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Archive for October, 2012

Fairbanks Skiing

Monday, October 29th, 2012

One week ago, I was just leaving the Park City camp, where it was relatively hot and sunny… Things could hardly be more different as I sit here in Fairbanks writing this, looking outside as it snows on a totally white world.

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Almost a week ago now, we drove up to Fairbanks to get the first on-snow training of the year. The drive was beautifully clear, and there got more and more snow as we went north. Hard to beat the views on a clear day like that:

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Stopping to check out Denali:

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We came up here with two main goals; to train a lot, and to help out with the annual First Tracks Camp, which is this huge ski training camp for younger skiers. The skiing has been awesome, and I have put in some serious kilometers on the 30k of trails that are groomed at Birch Hill right now. It was nice to put in a lot of distance training, as well as a few intensity sessions.

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We ran a sprint time-trial, which was fun but also really painful. The first time you try to move that fast on snow, it always feels a little funky, but it was a great workout.

photo – Logan Hanneman

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Erik Bjornsen laying it down!

photo – Logan Hanneman

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The coolest part about the camp is that we (the older, elite athletes) just do our training, and all of the up-an-coming younger skiers get to jump and follow, which I think is tremendously valuable for them. I remember years ago when I got to follow some super-fast guys around, and I learned a lot from them by just observing and copying.

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Here, we start a sprint heat with the masses of young rippers swarming behind:

photo – Logan Hanneman

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And lots of fun groups, with old and young, skiing around and training together… and getting photobombed:

photo – Logan Hanneman

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And always finding some jumps to hit… Erik Bjornsen sending it. This is just  a preview!

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The First Tracks Camp was another awesome experience, getting all the best Alaskan kids together to take advantage of the first skiing of the year!

photo – Holly Brooks

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Thanks for reading!.

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Park City 2

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

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Park City camp is over, which I think is a sign that the summer training season is over… For me, the camp was actually pretty tough. I jumped right into hard training without any acclimation, which meant I was feeling pretty smoked after just 4-5 days of training.

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One major, major bummer for me was that I got food poisoning about a week into the camp. Needless to say, wasn’t super stoked on the “local” Mexican place that everybody else loved… It was a relatively bad bout, and when you come back from all that, without eating much for a few days afterwards, you just aren’t going to feel great. So came back with a bunch of distance training, and then finished off the camp with a couple days of intensity.

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Tad and I after a long, uphill distance session. This guy can skate uphill like it’s his job… which it is. Which means that he does it very well!

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Overlooking Park City from a run up on the mountain:

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Letting those boots air out after working in them for a while:

photo – Rob Whitney

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Part of the group after working together to ski to the top of a high pass:

photo – Rob Whitney

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Park City has awesome public transportation. Walking the city at night:

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This place is an outdoor athlete’s paradise… Trails on trails. The trails go on forever…

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Thanks for reading!

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Park City 1

Friday, October 12th, 2012

I’ve been here in Park City for five days now, and it is has been quite the camp so far… When an athlete travels to high altitude, usually for competition in the middle of the season, the accepted method that most coaches advise is to take the first 4-5 days pretty easy, to give the body a chance to catch up with the demand for new red blood cells and hemoglobin before doing hard efforts like racing or intervals.

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But since this is just a training camp, I have taken a different approach, diving into pretty hard training right off the bat. This is okay because I don’t have any competitions up here that I am trying to peak for. However, it has made me feel pretty dang tired… less oxygen means higher breathing and heart rates, and much longer recovery times.

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But that’s the point; it means I am getting a lot of aerobic work in. The guys that are at this camp are all very strong skiers, so I am getting what I came for.

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Guys train, halfway through a long ski with 3000ft of climbing from start point to end point… 4000+ total?

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Working up to the summit:

photo – Rob Whitney

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The views are pretty nice… hard to keep your eyes on the road!

photo – Rob Whitney

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We are staying right at the base of Park City Resort, so the incredible network of trails goes right from the door. There is so much good running and biking singletrack everywhere… here Fitz and Becca running while the sentinel of the slopes looks on:

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There is another week of camp, so plenty more challenging training to come.

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More updates soon! Thanks for reading!

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Going South, & Pics of Holly Brooks

Monday, October 8th, 2012

This week marks a first for me;I will be going to the annual US Ski Team camp in Park City, Utah for the first time. This camp has been a staple in the national team’s training camp routine for a while now, and this is the first year that it really makes sense for me to join them.

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I’m pretty excited to get out of this ridiculous Alaskan monsoon weather, which has been smothering us with water and wind for almost a month now. I believe that it’s important to be mentally tough and be able to push through periods of challenging conditions; but at some point, you just start getting so exhausted of it that you have to find another option in order to keep the training up. So Im headed to warm, sunny, beautiful Park City, and I couldn’t be more excited!

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Flying over the Pacific Northwest on the way south:

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In other news, I took some photos of US Ski Team member, my APU team-mate, and general all-around Alaskan hardcore extraordinaire Holly Brooks running on the beach… you can check them out here:

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One more thing, one that’s pretty important… the Drive for 25 is going on right now. This is a nation-wide movement to raise financial support for America’s developing ski racers at a grassroots level:

  • What: American cross country skiers, fans, and enthusiasts supporting our nation’s developing skiers.

  • When: Now-November 15, 2012

  • Why: We have improved from a nation that seldom put a skier in the top 15 on the World Cup to a Nation with a World Cup Champion. Yet as a nation our developing athletes struggle to afford the racing opportunities they require to compete among the best.

  • How: There are two ways. 1) Become a Drive for 25 Ambassador. Create your own page and get at least 10 friends to donate $25. 2) go to grouprev.com/reese and donate $25

  • Who: You. The NNF is stepping up. The NNF Depends on you.

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Thanks for reading! More updates from Park City coming soon!

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Hammer Month

Monday, October 1st, 2012

September has been a busy month… For most competitive ski racers, it’s the month that finally brings a departure from the summer training regimen. This means more intervals than ever, more often, and they are generally more intense. That’s basically a nice way of saying that the training gets insanely tough this time of year; often, tough enough to make you question yourself and whether you are really going to be able to push through it.

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One thing that was a little less hard-core and lot more fun and inspiring was helping out with the Healthy Futures organization, which leads thousands of elementary school kids in running races, events, and activities. This really is an incredible program, having such a positive impact on the youth of the entire Anchorage area.

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I got to lead thousands of kids in some fun warm-up routines, which included dancing… in front of all of their cheering parents! But it was a good time, awesome to see so many kids stoked on running!

photo – Becca Rorabaugh

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Amongst all this, I have been trying to get creative with some photo stuff… I have always thought that a lot of the images that people see of our sport can get sort of repetitive and boring, so I want to try and get outside of that box and come up with stuff that is more interesting…

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I took a few of US Ski Team member and my APU team mate Sadie Bjornsen a little while ago, and you can check them out on my new photo website here:

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Other than that, the big news is that it snowed here in Anchorage, and its sticking up high. I’ve heard a bunch of people went yesterday, and that it was actually pretty good. I’m thinking about trying it out myself in the next day or two.

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Sadie and Rosie shredding the pow!

photo – Sadie Bjornsen

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Thanks for reading!

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