It seems like winter is finally here, after teasing and tempting us for weeks and weeks, showing glimpse of white in the mountains and hills we finally received our first snow fall of the year. It was such a nice feeling to wake up to everything being clean and white, covered in that perfect all consuming blanket.
It’s perhaps the first time in quite a while I was excited to see snow, I was actually really pumped. I think this is the result of missing the winter back in Australia, I actually am glad to be finally back on snow and the summer in Alaska and the longer wait has made me eager again.
Training has been going really well. Most of the APU team headed down for a camp in Park City, however a small bunch decided for different reasons to stay behind. I spent the last few weeks training with Andre and Logan; Andre is currently in the best shape of his life and Logan is one of the best sprinters in the US so it made for a great little training group. I had opted for only a few days of easy training during my last recovery week before jumping back into full training load, and the result was that I was really starting to feel the accumulative effect of a lot of weeks stacking up. I was tired but pretty fired up to finish off the training period. With Logan especially, we did a lot of really hard short and sharp bounding intervals. It was really great being pushed by him and just trying to hang with him for each one. I have seen some really decent improvements in my sprinting and speed work this summer but I’m yet to feel like I’m in the race zone. However seeing as it’s the early days of winter and I have been so fatigued I’m not surprised nor really worried.
Last Friday was my final training session of the block and the beginning of a real rest period for me. It was again 10×2 min of bounding at maximum effort with Logan. An absolute lungs and legs destroyer. However last Friday was also the day of the first snowfall, and the upper part of Anchorage received 20-30cm of snow overnight. Where we lived had only received 5-10cm so we assumed that there wasn’t that much snow around and not enough to ski. So when we arrived at the trails with runners and bounding poles and no skis we were in for quite a shock. There was easily enough snow to skis, however it was so light and fluffy it was possible to run thought it too albeit a bit of leg resistance training thrown in too.
We warmed up in the snow and Logan and I packed out our two minute hill as best we could for the intervals. Doing the already really tough intervals on a uneven and slippery surface really added an extra element to the workout and made us keep really good technique.
After the session we drove home and even though it’s Alaska, people still seem to be surprised by the snow. On the way home we passed two cars off the road and on the radio it was reported that there were 17 major accidents that required police involvement. Pretty crazy.
That day and evening all the guys in town made plans to go skiing up in the mountains or on the trails near by, but sadly I had to decline.
Friday evening Lauren and I flew to Seattle and spent an evening sleeping at the airport waiting for our connecting flight. Early on Saturday we jumped on a plane from Seattle and headed to Denver, Colorado. As our last rest week before the racing season, we decided to have a small holiday out of state and tie a few trips together. In Denver we were met by Lauren’s brother who is an engineer in Fort Collins, a university town on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. We spent four days there, hiking, soaking in the amazing Colorado sun and enjoying ourselves. On Wednesday we flew to Yosemite National Park and met up with my brother who is on holiday over here with his partner and the four of us will spend six days traveling in Yosemite, and finishing up in San Fransisco. We fly home on the last day of October and from there it’s only 18 days till our first races of the season! I will start off with some Alaska state FIS races to tune up with and try and find a little bit of the race feeling before flying down to Bozeman, Montana for the the first Supertour of the year.