Season in review: Part 1 – Fall

I originally intended on posting all of the contents of my journal and training journal. I’ve decided however, to give some of the training details as well as some “brief” thoughts and reflections. Hopefully, for those who enjoy an inside look at a serious athlete’s day-to-day life, this will prove to be edifying. In that vein, this project is meant to further the athlete-athlete connection we all subconsciously or consciously need! I don’t mean it in a way to boast or say, “This is how you should train,” but rather as just a simple look at what one athlete among billions happens to live like.

And so we begin with what is essentially season #3 in the life of the Shovel Lake Nordic Ski team.

October 22 – Week 1

Sunday – AM = 4 hr ride in Vail – MTB – nightmarish; tons of snow and mud; 3800 ft of climb

PM – off

Monday – AM = 1 hour lift

PM – 1 hr ski – calf hurts on outside…up and down IT band. It band bothering me in general – very frustrating

Tuesday – AM – off

PM – 70 min CL ski with some hills up at Beaver Lakes

Wed Am – 30 min run – leg ok during run; hut more after

PM – 90 min CL ski at golf course

Thursday – AM – 60 min UB and hamstring focused lift

PM – 60 min ski

Friday – AM – 70 min lift

PM: 80 min CL ski

Saturday – 90 min Classic ski

PM – Veloswap! Off

B – 4, S – 7.5, L – 3, Run – .5; Total = 15

I’m struggling with another annoying injury. Running was almost seeming to come back. It’s been over a year since the 100 mile weeks, but in the nice fall weather, I had finally worked my way up to a “real run” i.e. something that lasted 55 minutes. I only had one or two 6 to 7 mile runs, though, and then I fell off. My IT band acted up, a different injury than my foot injury, which had limited my running (and skiing somewhat…but I could ski as long as it was under 2.5 hours at one time). The IT band seems to be connected to the ridiculous volume of biking I just came out. Looking back, I remember right around this time I had a very strange upper respiratory pain. It lasted for literally 4 or 5 weeks. I thought it was a collapsed lung, but that didn’t check out – seems to be actually a pulled muscle from coughing! Crazy…since I really had only had a minor cold in the fall. I biked and trained through it! Couldn’t do pullups for a few weeks. At this point, I remember thinking I’d pretty much thrown in the towel on the whole ski season anyway. 10weeks ago, I had been ripped, strong, and rocking some serious roller ski workouts as well as getting back into running shape. In late August, though, I broke my rollerskis, had no pole tips, a broken helmet, broken road bike, and couldn’t lift because of the chest thing. I just went to biking…biked a lot ….and pretty much lost all of my upper body strength (and mass). My arms looked like Froome in week 3 of the Tour….I hadn’t done a ski specific workout, until this week, in about 2 straight months. Started out with some light sessions at the golf course…but….also discovered that I could DP at Beaver Lakes, right from my house, which averages much steeper grades than I will ever encounter on a DP specific course. Lots of strength that week…hmm…I can’t believe I did that – probably because I didn’t run as much I guess.

Wk 2

Sun – AM – 2 hour CL/DP at Golf Course – great ski!

PM – 2 hr 45 MTB – 2700 ft of climb – Went all over Leadville, up and down 7th street; ran into a student and biked with him…then biked all the way home. Church in between both workouts…feels like I’ve been training all day, but nice to be done before 3.

Mon – AM – 70 min lift UB/LB

PM – 80 min CL/DP – “getting dark early!”

