You know those wonderfully sappy, motivational sports movies that most people secretly (or openly) love? How the band of heroes creates a team, struggles together through tough training and ultimately wins the day? I got to experience a moment stolen right out of one of those movies during our time trial run the other day.
Throughout the summer, SMS does a series of time trials used to measure progress and get a feel for how training is affecting us. The SMS juniors do them as well, so it’s pretty fun to line up on the start line with middle school to post-college athletes and everything in between. We do a double pole test, an L3 1okm time trial to measure efficiency, and a 2 mile uphill run test used to….well, pretty much to punish your body and see where your fitness level is at. It’s no secret that, while I adore long trail runs and point-to-point adventure runs, I’m not much of a real runner when it comes to going fast for a short period of time. And that’s ok, because my job is to be good at skiing fast, not running fast. But sometimes I think it would be nice to be a little more efficient. And it IS a really great workout.
So, where am I going with all this? Cork and I decided to put on my schedule a little experiment and have me run the time trial twice. The goal was to run it all out the first time, holding nothing back, and then see how close to my first time I could get my second run. With my first run I was thrilled to have a PR (maybe I’ll become a real runner someday!! Nope? Ok, well, I’ll keep trying…) but after the first run I was pretty wiped out.
What was really challenging about the second run was doing it alone, since one test is enough and there’s really no call for a second run, so nobody does it. I already felt shaky and slightly sick when I started my second test so at least I didn’t have to deal with starting to feel icky – I was already there!
Then I got to experience one of the coolest moments in training I’ve ever had. I came up over the last big rise and my SMS teammates were there, waiting for me! They were cheering me on and then started running the last minutes of the test with me. Sophie jumped just ahead of me to pace me while Ben ran next to me and Erika just behind, and they were all cheering and running with me. It was so incredibly motivating and cool to have them sprinting it out when they didn’t have to stay. At one point, Sophie, who never yells or speaks loudly, turns and absolutely roared in my face “COME ON!” So I had to dig deeper and find a finishing kick because when your relay teammate tells you to get moving…you do!
Moments like that prove even further that this is not an individual sport that we do. Nobody gets better at something all by themselves. It takes a team of people, a community supporting you, to achieve your goals. And I feel so very lucky to have all the right people in my life!
Whenever we’re training, we get better together. We get faster by working as a team, and it’s fun to know that all my teammates contribute to my racing and I to theirs. So when they have a great day and a personal best, I know that I was a part of that, and they were a part of my best races, too!
In other training news, things around here have been pretty sweet. Still working on my balance and air-awareness (and keeping training super fun) by using the trampoline and foam pit at the school.
I got to jump into Erika and Andy’s pool in their rental unit and finally be the center of a giant donut, which obviously made me quite happy.
We’re still working hard in the gym to get strong…for inspiration, check out the amazing core that Erika is doing here!
And now that it’s getting hot out, we’re cooling off in every body of water we can find post-workout!
My new exciting news is that this weekend, I’m flying to Norway to join the Norwegian National Team in a training camp. I know quite a few of the girls on the team and they are all super nice and fun to hang out with during the winter, so I’m very excited to get to know them better and see Norway in the summertime!