Sunday, August 30, 2009

Whistler NEG camp report from Isabel

On Thursday I traveled to Whistler for the NEG training camp. So far, the camp has been awesome. We all got to Seattle around the same time and then the twelve of us, ten athletes and two coaches, drove up to Whistler together in a Sun Valley van. We are staying in Zach and Amy’s old house, which is nice, but there isn’t any furniture so we have had a fun time decorating the house with Chuck Norris and Bob Marley posters. I am staying in Gunnar’s old room with Adele.
In the mornings, we drive up to the Olympic venue and train with the USST. On Friday we did an easy skate on the road leading to the venue and then we finished off the ski by skiing around on the Olympic trails for a little bit. Up at the venue, there are about three or four kilometers of paved trails which are really nice to ski on. On the way back, we swam at an awesome lake with huge cliffs to jump off and a rope swing. Most people jumped off of a fifty-foot cliff, I was one of the people who didn’t do because I am terrified of heights. In the afternoon, we ran out to a park in Squamish and did a strength circuit. It was fun, first we had a game of ultimate Frisbee and then we did jumps and strength, which made us all sore the next day. At the park there was a really cool playground that we played on after the strength. While we were working out, our mother, Ben Husaby, cooked us tortellini and pork, which was very delicious, and then we watched the Big Labowski and went to bed.
Saturday was level three classic intervals in the morning at the Olympic venue. It was fun, it is pretty cool to be able to see all the really fast skiers skiing right next to you. In the afternoon we took a beautiful run/hike. We drove up a really rocky dirt road to get there and picked up a hitchhiker from England. When we started hiking, we were in the trees for a while, but then we got above the tree line and there were beautiful mountains all around us. I brought the camera on the hike so I got some pictures. For dinner we had some delicious quesadillas and then we watched Dumb and Dumber before going off to bed.
This morning, we went up to the Olympic venue and did skate speeds. It was a really fun workout. We had three separate groups and three stations that we would rotate through. The groups were all random so we got to ski with a bunch of good people. My group had Chris Cook and Liz Stephen, so Jessie and I got to follow Liz on a few speeds. It is a great way to learn and you can see that we are definitely slower than the national team people, but we are not all that far behind. The weather has been amazing and the trip has been great. I have been able to ski with awesome skiers and meet a lot of really fun people. Here are some pictures of the hike and the Olympic venue, just click them to make them big.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ash's Australia update

Here is an e-mail that Ashley sent earlier this week. Thought you might be interested to see what's going on down there. She is excited to be returning here in November.

Well all the selection races are over now, we had the last ones last weekend.
Since I last emailed there has been Australian sprint champs, Victorian Interschools, and Australain Champs (a 5km classic and a 5km skate). I wasn't going to go up to the sprints champs, but one of my coaches offered a lift up and then to drive me over to another mountain for the interschools the next day.

The course was more technical than the sprints the previous weekend (d'Arcy and I were happy about that, thanks to all those drills we've done at SMS). I had a realy good race, and won the time trail (giving me a 0% average ranking for sprints) and then had a pretty easy semifinal to go onto a really good final with two Victorian's and two NSW people. I had another good one - cut a few people off - and ended up winning, with a NSW girl and the other Victorian battling out for second (NSW won unfortunately!). It was a good day!

The next day was the interschools, not really much competition in my age group, so i used it as a practice for time trials when i dont' have anyone to chase.
I won the indivifdual 3km classic by a few minutes, and my team won in the classic and we won the relay by about 4 mins! It was good fun :)

The weekend after was the Australian champs in NSW. Snow was sloppy and not the nicest. Started getting a cold on friday.
Saturday was the skate race, i felt pretty bad, didn't have a great one, ended up 3rd in the under 16's to a couple of NSW girls. Sunday was the 5km classic. It POURED. We were all skiing in the rain, hardly anyone warmed up on skis, everyone was jumping round inside the shelter. I was feeling pretty bad again, very unmotivated to go skiing in the rain. Then my friends dad was talking to my mum and told us the magic cure for when you're not feeling good.

Tea, with lots of sugar
Then gatorade to help it be absorbed.

IT was amazing!! I had that about an hour before the race, and then by the race i was feeling much better, and had my best race of the season!! Haha.
I started second to last out of the 10 skiers in my age group, 30 second intervals, and i passed everyone :) it was fun !! We all came in looking like we'd jumped in a swimming pool. Had to dry off with a towel. Beautiful Australian weather, I bet you all wish you were over here!!

So i think i should have achieved my goal of making the Aus team, but the new team hasn't been announced yet so we'll see!

This weekend is the kangaroo hoppet (world loppet series) so we're just about to do the 5hr drive up to the mountains to race tomorrow. Should be lots of fun, it always is!

I'll let you know how the season finished up when it's over!

I saw all the stuff on the blog about summer training. WOW. Looks like alot of hard work! I guess school goes back pretty soon??
Say hi to everyone from me!!

Ash xo

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weddings and Dream Teams.

