Monday, September 2, 2013

Scenes from the Road: Here, There, Pretty Much Everywhere

After a month away from writing here, I have a little catching up to do. But where to begin seems a suitable question. There's the annual two week training camp in Canmore with the Bridger S.F. And the breathtakingly quick two days of physiology testing back in Utah, to the ten days back home in the Northwest, which lead right into last week's training camp in the Italian Dolomites. And now, I woke up in the Swiss mountain town of Davos, my home away from home.

Post Sulfur Mountain training session with Bridger SF along the Bow River. I could hardly believe some of the younger one went swimming that day. It was so so cold I think I saw snowflakes in the mountains above. Even when running up the mountain, I was thinking how nice it was going to feel to put on a dry shirt at the end.

The view of Antelope Island from the Great Salt Lake's southern border. In addition to getting on the treadmill and chugging along until the machine spit me out the back, crumpled with a blessed mix of fatigue, lactic acid, relief, and satisfaction, I got in one last mountain run with Colby and Nephi. It's an interesting experience to say goodbye to some of the closest people in your life for six months of your life. 

You know the saying: "There's no place like home." It's because there's no place like home. Central Washington is a unique combination of mountain, sage, and pine. While home and back with (near) sea-level air, I pushed a high-intensity training block.  Kinetic movement just feels so good sometimes. It feels especially good while moving super-fast over the roads and trails that I have built up a close acquaintance during the "trials of miles, miles of trials" as Quentin Cassidy once said.

Parting shot from my time in the Northwest: Mt. Rainier emerges from the clouds. So long Mom, Dad, Kari, Sten, Max, and everyone else back home. Hello and Goodbye. Until the next time, that is.

The Seiser Alm scene from the car. The narrow roads that lead up to Seiser Alm lighten in grade, for a moment. Here I follow Simen Sveen up, with Lars Amund Toftegaard running support. In addition to these two Norwegian friends, the Norwegian national team (sprinters and distance) joined us in Seiser Alm. This didn't help my German speaking education much (in this part of Italy you rarely hear Italian, and only the biggest of road signs will include the Italian with the requisite German), but I got the chance for the first time in six months to speak some Norwegian again. Experiences like this make me want to be more diligent with foreign language learning. Only time will tell if this "September 1st Resolution" holds strong this fall and winter.

Another great photo, compliments of "Toftis." I have almost reached the top, and the end, of a controlled intensity session up the serpentine mountain road. Sveen, one of the best uphill skiers in the world (ex: first Norwegian at this year's rollerski Blink Festival) was just a little farther up the road here.

Here's a little poster I put together for the people who support my ski racing gig. When I sent this, two-time Olympian Dan Simoneau wrote back.

Seiser Alm is sacred ground. It's the site of the only World Cup 4x10 relay ever won by the US. It's the site where Kochie won the WOrld Cup and I clinched 7th overall. Throw some dirt over your shoulder. Breathe deep. Draw strength from history. Here you don't have to imagine greatness. It's real. Yes, great things can be done. They have been done. Your turn. Suck in the air. Believe. Know.

Until the next time, Viel Spass! -T.

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