Last week was a fairly standard summer training week for me in Craftsbury, but that’s not to say it’s boring or without unexpected (and expected) challenges. I realized that if I ever want to write “this is not what I usually do,” in future posts, I might need to outline my idea of usual. This is along the lines of usual for 2 hard weeks out of every 3 weeks, and then the third week is easier training, and we keep repeating the cycle throughout the summer. A look at last week:
Pre-workout: wake-up, stretch, put on my puddle boots and go let the chickens out of their coop. Then breakfast, tea and maybe toast, maybe eggs, maybe oatmeal, I like to change it up.
Morning workout, 2.5 hour skate rollerski followed by a few minutes of jogging to stretch out. It was hot and humid, so the jog took the form of me booking it to a creek nearby so that I could swim.
Mid-day, prepare information and finish making calculations on an energy project for our upcoming dining hall renovation at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.
Afternoon workout. 1.5 hour run on the dirt roads with a few teammates
Morning strength circuit orchestrated by coach Pepa. A HARD one, with lots of jumps and several arms exercises right in a row. We do 4-6 rounds of our circuit, and during the first round, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it past 3-4 at most. But… strangely enough I felt better throughout, and made it through 6.
Mid-day meeting about the dining hall project with the architect and various other staff at the Outdoor Center.
Afternoon, run including the Craftsbury Outdoor Center Tuesday night 5k race at “tempo” which is a medium-hard pace. I expected it would be a struggle to run fast on the trails after our morning’s circuit, but my legs actually felt good and I had fun during the race.
Morning classic rollerski, 2.5 hours including 3×6 speeds of about 10-15 seconds. These kinds of speeds are for working on tempo, or power, or both, and we go as fast as we can possibly manage on the terrain of choice. I like classic rollerski speeds better than skate, and this was a good session for me, not too frustrating.
Afternoon – coaching, riding, and taking photos at the first “Bike Club” of the summer season. 40 kids signed up for this year’s bike club, an organized once-a-week program at Craftsbury coached by ski coaches and GRP athletes where we break into groups to learn skills, share tricks, and ride the single-track.
Our morning workout consisted of uphill running-with-poles intervals on a dirt road gradual climb near the Craftsbury village. After a 30+ minute warm up, I ran up the hill 6 times, taking around 9 minutes each time. Our coaches drive us back down the hill in between intervals, otherwise the rest would take too long. This was a particularly nice workout because while it’s ski specific with the poles, I also felt like it was good practice for my legs and the upcoming running races I’ll be competing in.
Mid-day several of us headed to the garden fields for a little post-lunch hoeing of weeds and mulching (applying thick layers of hay) between rows of squash and melons.
Afternoon Crossfit strength workout with fantastic coach Cady from Green Mountain Crossfit. Cady ran us through a warm-up circuit/stretching for a few minutes, and then we launched into a ladder of deadlifts, 5-5-3-3-2-2-2 reps, working up to our 2 rep maximum weight for the last set. The final challenge of the strength session was 11 minutes of dead lifts (at a lighter weight), hand stand push ups (or normal push-ups) and box jumps. Recipe for soreness tomorrow!
The morning was rainy, but Kelsey, Hallie and I ventured over to Belvidere Mountain about 30′ drive away for a run/hike with poles. We saw the fire tower looming above from the summit, if not much else, and enjoyed splashing through puddles on the trail for 2.5 hours.
In the afternoon, with continued rain showers looming, I opted for a 30′ skierg followed by 40 minutes of assorted core strength, arm/shoulder strength, and balance exercises. If you think it sounds hard to fill 40 minutes with core strength, no heavy lifting, no weights, think again and follow your favorite nordic skier into the gym. Between banded exercises, variations on sit-ups, variations of planks, balancing and hopping on blue balance disks, it’s not hard at all to fill the time, especially with friends and music.
Time for a morning OD – skate rollerskiing for 3:45 through the rolling green hills around Lowell, Troy, and other such small towns north of Craftsbury. It was a scenic day of skiing, and we passed countless barns and cow fields. I did get caught off guard by a tar snake – that’s a light-hearted term for those strips of tar they use to repair road cracks – which took me down and resulted in a little road rash, but the shock of falling passed quickly and it wasn’t a bad scrape at all.
Afternoon strength – 20′ run to warm up, a few minutes of mobility and core strength, and then lifting. My go-to exercises are such things as back squats, dead lifts, pull ups, bench press, dips, and beyond, typically around 4 sets of each exercise with medium weight. Strength really truly can make you feel better, like this afternoon, when I came into the gym a little sleepy and grumpy but left it tired in a different, better way, but also feeling happier.
Training week, complete! 23 hours, 130 miles covered, only a few drops of blood.
On Sunday, an easy day off from training, I spent the morning with a mix of weeding the berry patch and writing emails and crossing other computer-related to-do items off my list. After lunch at the Outdoor Center, most of us from the GRP and a bunch of coaches and Craftsbury junior/BKL skiers drove to Sterling College for an afternoon of trail work. It was a few hours well spent digging in the mud, finding rocks with a crew of Craftsbury kids to use for drainage features, carrying and rearranging logs, and taking a few photos to capture the process. In the evening, several of my teammates and I ventured out to Stowe to enjoy a bluegrass concert through Music in the Meadow at Trapp Family Lodge, a great end to a busy week!