Ryan Foster got married last weekend. It was a great wedding and Kate, his bride, was radiant and beautiful (sorry, I don't have a picture of her).
A marriage is not something out of the ordinary, but the group in the wedding party was very special to this old coach, so I am going to brag about them.
Ryan chose his wedding party to be his high school teammates: Dave Smutok, Andy Newell, Gus Kaeding and his brother Ethan ( Ryan's sister Mae was also a bridesmaid).
I have been very lucky to be able to coach a lot of great, dedicated kids. This group of boys was a "dream team". As a high school team, they were better then any college team in the East. Andy, Ryan and Dave finished 1,2,3 in the combined J1/OJ race at JO's. Andy, Ryan and Ethan all collected prizes at World Junior Championships (prizes are awarded to top 6 finishes). When Andy and Ryan graduated, they had gone 4 straight years of winning every Eastern Cup for their age group.
Gus and Andy are still racing, the others skied in college and have moved on with their lives, but they remain great friends.
It was fun seeing them all together and it got me thinking. What makes a really good team into a great team? Everyone wants to do well, most people work really hard, coaches don't often change their approach. What is the secret that allows a group to excel?
I think with this group it was their deep rooted friendship. We always train well and get good exposure (at races and with alumni training with us). We always discuss training, tweak plans, work on technique and try to get adequate rest and nutrition.
This group just seemed to have that special bond. They had a common goal, they trusted each other and they were totally happy in their pursuit of excellence. Collectively, they took the next step. Everyone who skis wants to be a skier, they WERE skiers.
Sverre, Dave, Andy, Ryan, Mae, Ethan and Gus.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

SMS Jr Camp wraps up

Yesterday was Justin Freeman day (he won the mtn run and then talked to the campers in the afternoon). Today we had a distance classic ski and were lucky to finish just before the rain arrived.
The group this year was excellent. They all worked hard and made some nice technical improvements. Thanks to Andy, Justin, Poppet, Cameron, Matt, Lilly and Kate for helping out.

The distance workout included plenty of flat sections to work on our douple pole technique and endurance and 2 sizable hills ( 4 km and 3 km) to work on striding. The goal was to keep the heart rate in a comfortable zone and to work on efficiency. The crew was getting tired from all of the training over the last couple of days, but it was a quality work-out.

The second hill was a little shorter and a little steeper. Everyone had a nice opportunity to work on a relaxed stride. Doug and Chris S. decided to work their arms a little more so they double poled up.

Hannah, Justin and Adam are all smiles after winning the Mountain run.

Sprint winners Isabel, Skyler and Bridger show off their prizes.

What do these gals get for all that hard work? New t-shirts and new friends!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Justin Freeman and Hannah Smith fly at Jr. Camp Mtn. Run

Justin set a new course record and Hannah just missed a long standing record at the Stratton Mountain run this morning. The entire group gave great efforts. Some felt great, others had to push through pain (see the pictures), but everyone should be happy with their effort. After the run, everyone was rewarded with Power Bars.

Here are the results:
Justin 20:43, Patrick 22:35, Adam 24:40, Noah 25:56, Austin 26:08, Skyler 26:31, Bridger 26:43, Calvin 26:48, Cobby 27:44, Brian 27:57, Cam 28:05, Spencer 28:13, Chris B. 28:16, Hannah 28:25, Sam 28:49, Austin H 29:10, Chris S. 29:29, Nate 30:24, Corey 30:56, Evan 31:02, Heather 31:04, Issy P 31:38, Mac 31:56, Gage 32:03, Hallie 32:23, Cambria 32:28, Hamish 32:45, Izzy C 33:08, Nolan 33:09, Cate 34:00, Peter 34:09, Rachel 34:41, Caitlin 38:45, Emilie 39:37, Emily 41:01, Rebecca 43:44

Friday, August 21, 2009

SMS Summer Camp Speed and Sprint Video

Check it out. Some speed pick-ups with one of the world's fastest, followed by some seeded sprint heats. video

Day 2 of SMS Jr Camp

We had another warm humid day at camp, so we "softened" the days activities a tad. We started with a pre-breakfast jog and stretch to help recover from yesterday's sprint practice. After breakfast we went to Ball Mtn Dam for 1 hour of classic technique work and 1 hour of upper body specific strength (double pole and single pole work). Andy Newell was there to help again and he spent some time with all of the groups and also jumped in the video with every group so that we will be able to compare our technique with his. For this camp, Justin Freeman is working with the older boys, Cameron and Sverre with the younger boys, Poppet with the older girls and Matt with the younger girls. We all train together, but these are our technique groups.
After the workout and the group pictures (see below) we took a dip in the snow making pond/lake and headed back for lunch.

This afternoon we had a talk on training and then took a nice run in the rain. It actually felt great because it cut the heat. After a quick shower and a change into dry clothes we went to the gym for some easy stretching.

We have some campers who are quite limber and some who are not......

After the stretching we played a couple of games of "knock out". This evening we will discuss goal setting and review video from the morning.