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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

World Class Support

It is no secret that the US XC Ski Team has a small budget compared to most of the nations on the world cup. In the past this has meant that US skiers have had to deal with lesser levels of support.  I remember on my first trip to race in europe that I stayed in a two star hotel while my coaching staff stayed in four star accomodations.  I waxed my own skis for training and I cleaned them afterwards.  I also did all the prep work on my skis on race day.  The budget has increased marginally since then but the level of support has skyrocketed.

The staff from my first trip is long gone and has been replaced by a group of guys determined to put us on equal footing with the rest of the world no matter what.  Some of them are ex-ski team racers that know what an athlete needs to succeed.  Last week at our training camp in Mounio I never waxed a single ski.  I got up, ate breakfast, and three to four pairs of skis were waiting for me to test on my workout.  When I finished skiing I dropped them off at the wax room and ate lunch in my room.  The meal plan that was offered at the hotel was too expensive for our budget so our coaches bought us food at the grocery while we trained.  After the second ski of the day, dinner was prepared in the coaches room for the athletes.  Skiers ate first and the staff ate what was left.  This is the way the US Ski Team opperates now.  

Wax techs double as chefs, coaches double as wax techs, athletes are athletes.  It takes a staff that really loves the sport to give up so much of themselves for their skier’s success.  Thanks to them I know that the US World Cup team is not at a disadvantage because of our meager funds.  It makes me feal real bad when I ski poorly because I am accutely aware of how much work has gone into my race start.  Four guys do the same job that twenty-five Norwegains are brought to each race to do.  All while giving the best beds and food away to the athletes.

When I get to the starting line I have always known that I am racing for more than myself.  I am racing for my country and the US skiing community.  Now more than ever I know that.

Whiteface

I have had a good camp In Lake Placid so far.  I arrived here on October 1st coming off of a few weeks of fairly high volume.  I jumped into some double pole intervals with the sprinters on Saturday to tune up for the skate hillclimb race up Whiteface on Monday.  I felt great in the intervals. The morning of the Whiteface race I woke up at the painful hour of 6:45 Am and ate breakfast at 7:00. Normally I would eat my pre-race breakfast three hours before the 9:00 AM start but the cafeteria at the Olympic Training Center doesn’t open until 7:00 AM.  This ended up being a moot point becasue shortly after eating I was informed that the race start had been pushed back to 10:30 AM due to ice on the road.  The race was also moved 2 miles down the mountain.  It was still the…

Democratic National Convention

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at a luncheon at the the Democtratic National Convention.  I spoke on behalf of my headgear sponsor Eli Lilly.  I pasted the speech that I gave below. Thank you Scott, I am honored to be here today to share my story and a bit of Lilly’s story with you. I have been intertwined with Lilly since 2002 to show children with diabetes that there is no need for limits when it comes to there ambitions and dreams. As the summer Olympics came to a close it was apparent to me that the stories of athlete’s triumphs and failures are metaphors for all of our own ups and downs. I think the entire world was inspired by Michael Phelps and his incredible achievement. I aim to inspire a smaller but extremely significant group of people with my story and racing.

six hours

One of my staple workouts is the six hour over distance session.  After experimenting with different durations of time I have found that this is the longest workout that I benefit from.  I can hold good technique and snappy movements for the entire workout and recover in about 48 hours. Many people ask me how I can ski that long.  Physically, I’m just lucky I guess.  Also, my father took me on weekend warrior skis when I was growing up.  We would drive one or two hours to a ski area and he would pay our trail fees.  Then he saw to it that we got our money’s worth.  A typical saturday ski would be a three hour session in the morning and a two hour in the afternoon.   Sometimes this was repeated on Sunday.  I didn’t have to ski that long, I could have sat in the lodge or in…

Top Notch

I won the  Top Notch Triathlon for the third time on Saturday, August 2nd.  The race has a very untraditional format.   It starts with a 6.5 mile uphill mountain bike which is followed by a half mile swim in the ice cold echo lake, and finishes with a 2 mile run up alpine trails to the summit of Cannon Mountain. The starting line is in the town of Franconia NH.  Because I never know if the race will fit into my schedule I always register on the day its held.  My procrastination puts me in the second of two wave starts.  The waves go off two minutes apart.  Usually this is not a problem for me because the first two and a half miles of the bike are on pavement which gives me enough time to make up the two minutes on most riders in the first wave before we hit the single track trail.  Unfortunately, this year…

First Entry

I arrived in Whistler on July 17th to execute my first intensity block of the training year with my coach Zach overseeing my workouts.  The training load wasn’t too high.  I averaged three hours a day and I have done  four hard workouts.   On the 19th I rollerski skated  5×5 minute L3 intervals on the new rollerski loop on the Olympic Venue.  That was followed by a 12k natural interval bounding session on the Olypic 5k classic course on the 21st.   I won an uphill 4k running timetrial with the Canadian development team on the 24th and I did a 30k pursuit timetrial with Dan Roycroft the 25th.  I felt better and faster each day through the week.  That was the plan.  I traveled home yesterday and I will settle back into some less intense volume training.