A Little Pavement for Breakfast

So yesterday morning I took a little tumble.  Ok maybe it was more than a little tumble.  I went from being upright to being laid out pretty fast.  Pete Vordenberg once told me if I wasn’t falling I wasn’t trying hard enough…  Well I was trying alright.  In my second interval I hit some debris on the uphill and my wheel stopped.  I didn’t have a chance to save myself, and I’m thankful I was wearing long tights and a long sleeve shirt.  My leg looks like I took a cheese grater to it, I tore through the arm of my shirt and removed a chunk of my elbow, scraped the same skin off my hip I do every time I fall, and messed up my shoulder.

Patrick and Bjorn ran down the hill as I rolled over onto my back.  I slowly counted my limbs, nothing appeared broken.  They ask if I’m alright and I nod my head, yes.  “You want to know the good knews?” Patrick asks.  ….and what do I say?  “You got it all on tape!?!?”  yes. yes he did.   “You were flying!” he said.  “Seriously, you flew.” Bjorn adds.  I couldn’t get my one leg to stop shaking for the rest of the work out, but I finished my intervals and went back to the training center to get cleaned up.

They still aren’t sure what I’ve done to my shoulder.  It doesn’t hurt when force is applied, or really if pressure is applied either…it just hurts to move it.  We are waiting to see what happens when the muscle inflammation goes down.

Keep your fingers crossed.  But in the mean time you can check out the best four seconds of video ever recorded on my facebook page.


Weathering the Storm

Its been a lovely weekend here.  Really lovely.  Actually Saturday and Sunday have been, in ways, polar opposites, but still relatively kick ass in their own rights.

Saturday was beautiful.  Yes the calm before the storm.  As Irene slammed into Virgina, North Carolina and the eastern coast we played in the sunshine in Lake Placid.  Wynn, Russell and I headed out in the morning to Whiteface.  The boys had longer threshold ski walking intervals and I had some short hard bounding intervals.  I’ve done alot of intervals on the mountain this summer but these are the first bounding intervals I have done.  It was warm and sweaty and perfect.  A nice little warm up and some 15x15s and then right into 6x4mins relatively all out. Pure awesomeness.

Spent the afternoon playing with a friend’s puppy.  She got a lot of love from some of the other resident athletes.  The training center grass is a great little playground for her.  Loads of attention for the puppy.  Lots of play time.  Then it was off to a birthday party for our strength coach’s daughter.  Seemingly two year olds and athletes are perfect playmates.  Who can say no to cupcakes?

And then there is today…  Irene, our little tropical storm, has finally made its way into Upstate New York.  Lots and Lots of rain… We’ve already gotten some pretty good wind that foiled all of our attempts to a late breakfast in town this morning.  Each of our options seemed to lose power one by one.  Bummer?  yes indeed.  When we got back to the training center they didn’t have power either…and those fancy new electronic keys and doors we got this spring don’t work when the powers out.  Lucky for us another athlete let us into the building.  We all had to retrieve the old spare keys to get into our rooms but finally we were back in.  We are actually really lucky.  The training center is on the same grid as the hospital and so when the power goes out we are one of the first areas to get help.

I don’t know if we are still running on the back up generator or not.  But for now we have lights!  Here’s to the perfect rest day.  Watching the storm from the computer of my blankets!


Mix and Match

One of the great things about being semi on my own right now in Lake Placid is that I can do a little bit of everything.  Some structured workouts, some spontaneous workouts.  Its been really nice to have that sort of freedom and flexibility in my training.  In a way it acts as a mental break as well.  Lots of time to play!

That being said I’ve taken advantage of the fact that there are all these world class teams here…even if their sports are different than mine they make great training buddies!  I’ve started a new strength program with the strength and conditioning coach, Brad, here at the training center, and I really enjoy working with him.  I was so excited to get on a modified strength program and I think I am going to make some real gains in the weight room and on the ski trails this winter!  So on tuesday when the bobsledders, luge and skeleton athletes headed outside onto the grass to warm up for tempo strength I straggled along.  Without hesitation Brad threw me into the mix.  I had no instructions so I just hopped into line and sort of just played follow the leader.  A little jog, some dynamic stretching, hurdle work, and then into the weight room to collect some plates and med balls.  They cut all the weight in half for me, these girls are strong, not sure if I’ve ever looked so shrimpy!  It was a blast!  Those girls took good care of me and it was incredible to watch them motivate, support, and encourage each other through out the workout.  Hopefully I’ll get to jump into a few more of those in the weeks to come!

I’ve also fallen into a few of the luge team’s games.  Mostly…bandy.  Bandy I believe is the Finnish term for floor hockey.  I’ve jumped into two games now and its been super fun.  One of the games I actually used as a warm up before strength!  They are a competitive bunch, but I think I did an ok job holding my own.  In the past they’ve played several times a week so the older guys are pretty quick…mostly I just try to get in the way as much as possible.  Success?

