Mist and fog swirl around you as you rapidly climb the mountain. Your ragged breathing catches in your throat and you think you might throw up. You hear noises behind you – someone yelling at you – you’re being chased! Your lungs are burning, your legs feel like lead and it’s quite possible that they will combust any second. Suddenly, you cannot take another step and you drop to your knees, trying to get your lungs to cooperate. No, this isn’t the set for a horror movie…it’s bounding intervals, and what makes it even better is that you’re doing this to yourself. Ugh!
When you’re training hard, the highs are intense and the lows are really low. Every time I have a set of hard bounding intervals, I’m reminded of how incredibly humbling this sport is. It takes years of countless hard intervals where you’re left hanging onto your poles, ready to keel over, before you start racing well. And yet…without a doubt, it’s worth it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. At the end of the day, when you’ve pushed yourself hard enough, the feeling of accomplishment (and, let’s be real, the endorphin rush) are pretty amazing. That’s why although the worst moments you feel in this sport during training are some of the toughest, the “training highs” in this XC skiing are also some of the best you’ll ever find.
Last weekend we had one of the best days I think I’ve had all summer. We had a long easy roller ski, and because the pavement was fast and we were fired up, we rolled 55km. Pretty good practice for what’s coming up this weekend, eh? (hint, hint: 100km skifest). We ended the ski at Sophie’s Grandparent’s pond and after a cold swim Pat drove us up the road to his parent’s house. Will and Deb generously hosted us for an evening of fantastic ribs and corn on the cob, and crane rides! Thanks guys!
Will O’Brien runs a tree service, and he let us hook onto the crane and ride up all 110ft to the top! The views were stunning and it was such a cool experience.
It was a great team day of hanging out, having fun, and although we may have considered stranding Ben at the top of the 110-ft crane, we left with the whole crew intact.