Why do I continue to train at competitive cross country skiing? This is a question that I get asked by many different people. My response to that question comes from a coach that I worked with when I was younger. She always said to me â€œYou have to enjoy what you’re doing to succeed at it, to train well you must enjoy the training.â€ This little phrase has stuck with me from the moment I heard it. With the big move to Squamish I had to face the fact that I was going to have to train in a little more rain than I was used to…and by a little I mean a lot!
I am taking this opportunity to apologize to all the coaches I have ever worked with when I complained about having to train in the rain! Until this year, I have to say I had no idea what rain was! With the rainy weather that happens to bless quite a few workouts here, I can be 100% honest in saying that I have been enjoying every minute of it. That is, after I kick my own butt out the door. If there is another reason for enjoying training I cannot think of anything that tops the 6 hour run that I completed last Friday.
This past week my teammate Jesse and I, with the guidance and support crew of Amy, found ourselves on a beautiful run from Rubble creek to the top of Black Tusk Mountain, over to Function Junction (near Whistler). The weather was a balmy 15 degrees Celsius, sun shining, hardly a cloud in the sky. Perfect! We first ran past Garibaldi Lake, then began a steep ascent up Tusk.
We ran into snow around 1500m and from there on had to trek through it all the way up to the 2319m mark at the summit. We were lucky to get there early enough to still have a crust to walk on.
We took a short break at the top, our 3 hour mark, for food and of course pictures! While standing at the top, I realized that this one workout, while certainly not the easiest, was by far the most enjoyable training day of the year! This was why I continue to train to ski, something this rewarding makes all the rainy days in the past, disappear! From the summit we made it down quite quickly, in about 15 minutes (versus the 1.25 hr up) to the trail head and ran towards the parking lot 16 km to the north towards Whistler. Thankfully Amy was still there waiting for us!