It’s crazy to think that we only have one last week of summer! Next week we all head down to New Zealand to greet Winter with open arms for some great training on snow. As yummy as the current fresh berries and garden veggies in Vermont might be, I think we’re all excited for some cooler temps and a break from the humidity. After just about every workout this week we’ve been able to wring out our training clothes due to either sweat (GROSS!) from the 95% humidity or to the pouring rain from the ruthless afternoon showers. So, we’ll have one more week of this, escape for a little winter adventure, and then HOPEFULLY come back mid-September to a few crisper mornings- keeping my fingers crossed.
Upon this realization that summer is almost over I’ve done a bit of reflecting on what I have accomplished thus far. As one who usually classifies myself as a “distance” skier, I’ve been really excited about the progress I’ve made in some of the speed/sprinting workouts we’ve done, one of my major goals for this year! I’m not saying my super fast teammates have magically rubbed off some of their fast twitch on me, although that would be nice, but I have become so much more comfortable skiing well at higher speeds. I’ve been able to pass Coach Pat during a speed, turn around after, and hear him say, “Alayna that actually looks pretty darn good!” This is something new to me and I’m excited about it! Now I just have to learn how to transfer this over to real skiing on snow…. Good thing I have plenty of opportunities for that coming up soon!
We ended our last big training block before New Zealand with a race at the Nensa App Gap Challenge. This race was a 5k skiathlon. The juniors started in 30 second intervals while the elite skiers started after everyone in one big wave. We skate skied 2.5k up to the base of Mad River Glen, switched to classic skis, and then skied another 2.5k to the top of the App Gap. Quite the butt burner! It was a super hard race with some relentless climbing, but it was great to put on a bib and really go for it. Nensa did a ton of planning and logistical organizing for this event and we all enjoyed a great celebratory BBQ at Green Mountain Valley School after the race. Huge thanks to Nensa and to GMVS! Ready now for a week of rest and packing before a big trip!
Professional skier, traveling the world, exploring the culture, racing my heart out.