Alaska, part one: the running

By July 12, 2016 Uncategorized No Comments

This first week of camp in Alaska has been beautiful, fun, adventurous…and a lot of great training! Almost every day has included a running workout where we pick a new mountain, big or small, and go climb it! Or, we’ll do a fun running loop to a super cold lake where I’ll insist on jumping in to cool off, even if that lake is fed by glacial water. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, or running a temperature of 105*F all the time, but I swear a mid-run cold plunge feels pretty incredible.

Taking a swim in Symphony Lake! (photo from Jason Cork)

Taking a swim in Symphony Lake! (photo from Jason Cork)

Up on top of Flat top mountain on an afternoon recovery run! (photo from Jason Cork)

Up on top of Flat top mountain on an afternoon recovery run! (photo from Jason Cork)

It’s been so fun having Virginia De Martin Topranin here as our guest athlete for the camp! She is on the Italian National Team and we’ve raced with her for many, many World Cups. But it’s even better getting to know her in person! She’s funny, sweet and smart, and understands english so well that she knows all the slang and double meanings, which I think is really impressive!

Virginia on top of Wolverine Mountain!

Virginia on top of Wolverine Mountain!

We’ve tried to focus our intensity and speed workouts on roller skis, but keep a lot of the long slow distance training to running. Next week will be only skiing on the glacier and we want to keep those skiing muscles fresh and ready to rock and roll!

The girls on our hike/ridge run! Me, Rosie,  (photo by Matt)

The girls on our hike/ridge run! Me, Rosie, Caitlin, Ida, Becca, Sophie, Liz, Sadie, Virginia, Lauren, Rosie. (photo by Matt)

Kikkan and baby Breck over for dinner!

Kikkan and baby Breck over for dinner!

The view from our rental house is pretty amazing.

The view from our rental house is pretty amazing.

We brought the sunshine with us up here because we haven’t been rained out once despite rather scary forecasts. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for glacier week! It’s made for some incredible views of Denali and the surrounding mountain range and some really hot, sweaty and sunny workouts. This post will be mostly a photo diary of what we’ve been up to so far!

On a steep slope overlooking Anchorage.

On a steep slope overlooking Anchorage.

Looking out over Anchorage and the ocean from Flat top (photo from Cork)

Looking out over Anchorage and the ocean from Flat top (photo from Cork)

Taking a reeeeeeally cold dip in hidden lake! (photo from Sadie)

Taking a reeeeeeally cold dip in hidden lake! (photo from Sadie)

Quick snack break on Wolverine ridge! (photo from Sophie)

Quick snack break on Wolverine ridge! (photo from Sophie)

Soph in the clouds! We hiked Wolverine with poles to use our arms more and keep the pace down.

Soph in the clouds! We hiked Wolverine with poles to use our arms more and keep the pace down.

Sophie on the climb up! Striding and smiling!

Sophie on the climb up! Striding and smiling!

On my way back down through the cloud layer from the top of Wolverine. (photo from Cork)

On my way back down through the cloud layer from the top of Wolverine. (photo from Cork)

Our last day of the dry land part of camp, we did a really fun running over-distance adventure. We climbed up to the ridge and ran along the tops of the mountains towards Symphony lake and along Eagle river. It was amazing and inspiring and the views were prefect! There’s something pretty incredible about running along the tippy-top of the mountains and going up and over the dips along the way. It took us 4 hours round trip, but we ran into the parking lot smiling and giving out high fives at the end!

Up, up, up! The girls hiking (photo from Virginia)

Up, up, up! The girls hiking (photo from Virginia)

UP, and also down and across! Ridge running is pretty amazing. (photo from Sophie)

UP, and also down and across! Ridge running is pretty amazing. Matt and I headed towards the lakes you can see in the distance. (photo from Sophie)

Sadie, Rosie, me and Soph goofing off during a water stop. (photo from Matt)

Sadie, Rosie, me and Soph goofing off during a water stop. (photo from Matt)

The lake on the left is glacial and has a lot of silt, which makes it that color. The one on the right is Symphony lake! (they are BOTH very cold).

The lake on the left is glacial and has a lot of silt, which makes it that color. The one on the right is Symphony lake! (they are BOTH very cold).

Cork hiking up one of the slopes

Cork hiking up one of the slopes

The winding trail!

The winding trail!

That's one way to get down to the lake! Slide your way down the snow patches on the mountain.

That’s one way to get down to the lake! Slide your way down the snow patches on the mountain.

Liz found a cinnamon roll that's actually the size of her face. That would taste pretty good after a 4 hour run!

Liz found a cinnamon roll that’s actually the size of her face. That would taste pretty good after a 4 hour run!

Tomorrow we’ll fly up to Eagle Glacier, where we’ll stay for the week and ski as much as we can! I’m really looking forward to it. Check back in a week for photos from the camp and updates!

On top! It's important to take a second to soak in the awesome views.

On top! It’s important to take a second to soak in the awesome views.