Sunday, July 24, 2011

Coaching Weekend

This past weekend I spent three consecutive days coaching ALL DAY! I began by volunteering for the City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation's Kid's Adventure Camp. I got up extra early and headed out for my Threshold Ski workout so that I could make it over to the Theodore Wirth Pavilion in time for the first group. This week the camp consisted of approximately 45 campers. The kids were broken up into groups of 5-8 and they would switch from station to station throughout the day. The stations ranged from Mt. Biking to Canoeing, to Orienteering, to capture the flag, to Rollerskiing. each kid spends almost 45 minutes participating in the activity at each station. By the end of the day the kids have trained over 4.5 hours!!! I am sure their parents loved it :) i was in charge of the rollerskiing on Friday. I made a point to remember every kid's name throughout the day. This made the feedback more direct and individual and I think everyone loves when they are remembered and addressed.

On Friday night Brian and I packed up our car and headed down to Rochester, MN where we were to coach a Master's Clinic. We stayed with one of the local XC Skiers in the Rochester community and had a blast learning about their up and  coming club!

Bright and early before 6AM I was awake and heading out the door for my morning training session. When I finished I quickly showered and changed and was off to the first coaching part of the camp. I spent the next few hours on my feet and after a short lunch break I was back at it until 4:30 in the afternoon. The next day was the same!

Despite all of the time on my feet I felt that my energy levels were high and my legs were fresh. I am feeling like every week I am getting in better and better shape! I am excited to report in two weeks about returning to Marquette and spending time at NMU again!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Namekagon Art Festival and the CXC Summer Championships

This past weekend the CXC Team put on a one day event that include the three different types of racing that we encounter throughout the ski season. These races included a running distance event (in place of a distance ski event), a prologue classic ski, and a sprint skate ski with rounds.

The goal of the event was to get the community involved in our time trials and allow the kids who are up at Telemark with us the opportunity to go head to head with World Championship and Olympic Athletes! Pretty Sweet!

For me the event was my first attempt at racing since the end of the ski season in March. I have been pretty busy with life and while I have maintained my fitness I have been very careful about pushing myself too far, for fear of overdoing it. The plan seemed to have worked out well. While I was not the fastest in any of the three events, I have a great starting place to build from.

The results from the 5K trail run (aka Hill Climb). Here

The double pole (classic prologue) is my weakness. I have been focusing a lot on improving my double poling, as it relates a lot to my lower results in classic skiing, and feeling like I have been making the technical gains I need.

The last event was a skate sprint that was held in downtown Cable, WI. The town is very small but hosts some of the biggest endurance sporting events in the country for Cross Country Skiing and Mountain Biking. These events are the Chequamegon Fat Tire Mountain Bike race and the American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski race.

We woke up the small town on Saturday night with skate sprint heats. The heats were based off of the classic prologue (not typical). Unfortunately I had a nasty crash in my first round. Jessie broke a pole and the pole fell right between my legs. I went down hard but bounced back up and moved onto the final. In the final I was able to ski aggressively and move from fourth up to second in the finishing straight. I held onto second and learned a lot about tactics and racing from the entire day's events.

Moving forward... I have some work to do... I look forward to the challenge and will report back about how my results progress!