After one jump session on snow last week I took a quick trip home to see the family. It was kind of sad leaving after just getting back to winter jumping and getting back to no-snow Wisconsin. As it turned out, I didn't miss any jumping and we got just enough snow to get a bit of skiing in at home. Besides, it was a lot of fun and a worthwhile time home regardless.
As an early 50th birthday present to my dad the rest of my family kept my coming home a secret from him. It worked out just perfect surprising him. I got into town right when my dad was helping coach the local club cross country ski group. My mom dropped me off outside the park that they were at and as a I rollerskied into the parking lot they were in a group getting ready to head out. Needless to say, Dad was pretty surprised to see me. "What the hell are you doing here?" was all he could say at first.
While I was home, along with celebrating my dad's birthday, we had an early Thanksgiving as a family. My grandparents and one of my neighbors came over for the feast on Saturday. We had ten main course dishes and two pies!
The next morning we got an inch of snow and decided to take out some old skis and ski on the grass at the soccer park. I've never skied on this little snow but it was actually doable and I ended up getting a solid two hours in. I certainly hadn't planned to ski on the fields for that long but one of my Dad's friends came over and we worked on technique and discussed skiing for a while. I'm going to be start giving ski lessons this winter so it was good to get a bit of experience of experience being the coach rather than the athlete for once.
It was fun to be back and see the family, but after three and a half short days at home I hopped back into the car, onto a plane, into my car, and got right back to training with the team.
We got our first real skiing up on Rabbit Ears Pass on Sunday. It was even better when we skied yesterday, and this afternoon should be equally sweet. We're not the first place to get good snow, but the East has already lost most of their snow, I haven't heard of much else in Colorado besides above Breckenridge at another 1000ft higher than Bruce's trail, and the plateau in West Yellowstone is pretty bare, so we've got to have some of the best snow skiing in the country right now.
Hey guys, the US coaches just sent this out in an email from the National Nordic Foundation. The idea is that if we can branch our fundraising out far enough, we can make up for the budget shortfalls without draining the pockets of only the inner circle of Nordic Combiners and their families. Check it out!
What: We seek 4000 American Nordic Combined enthusiasts backing their nation’s developing skiers on a single day.
When: November 15th, 2011
How: There are two ways to be involved. The most impactful way is to become a Drive for 25 Ambassador and agree to get at least 10 of your friends to donate $25 on Nov 15. Send the email addresses to us (meaning the NNF) and we will remind them. Or the simplest way is to log onto http://ncgeneralfund.causevox.com , and donate $25 on Nov 15th.
Why: The US Nordic Combined is in serious financial trouble. While we have improved from a nation that rarely placed a single skier in the top ten on the world cup, to a nation that won more medals in the 2009 World Championships and 2010 Olympics than any other nation, we are currently operating on a budget that is less than a tenth of our toughest competitors. Our budget shortfalls are making it impossible for our younger developing athletes to afford the racing opportunities they must have & earn the required results that allow them to compete at the highest levels. This summer, we faced two large budget cuts and another is looming. The Drive for 25 Challenge offers the Nordic Combined community a chance to pull together and help keep our athletes competing.
Who: You! NNF, the National Nordic Foundation, is stepping up to fill these budget shortfalls. The NNF depends on you to accomplish this mission.
If you're interested in being an ambassador or pledging for me, shoot me an email and I'll forward you on to the NNF. And don't worry, they will only keep you on your list through the 15th of November.
Last week we went to Park City for a day of testing and our last jumps on plastic for the season. This was my second time testing at the Ski Team's Center of Excellence. This spring it was a lot of new stuff, but now we have some data to compare to. We tested on the rollerski treadmill in the morning and afternoon, with one testing measuring VO2 max and the other test to measure and establish training zones.
The V02 max test is only ten minutes, but with the oxygen tube attached to your mouth and the ever increasing incline, it's about as hard as it gets. This time the test was different than last in that we were breathing in as much oxygen from the tube as we would at sea level. This way, you can see how individual's respond to O2, and virtually everyone has a higher VO2 max at sea level compared to altitude.
I couldn't tell you exactly why, but my VO2 score jumped up almost 28% from this spring when we tested without the oxygen. Obviously training is an important factor, but I might also have some lucky genes that respond well to high altitude training and low altitude racing. Anyways, VO2 max isn't all determining, but it's awesome to know that with time, the potential is there.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to do any jump/force testing this time, but when we get our results back formally I'll also be able to see hemoglobin levels and a couple other respiratory and lactate measures that they took during both the tests.
Where am I?