by Tim [photo courtesy of GMVS Facebook page]
I awoke the second morning of the camp at 5:30 AM again and promptly went back to sleep like a normal teenager. Just kidding. I read an article from FasterSkier on my laptop and listened to the birds outside my window; life is too short to sleep until 7:00 AM. Everything else about this morning was the same as yesterday’s: morning wake-up run, breakfast, and preparation for our morning workout. This was a good day because we were going to Jericho to classic ski on their rollerski loop and shoot some .22 LR with the biathletes.
This was not the first time I had skied on the rollerski loop, but this was for sure the largest group of people I’ve ever seen hit the range at the same time. The sight was quite awesome to behold, and then slightly terrifying when we started shooting in groups. Algis was there to oversee the shooting, Algis by the way is the US Biathlon Eastern Regional coach. Each group shot for a decent chunk of time. Some in the group worked on putting lead down range and others worked on their own curiosities of the sport, mine happened to be off-hand forehand position. The rifle was not fit for my tall frame but Algis showed me a forehand position that fixed that problem. It’s impressive to think that people shoot off hand at an elevated heart rate and hit 5 targets. I have tremendous respect for biathletes.
Once my group was done with the range we skied around the loop a few times. Or rather, they skied as a group and I lagged behind trying to keep my heart rate low for the 2.5 hours we were there. The paved course was for roller skiing only, which was a fantastic change from the roads I am so used to skiing on. This course was very hilly and was great at building confidence on skiing downhill fast. At one point I hit just under 50 Km/h which was a bit unsettling but also great fun. My group did two loops before moving on to our speed session comprised of double pole starts out by the range. This was nothing out of the ordinary but it did get exciting when JB put three people next to me on the start line to sprint around a tight corner. The inside guy got pushed into the gravel on the side of the pavement and sprayed the rest of us with a ridiculous amount, nearly taking us out in the process. Thanks to JB’s off pavement rollerski training no one actually fell during this minor catastrophe of a sprint start. Thank you JB!
We ended our rollerski with a biathlon relay, but we had to follow the rules of biathlon. Each time a skier missed a target they had to do a lap in the penalty loop. This boiled down to who can ski five times around in a circle the fastest. I fell on my second penalty lap, of course. However, one person in my group actually hit 3 targets so he made up for it. We ended up fifth out of five teams, but it was a great experience anyway. This experience was only made better by a gallon of cold water given to each group after we departed the range and stopped at a country store for lunch.
After lunch we went for another river swim, and this was possibly the best river we went to during the camp, in my opinion at least. The water was cold and clear and set right under a rock that was just perfect for jumping off of, because that’s the first thing people think of when there’s a rock in a river. At this point our day was more than half over. It was probably around 2:30 before we thought of leaving the cold embrace of the river and head back to the GMVS campus for the afternoon strength session.
Upon arriving back at campus we unloaded our gear from the vans and relaxed for an hour before making our way to the RPC (Race Performance Center) for strength. I did primarily core strength and in the process of getting a workout in I learned my new favourite way to do planks: off of a TRX band. That was the most intense three sets of five minute around the world planks I’ve ever done. In fact they were so intense I was literally dripping sweat onto my mat, so much so that my arms would readily slide off the mat. It. Was. Amazing. After I picked myself off the floor, at the end of the workout, it was about time to get dinner, so we all got showered and made our way to the dining hall. The rest of the night was uneventful and I quickly retired to bed after getting the briefing for tomorrow’s agility race. It sounded like Thursday’s stations all thrown together. That was what I went to bed with in my mind on the last night of GMVS camp.