Most of the B team boys arrived back in town earlier this week and its been great to have a few other biathletes bouncing about.  Even if we are doing different workouts its nice to have people coming in and out of the range with you, skiing and running about.

The rest of the week is pretty tame here.  Distance tomorrow and some short hard intervals saturday morning, followed by a sleepy sunday of course.  Next week will be a little more high paced.  Intervals monday, thursday, and saturday!  Can’t wait!  …and of course the return of the rest of the team from Europe on the 4th.  Holy Toledo…its almost September!!!

I leave you with a few pictures from the hike/run/adventure Wynn and I went on earlier in the week.

And then there was one.

Yes sir. that’s right.  one little biathlete.

Susan and I spent the rest of the week in Vermont with Patrick and Bjorn (yep thats a 1:1 coach athlete ratio) training…ok trying to train.  We made it through the week. One day at a time.  Although I spent a good portion of the week sleeping some good training still got done.  Lots of shooting, a hike on Mt. Mansfield, and lots and lots of blueberries were the highlights of the week.  Oh yeah and the Farmhouse’s burger and fries, to die for!

I’ve been back in Lake Placid for a week now and its been great.  The weather is fantastic.  I’m finally healthy and training again at full strength!  During skate intervals this morning I felt like I could actually ski…quickly!

Last sunday I said goodbye to my team mates headed off to Europe and I headed back into the training center.  One little biathlete left in placid.  Lucky for me some of the guys are coming back from home in the next couple of days…so perhaps I won’t look so lost or perhaps out of place with some of my “own kind” bopping around.


Here’s a few pictures from our little hike in overcast Vermont!

How does this go again?

When it comes to my health, my well being, and my training I would say I’m a haphazard mix of cautious… and bullheaded youthful stupidity.

Sure I’m still a terrible nap taker but I’ve gotten really good at taking my rest day every week.  …and although I still struggle with rest weeks I’ve gotten a lot better at fueling during and after my workouts.  Its a balancing act.

A place I still struggle though is when you are on the upswing.  That tender troublesome span of time when you are coaxing your body to turn around and inch its way back toward healthy. Back towards 100%.  I mean so when are you better?  Truly better?  How many days to you take off…or take easy?  When can you get back into the normal routine?  When can you join your team mates in intervals?  When are you being dumb and when are you being too cautious?

Is there a secret systematic check list I’m unaware of?  What are the rules?  I’ve always relied on a coach to tell me whats best for me.  So when they ask well how do you feel…I freeze up.  Well I feel okay.  I still spend quality time in the morning hacking, coughing, and blowing yellow nasty-ness from my throat and nose.  But I feel ok.  And sure I’m not a napper and I’ve been crashing hard…I fell asleep sitting upright after lunch yesterday.  But I mean…I feel ok. right?

I’m the athlete that goes until I drop.  The kid who doesn’t quit until my body physically gives up or gives out.  This whole being cautious thing is really foreign to me.  I feel like such a wimp.  Tip toeing around.  Don’t break Corrine.  Its not me.  But I’m training smarter right?

So is it really all this guess work?  Isn’t there something more concrete that I can rely on!?!?

I guess thats just how it goes.  I’m trying to listen to my body more closely.  To understand it and catch it before it falls apart.  I just wish someone else could tell me what I need…its always been easier that way.

And then my body said “Stop! No More!”

I can tell you one thing.  There is nothing cute about a girl wearing several layers of rain jackets and pants lying in fetal position on a picnic table shaking uncontrollably and struggling to catch her breath for a good half an hour.  I had reached a point where I couldn’t tell if I was hot or cold anymore…but hugging my knees towards my chest felt just about right.

so I laid there.  sweaty and covered in goosebumps. a heap of contradictions.

After spending much of saturday asleep we decided giving Sundays race a shot would be ok.  I started at the very back of the women’s back in our modified “american” pursuit.  The first lap went alright I was skiing a pretty even pace with the other women.  I shot well, cleaned my first prone stage.  Happy to not ski penalty loops since the thought of skiing any extra today would suck out any extra ounce of energy I had.

I was catching other women who had struggled on the range!  Skiing was not getting any easier, prettier, nicer.  I could feel my body struggling to continue at race pace and keep myself upright at the same time.  I shot well through my second and third stages. 2 penalties in prone, and just one penalty in my first standing stage.

Somewhere in the middle of lap three I started getting pretty bad chills.  I had goosebumps on my legs and arms.  I kept thinking, “I shouldn’t be this cold…its so hot!”  By the time I came into the range for my last standing stage I was getting loopy.  I nearly fell over getting on the mat.  I was on point 17 but I struggled to even point my rifle in the right direction…points 16 and 18 where looming.  The shots I fired off were in vain…i even hit the range roof.  At that point I knew I was done.  My body was quitting.  Sleeping through most of Saturday’s meals was suddenly seeming like a horrible idea.  The tank was on empty.

