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It’s been the week of camps! technicially the week of 3 camps since the Canadians are still in town training and the SMS BKL and junior camps have been going on at the Stratton campus.

I wasn’t even able to get a post in last week because things were so busy so there is a lot to catch up on. For me the last two weeks have been planned as a big volume block… one of the last big volume blocks of the summer before adding in a bunch of intensity as we get closer to the fall. Last week was a 24 hour week and this week was even bigger so it was awesome to have the Canadians and their coach Tor Arne Hetland here at Stratton to add a new level of intensity.

I spent the beginning of last week showing the crew around the southern Vermont area and leading them on some fun rollerski sessions and runs in the green mountains. We were really stoked to hear that the Canadians were having a camp here in the Stratton area so I tried to give them a tour of all the great training spots.

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We have been putting in a bunch of longer workouts in the 3 hour range. Having Tor Arne around has been great so that he can drive the vans and support some fun point to point workouts. Here we are running toward Little Rock Pond after skiing for 2 hours from Manchester. We are pretty good buddies with the Canadian dude and have been traveling around the world with them for years so it’s great to catch up and talk to one another… or yell if you are Harvey on a long run.

IMG_1068Lenny and babs join me in the cold river waters after a long workout. We got lucky with some pretty epic weather all last week.

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Kris Freeman came over from NH for some training and the younger T2 dudes have been joining us for a buch of workouts so it makes the 3 hour rolls a lot more exciting. Tor Arne coaches the crew in this photo as Alex Harvey and I lead the crew up the big hills next to SMS campus. It’s alway fun to have a big group for distance skis and its cool to try to learn from great skiers like Alex, Devon, Babs, and Lenny.

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As we jumped into our second week of training the weather turned just in time for one of the hardest workouts of the week. 6×5 minutes level 4 striding in the pouring rain is one of my favorite workouts. It makes it a little more exciting I think to do intervals out in the elements every once and a while. By the last interval we were pretty much hammering all out and feeling a serious burn.

This week was also the start of the annual SMS summer camps that Sverre runs here every year. These camps are pretty special to me because they were one of the biggest reasons I stated training for skiing in the summer when I was a kid. I would come up from Bennington to the BKL and the Junior camps to learn about what xc skiers did for training in the summer. The camps were also a big reason why I ended up going to SMS for high school… so I think it’s a great opportunity for kids to attend them.

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BKYSL campers are the younger kids. this year we had about 50 campers! (Lilly Photo SMS blog)

During the past week we have had plenty of time to interact with the kids. We try to eat meals with them in the cafeteria and talk about skiing whenever we can. One big draw of the camp is that we also get to ski a few workouts with the campers which is pretty unique. This is probably the only camp in the country where young skiers can join more than 5 Olympians for a rollerski technique session.

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Pat and I work on skate technique with the ‘older” BKL boys. We worked on everything from V2, to V1, to skiing with frisbees.

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Annie Hart works on cornering with some girl campers. (Lilly Photo SMS blog)

IMG_3168It’s pretty impressive to see the numbers increasing each year for both the BKL camp and the Junior camp. (Lilly Photo SMS blog)

For each group we like to hold a Q and A and it’s always interesting to see what the kids ask. This year for the junior camp we even got Tor Arne and the Canadians to come in and answer some questions from the campers, it was pretty rad.

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Tomorrow will be my last day of big training as I wrap up this two week blog of volume. We are planning a sweet point to point run with the crew. After intervals this morning and about 26 hours stacked up for the week I’m starting to get a little tired and looking forward to an off day. for Daily updates from the Camps, lots of photos, and to keep up with what the SMS club is up to check out their blog http://smsxc.blogspot.com

 

 

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hot damn… it’s already August! since returning from Alaska camp I’ve been here in Vermont for the past week enjoying a little VT summer vacation. The past two weeks of training camp in AK had a lot of high quality training so this was a great change to kick back and take an easy week.  A lot of my teammates on the SMS-t2 team headed home but Erika and I hung out here at Stratton and had a kick ass stay-cation (i think thats what you call it) and got to enjoy some great VT summer activity.

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Evening Swimming at North Beach in Burlington 

One of the things I was have been really looking forward to the last month was seeing Old Crow Medicine Show at their concert in Shelburne VT. They have a new album out that we’ve been listening to a lot and it’s not too often we get good bands that just want to play in a little Vermont field… Shelburne Farms is a pretty laid back but beautiful venue. So we drove up to burlington for the day going for a run by the water in the afternoon and eating at the dockside restaurants on Lake Champlain.

Old Crow sounded really amazing… I think their stage presence and sound quality has come a long way in the last few years. It’s cool to see a band with blue grass roots still able to rock a venue.

