Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Raining Training

By Coach Terko

Usually it takes until after Thanksgiving camp for the dark, foreboding rain and cold temps to arrive in Canton. We've gotten a taste of it these past two weeks, however, so now it won't be such a surprise when we return from endless Ks of skiing in Quebec to wet dirty roads and sleet from the sky...I mean, there's always the chance we'll keep skiing after Thanksgiving week but I know enough from experience to say that is about a 2-in-7 chance. 

We had a 2-hour run from campus scheduled during last a volume week last Thursday, and to change it up Ethan and I set up a scavenger hunt around town...different routes for the men's and women's teams that had them crisscrossing paths all over Canton. Everyone embraced the weather!

We had another grey, cold day at Higley for some specific strength. We are doing a lot of classic specific strength this fall: all prep for the long classic races this season, which we haven't seen in a while. Triceps, triceps, triceps! Here's frosh phenoms Dana Hatton and Sliz Landry putting the muscles to work

The rain and cold reached its zenith on the day of the St. Regis uphill running test...of course. The trail was a waterlogged stream bed with stone sections turned into zen waterfalls of cascading slop. I've never competed in one, but it seemed like a "Tough Mudder" course for sure. Last year featured perfect conditions and broken records everywhere, so I think we were all a little leery on expecting good times. Turns out we underestimated the fitness levels here...Blaine put up the 4th fastest time ever, Meng the 7th and Kyle the 11th, with freshman Drew Houx having a great race to crack the top-15 historically. That's out of 103 total finishes for this test over the course of 10+ years! 

Blaine and Meng both broke the 30 minute barrier despite the gruesome conditions: before last year's test, only Tom Lepesquer had done so in 2006...now in the past 2 years 6 more sub-30s have been recorded! 

Coach Terko demonstrating trail conditions on St. Regis

On the women's side both Kate and Erin went down an older section of trail (heat of the moment, clouded judgement, you know...) but were both racing fast and furious, with Kate posting the 11th overall time historically in the crummy rain. Taren was out with a sprained ankle but the freshmen girls definitely held their own for their first summit of the "Reg"...what a day to have a first experience on this mountain!

While the weather has been a little doom-and-gloom, the team spirit has not been. Before St. Regis the Townsend family invited the team over for the now-annual cookie decorating event. Hot cider, sweet treats and a warm family kitchen made for a great escape from campus for many. While competition was tight, the vote for best cookie went to Calvin Swomley's masterpiece "Jorts Cat"

Chumley's magnum-opus "Jorts Cat"

The weather is warm today but trending cooler as the week goes on. With the loop at Foret Montmorency being spread out we are eagerly awaiting our first taste of real skiing...the forecast for Star Lake might hold some potential this weekend, and it even snowed on our rollerski the other day! If you can call some hail-ish ice pellets snow, which I do in this case:

The first snowflake of the North Country! 

As always, for more photos and tales, be sure to visit and 'like' the team Facebook page

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SLUSKI takes Lake Placid

By Drew Houx '18

The forecast predicted rain, cold temperatures, and numbing wind… but SLUSKI packed the vans anyway. With high hopes for a great training weekend in Lake Placid, nothing was going to deter us from getting in two really good workouts to top of another big week of training.  We were planning on going to Mount Van Hoevenberg (site of the upcoming 2015 NCAA Championships) for bounding intervals, then back down into the village for lunch, and then out towards Whiteface to do a grueling double pole work out. With a great day of training on the schedule, the team was ready to make the absolute most of the trip.

For many freshmen this was our first trip to the historic Olympic site of Mount Van Hoevengerg, and we were excited to see the trails that we would be racing and training on this winter.  With the rain and wind picking up and the temperatures dropping, the team got ready for our bounding intervals on the Ladies 5k course. Those of you who know the Ladies 5k know about the abundance of hills, which made for a perfect bounding work out. We completed three rounds through the 5k loop bounding each of the up hills and resting the down hills. This was a really great workout for the team not only because we got on the Mount Van Ho trails, but also because of the great interval session. After getting thoroughly acquainted with these trails, we cannot wait to see them again with snow. Cold and wet, we finished up the work out and were ready to head to town for some lunch.

Isaac Wright ’18 and Calvin Swomley ’17 kill it in a bounding interval on the Ladies 5k

We decided to get lunch at a nice restaurant called 46 Sandwiches. This might have been the highlight of the day for the team; whether because of the great food or the fact that it was dry and warm, we may never know. Lake Placid was a great town to stop in for a few hours to get some good food, warm drinks, and just relax.

After lunch we headed to down to the town of Jay to start our Double Pole workout. Just as we were beginning our warm-up, the skies cleared and we saw some much-needed sunshine for the remainder of the workout. We double poled from the center of Jay to the tolls of the access road on Whiteface. This was a great, grueling, work out to round off the great day of training. As Coach Terko would say, “this is a workout that you're going to be telling your grandchildren about from your rocking chair!”

Dana Hatton ’18 crushes it up to the tolls

After successfully making it to the top, a few members of the team decided to celebrate the long day with jumping in the freezing pond at the tolls (pictured below). Moments after getting in to vans, the clouds came back and within minutes the rain started up again; like always, time is everything and we had it down.

Here, Austin Meng ‘15 takes the leap of faith in to the body-numbing pond at the tolls

This picture was is the mapping of our DP workout. The shorter line, on the map, is our warm-up, and the longer one is our route up to the tolls. Above the map, the green line represents our elevation gain over the course of the workout, while the red one represents my heart rate.

Overall, it was a great day in Lake Placid and we cannot wait to get back and train there again soon!

Editors note: for many more photos of this trip visit the Team Facebook Page's LP Album!