Fitness and Health.

So time for some athlete musings, another blog to slide into the “chasing the unicorn chronicles”.

If you aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about, click the link here to go back to the first chronicle. Basically it’s in addition (a side note) to my weekly blogs, an athlete’s thoughts and perspective on life.

Fitness and health.

Two simple words that mean such different things to many people and provoke different ideas. The definitions themselves change from person to person.

It’s Christmas break and I’m writing this as I fly up to Alaska to spend it with my girlfriend. Across the aisle of the plane is a lady who is able to rest her chin on top of her belly/ bust (due to the enormity of her bulk) and nap. I’ll admit I am a little jealous (as I can’t find a comfortable position to sleep in). I wonder what her definitions are compared to mine.

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Balmy Bozeman

Well post Supertour races here in Bozeman and things have got warm. So warm that some of the hard-core locals were out in shorts and T-shirts jogging about like it was summer (it was maybe plus 7C). It’s all fun and games running in short shorts until you go for slide on your bum…  With all the warm temperatures we lost a lot of snow. Everywhere in town melted out. However luckily there are trail systems deep in the mountains and through canyons where temperatures stay low and the skiing is actually really good.

Mid week melt out.

Mid week melt out.

Each day we drove the team van up to one of the local canyons and headed out. The first two miles of the trip were always interesting. The very bottom of the canyon was melted out but then it froze to form a slab of ice. This meant at the start and finish of each day you had to be seriously on your toes to navigate the ice and keep it wax side down!

Skiing the Canyon with the boys

Skiing the canyon with the boys

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Bozeman Supertour

As promised an update on the weekends Supertour racing.

Well, if I thought the racecourse at West Yellowstone was fairly unique then the racecourse at Bozeman is an adrenalin rush!

I have heard a few different reasons for why they created the course but none seem to really explain it in my opinion. It is amazingly winding and narrow. It feels like you’re on a skiing rollercoaster ride for almost 5 km.

Leading into the race weekend, we got hit with another warm spell and things were ugly. The pre-race on Friday was a warm, sloppy mess. I went home Friday night thinking that the sprint the next day was going to be carnage and a suffer fest.

It was carnage but for a completely different reason…

The part of the sprint course with Bridger Mountains in the background.

Part of the sprint course with the Bridger Mountains in the background.

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Honourable Mentions

Another weekend in Bozeman has passed. I have now been in the US for three weeks.

Things are going really well for me here in Bozeman and I thought it would be very appropriate to thank some of the silent supporters apart from my family that have helped me get here. Robyn Neeson, Michael Bourke, Becky & Neil Besanko, Pete Dingle & Karoline Klein and James Rumbold all deserve a special mention for supporting me to help me get to where I am today. I am really grateful for their ongoing support and words of encouragement! I really appreciate and enjoy reading all the comments and emails that people send me! Keep them coming!

I wouldn't be able to be in this race suit or over here in the US without all your support!

I wouldn’t be able to be in this race suit or over here in the US without all your support!

I will write a full race report on the weekends racing soon. But I wanted to post this first. I have recently created a rallying support page at the top of this blog and there is a link attached here if you would like to consider supporting me.

I’m having an excellent start to my season and my results are looking promising for the next few months. I head up to Canada this weekend for the last races before Christmas and I’m looking forward to cranking out some fun fast skiing once again.

None of this would be possible without your support so again, a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me get here.

Train hard, rest easy, live for the moment.

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West Yellowstone

So the first weekend of racing is over. The first racing period has begun- four weekends of racing in a row leading into Christmas. The West Yellowstone ski festival has been a lot of fun and fairly successful. Early in the week we got a lot of snow and then it warmed up melting the snow a little. Then it all froze solid… Everything went to a sheet of hard ice. It made skiing, racing and driving challenging. Even walking the streets was a battle and people were falling everywhere!

You can't have a team of 40 athletes and juniors without some vans!

You can’t have a team of 40 athletes and juniors without some team vans!

