Welcome to my blog! This is a site where you can keep up to date on my life as a full-time athlete in the sport of cross country skiing. You can expect regular updates throughout the year as I report on training, racing, life in general and maybe even some school. Sponsors, family, friends and fans: Enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Straight Outta P'ton

Recently I have had a nasty case of tendinitis in my right foot.  For the past 2 weeks I have been reduced to a select few training activities: double poling, upper body strength, core exercises, swimming and Spirotiger.  All of which actually fit nicely into the 3 top focuses I discussed in my last post.  Needless to say, I am now a tank at all things upper body.

Today I completed my 4th ~2hr double pole session in a week down in the farmland of Pemberton (just down the hill from Whistler on the opposite side from Squamish).

Pemberton Meadows Road is a fantastic training location.  A 25km road, mostly smooth as a baby's bottom, with the biggest climb being about 1 meter of elevation gain (approaching a bridge).  One day I was there the traffic rate was 6 vehicles per hour.

I have never had a bad day in Pemby.  The scenery is absolutely stunning, with the narrow valley of quaint agriculture chokeholded by abrupt mountain-sides standing guard over this fertile, spud-growing gem of a town.  The views are never boring and you discover some new, comical, relic of an edifice every time on that road.  Today I saw a dilapidated hobbit-sized house, about 6-feet wide, laying in the middle of a field wedged between the bottom ends of two giant, end-to-end redwood logs that had been built into, hollowed out to provide an additional couple feet of habitable space on either side of the structure and with another window pieced into each log.

There's also this shaggy-ass llama that I have a staring match with every time I pass by.

I think there's a lot to be said about long, flat training roads.  The even training stimulus keeps the entire ski challenging, allowing you to be completely immersed in the finer technical aspects of skiing without having to worry about a terrain change or excessive traffic.  I have logged about 150km of focused double-pole cadence, forward lean/reach and core crunch work on this road in the past week.  I have also tried some nostril-only breathing to add in a challenge to the respiratory system (VERY hard) from time to time.

The only downside to rollerskiing in Pemberton is that it's a 30 minute drive from where I live.  Not good.  It's the nearest flat road though, and when my foot was largely immobile it was my only option.

On the opposite side of Pemberton from P. Meadows Road, there is the Duffy Lake Road.  By which I mean the LEGENDARY Duffy Lake Road.  Hailed as the best rollerskiing climb in Canada by some.  12km of brand-spankin' new pavement rising into the heavens.  Some pitches at 15%+.

With these two roads, Pemberton is a legitimate contender for perhaps a top-10 finish for top rollerskiing towns in Canada.

Pemby, baby.  Pemby.


PS. The foot is nearly recovered and the Pemberton sessions will now become more infrequent as I return to taking advantage of the endless training opportunities found outside my front door in Whistler Spring Creek.


kajsabrita said...

Oh, boohoo, 30 minute drive. I have to drive at least 45 minutes everyday to get to training with the team, and an hour to get up the mountain in the winter... damn Van traffic. Glad the foot is healing though, better be up for monday!

skatie ronski said...

Great photos and stories from the past fall. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful playground. I got to spend a week camping and mt biking in the Pemberton/Whistler area a few weeks ago-- it was heaven on Earth. It sounds like I will have to go back and bring the rollerskis too! Best of luck with the rest of your ski season preparations. See you this winter!