Sunday, October 30, 2011

Who wants a PPP?

Everyone enjoys a Pizza Party, especially when you can have your own Personal Pan Pizza (PPP). Caitlin and I hosted a party for the neighborhood kids last Thursday night. The original plan was to host the party at the Harrison Community Center but things fell through so we held the party at our house.

The kitchen is small to begin with so the 9 of us decided that we would have to be very clean and orderly. We washed our hands and set up stations to prep our ingredients. I stayed in charge of the oven but the kids did all the chopping, mixing, creating and cleaning.
What is that green stuff? ... Spinach

Gerry, Javaree, DJ and Adanis enjoying their Personal Pan Pizza

We learned proper and fastest way to chop onions, how to carve a fresh pinapple (on sale at Aldi's this week for $1.69), shred cheese, spice up canned tomato paste, slice mushrooms, cut apples, and cook sausage. With all of our ingredients ready to go we were ready to make some mean pizzas.

We sliced specialty breads in half to create the crust and everyone built their own creation. The bread came courtesy of the Salvation Army and Target. Target drops off bread that is older but still good and amazingly the whole grain and speacilty breads are the ones still sitting there at the end of the day. The breads looked pretty scary to the kids but once we convinced them that the carraway seeds were not bugs and the olives not giant raisins we decided that the bread was pretty good. It is good for you too.

Dinner time for Thomas Ave N

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Recovering with a 3.5 hour run in the Mountains

One of the worst things that can happen to an athlete during training camp is to catch a cold. Red leaves and the promise of snow in the future also bring around the common cold. Combined with tougher training in preparation for racing season and sickness can be tricky to avoid. Three days in to our second week of high altitude fall training camp I found myself with an itchy throat and a water faucet for a nose.

For many people the common cold is simply a nuisance but for an athlete it can be a big deal. During the racing season when I get a cold I generally take time off from training until I feel I have recovered, however since it is only October I decided to try and train through my head cold. The risk in training through your cold is that it can move from your head to your chest and then go from days to weeks before you recover.

I am very fortunate to have my teammate and wife, Caitlin
to help take care of me at home and on the road.

I backed off my weekly training load by decreasing the intensity in my workouts. I think the blood moving around in my body when I trained at a distance pace and heart rate actually helped flush some of the sickness out of me.

It is hard at training camp to ski easy and slow when your teammates and friends are working hard in intervals and time trials but the patience paid off. I woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful fall day and the ability to breath out of my nose.

Noah, Caitlin and Mikey and I set off for a nice long run in the mountains.

One of my favorite things to do in addition to ski racing is to run, hike and climb in the mountains. I grew up in the Cascades of Washington and my passion for the mountains has for the most part been put on hold as I pursue my ski racing goals and dreams. I am grateful for the opportunities I do get throughout the year to play in the mountains and train for skiing.

The mountains have always had a rejuvenating effect on me.
I finished our run on Saturday tired but feeling healthy and fresh.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chicago XC 2011 Clinic

Caitlin, Karl and I headed down to Chicago this weekend for the 3rd Annual Fall Rollerski Clinic. With over 30 participants the weekend was a huge success. Our host and clinic coordinator Tom Devoratchek picked us up from O'Hare on Friday afternoon and we headed downtown to check out the lakefront.

The windy city lived up to it's name with some wild weather. 22 foot waves were recorded in the middle of the lake and part of the boardwalk was closed down after a bicyclist was blown in to the lake. We waited for a break in the clouds to get out for a nice recovery run.

Who needs the fountains of the Belagio when you can watch the waves roll in to the break-wall.

We had beautiful weather with morning and afternoon sessions. We kept busy in the evenings watching the US Nordic Combined National Championships (contested on rollerskis) and giving a presentation at Benedictine University.

I am having a bit of tech troubles, but you should be able to click below for a great video of the clinic put together by Chris Wilson.