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Old Crow playing at Shelburne Farms 

The next morning we headed town to Thompson Point to visit with the Ogdens and Hodges at their family lake house. Since I live so far south I don’t get to spend too much time around Lake Champlain but being by the water for a few days makes you appreciate how big the lake is and how awesome it is to have that during the summer.

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With a few days of vacationing it was time to get back into hard training a little bit on Saturday with an uphill running TT. It had been while since I’d done my running time trial up Mt. Anthony in Bennington and I was a little worried about running it the week after returning from the Big AK training camp but it turned out to be a great run. Sometimes the legs can be a little heavy after a week of only skiing. but I was just 1 second behind my all time PR set two falls ago and faster than any time I ran it last summer, so I was stoked. Erika and my buddy DJ came out to run up the mountain with me so it helped to have them there to help me start hard and push even harder into the finish.

We had amazing warm sunny weather for the entire weekend which made it possible to finish off vacation week with style. I got the new and improved Triumph out for a bunch of rides, did a little fishing,  and got to hang out in Weston with buddies. Although ‘hanging’ out in Weston usual turns unto ‘working’ in weston it was still a good time.

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Spending time helping insulate Ryans house… foam is up on the outside 

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Last year I picked up a vintage Arthur Fulmer helmet on Ebay and haven’t used it at all until now. It’s extremely old school looking and extremely sparkly… but I guess thats how they used to roll back in the 70′s drag racing scene.

Starting tomorrow I will begin another two big weeks of training here at Stratton. Fortunately the Canadian men are coming to town which should make things exciting and help push me through the next big block of training. I’m looking forward to catching up with those guys and their new coach, Tor Arne Hetland who was always a idol of mine and a cool person to race against back in the day!

 

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For the past 4 days the USST has been training along side the APU team here in Anchorage. This is the beginning of a 2 week camp in which the second half will be spent skiing on snow up on the Eagle Glacier. I haven’t been in Alaska in the summer since 2001 when I did my first US Ski team camp as a 17 year old…. so it’s been while. Although traveling out here is a bit of a process from Vermont, the training is pretty rad and the long cool days provide a perfect climate to escape the New England heat and get in some harder training.

The next two weeks will have a pretty high volume of hours but also we will try to hammer on one another a bit doing hard intervals and some speed workouts. the big pack roller skiing of some of our distance workouts is also a good change of pace. literally…the pace tends to be a little high when you put 15 -20 fast dudes in a group and tell them to ski distance for 2.5 hours.

pic 2dudes strung out along the road toward the end of a 2.5 hour rollerski with some good climbing.

So far we have had two really cool distance skis. one from just outside of town in Anchorage where we skied through a log of different developments finishing with a great view of the city. And another  with even more vertical yesterday when we skied up Hatcher Pass. Although it was a little cold and cloudy it was still a pretty scenic training session, as you came around the corner to the top of hatcher pass it definitely looks like you’re somewhere in Europe or something winding up into the big mountains. A little bit of a change from our typical VT skies.

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Ben and I climbing up

 

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At the top!

 

Erik B trains out of Anchorage for most of the summer to he’s been stoked having both of his teams in town working together. here he is at the top of Hatcher pass.

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We have a few more rollerski workouts planned over the next 2 days including some L3 skating intervals tomorrow at Kinkaid park and hopefully a ling OD on sunday before we wrap up the dry land portion of our camp and swap with the girls who are up on Eagle Glacier right now. I’m looking forward to getting back up to the glacier having not been back in 13 years. the views up there are amazing and flying in on the helicopter is always a fun opportunity. hopefully weather cooperates.

All in all life has been pretty good up here in AK… as long as you are aren’t a picky sleeper.

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closing my shades at 10pm to get ready for bed and the sun is still shining!

IMG_0956what up Alaskan dog

 

 

 

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Big news coming out of southern Vermont here…. I’m officially a fisherman. After going fly fishing for the first time last year and being skunked each time I finally caught my first fish the other day. I have to admit I’ve realistically only gone a few times but it was starting to be an ongoing joke between Erika and I that I could never catch one, but the loosing streak is finally over.

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It’s not the most spectacular looking fish but it was still a solid catch, haha … reeled in with my own tied flies! I think they’re only getting bigger from here on out.

The second week of this ‘big month’ has been had a great mix of everything here in VT. This week of training was slightly smaller than last but still packed with some quality workouts including some of the first L4 rollerskiing intervals of the summer. This is the time of year when we start to add in a little harder faster ski specific workouts so on Tuesday I started out the week with a 5×4 minutes sprint specific workout. it was a lung burner but it felt good to go fast.

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Since this big week is still supposed to have a lot of volume we’ve been putting in the long workouts too. These are the weeks when you can be doing a bit of thunder storm dodging but when it’s clear it’s absolutely beautiful training around here at Stratton

IMG_0899A few of our staple workouts like bounding up Stratton and a lot of our OD’s end at the top of the mountain so when the gondola is running it’s a good way to save the legs from getting completely blown out.

