Not that I'm counting the days, but I realized that I have one month left in Park City until mid-October. Per usual, time flies and the seasons change before I know it. For now, I've settled into a good rhythm of consistent training.
I've primarily been in Park City since the last time I wrote, with the exception of a quick trip to New York and a week in Steamboat Springs.
We had a really successful camp in Steamboat over the Fourth of July. I was impressed with how close all of us are at the moment. The juniors, Ben Loomis and Stephen Schumann are right up there pushing the rest of us, which is awesome! In fact, Ben lead the way on the HS75 jump hill and skied to third during the Mainstreet race, behind the Fletcher brothers. Stephen, only 16, posted one of the fastest times of the day on a brutal uphill time trial shortly before we left for Steamboat. Some serious motivation to be gained from this! And now I really understand how motivated Bryan and Taylor are from their fierce sibling rivalry.
In addition to our training schedule in Steamboat, we spent an evening with many of our supporters, fans and family. Steamboat is definitely the heartland of Nordic Combined in the US, making it a great place to reach out to our community. Although it is tough to be constantly asking for support from the same group of people, we're fortunate enough to have a community that sees our value and continues to help us meet our needs. And, we try to bring in a few new people to our fundraisers from outside the community.
I couldn't think of a better example of this than Tim Krumrie, who I met at our Octoberfest fundraiser last fall, and who returned to give some support this summer. Tim's background is a little different than anyone else who was there: he played for 12 years in the NFL and made one Super Bowl appearance. On top of it all, Tim grew up in a small town just outside of Eau Claire, and lived in Eau Claire during much of his career. He and his wife say they decided to move to Steamboat because nobody would care that he was an ex-NFL player there. Considering how many Olympians that town has produced, there's some truth in this.
Our camp in Steamboat was also my first opportunity to work with Nik Huber as our new jumping coach. Nik is Austrian, but is most recently coming from 5 years with Norway's Nordic Combined team. When he was looking for a change, we jumped on the opportunity to add him to our team. As he made clear, there aren't too many secrets to this game, and we're mostly doing the right things, but having his experience, perspective and attitude will be a huge boost to the team. I think his ideas mesh really well with Martin, our other coach on the jump hill, so we'll have great continuity going from one to the other.
Back in Park City, we sent some far jumps on the large hill in Park City before gearing up for another big intensity week. Last week was actually a bit lighter than most of our intensity blocks, but we still had two days of double intervals sessions, one time trial, one threshold-interval session, and two more level-4 intensity sessions! I was pretty happy to have my best race in far too long - a good sign of things to come! Meanwhile, Taylor continued to set the bar with another record for our Soldier Hollow race course.
One way that we make these big intensity weeks manageable is by adding a lot variety. In addition to skate and classic rollerskiing, we did one session of coordination challenging "soccer intervals," a bounding session up the ski resort, and had I got out on my mountain bike for an on-my-own session.
As always, I'm staying busy with classes at DeVry and evening shifts waiting tables at Adolph's Restaurant. Taylor, Bryan and I went to another fundraiser last week, this one for the Utah Olympic Legacy. The UOL manages the Olympic Park, where we jump, and as of this year, owns Soldier Hollow, home of the Olympic cross country ski trails. It was a good reminder of how lucky we are to have these facilities, which are among the few Olympic complexes in recent years that actually have had continued usage.
Next week is Springer Tournee and US Nationals already! Yes, 2017 Nationals are just one week from Saturday. Follow USA Nordic on Facebook and Twitter to keep up of the latest news.
Finally, my supporter OutThere is doing a fundraiser for its athletes. Purchase a ballcap from them here and $10 goes to your favorite OutThere athlete.
Where am I?