Sunday, September 7, 2014

Heading to New York City and a training update!

I am currently on a train leaving Albany, NY heading to NYC. I just got a ride down from Lake Placid, NY and the amazing Olympic Training Center from my former coach Bryan Fish. I am happily exhausted and full after finishing off a great two weeks of high intensity training with some of the fastest ladies in the country and eating the rest of my "to-go" box from the all you can eat cafeteria!

The camp was a huge success and came right on the heals of a 2.5 week high altitude block in Crested Butte, CO and Truckee, CA. The end of my time in Truckee was fantastic and I finished the block off with a solid 10K run at 8,000ft. I felt strong and snappy the whole way and was very pleased with my adaptation throughout my time in the thinner air.

Just after the run I came down with either the silliest cold I have ever experienced or a terrible day and a half of severe allergies. Luckily my training had been spot on for the previous two weeks so I relaxed and let myself recover a bit before I headed out to Lake Placid. I have always felt great training and racing at altitude and I know spending time there has a positive effect on my performance but... I seem to struggle coming back down to sea level afterwards. This time was no different. I am not sure if it was the long day of travel, a lingering cold (or allergies) or the return to sea level but I was not quite myself for the first intensity session of the camp. We hit the ground running (rollerskiing) performing 6 x 4 minutes of HARD uphill skating intervals. Usually these are my favorite but on this particular day I struggled to find my rhythm. The intervals went well but just not as amazing as I had been looking forward to.

The strong group of women.
Fortunately the rest of camp kept getting better and better. Each workout was a huge learning opportunity and chance to ski with some incredible athletes with fantastic technique. I am leaving the camp with an entire sheet of technique cues to work on over the next 3 months before my first World Cups at the end of November. Another positive note was my energy throughout the camp, with the exception of the first day and the Friday before the big Climb to the Castle I felt strong as ever in all of my workouts no matter the technique or intensity! I have often felt this was one of my strong suits but it has been a while since I have been to a true two week dry-land camp like this.
Grouping up to start an adventure.

Heading out for a great long run in the mountains.
Bryan Fish and Colin Rogers.
Back in the van heading to training.
So great to catch up with friends from the past!
Recovery with the space legs was a huge benefit of staying at the OTC.
As mentioned before the final intensity workout was the Climb to the Castle. Although I skied the exact same time as last year I am happy to report that I am feeling better than ever and I know there are a lot of places I still have to make gains!

Myself, Liz and Sophie with our matching LLBean rain jackets! They were perfect for the top of Whiteface Mountain!

The amazing Barbara Beall who acts as my Mom away from home! She brought Liz and I muffins to share at the top of the Climb to the Castle.
So that brings me to my current seat on an Amtrak train heading to NYC to see my Dad who is struggling with cancer. I look forward to a few days to spend with him and getting back to where I was born. I also look forward to some interesting recovery runs and alternative training for a few days. For the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to train and visit with family while Brian has been home hanging out with the kids at the Boys and Girls Club, LNR and taking care of our home! Be sure to check in on his blog too!

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