Sunday, October 19, 2014

Healthy Teeth, Warrior Dash World Championships, and Fall Camp

I have had a hard time deciding which I like better, the monkey or the dragon.  Both have great smiles.

Soon to be Dentist Audrey and a few of her friends at the Boys and Girls Club.

We had a nice treat at the Boys and Girls Club last week with a visit from the University of Minnesota dentistry students.  Our good friend Audrey Weber is in her second year of dental school and organized a visit with seventeen of her classmates to come teach the kids more about their teeth and dental hygiene.  The kids had a lot of fun learning the proper way to floss and brush their teeth,  dressing up as a dentist, making tooth molds, and more.  A big thank you to Audrey for organizing the afternoon and helping make the smiles at the Club even better.

Kids earned entry to the Dental activities though some physical fitness games such as knuckle push ups.

Caitlin and the crew staying active while they wait their turn to meet the dental students.

Playground Training
Ski training took a bit of a back seat to some running and obstacle training these last two weeks.  Caitlin qualified for the Warrior Dash World Championships last April and a few weeks ago I was approved to compete in the race as well.  The race promised a unique and fun challenge as well as $100,000 in prize money.  Our Minneapolis training group came together for a little practice interval session at the playground at French Park.  We had to start real early so that we wouldn't scare the kids away.  Thankfully at 7:30 the temperatures were just above freezing and we were able to complete our workout before the younger kids came to play.

Fall, my favorite time of year in Minneapolis
One of the prettiest 5km Road Races I have ever done is the Historic Riverfront 5 km from Boom Island Park in Minneapolis.  One of several 5 km races in the metro the weekend after the Twin Cities Marathon.  The colors are at their peak in the Twin Cities and the course runs from Boom Island Park along the east bank of the Mississippi, crosses the stone arch bridge and returns up the west bank and back over the Plymouth bridge.  On the start line I noticed one of the other women looked extremely fit and vaguely familiar.  One of the other runners asked if she did many running races and she mentioned she did more triathlons.  It then hit me that it was World Champion Gwen Jorgensen, now Gwen Lemieux.  One of my ITA teammates Sara Groff is a triathlete and I have become a big fan of Triathalon and watching her and Gwen race.  We ran the first two miles of the race together and I just barely got her by the finish line.

Caitlin, Gwen (Jorgensen) Lemieux, Pat Lemieux and Me
It is pretty fun to meet one of your heroes in person.  It is also pretty cool that a little neighborhood 5km would have 3 of the Twin Cities Olympians.

Olympic Slideshow and Ice Cream Social with the Minnehaha Academy Ski Team.

Caitlin and I on the road for our Fall training camp
It has been great to be at home for over two months but I am excited to start my fall training camp.   I love everything I do in and with the community at home but am ready for some training and recovery time with minimal distractions.

Caitlin and I post Warrior Dash World Championships

Check out Caitlin's blog for a recap of our Warrior Dash World Championships.  We were dissapointed to leave with a goose egg of prize money to support our ski season but the smiles and memories were awesome.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Make Skiing a Family Affair

Family skiing has been a theme the last two weeks here in Minneapolis.  One of the great benefits of not traveling for any camps the last two months is the chance to be a greater part of the Twin Cities community.  

Hanging out before the North Minneapolis Middle School Ski Night 
The North Minneapolis middle school programs had a kickoff event to start of their season.  In addition to the standard logistics and planning for the season the event was targeted at connecting with the parents of the kids in the program.  One of the programs that The Loppett foundation is offering is the opportunity for parents of kids on the team to come and take ski lessons for free.  I think this is a great way to really grow the sport.  My start in skiing really came from getting out as a family and going skiing and to have everyone embracing winter is a great thing.

Hiawatha SkiKlubb MYSL Clinic
Sticking with the theme of family skiing we did a clinic with the Hiawatha SkiKlubb.  The clinic was for kids and adults.  We warmed up together and then split up into a kids and adult group.  Participants had to pay attention as when we came together the kids taught the adults how to improve their downhill tuck and the adults taught the kids to double pole.  
One of the goals of the club is to make it so skiing isn't a 'drop off event' but rather a chance for both kids and adults to get in a workout and have fun.  

Loppet Foundation Member Event: Canoe
Caitlin and I helped host the September Loppet Member Event.  The perfect Sunday evening became even better with a surprise catered meal for participants.  After dinner we enjoyed the sunset as we paddled the chain of lakes.  My twin brother and my sister-in-law were in town and her family joined for the event too.  Although it is always fun to eat with family, it is even better to be active.

On my way to a new course record for my 10 km Time Trial.
Training has been great as well as I finished off my last big volume week of the year complete with a test on my 10 km time trial.  I performed the time trial last year on the exact same day and this year I was able to better my course record by 5 seconds.  I am real happy with that as I was slower in my early August test.

Hiawatha SkiKlubb Clinic #2
Tonight's clinic with the Hiawatha SkiKlubb felt a bit more like Fall as we huddled close together to stay warm.  After a brief talk about goal setting and everyone writing down 5 of their personal goals down we got to the workout and no one had to worry about being cold.  We are all excited for winter.

A huge thanks to our community and sponsors who make this ski racing dream a reality.  Last year we had our best seasons to date thanks to a successful community donation campaign through Fundly.  If you would like to support our ski racing and community efforts please donatate or spread the word about our campaign