The Italian Dream Continues…

EvanSeptember 23, 2011
Italy continues to treat our team well! After a day and a half of rain (and snow up high), we’ve had nothing but sunny skies and warm temperatures in the valley. Enthusiasm is so high: it’s great to see everyone getting along and excited to train every day. We’re having trouble convincing our skiers to take days off! One mandatory break was a visit to nearby Innsbruck to pick up Haands Strudel (Hans). We got him at the airport, but his bags were delayed, so we checked out the Olympic city on the Inn River:
Innsbruck’s major tourist attraction is the “Goldenes Dachl” or “Golden Roof” at the heart of the city. Built in 1500, the original structure still stands, with mountains rising in the background.

These were the last moments before a huge rainstorm in the region that left the valley pretty soggy and the peaks snowy.

The rain didn’t discourage us from training, though. Here Dev pegs his heartrate before the start of a bounding interval up the lower slopes of this alpine hill near the Austrian border.

In the afternoon, we got inside for a strength session and were surprised by a giant treadmill for rollerski testing. The girls try it out, with Coach Beckwith ramping up the speed and the incline.

I don’t know what’s brighter: the snow in the alpine or Kaitlin’s pearly whites: we’ve had some fun times since it got nice again.

It’s good to have Hans around: he’s bringing leadership, focus, and fun to the group, not to mention an array of hipster t-shirts.

Antoine has been our music guru for the past few days. We had a little dance party while waiting for keys to the kayak barn, and DJ Toine did not disappoint.

Rock on.

Our girl’s team is stronger than ever: they rollerskied uphill from Plaus to Oris the other day: three plus consecutive hours through the apple orchards in the valley here. Impressive!

It’s hard not to be happy when we’re here.

We’ve mixed up the training to keep everyone fresh: here the boys team goes for a run before kayaking. They don’t look tired, but they should: the day before, they took the train down to Marlengo, then skated 58 kilometers uphill back to Mals.  

Kayaking is a great recovery workout: we get off our feet and work on core and upper body strength: it’s about as ski specific as you can get without using ski poles.

We got all dressed up for our dinner at the Sport Oberschule: it’s been amazing to interact with the Italians here at the school. 

We thought that one beautiful overdistance rollerski in three days wasn’t enough, so we headed up with the Italian biathletes to classic ski the Martell Valley.

Our girls skied for a while with the Italians, who don’t classic ski very often (maybe once per week, they said). Then MK and Kaitlin pulled away: their fitness is evident in every workout we do.

Hans kept a careful eye on his heartrate: we’ve got a pretty sweet log of the workout from the Garmin monitor he was wearing:
Even gaining close to 5000 feet in elevation, and skiing at altitude, Hans and the rest of the gang did a great job of staying easy.

The road has some serious switchbacks: here Coach Beckwith stands one level up and shoots down at the group.

Pretty cool sequence of Ryley cruising around the hairpin turn.

The views on this ski were spectacular in every direction.

We’re not at the top yet, but the whole ski gave us reason to celebrate!

The two “trainers,” Andy and Justin. Collaboration has been incredible this entire trip.

Paradise Hotel: an historical Italian landmark at the top of the valley.

The coaches made a little hike down into the gorge, while the kids hiked up into the mountains.

It was a big day, and a good day. Italy is sweet!

At the top with new friends.

Is that Gavett? Maybe retired to the Sud Tirol in a few years?


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