Monday, July 27, 2009

New Sponsor - Mix1

This summer I connected with Greg and Mix1 from Boulder [ ] while I was looking for more diversity in my training nutrition and post-training snacks.

One of the most important things I've learned as an athlete is to fuel right at the right times. When I finish a set of skate intervals or a long distance run, for example, I want to help my body start its recovery process as soon as it can. If I do this well I feel better, am ready to go for the day's next training session, and am helping prevent injury and fatigue. For example, when I have cereal and soy milk after training I am benefiting from the carbohydrates that help restore my muscle glycogen stores and the protein that helps repair and build my muscles. The combination of these two and a lot of water help replenish my energy stores, re-hyrdate, and re-build so that I can come back stronger. But, I got in the rut of eating the same cereal and the same soy milk each time, and it was time to find something new to mix it up.

Video taken during a threshold combo session at our new range at the Mckenzie-Intervale Ski Jumping and Aerial Complex in Lake Placid. As I head up "flag pole hill" towards the upper range I pass by the freestylist warming up on the tramps before practicing their jumps at the pole. It is pretty unique and neat to have this multi-purpose training facility up and running. Some of our country's best skiers are training here, like Ryan St. Onge, aerialist, Hannah Kearny, freestyle mogul skier, and scores of other young skiers, jumpers and biathletes.

Last week I put Mix1 to the test with my biggest training week of the year (and of my life actually) and it was perfect! I am happy to have something that works well for me, is convenient, tastes really good (not like other chalky protein drinks) and comes from one of my favorite (and birth) states - Colorado. Created from pretty simple ingredients like olive oil, whye protein and cane juice, for this is an easy option. And since I have a tendency to make things more complicated than necessary, finding this simplicity was key.

Mix1 covers post-training nutrition, but for fuel during training I've experimented with a few options other than the standard power bar that keep me satiated and satisfied. Below is a recipe for a rice-krispy-like bar that offers both immediate and sustained energy with the combination of honey, currants and marshmallow. And the puffed kashi and rice are simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest and provide the needed carbohydrates for energy.

Lemon and Honey Bars (basically glorified Rice Krispy Treats)
10 oz marshmallows
3 Tbls honey
2 Tbls butter
1 Tsp Lemon extract
6 cups Kashi puffed rice (or Rice Krispies)
Desired amount of currants and almonds

Combine and melt marshmallows, honey, and butter. (I use a double boiler, but a regular saucepan will work too.) Mix with dry ingredients and spread out in a 9x13" cake pan. Let cool over night, then cut into desired square sizes. Keep in a tupperware container in the freezer or fridge and enjoy when needed. At first I individually wrapped some, but realized it was just a waste of plastic and that in this summer's muggy heat they became quite soft. So - keep your stock in the fridge.

Lake Placid hosted the Ironman last week, and one of my favorite reasons why I like it here in Placid is that one my other sponsors, Cassidy and Trigger Point Technologies [ ]is a part of it. He and his company are from Austin, TX - a place I probably won't make it to with biathlon. So, when he is here working the Ironman Expo I get a chance to catch up, chat, check out new products or give feedback. Also on the topic of recovery, I use his massage rollers and balls to work out kinks, help massage my legs or any sore points that need attention or just plain get the circulation going before training.

I am just finishing up the third and final week of this training block, with one more interval session to go. (Maeve - I'm on Scheafer Hill tomorrow!) On Monday I head into a low training week that ends with competitions in Jericho, VT. The following week I head to Ostersund, Sweden and Ruhpolding, Germany for this year's third National Team Camp.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Team USA" articles to check out

The stories of myself and my teammates, Laura Spector, Lanny and Tracy Barnes helped a northeastern journalist write an article about the US Women's team, our relay team and biathlon in the US:

The same journalist also really enjoyed my cards, so check out this article about my Snowfall Cards and what other athletes do besides being athletes, like fellow teammate, Lowell Bailey who is also an accomplished musician:

To see more of my cards, thanks to Kara, check out or stop in at the Bookstore Plus on Main Street in Lake Placid.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Little interview with my teammates and I while training in Fort Kent

Thanks for the interview, Rainey!

Hurricane Hill

The US women's teams during a race pace interval session in Keene, NY during our training camp together. One of the Lake Placid coaches and the Development team coach, James, took video all through out this training session. He then e-mails short clips to each athlete and coach for us to get a second look at technique during a hard intensity workout.

Women's National Team Camp

I am in the last few days of this summer's National Team Camp. After a few more shooting workouts, a long bike ride, intervals and strength these next few days, I will surely be looking forward to a few days of R&R. It has been another successful training block, however, but this time with different goals and accomplishments than that of my first camp earlier in May. The first two weeks of camp I was together with whole women's team whose members ranged from Development to A-team. In my history with USBA, this is the first women's team specific camp. In part due to our asking, but also because we now have a solid group of lady biathletes who can together push each other and women's biathlon to new historic levels of participation and international results.

Laura S. and I at the end of classic ski on Slide Brook Rd. in Soldier Pond, ME. A bunch of us jumped off this bridge into the river moments later for a refreshing swim after a long ski.

Training sessions were designed to maximize our time together; intervals like the one pictured below and lining up on the shooting range for timed shooting drills and tests created a necessary atmosphere that is hard to replicate with a small group or by one's self. Skiing in a close group on matched rollerskis on a long ascent really brought out morsels of strategy, fight and perservence that come from having our competition just behind or just in front of you. Shooting together simaltaneously tested our abilities to maintain the internal focus of our own shooting process as well as being aware of the speed and precision of competitors around us. Kind words of advice earlier in the week reminded us that the roots of 'compete' involve coming together - so thats what we've done. We know that in order for our women's group to progress we need to improve our ability to handle race-like situations with close competiveness, fast accurate shooting, and strategic technical transitions (in skiing). And as we look towards improving our women's relay team, we also come together to think like a team, even in situations like when we make dinner together, make travel plans, or pack the van.

The womens team (and some neighborhood dogs) during one of eight 4 minute Level 4 intervals up Hurricane Hill in Keene, NY.

The second week of camp brought us to Fort Kent, ME and the Maine Winter Sports Center/10th Mtn. Division biathlon venue. Workouts alternated between skiing at the venue, and running, biking and skiing around the County.

I spent 4 years living and training with the MWSC and in Fort Kent. It was a perfect place for me to develop as a biathlete and as an active community member, and it is where I met some of my greatest mentors and life-long friends. Also, it is where I started making my cards. Below are some of my favorites inspired by the landscape of northern Maine:

A view of the birches beyond the stadium from the 10th Mtn. Lodge.

A common view of rolling fields of gold, deep blue skies and puffy cumulus clouds. This reminds me of the Perley Brook roads.
I spent a lot of time driving in the County from all the various towns and training spots. Often, I'd be headed home just after dusk.

Or, I would be out early while the fog was still lingering in the St. John River Valley. When the 9 am rising sun burned it off, mornings were glorious.

This final week of camp I will finish up back in Lake Placid where I am working with my coaches Per and Armin. We've been diligently working on my shooting position and process and will take some time tomorrow to check out ski technique and reasses for the next round of technique ideas. Per, Armin and I converse through e-mail and skype in between camps, so it is a treat to work with both of them here on home turf this week. They are a great combo and after talking to them about the goals that I want to accomplish this year the Swede answers to believe in the progress I have made and the Italian appropriately answered to remember to have passion. Ha - great answers.