I am back home in Lake Placid now after an incredible training camp in Bend, Oregon. I had only been to Bend once before and that was 12 years ago, but I remembered it being a great place to train. My memory was correct and Bend once again proved to be the best place for May training.
I don’t know if I have ever been to a place where weather can change so drastically in such a short distance. Every morning we would leave summer conditions in the town of Bend and make the 20 minute drive up to Mt. Bachelor where we were greeted with winter. There was at least a few feet of snow on the trails at Bachelor and there was even more by the time we left. The skiing conditions were phenomenal and we often experienced a hard-packed, fast track for the first few hours of skiing. Some days it would get quite slow by the end, but that was fine with us because it meant the sun was out in full force. It was not uncommon to start each ski in full winter gear and end in a t-shirt.
Besides super skiing conditions, Bend is also home to incredible Mt. Bike and running trails. We would often put in a big ski in the morning and then head out for a bike or run in a t-shirt and shorts in the afternoon.
Another advantage to training in Bend at this time of year is that is filled with many elite skiers. Although we did not get too many chances to train with other skiers, it was still great to be in an atmosphere where everyone is working hard and trying to take skiing to the next level in North America.
Perhaps the most inspiring of all was the chance to train next to the US Paralympic ski team. I was so impressed with how strong these guys were. It absolutely opened my eyes to how much improvement I can make in my own specific strength. I would not last 15 minutes in one of the sit-skis, yet these guys were out there for hours at a time in some challenging conditions. It’s no wonder that they have had so much success in the past.
After experiencing winter for a few weeks I arrived back home to summer in Lake Placid. It feels great to be back and I look forward to being around here for most of the summer. After spending so much time on the road the rest of the year, I really appreciate everyday that I get to spend at home!