Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summertime S'mores Party

Each spring we have a big neighborhood work day to clean up the yards and get them ready and safe to play in all summer long.  Spring came a bit late to Minnesota and our clean up party was right before we headed off to Washington.  The neighborhood kids all pitched in to help clean up their yards and we promised a little s'mores party for a job well done, although we needed to wait until we were back from our spring training camp in the pacific northwest.

 "What's a s'more?" they asked... well, we got that one figured out now"

Jimmy showing off his fresh cooked s'more.  First time ever doing something like this.
We made a little urban camping trip of the evening with a nice fire, roasting marshmallows
 and ghost stories on the blanket.
Me and Melena

Monitoring my daily training
It is great to be home in Minneapolis and back to a routine.  I will not be traveling as much this summer and especially enjoyed my first true rest day last Monday with no travel and no work.  Training is going great.  I have been doing many workouts by myself as I have put a large emphasis on pacing this year.  You can tell from my splits below that I still have some work to do to be able to feel relaxed and comfortable and consistently feel and reach my goal pace. It is fun to have many mini goals within each workout.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Final Days on Snow

Enjoying the final days of grooming at the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center.  The Mountain did a great job of prepping the trail each day and managing the snow through stockpiling and plowing to last as long as possible.
With temperatures in the 80's it is hard to believe that skiing is just 30 minutes away 

After a solid 10 days on snow I returned to the Methow to work on technique with Scott and enjoy a few recovery sessions.  After years of hearing about it I finally got out to enjoy the Loomis Loop, a 52 mile ride in northern Okanogan county.
I am looking forward to heading home to Minnesota but not without one last run in the mountains.  Chad and I ran and scrambled up the ridge near Mt Robinson.  We had hoped to go to the peak but there was still quite a bit of snow and I figured it we made the trip more than 5 hours it wouldn't really be a recovery session.  
The mountains have always held a special place for me and although it doesn't make sense physiologically I tend to feel rejuvinated after a full day in the mountains.  It is hard to beat the cascades on a bluebird day

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ski to Sea... First race of the season on last years snow

The Ski to Sea race has been described as the Bellingham Olympics and is a multi-sport race from Mt Baker Ski Area to Bellingham Bay.  The race starts off with a 6.5km cross country ski, followed by a downhill ski (although it is more of a climb since you start and finish in the same spot), road run, road bike, canoe, mountain bike and sea kayak.  I have been racing in the event since high school and it is fun to add an on snow race to my May training.  A huge thank you to John and Beth Barron of Barron Heating for sponsoring the team.  We have a great group of guys that look forward to the race each year.  I have really enjoyed getting to know the other members of the team. They are some of the top in their fields with Greg Barton leading the way (two time Olympic Gold Medalist-1988).  The cross country ski leg makes up the largest ski race in Washington with nearly 500 participants.
Testing out skis before the race.  Sloppy mash potato conditions 
After an 8 year run of great weather for the race this year proved to be a wet one
The race went well and I finished just ahead of Tad Elliot to put team Barron Heating in the lead.  Tad and I finished the race and immediately went to watch and cheer the other racers.  I kept looking for Caitlin to finish but I never saw her and I began to worry.  Turns out she had a GREAT race and finished THIRD Overall! She beat many top male skiers in the country including my teammate Sam Naney, Kent Murdoch, and Marco Bedard.  Marco Bedard is one of Canada's top bi athletes and although he didn't have a very good race, I am impressed with Caitlin.  Congratulations Babe!

The second place team had one of the top sea kayakers in the world on their team so we knew it would be a hard fought race to the finish.  Last year we won the race by just seven seconds.  The rest of the crew kept the ball rolling and we won the race for the second year in a row.  A big benefit of the win is a round trip ticket on Alaska Airlines.  With Super Tour Finals in Alaska this year I am really excited to have the ticket.
We were the first car off of the mountain so we could make it back to celebrate our good friend's Chad and Cari's wedding
Disassembling the Fawn Hut which we hope to turn in to a place of our own for when we are training in the Methow.  The cabin needs some work and it will likely be a project for after Sochi but we had to move it from it's former resting spot by Memorial Day weekend.
Waxing up the classic skis for an on-snow interval session in Bend, Oregon

We are now in Bend Oregon for a week assuming the snow holds up. The skiing has been good but the weather has been too which means the snow is melting fast.  Life has been busy and training is hard.  I am looking forward to my first week of full time training next week.