Monday, September 8, 2014

Climb to the Castle, speed camp, off days, and more

Climb to the Castle

Saturday I finished my biggest week of training so far this year, I logged 26.5 hours plus a couple of hours of shooting training in six days. The week was finished off with the Climb to the Castle rollerski race on Saturday morning. The climb is 5 mile long race to the top of Whiteface Mountain the road has a consistent 8% uphill grade the entire time, there was only one 200 meter stretch that was a little less steep. The hard terrain and many hours of training earlier in the week made the race quite difficult, the first two miles went well and I was able to ski with a group of people, for the last three miles I hit a bit of a wall and was struggling to push out of L3, but after 46 minutes I was able to make it to the castle at the top.

The paved road does not take you to the actual top of the mountain but there is an elevator that takes you from the roads end up 27 stories to the actual top of the mountain. On top it was very foggy so there was not much of a view but there was a weather observatory station and some interactive informational videos about the Adirondacks, it was totally worth the elevator ride! A paved road and elevator to the top of a mountain may seem odd but there is reasoning behind it.... In 1929 Franklin D. Roosevelt had the road built to the top of the mountain as a monument to World War 1 military veterans but when he went to preview the road after its completion he could not get to the actual top of the mountain because he was in a wheel chair. He then had the elevator installed so that he and any immobile war veterans could get to the actual top.

The castle at the roads end

The elevator operator opening the door for us

The tippy top of Whiteface Mountain

Speed Camp

Speed camp is an event that is put on by the US mens ski team to get young male skiers excited about going fast on skis and having fun while doing it. It was started by Andy Newell because he saw what the US women's ski team was doing with Fast and Female and wanted something similar for boys. On Friday afternoon the US ski team hosted a speed camp right here in Lake Placid so I decided to help out. There were about 15 athletes that showed up, mostly high school aged but a few younger kids as well. We started the camp with some on foot agility and jumping drills then put on rollerskis and did some technique work and an obstacle course. The camp was finished up with a Q & A session where if you asked a question you got a bright green "speed camp" tee-shirt! I thought the camp was pretty fun, there was lots of energy and excitement from all of the participants. Next time I will have to add a shooting component so that we can convert some nordic skiers to biathlon. 

After the Climb to the Castle Maddie and I headed to her house in Old Forge, New York for our upcoming off day. Even though it was only one day it was nice to get totally away from biathlon and come back with a more focused attitude and ready to train. While there we watched the end of the 90 mile canoe race that Maddie's mom participated in. In Old Forge I couldn't help but split a little bit of wood for Maddie's dad, I never thought I would miss doing physical labor work like I get to do at home but I do, just don't tell my parents. For those of you who have been following my blog you have read about my basil plants and how they have been traveling with me throughout the summer all across the east coast. They are currently looking better then ever getting tall and have many large leaves. The problem is that at the OTC I do absolutely no cooking and soon I will be traveling home, as far as I know a potted plant does not count as a personal item on an airplane so I don't know what I am going to do with them. If you live near Lake Placid and would be interested in doing some plant sitting let me know, otherwise stay tuned for the next episode of the traveling basil.

Watching the 90 mile canoe race

An 8 person war canoe in the 90 miler

Splitting wood at the Phaneuf's 

The prosperous basil plants

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