January 22nd, 2014
For Kris, that is. Though I am proud to say that I am, based on the qualifying list, the 42nd best ranked skier not named to the team. Not bad for someone so old and washed up that my continuing to blog demands ridiculing me on Johnny Klister.
Anyway, today I met Kris at Waterville Valley to help him with his interval workout. We were classic skiing up Tripoli Road. For Kris, the idea was to ski at the high end of level three for six minutes, then hammer for four minutes. For me, the idea was to take the 30 second head start he gave me and try to cling to some kind of lead for as long as I could.
We started the first interval at the very bottom of the road. I held Kris off for almost nine minutes (8:30 for him), but he caught me near to top of the last steep section. At this point I collapsed mentally, literally stopping in the trail for a few seconds and then limping to the finish.
We chose to move the start up a little on the next two intervals, so that Kris could finish on a double-pole section. I was actually stronger on the second interval, not getting caught till about 9:20. I was relieved to be caught–I didn’t think I could hold it together much longer. I think I hung on my poles for 20 seconds before skiing to the end in level 2.
On the final interval, I thought I was moving well, hitting points on the trail in about the same time I just had. But by 8 minutes, Kris had caught me. I attempted to stay with him for a few seconds by accelerating to a full sprint. I did speed up a lot, but not enough to stop him from dropping me like a rock. When I realized how much faster he was, I slowed to a crawl, and limped to the top about three minutes back.
Despite being much slower than my brother, I did feel that this was a promising workout for me. I skied solid technically, and I held my pace despite going out quite hard. And while “much faster than me” is not necessarily all that good, Kris looked powerful and in control as he accelerated past me three separate times. We will know in a week and a half if he is actually fast…