Isaiah’s Yellowstone Week in Review

by Isaiah

Saturday, The Ride Up
After arriving in Boulder I got to leave really early in the BNJRT team van on a 14 hr ride to West Yellowstone. Due to impending weather up North we ended up going all the way up to Bozeman and back down rather than Teton Pass. Although the ride is not particularly eventful, 2 major points stand out. 1. Weaving Friendship bracelets is an oddly enjoyable way to pass many hours and 2. the music played in the Boulder van would cause Scottie to throw an ipod out the window.

Sunday, The First Ski
My first ski in West Yellowstone while fun, definitely had its drawbacks.  First, I learned the hard way that between my fall lifting and my brother’s ultra running, we are no longer the same weight, so my first hour or so was spent trying to overcome an overdose of kick wax. Second, Adam brought his portable lactate tests, so between coming from sea level and struggling with wax I easily took the highest heart rates of the day. However at 1.9 mmol for 161 bpm I also learned that my previously tested zones are wrong, at least something worked out. In the afternoon we went for anther ski focusing on no and single pole classic skiing, and I managed to stay closer to in zone.

Monday, The Long Ski
The monday morning workout was a 3 hr od with the whole rocky mountain conglomerate. I did my best to stay in zone skiing somewhere between the Durango guys and Steamboat girls. After about  2 and three quarters hours, much of which on not yet groomed trails, most of the teams had dispersed.  However, to get the full workout I continued with my brother, his top skier, the Crested Butte coach and one of his skiers. I was doing well until about 3 hrs and 15 minutes in I seriously bonked. On a positive note though, that meant I was on skis for the longest. After dinner we went to see Harry Potter 7 prt 1 in the lone theater, and basically every other colorado team had the same idea, but it was still a nice treat even though I kind of just wanted sleep.

Tuesday, Preparing for the Sprint
Both of the skis today were focused on learning the course for the sprint showdown scheduled for tomorrow. After skiing some loops and figuring out the difference between the skate and classic courses, we proceeded to do ladder speeds.

Wednesday, Too Cold to Sprint
So the sprints were postponed due to it being like -8 degrees F. With the brutal cold, we bundled up for one lone ski along the Windy Ridge trail. I actually was glad that the sprints were postponed, because staying with the common view that the 4th and 5th days at altitude are the worst, I felt like crap. With the rest of the day free there was little better to do than play Wii wintersports, which does not even begin to compare with the real deal.  However, when the gleeks tuned into Glee that was the last straw, so Mike and I went sticker hunting at the expo.

Thursday, The Sprint Showdown
After much anticipation the sprints finally happened. In my races I felt solid technically but a little flat from a lack of speed work in the fall.  However, the part of today that will always stick with me is the poorness of the setup. The sprint courses themselves were quality enough, but there was the problem that after finishing, skiers had to ski 2 km back to the start.  It also seemed poorly thought out that the skate race involved finishing by going backup on a two way hill. I dont think I’m conveying my disapproval well, but trust me it was awful.

Friday, The Last Day on Good Snow or Winning Feels Good 
While many of the Boulder kids prepared for the skate race (slept in), I and the others not racing proceeded to do a race warm up folllowed by 6×1 minute all out intervals and a steady L3 10 minute piece. The workout felt good and I noticed quite a bit of heart rate supression, indicating that this had indeed been a big week of training. After getting warm and changing we went back out to suport the racers, of which Mike was .2 seconds out of the first results page. In the afternoon we broke out the ugly spandex for a ski in the park, for me that meant the cow tights. On this excursion we through the park to a river and around a little loop, unfortunately the only wild life was some crows and a bald eagle. However, we crossed paths with the St.  Olafs team and Adam challenged them to a friendly powder sprint. Using a beautiful high knee run, I handily beat him out for the win, putting the frosting on the week. Then maximizing our last day we went for a night ski, which like any night ski was thrilling, especially since none of the hills had a chance of comparing to Oak Hill in the daylight. This was by far the fastest conditions of the week and a perfect way to end.

Saturday, The Drive Back
On the return trip we were able to cross through Teton pass. Though less eventful than before we did end up eating cupcakes with enough saturated fat to make those reading the label want to gag. And we watched some world cup videos including the Holmenkolen 50km from last march.

Sunday and Monday, Back in Boulder and Back Home 
Today Adam took me to ski at Eldora, which compared to Oak Hill’s conditions last year, quite a let down from West. Then I waxed a ton of skis that are way better than mine, yay. Although if i could I’d stay out there, I’m back.  If anyone knows where theres snow speak up.


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