An (almost) average day in the life

Spoiler alert: It wasn’t a completely average day.  

To see what the infamous Charlie and I have in common, take a look at my October 11th through a series of pictures

7:30 AM: Wake up, eat breakfast, do some quick internet research. We were prepping for Canadian Thanksgiving, and Erika and I were in charge of the pies. We ended up making three of them-pumpkin, pecan, and apple. Most of us like to have slow relaxed mornings, and enjoy some coffee before tackeling the day of training.

An example of what we might eat for breakfast: Oatmeal, berries, pecans, and greek yogurt!

9:00 AM: Time for training! We had a later start to training today than usual because of some space issues at Soldier Hollow, where we were doing our skate intervals that day. Annie is clearly enthused for this obviously candid shot.

9:10 AM: See something really awesome. Even though it isn’t always a hot air balloon, we drive through and by some pretty incredible things on the way to training. I feel so lucky that every day I get to go play outside, and travel to new and beautiful places.

9:45 AM: Arrive at the roller ski track. The big workout for the day was 2 by 10 Kilometers skating at threshold pace (Level 3). This equates to roughly 50 minutes of interval time with a total workout time of 2 hours.

Annie P coming through a lap of one of her intervals. Even though there were a lot of people out there, most people did these intervals on their own to keep the pace solid. It is really easy (especially at altitude) to go too hard during Level 3, and doing it by yourself helps keep everything in check!

Ben Lustgarten from the Sun Valley Gold Team coming around a corner.

Erika climbing up the big hill on the course! (P.S. Check out her leg muscles!)

And here’s me climbing up the big hill! I’ve been working a ton on skating, and things are finally starting to click. It’s all about coordination, and I think I’ve figured out how to use my legs, core, and arms all at once!

11:45: Done with the workout! After a 20 minute cool down, everybody got a snack and a photo opportunity on the steps. We did our intervals at Soldier Hollow, the venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

12:15: Lunch stop. Because the October camp is an annual stop for most clubs, we have scoped out the best places for food (naturally). One of those places is Tahumara, a Mexican restaurant about 10 minutes from Soldier Hollow. Miles Havlick (Sun Valley) was a big player in taking down 3 bowls of chips, and is about to dig into his main course.

1:00 P.M.: Post lunch food coma. Threshold makes you really hungry (it ends up burning your glycogen and fat stores) so everyone was famished. As a result we all ate quite a bit and had to nap it off.

2:15 P.M.: Sponsorship activities. Being a full-time skier, while fun, often doesn’t bring in the big bucks. As a result, we all have different sponsorships that require us to give back in different ways. As one example, I received a grant from the Birkie Foundation and write pieces for their blog and magazines (it has been really fun–I get to interview some amazing people!). Annie P. is sponsored by Julbo (a sunglasses company) and we did a photo shoot for them. I’ve loved taking pictures for Annie’s different sponsors!

Dedication to the shot

3:45 P.M.: Time for strength! Most interval sessions are followed by an afternoon strength session. Interval (hard) sessions break down your muscles, and because we are endurance athletes, we want our muscles to be fresh for hard workouts. Strength is important, but it’s ok if our muscles are a little tired before a strength session. And, I personally find that I actually do better during strength when I’ve had hard intervals in the morning versus a slow over distance workout. I’m not sure of the science behind that, but either way jumpy strength is fun!

5:30 P.M.: Grocery shopping. We’ve had an incredible week of dinners (chili, steak, salmon, spaghetti squash), and this is in part due to our creative shopping. Each day we take inventory of what we have around the house, and then figure out what (if anything) we need to make our food dreams a reality.

9:00 P.M. : I forgot to take a picture of our delicious salmon (cooked on a cedar plank by Coach Pat), but this is when disaster strikes. I was prepping pie crust for Canadian Thanksgiving, when I stupidly put my hand near the blade of a plugged-in immersion blender. I was cleaning butter out of the blade when the stupid thing turned on. I’m all smiles in this picture (thank you Erika for documenting every step of this journey), but as soon as I talked to my mom, discovered I needed stitches and would have to go to the Emergency Room, I was all tears.

9:30 P.M.: Arrive at the Emergency Room. These pictures are all black and white to convey the seriousness of my doctor diagnosed “finger laceration.”

10:15: Pat and Erika very kindly escorted me to the E.R. Things were moving along quickly until some more “critical” cases arrived. To pass the time, Pat found a giant remote for the “elderly.” We learned that probably the most common E.R. case was old people not being able to breathe at altitude.

10:40: Coach, am I going to survive? Pat was taking a look at my vitals, and while my heart rate was pretty high, my oxygen consumption was excellent! Viewer Advisory: There is blood in the next picture.

11:00 P.M.: All cleaned out! They put some numbing agent in my finger so that I wouldn’t feel the stitches. Also, I need a manicure, but that won’t be happening for a while.

11:15 P.M.: Hooray! Three stitches later (and who knows how many dollars) I am all ready to be discharged. For the next couple days I will either (a) always look like I have a very intellectual and important point to make or (b) look like everyone’s number one fan.

11:45 P.M.:  Back at home, snuggled in bed.  Even though this day wasn’t completely average (it was actually my first time getting stitches AND first E.R. trip ever), it is indicative of one part of my new life.  Through the past 4 months I’ve learned the only thing you can expect is the unexpected.  Some days you expect to feel great and instead you feel like a bug on a windshield.  Other days you expect to be terrible, and instead you feel awesome.  There is no telling what’s in store, so I’ve decided not to worry about it.  Just take each day, workout, and finger laceration as it comes at you, and just be thankful for all of the wonderful people who surround you.  Even if they are taking “not-exactly-legal” pictures in the E.R. (…Erika).

One more week in Park City, and then we are headed to Canada! (eh?)

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