Sunday, November 27, 2011

Snow where there was no snow before!

        Those days in the late fall when you step outside and realize that it's well below freezing and something is defiantly missing. You look down at the ground and see the frozen dead grass staring back at you as if it deserved to be there all year. Then you might look up at the sky and think "Okay sky, it's really cold now, you can precipitate." It will precipitate eventually, but patients is for the slow when it comes to getting on snow early season for competitive athletes. That's why we have the miracles of modern science to save our ass. No I'm talking about stitching a finger back on. I'm talking about the important stuff. Otherwise know as man made snow.
        When I hear the word "man made" snow the first place that comes to mind is Canmore Alberta. That place is unusually cold. Especially around November. If there was a snow guns per capita census Canmore would be the top of that list. They know how to make snow out there. So much that they will make snow during a race and on your race course. It was kind of neat actually. Who doesn't want a complete white out section during a mass start competition?
        Canmore is not the only place to find artificial snow. Snow guns have been around for a while now and though expensive have become expected in most ski/biathlon communities. There are three places in Aroostook county that can make there own snow if need be. Once again this year Big Rock in Mars Hill took up the task of providing the snow we crave. Roller skis have been stowed away for the year and I don't want to look at them until next May (or ever again if possible). The iron and ski brush has replace of the pole tip grinder and my Rossi boots feel appropriate for the weather.
        Roller skiing in all it's glory can not take the place of real skiing. This was evident when I felt abnormally tired starting yesterday's morning session. There are lot of different muscles involve between the two forms of training. In all my efforts to sculpt my ski technique into perfection nothing can save me from the first few sessions on snow. Strangely enough, after five days everything is back to normal and the coaches stop worrying about technique.
        The loop isn't very long. That's no reason to complain really. A 30 second loop on snow would be better than a five minute loop on roller skies. That's one rule of thumb. This one averages about three minutes going easy. Yesterday I did some intervals. 2 X 15min Level 3  and 3 X 6min level 4. If you don't know what that means that's okay. It just means I turned the three minute loop into a two minute loop for a little while. After the morning's interval session and some hang out time in the lodge I hopped in on some drills with the Maine team. We ended the daylight with some intense ski games that kind of reminded me of the movie Brave Heart.
        If having snow on what feels like is demand wasn't enough, a few of us are leaving later on today to go to West Yellowstone, MT. The name of the town implies it's location be the way. The forecast calls for more snow to compliment the snow WY already has. The first NorAm is on the weekend of the 11th and I'm really looking forward to it. All things considered I'm in a pretty good mood right now.