Greetings from a sunny valley in Idaho!
July, the meaty middle of summer training, started with a blast of big training and mountain adventures where our fitness started to take hold. Building off that fitness, we began to build in intensity, meaning harder strength, bigger runs, and a couple of time trials.
One of those time trials, Harper's Hill time trial, consists of 1.4 grueling miles that take a shockingly long time to complete. It took me just under 15 minutes, which, for those keeping score at home, is a blazing 10 and a half minute mile pace. Straight up a mountain at altitude, that pace was good enough for me to set a personal record, which gave me security in my summer training and a little fire to keep on besting myself.
Right after the time trial, I headed home to Priest Lake in Northern Idaho to celebrate my mom's birthday and get in a little waterskiing (which totally counts as ski training, right?). A big training push followed by the instant release one gets from going home resulted in a little mid-summer illness. Luckily, I was home with Mommy and Daddy, so I decided to stick around for a few extra days and make sure that I was totally recovered before the Gold Team's big trip to AUSTRALIA, which will now completely dominate the content of this newsletter.
Back in June, I got a call from my coach asking how I would feel about spending most of August training on snow in Australia, to which I responded: 1. "Holla! Sign me up!" and 2. "There's snow in Australia?"
For any other folks dubious of the Australian winter, I can now confirm that, yes, there is snow in Australia, and, yes, I spent most of this month skiing on it. Organized with the help of SVSEF and the Australian National Team, the Gold Team trip down under consisted of 3-4 weeks of skiing, racing and exploring Falls Creek, which is in the state of Victoria (Also in the south. Near Antartica. That should also help clear up the fuzzy snow picture). We experienced some wild weather, pristine ski conditions and a manner of exotic critters above and below snow line.
In addition to our technique sessions, hours long crust cruises, downhill days and jungle kangaroo runs, we got the chance to hop in (get it?) on some racing as Australian Nationals took place right outside our door. In a skate sprint and 10K classic race, I placed 5th both days amongst a list of strong international and Australian competitors. While I would have loved to have done better (we always want to win, right?), it was pretty cool to walk away from the races feeling proud of my effort and making a few ski-specific fitness and technique goals with enough time to work on them before (North American) snow flies.
Here's a vid of the first half of our trip
I've got one more month of summer training ahead before diving into fall camps and early season racing. If time keeps flying like it has, I'll be deep in race season before I know it!
Until then, I'll keep you abreast of all things training and adventure.
Thank you, as always, for the love.
SVSEF Gold Team