New bests - As we get older and do the same time trials and tests year after year, our times tend to improve, but it gets harder and harder to set personal bests as our times get faster. Our team has some people who are double poling machines, others who can crush the uphill run test, and some who can cruise to new records in a 10k skate time trial. It's healthy to get competitive sometimes, but we've found a good way to celebrate individual victories, whether we were the fastest time of the day or not, it's always worth celebrating a new personal best.
|Getting ready (and serious) for the two mile uphill run test with Annie|
Eating from the garden. One of my favorite parts about summer is planting myself (no pun intended) in my parents' garden for an afternoon snack or an hour of harvesting berries and fresh vegetables. Farmer's markets are overflowing with produce and it's a nice time of year to be able to cook our own meals.
|Blueberries from my parents' garden|
Water. Honestly, I don't really like water. Well, I don't really like cold water, BUT when it's a triple H Vermont summer (hot, hazy, and humid), jumping in a swimming hole after training is hard to beat.
|Mid workout plunge at Little Rocky Pond|
Zzzzzs. Big training hours lead to big sleeping hours and nothing feels better than a good night of sleep after a hard day of training.
|Sleep when you can..|
|...where you can|
Elevation. My favorite workouts in the summer are long runs in the mountains. Whether I'm in the green mountains, white mountains, or rocky mountains, I love our running adventures that leave us feeling like we accomplished something #baggingpeaks
|Climbing mountains in Montana with Jessie|
|Back in VT|
|And the White in NH!|
Achy muscles. The actual pain of being sore isn't that pleasant, but knowing that you're getting stronger is a good feeling. Whether it's a new strength plan that makes it hard to lift my arms, sore quads and calves from running up and down Franconia Ridge, or a tired core from double pole intervals, it all means we're getting stronger at something and getting stronger is always good.
Lazy days. I love training hard and I also love lazy days. That's probably because they each make you appreciate the other even more. We generally take one day a week off and then one week every month is a recovery week where the training load is reduced dramatically. I couldn't even tell you what I do during a lazy day, but I guess that's the magic of it...it doesn't matter! My lazy days aren't usually very structured and it's nice to take a day that doesn't revolve around training, but just revolves around what you feel like doing each hour.
|Two breakfasts at once? Sure!|
Ahah feelings. This year is a big year with the olympics coming up and everyone wants to perform well. When I sat down with my coaches at the beginning of the summer, we decided that we weren't going to try to reinvent the wheel, we were going to do what we know works and focus on feeling good. I was going to drop my hours a little, rest if I was tired, and not push it if I was feeling good. It doesn't seem like rocket science because it's not, but that plan has left me feeling pretty good this summer! I don't feel like I'm overreaching and I've experienced a fair amount of that, "Ahah" feeling where you remember what it feels like to feel good.
|Running the Jim Bridger run in Bozeman|
|Classic ski with Erika|
|When sister time counts as training time, life is good.|
New experiences. As much as I love summer and getting into a routine, I also recognize the importance of new experiences. Whether it's climbing the highest mountain in Vermont for the first time with a couple of my best friends from childhood, rock climbing in Oregon for Sim's birthday, or discovering a new place to mountain bike with KO, these are all things that make me really happy and as simple as they are, they're new and different, and keep me feeling happy and balanced.
|Climbing Mansfield with Mae and Maddie|
|Girls' camp in Washington|
Developing together. You've heard it before, but we wouldn't be at the level we're at without our support system. Getting up to train every day is easy when I know my SMS teammates will be there with me, running workouts with the junior and devo kids puts smiles on our faces when we see them eager to learn and make progress, and watching each other get faster and grow as people is a pretty neat part of this job.
So there you have it! Those are a few of my favorite things about summer, and if you put them all together, they spell...NEW ZEALAND. On Sunday we'll be heading down under for three weeks of on snow training in one of my favorite places in the world. Thanks for following!