Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wildfires, Kick A** Glacier Camp, AK Salmon & Thin Air...

Sorry for the temporary "black out" over the past couple of weeks.... needless to say, it's been busy. And if you're a regular reader, you know that I'm seemingly incapable of posting anything shorter than a novel on my BLOG. Just an example of my perfectionism taking a toll.....

What's up these days? Lots.  I'm currently in Park City, Utah with my APU teammates for a 2-week altitude stint.  One of the goals for this training year was to spend more time in the thin air in preparation for Sochi - which stands at 4500 feet.  Nothing like Western Collegiate racing altitude (who ever had the idea to race at 9500 is crazy) but 1500 meters or 4500 feet just about tops out FIS altitude racing standards. If you're unfamiliar with the concept of altitude training check out the wiki site HERE. Basically, time at altitude raises your body's level of red blood cells and increases hemoglobin; the same effect as doping but in a legal, natural way :) We're sleeping up in Deer Valley (8,000 feet) and training mostly in Park City around 6500 feet.

Utah camp is also a way to prolong summer as the last workout I did in Alaska before departure (5 hour ride/run hike in the rain) began showing hints of red tundra meaning that fall is right around the corner!

Our crew looking down over Eagle and Symphony Lakes 

Rewind a bit more and the last part of July was our 3rd Annual North American Women's Camp - only this time minus the Canadians and add two special International guests, Astrid Jacobsen of Norway and Bettina Gruber of Switzerland. 

Bettina loves Salmon so late July was a perfect time for her visit!!!! 

We had some great dryland training sessions....

And we returned to the Glacier for yet another on-snow camp.  We had near perfect weather and the snow thankfully froze at night - different than June camp where it felt as if we were skiing around in a petri dish of Elmer's Glue. (If you're a runner, think about running 5 hours a day in the sand rather than a hard trail or pavement... that's what slow snow feels like.) 

It was great having Astrid on the glacier as she is part of the best women's team in the World. I wrote a small article about her contributions for NNF's site that can be read HERE if interested. 

 Sadie, me, Ida, Astrid, Kikkan, Jessie & Liz

Loving life on the glacier 

We train hard and have fun.... not so impressive but we try :) 

Being interviewed by Alaska Public Radio's Annie Feidt - the story went NATIONWIDE! In case you missed it.... Listen to the

Also, if you want to get a better feel for what it's like to ski on Eagle Glacier here is a youtube video of one of our more "fun" workouts, the team sprint:

Changing gears.... every July we speed lots and lots of time catching & processing fish for the upcoming year. Rob was successful in his dip netting excursion to the Kenai yet again. (Dip netting is a subsistence-based fishery available to Alaska residents only. It's just like it sounds - you use a huge net, often 3-4 feet in diameter to literally "dip" fish out of the river.) 

Here is our homemade backyard smoker! 

We can never get enough... for my recovery week Rob and I kayaked to dip net in China Poot Bay. 

Here is the fish from the photo above on my plate in Utah :) 
(Dinner last night!) 

Mom came to AK for a visit! 

With Mom on the Danny J heading back from Halibut Cove. (Thanks Don, Molly & Bret for having us!) 

Tomorrow we're hitting up some hard L4 bounding intervals at the Canyons. I'm excited for some of the hard work to begin. Summer is all about building volume and late summer and fall calls for more intensity. As many of you have probably heard, there are some bad fires IN Park City.  In fact, one of the US Ski Team strength coaches didn't know for two days if her house was still standing or not.  As it turns out her next door neighbor's house burned to the ground but hers was OK. Luckily the smoke doesn't seem to be affecting air quality so we're (thankfully) not stuck inside for camp. 

Last but not least - Buggz says hi.... keeping it real! 
More soon & thanks for reading, 
Holly ;)