I was rooming with fellow Aussie Mark Pollock, which was a lot of fun and made living really easy. He is also racing with BSF for part of the season, which is great. I went into the weekend of racing feeling really good and ready to throw down!

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Montana

As always, time has flown by. Being on the road and living in a new place hasn’t given me much of a chance to sit down and write. On the positive though, it means I’ve been out and about, getting settled into my new life!

Climbing higher and getting more of a view of Bozeman

Climbing a local hill to get a view of Bozeman and my new home during a run.

I was plunged straight into winter on arrival in Bozeman with the first few days being beautiful and clear but a cold -25C. I took the first few days nice and easy, not wanting to push it. Then once I was settled I began training with the BSF elite team. For the first few days I stayed with the elite team coach before moving into the centre of town. The weather slowly warmed up from nippy -25C and the training got a little more intense.

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The USA.

So this week has been the craziest week I’ve had for a while. I had great news on Monday (10th) afternoon when I got a phone call from the US embassy saying that they had printed out my 5 year visa into my passport and I should receive it in a day or two by courier! I was so stoked to finally hear it! However his meant that someone had to always be home to sign off the package in case the courier came. So for the next two days Mum and I took it in turns being on house arrest, waiting for the sound of crunching gravel as a van pulled in. We were both very excited but nervous, waiting and hoping for it to arrive. I had reserved flights for the 15th of November, in other words that Saturday. On Thursday (13th) Mum and I started to ring around asking the courier company if they had it or not. Sadly they hadn’t seen it and after calling the US embassy we discovered they still hadn’t sent it out! At 4:30 on Thursday they finally sent it out to the courier company who for what ever reason decided to send it on a holiday up to Sydney… Yep not ideal. Continue reading

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Four Peaks Climb

The Four Peaks Climb series, now renamed the Bright Alpine Climb is a set of mountain running races in my local area. As the original name suggests the race involves running up four of the hardest mountains in the area in four days. Back to back. It’s a really fun event with over 300 entrants for the 4 days.

It started off on Saturday like a quick jab to the face! Sharp and deadly!

Pack your rock climbing gear because it’s Mystic Mountain. It’s possibly the steepest track I have ever had to run up and at times you need to use your hands to clamber to the top. I started the day off with two past Australian ski team legends, Ben Derrick (BD) and Andrew Mock plus Australian team physio and good friend Ben Bond. Mocky was in a punishing mood and set a deadly pace.  A quick jab turned into an absolute barrage of hits as I suffered up the climbs. In the end the two skiing veterans pulled away and managed to beat me by around 2 minutes. They seemed to float up the steep climb when I labored along.

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Spring editions plus a race calendar!

Ironically I know I’ve been going on and on about how much I love the sun, but this week I started getting up earlier and training earlier in the mornings and later in the afternoons to avoid the hottest part of the day. I was loving the warm Spring days, but now that the mercury is sitting on 30C most days I’m feeling like a turkey in an oven roasting away! My body clearly isn’t use to heat and at times I feel like I’m running around like aqua man, I’m that hot and sweaty (too much info?). Hydration has become pretty important and so I’m like a baby with a bottle constantly carrying one around after each hot session.

As it gets warmer these guys seem to spend a lot more time hanging around.

As it gets warmer these guys seem to spend a lot more time hanging around in our yard.

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Heart Palpitations

Spring has been glorious at home, sunny, warm and ideal for training. I’m waiting to get my visa for the US. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, wanting to open that present they know is sitting under the tree, but being held back by their parents. I know an announcement is coming but I just can’t wait. There is still the off chance that my stocking will be filled with coal and I’ll be rejected by the US immigration, but I’m hoping it will be fine. The up side of me bouncing up and down, waiting for my visa like a kid that’s eaten too many candy canes, is that I’ve plenty of time to enjoy the Aussie spring!

Nice view from Feathertop down to the ovens Valley

Nice view from Feathertop down to the Ovens Valley

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