The heat and humidity of summer have arrived in the East. During one of our recent skis, Sophie asked whether it was rain or my sweat hitting her face. It was probably both. Every workout we finish I can literally see salt coating my skin, and unless I can see the granules of salt on my food there isn’t enough. Despite the horrendous humidity, we have had a busy busy week here at Stratton.
The training load this week was pretty average, with a steady accumulation of workouts leaving me very tired by Sunday night. Tuesday started with some one-poled skate intervals with Sophie (my shoulder was still a little sore), followed by the first week of a new strength plan! This strength plan involves a lot of explosiveness, and as Jessie said we finally get to use the muscles we’ve been building!
Muscle-using aside, this week I’ve been really focusing on using my arms. During skate speeds on Friday, Patrick told me that my arms were doing very little to propel me forward. I have these levers attached to my abnormally small torso that I work so hard to build up in the gym, but for some reason I just leave them behind when I ski. The key to skiing fast, I’m slowly learning, is doing everything in your power to let physics do the work. Why drag your hips when they can be the whole reason you go forward? Why keep your arms super close to your body when they are the most useful lever to pull you up the hill? All of these physics rules seem so simple in theory, but when I actually go to apply them (much like my high school physics experience) it just seems a whole lot harder.
But much like solving physics problems, practice does eventually (or so I’ve been told) make perfect. I’m known for being a bit of a talker (RE: distracted) during skis, but this week I tried really hard just to focus on actually using my arms. By the end of our skate OD on Sunday (which was very hot, and during which I accidentally skied in boots a full 5 European sizes too big for me…I know…I’m not sure how it happened either), I think I made some progress. If I’ve learned anything during my 21 years of life, it’s anytime you fight physics, you lose. And if you don’t lose, you are fighting a whole lot harder to win.
In other completely unrelated news, Monday was Ben’s 21st birthday! We put together a little Midwestern surprise for him, complete with carmel corn cake (Jessie’s brain child!), mini corn-dog muffins (my new speciality), and a big old pan of sloppy joes. It’s safe to say that while my Eastern and Western counterparts may not admit it, the Midwest does know a thing or two (or three or four) about delicious comfort food.
Tomorrow starts a new training week, and I’m kicking it off with a road bike ride in preparation for the Prouty, a 100-mile bike ride supporting the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. I’ve just signed up, and check out my donation page if you want to donate! It is a great cause, and a great bike ride as well!