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All the small things

By August 18, 2014 No Comments

Math isn’t my strong suit. It never has, never will be, and that’s ok. But even my mathematically-challenged mindset can’t deny that all the little things that happen over the course of training, living, interacting, coaching and general tomfoolery add up. It’s so hard to find out what the real workload is that you’re putting on your body, because life is a lot more than just training and racing!

It’s the little details that build me up and make me happy. It’s also little details that slowly wear me down over time and tire me out. Sometimes there’s a lot of overlap…the things I need to do to be happy also wear me out if I don’t take a break.┬áIn the end, I figure you are your own best coach because only you know what it’s like to be inside your head and your body, and it’s up to you to decide if you need to be training smarter, harder, resting more, or doing some non-skiing activities.

Beautiful sunny skiing!

Beautiful sunny skiing! (photo from Pat O’Brien)

This week, I found out that I needed to take a break from all my extra-curriculars and just spend more time resting in-between skiing. A month’s worth of really fun adventures and things that I would not take back eventually caught up to me, and it was time for a little more rest. So, I seized the opportunity! It’s funny how I didn’t realize how badly I needed to take a little time off until I took it. The rearview mirror is always 20/20, right? So, 12 episodes of Gossip Girl later…I feel a whole lot more rested.

And then there are the days we get rained on during long runs!

And then there are the days we get rained on during long runs!

We make the most of it though...puddle jumping when it's soggy outside!

We make the most of it though…puddle jumping when it’s soggy outside! (photo by Annie)

And of course there's always time to warm up by the fire afterwards

And of course there’s always time to warm up by the fire afterwards

This past week I was on a slightly different training plan than most of the team, but still joined the key sessions. We had an epic 24 hours of pouring rain, and then some really nice training days as well. Best of all, the Stratton Mountain School was hosting their BKL camp and Junior camps this week! We did Q&A with the kids, helped lead some technique and agility sessions, and watched their skits at the end of the week.

Q&A time with the Stratton Junior camp!

Q&A time with the Stratton Junior camp! (photo by Pat)

Simi leads a smaller guys group in some more Q&A

Simi leads a smaller guys group in some more Q&A (photo by Lilly)

One pretty cool workout we did on a closed road, and the Junior skiers came to watch and then do their own version of the workout. We were doing L4 intervals, sprint-style, and worked on skiing in a tight pack and staying controlled while poles and skis were flying everywhere. It was really fun to have the Junior campers there cheering us on!

Girls group warming up with Pat taking video on the bike (photo by Lilly)

Girls group warming up with Pat taking video on the bike (photo by Lilly)

Our SMST2 guys and the Canadian guys mixing it up in a sprint (photo by Lilly)

Our SMST2 guys and the Canadian guys mixing it up in a sprint (photo by Lilly)

SMS Juniors lining the side of the road at BMD. Best interval cheerleaders ever!

SMS Juniors lining the side of the road at BMD. Best interval cheerleaders ever! (photo by Lilly)

Signing the camp t-shirts on the last day! (photo by Pat)

Signing the camp t-shirts on the last day! (photo by Pat)

One little detail that has really been adding up to some great results this summer is all the video Pat has been doing with us. Coach O’Brien has some mad skills when it comes to biking next to a pace line of skiers while simultaneously cheering and shooting video. It’s great instant feedback, and good to look over later and see things I need to work on with my technique. For example, check out this still frame from our L4 intervals. When I get tired or am trying to sprint really fast, I forget to utilize my core and I get this sway-back going on. It’s not that efficient, and it’s something I’m working on changing. The video helps me see what I really look like, not just what I think I look like in my head (hint…in my head I look like a TOTAL ROCKSTAR).

Still-frame from our video feedback from intervals last week.

Still-frame from our video feedback from intervals last week.

The other cool part about the video is that Jason Cork, our USST coach who writes my plans, can see it and talk with me about what I’m working on. Matt Whitcomb, our USST women’s coach, can also stay up to speed with how my technique is progressing. And the three of us can talk with Pat on what technique cues I’m going to be focusing on for the week, and Pat can help remind me during workouts and make sure I execute them well. It’s a pretty awesome system!