So that’s where my race ended and my fetal position began.  It was a rough day.  I tried.  I just didn’t have enough left.  As a team-mate pointed out.  It’s only August.  I’ll just have to do myself justice in October.  I slept a good 10 hours last night.  A nap is probably in my future.  What I’m really hoping the amount of yellow gunk I’m now expelling from my body is a sign I’m on the mend and not getting worse…

Calm before the storm

So thats it.

My mind said, “Hey we can push. It won’t be fun but we can push through this.  It’s going to be ugly, but we like ugly.”

And the coaches said, “Don’t be stupid” …

then my body chimed in, “In all fairness this really sucks.”


It wasn’t an easy choice.  I cried actually when Patrick told me it was clear I shouldn’t race, I cried a little more when Jonne told me I should not feel obligated to race and that my health is more important.  I cried a little more when Bjorn dropped me and my stuff back off at the barracks…and then I went to sleep.  And I slept hard.  I slept right through lunch and into the early afternoon.  Team mates came and went and I slept.  I slept so hard that when I woke up I thought it was tomorrow and I panicked when none of my team mates were in the room.

Although I’m no more rejuvenated that went I hit my pillow I know it was the right call.  Talk about a power nap!

There is a race tomorrow, but in all reality I dont think the coaches are going to clear me for racing.  My body is on its funny little line.  The same line I found last fall that took me out for two weeks.  I have to be good right now.  I have to allow my body the rest its crying for and hope that I don’t get worse.

Plan for the afternoon?  A little more sleep.  Followed by dinner.  Then a little more sleep.  Then a team meeting.  Then lots and lots of sleep!  I’m not sure if I’ve ever been this excited to sleep before?  But my legs are lead heavy, inside of my head feels huge and dry…and the yellow stuff coming out of my nose and throat is a real treat!

Keep your fingers crossed and send the apple cider vinegar my way?

Pre Race…Pre Race!?!?!

I sat down at breakfast yesterday morning.  A little tired, very groggy, hoping desperately the coffee I had in front of me would put some life back into me… when Bernd sat down.  Bernd is our high performance director, the man with a plan.  “You are excited to race?”  He was referring to the races we have tomorrow and the next day.  I do not think he approved of my response.  My face kind of crinkled, I looked like I had just smelt something terrible.  “Um…sure?” was the only verbal response I could muster.  He frowned.  “okay, okay….for you?  For you I will try to race fast!”

In my mind I’m screaming, “Its August, we’ve put in more 20+ hour weeks than I’ve ever done before!  ITS AUGUST!!!!”  Its August, and my body is not ready to go fast.  But it has to this weekend.  I will have to make it go fast.

We skied our typical “pre race workouts” this morning.  The range was packed with people.  National guard men and women, youth and juniors and seniors from across the country and the national team.  All there.  All getting ready to race.  My legs didn’t feel exceptionally spunky this morning.  My heart rate was high, my legs pleaded with me to stop.  Impulse brought me to a grinding halt.  Ugh i thought…Ugh!

I’m willing, pleading, begging my legs to fight.  To wake up.  To carry me through this weekend.  If I ask nicely enough and smile it should work…right?  I know I shouldn’t worry.  I’m trying not to worry.  I’m not going to worry.  I know my mind is much much stronger than my body.  Both feel a little out of practice right now, but I know I have to push.  My mind is stronger.  My mind will tell my body it can fight.  It might be survival mode out there tomorrow, but I’m fighting for more than survival…so much more than that.

Back to Vermont

Our little intermission from Jericho has come to an end here in Lake Placid and now we are getting ready to head back to Vermont for another week or so of training.  Back home in New York we had some awesome weather.  Lots of swimming, lots of rest, lots of sunshine.  A bike accident and a birthday celebration.

We jumped back into team training on tuesday with, you guessed it, more whiteface intervals!  It was fun to have Sara and Annelise on the mountain with me.  Coaches Jonne and Bjorn even jumped in the mix a little bit for some short bounding intervals at the end.  To Bjorn’s merit he didn’t have ski poles and was only armed with a backpack full of blood lactate testing things…but he still kicked butt racing head to head with Jonne.

This weekend we have Summer Rollerski Biathlon Nationals…I know its a mouthful.  There have actually been biathletes living in the barracks all week training together!  We are sneaking in a little late, but I like it better that way.  The races will consist of a sprint and pursuit and all the seniors (moving up in the world) will carry our rifles just like we do on snow.  I’m a little nervous.  These races will be the first of two sets of qualifiers to make it to the on snow camp in November in Sweden.  After all its only August…right?

Keep your fingers crossed. I’ll let you know how it all pans out!