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With the kick ass wether going on I was really stoked to finally get my Triumph back from the shop. I dropped it off to my mechanic last year and it sat there all winter. There weren’t any serious modifications to be done but with such busy schedules I wasn’t able to get it until just a few days ago. It was awesome to get back out on the bonneville and I’m really looking forward to riding it a lot once we’re back from Alaska. With new tires and a fresh tune up it really fires off the line now putting those drag bars to good use.

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we finished off the week today with some double pole intervals and strength . despite a few hard workouts all in all its been a more relaxed week as we get ready to head to a big two week training camp in Anchorage and up on Eagle glacier. It will be pretty easy to get the massive hours needed for this ‘big month’ with the next two weeks in training camp with the USST. I haven’t been up on the glacier since my first ever training camp with the US Team back in 2002, so it will be cool to get back to Alaska in the summer time and get some hard training in.

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Pat talks DP technique with the girls

 

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This is a great time of year to be in VT and as always the week of the 4th is one of the biggest training weeks of the year, actually July is one of the biggest months of training for me hopefully logging around 85 hours for the month. So before I jumped into this missive month it was time to relax a bit and head out to Bozeman with Erika for a wedding. This was my first time in Bozeman during the summer months and it was awesome! great training in the mountains and beautiful wide open spaces that are so different that what Im used to here in VT I felt like a tourist most of the time snapping all kinds of photos. There were big thunderstorm rolling through each day but it kept the days cool and the scenery super green so I wasn’t complaining.

IMG_0881You gotta feel a little bit like a cowboy while you’re in Montana. I realized while I was there that I’ve never really ridden a horse.. at least fast so thats my goal for the next visit.

there was sill snow in the mountains especially on some of the big peaks. Anya, Howie, Erika and I did a run/hike up a 10,000+ foot peek which was a cool adventure for a sea level guy like myself.

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The sun came out and it got really beautiful out for the ‘slide’ down. instead of following the trail we hit the snow and did some high speed glissading, it was a lot faster and a whole lot more fun and a bit of an off piste adventure.

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The weather ended up being perfect for Saturdays wedding and it was a great time and a cool chance to meet a lot of Erika’s family and have a good ol party. The Little Smokies are a local blue grass band that played during  the ceremony and reception which was rad. always but to stomp it out on the dance floor to some Montana blue grass.

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It was hard to leave this scenery but on Monday I had to fly back to Albany and get ready for the ‘big’ month of training. For the last 5 days it’s been brutally hot here in VT with the usual sweat fest humid workouts we tend to get here in July and August. My flights ended up being delayed heading home so to make up hours I’ve been putting in 4-5 hour days for the remainder of the week but everything has been going well. For our saturday workout today we had a massive group bounding up stratton for L3 intervals and roller skiing this aft.

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Ben and our new training partner ‘the Torch’ sweat it out during an uphill running test.

 

 

 

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I started off the week with a visit to a local elementary school in Bennington to celebrate their ‘get moving’ week. I usually do several school visits in the Fall to get kids fired up about xc skiing but hadn’t made it to Monument Elementary yet so I stopped in and talked with the kids and ran them through some exercises. they were an energetic group of kids who were stoked to get outside and let loose. I have a feeling since it was the last week of school these guys were itching for summer vacation…. hopefully after our talk they will be thinking about staying even more active throughout vacation.

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it was beautiful outside and not a bid way to spend an off afternoon.

This weeks training schedule was another big volume week that started off less than ideal. After some great bounding intervals up Stratton we had an agility and strength session planned for the afternoon. One of our goals of he SMS T2 team is summer is to train as much as possible with the club and development kids and one of the ways we are doing this is through agility training on and  off the skis.

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Jessie runs through some mobility drills with some of the SMS club kids on campus.

unfortunately even after a good warm up I ended up throwing out my back in the gym doing power cleans. I wasn’t even lifting partially heavy but I think my legs were just a little tired from bounding intervals in the morning which resulted in a bad strength session with a blown back.

so for the remainder of the week I’ve been trying to still get in the big hours but without hurting my back any further. right now running is by far the most painful but I can still rollerski and bike pretty well. 2 times this week I swam in the Stratton snowmaking pond for an afternoon workout.

IMG_0803the Newell Family pool… not bad for doing laps either. VT summertime is in full swing

For the remainder of the week the team had some great group workouts including some L3 skate intervals and distance roller skiing. I finished off the week with a 4 hour classic/ skate ski combo workout down in Manchester on some sweet roads that we don’t get to ski too often. It was a bummer to miss out on the run/swim portion of the workout with the rest of the team but one of the sacrifices of being injured. Erika and I finished off the sunday fun day by tubing and swimming (and walking down the river since there wasn’t very much water flowing) which is always a super fun VT activity.

