To kick off the training camp schedule for this season the team headed south to Bend, Oregon. This June camp has become a favorite for everyone on the team. The combination of warm or even hot, weather, usually with very little rain is ideal for great training. The training opportunities are fantastic. Not to mention the ‘recovery’ food and drink scene is incredible. (There are more then two dozen breweries, local to Bend.) It has always been a joy to go to Bend. The training and food are both great but I think a large part of it is the atmosphere of the town. With the climate they have it would be hard not to get outside and do something. It is more then that, the town itself has built a very active and exciting lifestyle. Which then can be enjoyed it some awe-inspiring scenery.
All that said, sometimes you hit an off year. The first two days I was there were border line hot. Into the mid-30s and bright sun but over the next week it continuously cooled off. To the point where there was frost on the windscreens in town. I can’t say it was all that bad, it would warm up to pleasant temperatures by the afternoon but it was not the shorts only weather I had gotten used to here in previous camps in Bend. We had a few spectacular days. One being a crust cruise up to Broken Top. The snow pack was a bit challenging with some huge sun-cupped areas but the higher I went the smoother the snow got. The work to get to the top was well worth the descent back down. Just had to watch out for the exposed rocks that were beginning to peek through as the snow was melting.
The second time I skied was…memorable. There was grooming at the top of Mt. Bachelor for a ski camp. So the team headed up for a longer volume ski. As we drove up to the mountain the rain began, then got heavier, then bigger droplets, turning into really wet snow, wet snow and finally actual snow. Acuminating on the road. I knew it wasn’t warm up there but I hadn’t really planned on this wet. So I put on pretty much all the clothes I had brought up to the mountain with me. I may have looked like an idiot but at least I was a warm idiot! It was not a pretty day to ski but I focused in, worked on technique. In the end it may have been one of my most productive days on the camp. Robin, Brian and I skied so long up there that the chairlift (which was suppose to be our way down) had shut down for lunch. Meaning there was only one way down- down the hill. It was not my favorite part of the ski to start with but by the time I got to the bottom I was smiling a bit more. It is a weakness of mine and it was either work on that weakness or be stuck up at the top.
A couple of workouts we got wet but overall the camp was a huge success and the exact springboard I need to set up the remainder of the year. As it would happen I got to spent my rest week afterwards on Prince Edward Island. Where I found the sun and warmer temperatures. I was an amazing 10 days back on the Island. Right from the start and that first breath of fresh Island air felt so good as I stepped off the plane. I trained at some of my favorite spots once again like the National Park between Rustico and Cavendish (a great place to roller ski). Ran all the mountain bike trails at Brookvale Provincial Park. As well, explored a few newer areas for roller skiing. Did some man-crafts around my parent’s house. To top it off; a few typical islander activities; a round of golf followed by dinner at Top of the Park, watching and even calculating a bet on some harness racing (I got second and third right, but that counts for nothing). As most trips go, it was over way too soon but I had to get back to Canmore for a week of testing and intensity.
Testing went very well, confirming that I’m right where I want to be at this time of year. The next part of this intensity block was to race the Uphill Skate Time Trials as part of Biathlon Canada’s Testival (West). It was my first time taking part in Testival. It was a hard effort (about 20 minutes of continuous climb) I am very pleased how I did. Also very satisfied with my recovery after the race.
On Saturday I was giving a chance to participate in my first Gran Fondo. I want to thank TransRockies for the opportunity to take part in the Gran Fondo Highwood Pass. It was a lot of fun. Something different to my normal training. Wrapping up our intensity block this week and then begin preparing for the next training camp, on-snow at the Snow Farm.

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