Some people start packing the day or even the night before they depart for a trip but when it comes to ski racing on the World Cup and being away from home for months on end, I’ve been doing this long enough to know better. This is the time of year when the flight across the pond for the first race is just a week away for me it’s all about tying up lose ends and getting organized.
This goes for the basics like making sure you’ll have enough Powerbars and wind-briefs to make it through two weeks above the arctic circle but also making sure you’re mentally and physically prepared for life on the road. All these things can make for a busy and stressful last week at home but with the excitement of a new season just around the corner this past week in VT has been all about enjoying time with friends as well as getting dialed.
Despite a few snow flurries in the mountains and some chilly mornings on the roller skis, training has been pretty awesome since returning home from Canmore. I’ve had a tight IT band which has been a pain during longer runs so I’ve been doing my fair share of bundled up rolling but, fortunately, have been able to put in a couple great roller ski intervals days since we’ve been back. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is bounding intervals up Stratton, especially after it’s been snowing, so I was stoked to get one of those workouts in a few days ago. It was grey and windy and snowy out but it really got me fired up for going to Finland and jumping into a new race season.
A lot of the SMS-T2 team skiers have been on different schedules this week but that’s a perfect example of how skiers need to get dialed in before their departure for the season. In the middle of the summer I might push through some knee pain during a workout or adjust my schedule to do a different type of intervals with a buddy, but as soon as November 1st rolls around that all seems to change. Probably has something to do with seeing that first World Cup on the calendar.
Usually this just means adjusting individually the type of intensity and recovery we each have going on during our last weeks at home. When I look at the calendar and realize I only have 4 more intensity sessions before the season begins I start to realize how important those workouts can be and tend to want to make the most of them. For me this has meant making sure I’m getting in some productive strength workouts and some quick snappy rollerski workouts this week before jetting out to the snow.
It’s understandable if, to my friends and family, I’ve seemed a little preoccupied this past week and tend to be scribbling down lists at every available moment… Important reminder to dig out that cold air respirator from the bottom of my sock drawer…. But the last week at home is also a great time to hang with friends before taking off. In the past few days I’ve been in Weston getting some epic wood stove burning cabin times in and getting it ready to board up for the winter. We’ve had a few saunas with the crew, enjoyed eating dinner at home before the onslaught of hotel food, and basically taking it all in before the craziness begins.
So while the piles of gear, Cold Ease, and hand sanitizer are already beginning to be organized in my room back home I’ll be doing my best to fine tune my fitness and share some laughs with friends during the remaining 5 days around Stratton. I’m really looking forward to our SMST2 fundraising send-off party happening on Saturday, the night before we take off for Europe. Having a dinner at SMS and bringing all our friends and supporters together from the area will be the perfect way to tackle the first stage of the 14-15 season.