lake placid, an attempt at a catch-up, and learning to be patient
originally posted at simihamilton.com
I rolled my ankle trail running in the Adirondacks yesterday… worse than I have in quite a few years (which is saying something considering this little chronic problem of mine is my nemesis ever since I partially tore a bunch of ligaments alpine skiing in the park in high school and I tend to re-injure it at some level about 2 times a year). So I’ve been hobbling around the hallways of the always lovely Lake Placid Olympic Training Center in an air cast and have subjected myself to using the Game Ready ice/compress machine several hours a day while staring at the same portraits of the greatest past Olympic moments that they’ve had on the bedroom walls for the last 15+ years (probably longer). But I don’t want to dwell on any of that, especially since I should be back to full-go mode in no more than a few days (KOW). There’s not a ton do around these parts besides train a lot and take advantage of the blazing WiFi (I’ve come to compare all internet I come across to European standards), and since I can only do one of those activities at the moment, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time perusing thru the various ins and outs of the inter web. There’s a lot of empty and meaningless crap out there, but there’s also a lot of pretty cool stuff. I’ve been checking out a lot of YouTube videos about space, and have passed lots of time reading about some of my friends’ adventure stories from skiing in South America or traveling the World Cup mountain bike circuit. So anyway, why is all of this relevant? Because I’m all of a sudden really fired up to offer something on the world wide web that isn’t just meaningless nonsense. I’m genuinely looking forward to sharing tons of great pictures and stories with you from life on the road as I travel home and abroad, from the Colorado mountains to the Vermont rolling forests to the European World Cup race courses. So I’ll start with a little recap of our summer on-snow camp in Alaska that we finished up a couple weeks ago.
We were lucky enough to get invited up to the land of midnight sun to train with the Alaska Pacific University crew for a couple weeks. Getting away from home for a little bit during the summer always mixes things up a bit and keeps training fresh, and being able to get on snow in mid-July is always an incredibly valuable thing. Training with the APU men’s team was a great opportunity to come together as a collective North American powerhouse, push each other in hard workouts, try some new technique ideas in the longer workouts, and share a beer, great food, and some laughs when all was said and done. Here are some photos from our week of dry land training in and around Anchorage as well as some from the Eagle Glacier, which sits nestled 5,000′ above the the little town of Girdwood on the Turnagain Arm.
After training about 55 hours in two weeks while in AK, a much needed break was needed. Home-home seemed the perfect place to spend some down time, catching up with family and friends, and breathing in some of that Colorado mountain air. I got out on some great adventures while I was there, swam as much as possible, and rejuvenated my body with a ton of sleep every night. It worked well for my girlfriend Sophie to meet me there since she was already in MT visiting family, and it was super fun to show her some of my favorite CO adventures even under the uncommon drizzly August skies.
On the very last day I was home, I got the sudden urge to run the “Four Pass Loop” in the Maroon-Snowmass wilderness. The loop is about 27 miles long and climbs four passes that are all around 12,500′. It was my first time running it and I was incredibly happy that I did. To be out on your own for 6+ hours and see only a few people in some of the most beautiful backcountry in the world is a pretty surreal experience.
After getting back to the east coast, I pretty much blinked and it was already time for our next camp in Lake Placid. Which pretty much brings us full circle to me sitting here right now typing this in the OTC. It was a great start to camp doing some hard L4 uphill skate intervals up Hurricane Mtn in Keene. I’m hopeful that I’ll still be able to get in some more really good skiing and adventuring while I’m here. My ankle is already feeling worlds better with the center’s all-star crew of sports med folks helping me out. I’ll keep you posted with more training pics and stories next week.