Sunday, June 6, 2010

Going Skiing! (and the past couple of weeks!)

Well, today is June 6th and in just a couple of hours I will be headed to my first Eagle Glacier training camp as an athlete. Yes, I've been to Eagle before but only in the capacity as a coach or a worker for a pre-glacier work camp party. The APU team will go to Eagle to ski on snow for a week once a month during June, July, and August.

A picture of the Alpine Air helicopter hovering over the training facility

The view from the edge of the glacier over looking Girdwood.... at 5500 feet sometimes we are above the clouds! 

I am looking forward to this training camp for many reasons. Skiing on snow and groomed tracks first and foremost.... but, I am also going into this with a plan of sleeping a TON.  Summer in Alaska is always crazy but the recent good weather combined with my tasks of a coaching and training (on top of other life responsibilities) has left me feeling quite tired.  During my regular in town life, I participate in "active recovery" meaning that I never have time for a nap or even to put my feet up. However, I know that my lack of rest has left me a bit deprived and I am looking forward to a skiing/sleeping camp! 

While I am sad to be missing a couple days of junior and master's practice, I am happy to say that I am coming down from the glacier early to lead an APU team for the Alaska Run for Women, a great event to promote breast cancer awareness in Alaska.  Last year the race had over 5,000 participants and I am hoping that the "APU Nordic Ski Center Girls" team will draw a big crowd.  Girls - if you haven't signed up yet, do it TODAY! 

Otherwise, life has been good and busy.  I often view May as a great time to get in some back country touring style training to rebuild my base and endurance.  Long skis are a good platform for the higher intensity, more structured training that comes with the rest of the summer. Here are a couple of pictures from my recent Alaskan training adventures: 

Rob and I on top of Goat Ridge over looking the Turnagain Arm on our Eklutna Traverse crust ski. We started hiking at 4:45am and this trip took 14 hours car to car.  Good 30/50k training! 

This is what I call "good training."  It's all about keeping the joy and passion alive. In order to succeed, I believe you must love what you do. As a ski racer and coach, I absolutely adore skiing and Alaskan trips such as this are a big part of it. It's those rainy roller ski days in October that provide my with the fitness and strength to ski hard all day - and vice versa. 

Here's a picture from a backcountry training trip where the weather didn't cooperate. Have you ever skied in full rubber ... the kind you would use for fishing?  It may be novel but isn't highly recommended! 

Memorial Day weekend Katie Ronsse (my APU teammate), Rob, Bill Pearson and I got out for a long tour above Whittier.  We had a great day on our tele skis (the snow was too "corny" to use anything skinnier)  and we decided to capture the moment with a sweet ski-guitar shot!

On another note, May featured the end of school for the Anchorage School District. I was happy to fit in a couple of school visits including some time at Chugach Optional Elementary school.  It's fun telling stories about the Olympics and discussing goal setting.  Kids always come up with great questions too! 

If you're reading this I hope that you're enjoying your summer and taking the opportunity to get outside and take care of yourself. Have fun, be careful, and thanks for reading! 

Holly :)