Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Fall Altitude Camp

The anticipation of winter’s arrival is high. I just finished my last camp of the training season in Park City, Utah. Now the team is in an intensity block, sprinting around the roller ski track and bounding up hills, hoping that soon we will be able to be racing around on snow. 
Two intensity blocks straddled our final camp; before we left for Park City, the Academy did a mini race block with 4 time trials in 5 days. I was really happy with how I felt in all 4 time trials and I made big improvements from my times last year. The best part about the race week was it reminded me how much I love competing and it got me super amped for the coming season and for our final dryland training camp.

Alex, Liz, Delphine, Me, Emily(L-R) at the start of our 10km Classic TT during race week


Park City is at 2000m and there are roads that climb all the way up to 3300m, therefore it is a perfect place to do a fall altitude camp. It's also a chance to get one last blast of summer before the season begins. Park City is my favourite camp of the year. Last year we had amazing weather, beautiful fall colours, and used great training locations, this year was no exception. Although I went to Park City last year, this year’s camp had lots of new experiences. I trained with a bigger group, I did more hours, I skied new passes, including Bald pass which is at 3300m, and I hiked up to the top of Bald Mountain, which is the highest I have ever been at 3650m.
We also did lots of our favourite activities while we weren’t training. Some of us painted pottery on our rest day, watched a high school football game and cheered for the Miner’s the local team, we ate Mexican food from Anya’s Market and strolled along main street trying on fancy cowboy boots.
The two-week camp was filled with great training and smiling faces. It is always awesome to be able to put in such high quality training with teammates and friends around. My favourite workouts were of course the long roller ski/run combo days that took up to the top of mountain passes with amazing views of the surrounding areas. Contrary to what I expected my body felt better as the camp progressed and I was really happy with how strong my body felt during our classic sprints the second week and then in the classic striding intensity the following day. It is always nice to see some positive signs going into the fall. Now a week and a half out of the camp, I have been hit by some post camp fatigue. My legs feel a bit heavier than normal and overall I'm a bit tired. I got the same feeling last year after the camp, that's why this year we went to Park City a week earlier so that hopefully by the Frozen Thunder Sprint on the 26th, I will be all rejuvenated and ready to go! If you will be around Canmore on the 26th come check out the sprint in the morning and then join us at Murrieta's for the National Ski Team Athlete Presentation and Fundraiser that evening. Information and ticket prices can be found on the Cross Country Canada website.

Alex and Cendrine on a run along Mid-Mountain trail

That time Alannah and I found a flock of sheep on the road

Delphine and I at the top of Bald Mtn.- 3650m

Lovely fall colours during one of our 4hr roll/runs

Climbing up to Guardsman's pass (L-R: Annika, Alannah, me)


Our recovery week after the camp coincided well with Thanksgiving. I took advantage of the four days before the weekend to get down to lower elevation to help my body recover from the camp. Seb and I went to Oliver, BC: wine capital of Canada. While in Oliver we toured some wineries on our roadbikes, went apples picking and even got a couple of pumpkins from a roadside pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch I must add had a vey adorable Border Collie that tried to jump into my car and come home with me, he was too cute!

Apple picking in Keremeos

An orchard with a view

Checking out the vineyards 


Thanks for reading
See you on the snow!!

Dahria