Thursday, October 28, 2010

28 Days and Counting....

Twenty eight days until what?  Until my first race! Not that I'm counting or anything....! But really, I am ready.  Mentally at the very least.  There are skiers who mostly love training. There are skiers who mostly love racing.  I would say that I REALLY LOVE both training and racing.  That's not a cop-out but instead, completely honest.  I love the routine of pushing my body every day, usually multiple times per day, in an effort to get stronger and faster.  The training season is great but I'm ready to move onto some head to head competition.  

Girl's Team, Post-Time Trial

That said, we're putting in a final in-town dryland preparation period.  Training has consisted primarily of roller skiing, with a couple of running sessions (one interval foot with poles) and two strength sessions - each with hard core workouts, one with spenst, and one with fast classic double pole. So far, none of our training has been on snow which is slightly uncharacteristic for Alaska as many other skiers in the US have gotten their first ski before we have.  Surprisingly I'm not that anxious about it. Our dryland training has been very high in quality and I know we're going to find PLENTY of snow this winter. 

Last weekend we had two time trials. It was awesome to go as fast as you can without holding anything back. The first was a classic roller ski sprint race.  Each racer completed two prologues which is used to qualify for the heats - afterwards, we simulated two sprint finals using a "hunting start" or backwards pursuit.  The person that won the prologue started last with the idea that all skiers would theoretically arrive at the finish around the same time. The following day we had a grueling 8k uphill skate time trial.  We started at sea level near Potter's Marsh and skied to the top of Prominence Point through neighborhoods.  I will be competing in at least two hill climbs this year so it was good to experience the "pain train."  Uphill skiing is somewhat equivalent to mtn running and I love to go uphill so the time trial suited my strengths. 

Near the top of the hill climb. You can see the water below were we started 8k below

Coaches timing - they collected some great info, splits, percents back, etc

This teammate pushed it hard.... he hugged the pavement for a while.... 

And a while longer. He seemed to have a rolling-on-the-ground recovery theme

Katie Ronsse resting in her birthday spandex at the top of the hill climb

This is surely the time of year where everyone seems to get fairly serious and focused.  There is a certain amount of anticipation going into a new season.  I'm sure every skier out there, including myself is asking the same questions: What kind of fitness do I have right now? Am I stronger than last year?  Did the changes I made to my training help? Was I able to hold onto and capitalize on what worked well for me last year?  .... I hope I got some good new skis this year..... Can't wait to get the uniforms to see what spandex I'll be wearing almost everyday!...... Geez, these plane tickets are expensive, etc, etc, etc. 

After your uphill time trial we had a couple hours before we had to be back at strength to "drive wheel barrows" as we call it

Kinsey and Morgan rocking the incline partner medicine ball throw

One-legged jumps in the AK October sunshine

Twenty eight days from now I'll have some answers to these questions. Until then, stay tuned! 
Have a good one, 
Holly :)