Tues – AM – 30 min run

PM – 1 hour 45 MTB – 1500 ft climb

Wed – AM – UB and hamstring/posterior chain lift (70 min)

PM – 1 hour 45 MTB – went home – 1500k climb

TH – AM – 70 min DP – touch of L3 and L4 work

PM – 2 hour MTB with 1800k climb

Friday – Am – off

PM 80 min DP

Saturday – AM – 90 min DP with 2×10 min intervals (L3)

PM – drove to Steamboat….2 hour MTB ) Buffalo Pass – couldn’t do the whole thing …steep – 2k climb in first 5 miles – 2500 climb total

Totals – 20.5 hours; Biking – 10.5, Skiing – 7.5, Lifting – 2 , Running – .5

I remember that Sunday workout well. I was in the zone skiing; imagining I was on one of the flat Visma courses. So far, I’ve only been skiing on fish scale skis. I’ve also been doing DP only workouts for the most part. Those evening/after school bike rides test my fortitude for sure. They start out wonderful – winding through the single track at CMC, listening to sports talk shows from back home in Minnesota. But, with the sun falling faster each day, I know that if I’m going to bike home, I need to get on the highway soon, before it gets dangerous. Christie usually texts me after I’ve been riding for about 80 or 90 minutes. “Should I come and get you?” Now that I’ve biked home so many times, there is some familiarity with the BV lakes climb. it isn’t so bad. And so I commit to going all the way home. Some days, I commit very early, enabling her to drive our only car home whenever she wants, which is a true gift. But, as I’m pedaling up the last switchback, I always feel like I wish I could be teleported to my warm shower. I’m often finishing those rides around 6:30 or even 7. Just enough time to eat something warm, sit and decompress, and then eat a second dinner before bed. Then, it’s up again to repeat. Steamboat was a fun escape! I found Christie a 150$ melanzana for just 20 bucks at the SkiSwap.

Wk 3

Sun – 4.5 hour MTB – 3400k climb

Pm – off

Mon – AM – 2 mile swim

PM – 80 min DP at golf course

Tues – AM – 60 lift

PM – 80 MTB – meeting after school; went long; rehearsal at night

Wed – AM – 80 min DP up around the Mining District

PM – 1 hour 50 min MTB – 2k climb – went home

Thursday AM – 90 min DP/CL around Mining District

PM – off

Friday – AM – off

PM – 1 hour 40 min MTB

Saturday – AM – 8×5 DP hills at Mining District

PM- hill repeats at Beaver Lakes – 2 hour MTB/2500ft climb

Totals – total – 20 – ski 6; bike – 11.5; lift – 1 swim – 1.5

The mining district is my latest discovery. In September, the narrow, steep roads had been my oasis on the bike, and now, they were great for DP workouts. The snow was hard packed from the snowmobiles. I got up early – usually around 5:15, in order to be up at the start around 5:55. Using my slow fishscales would really serve as a sort of “overstrength” type workout for this technique. Things felt amazingly easy on the Mineral Belt later on in the year, that is for sure. Saturday was a fun workout – gotta go hard when you decide to go hard, I guess.

Wk 4 –

Sun – Am – 2.5 hr MTB/ 2k climb/in Denver cheering on Christie.

PM – 80 min DP in Mining district – lots of climbing

Monday – AM – 90 min DP Mining District

PM – 1 hr 45 min MTB – Mosquito Pass – 2k climb

Tues – AM – 60 min Full body lift

PM – 2 hr MTB – 2k climbing – feeling tired

Wed – AM – 95 DP/Cl ski at 6 am on mining roads

PM – 60 min CL ski on Ct 3 – just went up and down right on the road

Thursday – 95 DP on BLVD road

PM – 85 DP/CL on the Mineral Belt

Friday – AM – 30 min run – IT flared a little after …still not better

PM – 2 hr classic ski

Saturday –

AM – 1 hr 45 min at Beaver Lakes – CL ski – 30 min L3/L4 work – fartlek style intervals

PM – 75 Cl at Beaver lakes – + 20 min core – L5 sprints

Thinking about getting up and driving in the cold all the way to the Mining district on a random wednesday …before school…for 90 minutes of DPing on the road…on fishscale skis…makes me just ….makes my bones chill. Quarantine life has made me lazy I guess. It’s fun to see where the toughness was laid way back, early on in the year. The totals for this week were 22.75 hours….last week was only 20…I’m excited for nordic again – Thanksgiving training week is next!

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