Monday, May 28, 2012

Hello Fatigue My Old Friend

        Camp number two is done and over. Where the first one catered to the shooting side, this one favored skiing. That weighted lead feeling is still in my legs and there were some good survival moments towards the end of the ten days. It's not racing or spring season anymore so I can't say I didn't miss the goal. Now we're back in Placid with the reality of not having a meter plus of snow for the end of May.
        Admittedly the weather did take a gradual downhill turn towards the end of the of our stay. It was pretty windy in the open sections, making it too cold to wear shorts. It snowed a lot and the grooming wasn't always spot on. When it snowed up top it meant running on nice single track trail in the rain down in Bend. Clearly life was rough.
This is the face of
the guy who made
the A1 team.
        I may not be in a position to complain about the training opportunities, but that dons't mean I didn't get tired. The last work out was a death march in a blizzard. We had a late start and were alone on the trails. Occasionally I would see one of the other guys when they were within the visible ten meters distance of me. I asked Tim how he was doing. The reply I got was designed to make me feel alienated about being the slightest bit tired. Afterword Tim lightly mentioned that he bonked twice. Lowell had a similar story. What I want to know is, how is it that these guys are my primary friends right now?
       The flight home was somewhat uneventful. A no extra baggage fee trip is rare gem. Our flight out of San Francisco didn't leave until 10:30 at night. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because I was able to crash out for the duration of an otherwise boring blood clot (modern fixed wing flight) session. We were all granted a few days off before the next training cycle starts up again. The legs should be ready to fire come tomorrow morning.
        Bend provided almost every kind of snow condition there was. After World Champs in Ruhpolding last year it was clear that I needed to be better equipped for slushy conditions. Per and I did some technique work and pretty much solved the problem in one workout. I also got an intro to some strength training ideas, a new secret USBA interval workout, and I finally have a clear idea of what the next few months are going to look like. The balance of home time to LP time looks just right.

       There were times when Bend literary felt like we went back in time to mid winter (maybe better because there was snow) and the rest of the time just felt like genuine western US training. Now that I'm back in the east it feels like the classic summer I remember. Humid, neon green and maybe throw in a bonfire and you're there. Other than that nothing is too overly new.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Places and new Ideas

      It doesn't take very many over distance sessions to figure out precisely how many minutes each road surrounding the OTC will soak up from a 2.5 hour rollerski. I have the same rough idea for the roads back in Fort Kent, Fort Fairfield, and Stockholm. So you can imagine the mental treat a foreign place such as Bend, Oregon is. Did I mention the training is perfect in almost every way? In other news I decide to ditch dairy and the beloved peanut for a month. Wish me luck.
Perfect much?
       I've only heard good things about Oregon and having never been here before my expectations were a little high. Turns out they should have been higher. We are skiing on a base of four feet. By the time ten o'clock roles around it's at least 60 and yet the snow holds up exceptionally well.  There are plenty of kilometers available and we're certainly not the only team capitalizing on this gold mind. The afternoons are just as convenient. There are single track trails everywhere. The weather is sunny and dry. The climate is pretty much what I always wanted Utah to be. The trees are plentiful and enormousness. That's something Utah can not claim.
Because every tree should be able to however it wants.
        Today we did two hours of skating with some one on one technique work followed by 90 minutes of classic. In the afternoon we did an 1:20 run. Tomorrow we have a three hour skate and some two plus hours of mountain biking in the afternoon. Yeah it's a volume block and there is no better place than do it.
        As much as I think nutrition is overrated and can't hold a candle to quality training it dose have it's place in top end performance. Since it's May I thought this would be the best time to push for an experiment. After much googling I decided to commit to a month of dairy and peanut free eating. To go into more boring detail humans only ate a limited variety of foods during our evolution. The addition of agriculture hit only recently  in comparison. All of the glorious gifts that the cow has given us was actually intended for nursing a calf up to health. How we stumbled on to it is beyond me. Naturally the food industry had to take it a step further and pack it all with hormones, pesticides, and what not. Peanuts are actually a legume and are not necessarily bad for you at all, but let's remember that this is just an experiment. I'm enraged by brands like Jiffy and Skippy that use death oil. Mom's that choose Jiff ... are giving there kids cancer, fyi. Hydrogenated or not PB is delicious and a big component to my diet so I thought I would give it a month with out.
       So by the logic I'm finding, grains, in all their forms, are "supposedly" foreign to the human digestive system, similar to dairy products. Hunters and gatherers were limited to meat, fruits, and vegetables. Living with out bread is out of the question for so many different reasons. So forget that front. I can live with out cow juice (milk) and can dodge the hidden dairy ingredients found in a lot foods, but then comes cheese. Life with out cheese simply sucks. That pretty much sums up how I feel about that. PB can expensively be replaced with almond butter. After three days there is no conclusion to draw from the change. The way I see it, if I'm actually on to something, then great! There's an extra second or two off the ski time. If I'm not and it's a waist of time then oh well it's back to cheaper food and feta cheese.

        So that's that. Life is adequate at the moment. Bend is an alright place and the training season is off to a good start. When I was in Kontiolahti last February days like today crossed my mind as I was trying to mash that last round into the clip with a frozen block that used to be my hand. Now I'm in a t-shirt waiting for the grilled chicken to be ready with the clear blue sky over my head. Reminiscing about the mild frost bite now is a lot easier than dealing with the real thing like I did the last time I was in Finland. On the other hand, in Finland's defense they did have some pretty good cheese.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What the past week looked like.

       Sometimes I think reading articles about someone rambling on about how training felt one day can be boring. Pictures and videos, on the other hand never get old. Hence this update is just that. In short shooting camp 2012 # 1 was a success. Naturally, it also had some entertaining moments. LP always provides.
Guess who needs to stop leaning forward when they shoot standing.

Guess who might also need a haircut. 

And to think it down poured only hour before.  
Cinco de Mayo much? 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring photos

Here a few pictures from April that I thought were worth posting. 
Nice afternoon much?

The weather pretty much did what ever it wanted. 

Things I'd rather be doing than roller skiing.

I took this picture the same day I took the one above.

Proof that snow can prevail if you search hard enough!