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I drove by the Annies the other day when they were roller skiing and I was able to snap this picture from the car as I drove by. odd bunch

anyway… with the back still busted up i should have taken my monday off day to heart and really laid low but instead I finished up the last of my big renovations at the cabin including finishing off some exterior painting, staining some furniture, assembling some epic rocking chairs that my USST teammates got for me, and a lot of other odd jobs. by the end of the day the cabin was ready for relaxation/ party season…. whatever the weekends bring.

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sorry for the lack of a blog post last week but it was a busy transition from Bend with our usual PC testing stop before returning to VT. This year most of the team is doing slightly less testing but I still chose to stop by the COE for 3 days on my way to Vermont to do some strength testing and also get in a few sessions with Tschana, our new strength coach.  T, as we call her, is in the process of having her first baby but we were still able to get in some strength testing at the COE testing vertical and power, and also hammer out a few sessions.

The best part about being in PC was getting so see friends and take it easy for a few days after a hard training camp. one of the highlights was meeting Loki and Bartleby Jess’s new kittens.

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The weather was beautiful as usual while in Park City so we got a few good runs and rolls in during my short stay as well. It was awesome to catch up with Vordy and family and have a BBQ down at Cory and Alex’s sweet new house in Heber. it’s great to be in the season of backyard BBQs.

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The girls have some baby time with Pete and his kids…..

After just 3 days in Park City it was time for me to head back to Vermont and start another big block of training. My first few days back were pretty easy which I took advantage of by getting organized and finally doing a but of work on the cabin. Cabin maintenance is hard to keep up on and even after just two years I needed to touch up some paint which means a lot of sanding and sweating.

IMG_0790It was in the high 70′s this day and on the deck with now wind or protection from the sun it felt 90. It was a tough afternoon of work. because of some bad deck design (which I’m trying to fix) snow builds up against the side of the cabin which has caused my paint to peal… here’s  a before pic after a bunch of sanding. it will look brand new in a day or so though.

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It feels good to get back into a rhythm here in VT and settle into some training. The next two weeks for me will have a lot of volume. for the most part conditions have been awesome for roller skiing although we’ve been getting rained on a bit.  Now that the whole SMST2 team is around we will be training together as a group as much as possible. During our first official workout we were lucky enough to come together for a running day in Hanover and have Ben True take us through some running drills to dial in our technique.

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Not sure why Paddy is talking on the phone and not paying attention. But Gus has some great flow going.

Yesterday we had our spring running tests which are an uphill 3,000 meter run so we were all able to feel out our new running techniques. I have an old test I have been running up Mt. Anthony in Bennington for a long time and recently Stratton as adopted a similar test up near school. it’s a good way to hammer and work on maxing out your heart rate and since the tests don’t take very long (around 12 minute) it can be a good gauge on how your L4 is progressing throughout the training season.

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For the next two weeks the training will be tough which doesn’t leave too much free time but it’s still great to be back in southern VT during the summer

 

IMG_0782              Building over at Ryan Fosters land in Weston

 

 

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We are a little over half way through our Bend training camp and so far this year has been better than ever.  It’s pretty easy to get stoked to wake up and ski at 6:30 every morning when the sun is out and the tracks are setting up nicely at Mt. Bachelor. Sometimes the skiing can be hit or miss up there this time of year and we have definitely had our share of rainy days up there in the past but this year has been epic.

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As usual there are a lot of skiers in town taking advantage of the late spring skiing here. Although we aren’t linking up for any specific workouts the US biathlon team is also training here and its good to see the familiar faces on the trails.

the goal for our 10 day camp here in Bend is to work on easy distance training but this year we have a very big focus on technique. this time of year is a great opportunity to try to make some big technique changes before hammering in the specific movements during all the summer training hours. So far I have been alternating 2 days of classic followed by 2 days of skating with lots of video from the coached to try to dial in the needed changes.  As a team we have also been doing technique drills almost every day.

IMG_0720A lot of people are testing equipment this time of year which makes it tough to get too many picture while on snow… but take my word for it that the skiing has been perfect this year. lots of k’s in the sunshine so far.

it’s still Bend camp so even with a lot of training there is always time for a lot of other things too. Mountain biking and running have been awesome in the afternoons and all the outdoor action keeps us pretty busy and active. I feel like Ive been pushing non stop for the past 5 days with all the action.

IMG_0738taking in the nature.

We even had time to do a little rock climbing with Grover and Cork today who showed great ‘coaches’ strength

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I couldn’t find any climbing shoes that fit so I just kind of hauled myself up everything with running shoes on but it seemed to work out ok and definitely got my arms pumping a little bit.

After a long day of skiing in the sun, living, biking, swimming, there’s really no other way to finish it off than with a classic Bend meal. there is a lot of good eating around here.

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