Sunday, July 26, 2009
The past weekend was full of a few of northern Maine's signature summer training events. Starting with the Mars hill uphill running time trial. This workout was a fitness test/sufferfest. The Mars hill run is extremely simple. You run from the bottom of the Mars hill ski run to the top. It takes 12-20 minutes to run hill depending of fitness. I was 4th in our group and made the first page of results on the all time list. It was foggy and rainy during the race, so much so I couldn't see the top of the hill from the start, which made pacing difficult. That afternoon I saw the new Harry Potter Movie which was very entertaining. The following day was the annual Tour of Stockholm. (Stockholm Maine that is) Stockholm was originally settled by Swedes to strengthen the United States claim to the land when it was first being opened up of settlement. It is also the hometown of MWSC athlete and National Team member Russell Currier. The Tour of Stockholm consisted of a 30min Kayak, a 1 hour rollerski, and an EPIC, BUGGY, mountain bike ride. The highlight of the ride was the 45 minutes I spent pushing my bike through a bog while being eaten by Jurassic Park sized horseflies. The last half hour was ridden on logging roads in the pouring rain and hail. This bike was supposed to be 1.5 hours, but turned into 2.5. After our misguided ride the run portion of the tour was canceled. After we has all cleaned up a bit we headed over to Will's house (the local MWSC coach) for a BBQ. This week was a high volume week for me with 19 hours of training. Next week is my last week here before I spend two weeks in Jericho Vermont. This week is a a recovery/prep week before the camp in Vermont. I'll be sending my bike back to Minnesota and other non essential items. I am also currently ordering my race skis for next winter. (Rossignol WSC's if your interested.) Stay tuned for Jericho pics and updates.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I live on top of a hill. Every day I go up or down this hill for one reason or another. Buying groceries, doing intervals, going to training... There are two sides of the hill. One is a driveway that is short and steep and requires a really small gear to pedal up while carrying a backpack full of groceries, and the other side is the Lonesome Pines downhill area. This hill can become rather annoying (I can wait another day to go shopping), but in reality it is a really great thing. Being surrounded by quality terrain makes you a better athlete. Like most things you work for the least enjoyable parts make you the best. You have to suffer through the bummer parts to achieve success. For example: Doing 150 chemistry problems; definitely not fun, but getting an A in chemistry; pretty sweet. SO he next time your hauling yourself up a ridiculous hill, or pushing through some nasty intervals or homework remember, you need the hard/boring/seemingly pointless work to achieve success. It's as simple as that.
This past week was the Maine training group camp here in Fort Kent. The Maine Training group is made up of the best high school age skiers in Maine. They where also joined by a team from Quebec. It was really great having so many great people around to train with. The highlights of the week included a classic sprint race, a 10k skate time trial and a dance party. (hey you can't train all the time) The classic sprint was a lot of fun with every skier getting 4 races. I am not such a great sprinter so it was more of a workout for me. The other skiers where very impressive though. The skate time trial went very well for me. I post the second fastest time. 2 min slower than 3 time World Championships team member and MWSC athlete Dave Chamberlain. This week has a intensity focus and will feature the Mars Hill uphill running test. This is an all-out running effort from the bottom of Mars Hill to the top. It is being billed as full-on sufferfest.. This week is also the Tour of Stockholm (Stockholm Maine that is) A 5 hour combination of rollerskiing, running. biking and paddling. After this week we have a few easier weeks before we go to Jericho Vermont for the Summer rollerski festival. With many National team members present this should be a great couple of races. I have also begun to do some exploring on my mountain bike and I have found seemingly unlimited fast and rolling double track surrounding the area. This double track is part of a vast network of ATV trails that connects most of the area. Watch out for more updates and pictures soon
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The Womens National Team has been training in Fort Kent for a week and a half. I have been joining them for a few of there workouts. The most interesting of which was a 3 hour road bike ride in Canada. For those not familiar with Fort Kent here is a little perspective. It takes me about 10 minutes to ride to Canada from where I am staying. As soon as you cross the international bridge you begin to see French everywhere. "Arrete" is on stop signs. As you ride along you see "Maison a Vendre" signs. Along with biking the women have done some very serious rollerski interval workouts, strength training and distance training. It has been great to have so many high level athletes around, and add a little variation to life here. This week was also the Acadian Festival. A celebration of Acadian culture (food, wierd acadian bed races ect.) Ployes are a traditional Acadian food I sampled while at the Festival. A ploy is a lot like a crepe except is is made from special wheat and is only cooked on one side. This week is my low week with only 8 hours of training. Next week there is a Maine nordic team camp here along with a middle school biathlon camp. I will be teaching technique to the middle school biathletes, along with helping on the range. I am also looking forward to the 4th of July, however civilian fireworkd are illegal in Maine so this 4th of July will be a little less spectacular than others.