame - on the blue turf. Speaking of which, I'm sure last night's win against OSU had something to do with Sara and the other inductees being on the field the night before. Call it an 'Olympic Infusion', if you will. A whole crew of supporters showed up to pre-game and enjoy the festivities. My job? Designated photographer. :)
I arrived last night in the Heber Valley. Training starts again in earnest tomorrow, so I'm enjoying an off-day and making sure all the equipment is set to go. The scrub oak and aspens are ablaze on the hillsides and the weather looks as though it will cooperate for the foreseeable future, so training should be great. Enjoy the fall!

Friday, September 3, 2010

One From the Not-So-Old Archives

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.