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
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.
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.
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!
So as fast as the winter kicked off it has ended. I was hoping to write a lot more about the season in sections through out all the racing, but I was too busy and never got the chance. So instead Im going to do an overview with some photos to help spice it up! It was a pretty good winter for me and I’m really happy overall with how the season turned out!
The serious racing started in Perisher with the first round of National champs. A classic sprint on Saturday and then a 10km skate on the Sunday.
Both days were solid for me, I was third Australian and 4th overall. I took a lot of confidence out of the races and really started to look forward to the next round of races back in Falls Creek.
So winter has certainly continued with heavy snowfalls! With a base of around a metre and a half we are set for the season! All I’m after now is sun!
So after the Australian team camp, the training kicked on and with most of the coaches still staying up at Falls, the camp basically seemed to continue on an extra week which was awesome! It was great to spend a session a day with coaches either working on technique or just being pushed during intervals.
So winter started wet, warm and slow. Pretty much describing me and my efforts with my pile of laundry from this weeks national team training camp. No one wants to be around that or likes it…
May and early June weren’t looking too good at all for winter and snow. It seemed like I was going to be doing a whole lot more wet “dry land” training, running in the rain. Then around three weeks ago the Snow Gods decided it was time to do their own washing and get this wet, steamy winter into white fluffy awesomeness! So like a bag of training gear exploding, it’s been pretty much non-stop snowing since! It’s been amazing how quickly it has spun into winter. As we approach the 2 metre mark with snow falls, it’s been amazing training and living up top.
So as promised the second blog for my Australian winter series! It almost feels like winter at home. All the leaves have turned and then fallen. The days are short and the weather has been grey with some serious storms thrown in. It’s just come into June. Everything is indicating winter, apart from the temperature! Every day it’s 15 degrees and just so warm. A week ago as I did intervals on Mt Buffalo there was a thunderstorm, with torrential rain. I was just in a long sleeve shirt and shorts. It was too hot for anything else. It felt like training in the tropics! It hasn’t fallen below zero on any of the mountains now for a few weeks, which isn’t ideal!
Enough with the weather worries for the time being. Two weeks ago I participated in the Mt Beauty half marathon weekend and an Australian training camp. I was really looking forward to the run on Saturday morning and I’d opted to do the 10km because it’s all on road and I haven’t been off single track for running yet.
So during the southern hemisphere winter I generally don’t keep a regular blog but I’m hoping to do a few (I think I say this every year!). It’s now my fifth week back in Australia and my last trip seems so long ago. I am already deep into mapping out and planning my next season and trip. I am really keen to get over to America again and start working!
That being said, I’m in Australia so I should talk about Australia! I am back into hard training, and with it my love of running! There is something about running, which I love. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been doing a bunch of runs with some ultra running athletes to keep me on my toes, which is awesome! They have really changed my perception of hard training and it seems a 2-hour mountain run is just a warm up for these mad cats! If it doesn’t require poles because the terrain is so rugged and steep, or a head torch because you decided to run before work which means we are all out there in short shorts at 5:30am, then it’s a fairly boring, standard run!
Well it’s been a little while since my last blog. The last few weeks have been great and I’ve had an excellent mental break from racing and the regimented training regime. Spring in Alaska I’ll admit is pretty amazing. For basically a month straight we had perfect sun and great temperatures hovering around 0 degrees C. My day would generally consist of getting up to a perfect blue bird day, having a lazy breakfast and then planning the days adventure with Lauren. Generally this would be a hike, crust ski, back country ski or run through the forest. Pretty much heaven for me. In the evenings I had an awesome opportunity to get into a wood working shop, so I had a great time being creative and literally whittling away the hours. There was a sign on one of the walls of the shop that said “The hours I enjoy wasting aren’t wasted hours” which seemed very appropriate for that period of time. Before I let photos do the rest and give you a visual of what I’m talking about, I need to talk about skiing once more. But just once, I promise. Without question for the last two years I’ve rapidly improved as a skier and have reached a whole new level of racing. A level where I am able to race on the World Cup circuit and World Championships and be a member of the Olympic shadow team. This is mainly due to my coach “The Boss” August Teague. He is by far the main reason I’m skiing where I am today and sadly this has been his last winter with us. I hope he might work with us from time to time in the Northern Hemisphere. He is moving on to his own business and other coaching opportunities. He’s set the bar high for my future expectations, as a coach, and the last two years have been great. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors!