Week 2 is when everything starts to pick up speed—just as classes are beginning to get more intense, so did our training plan! The goal for this week was to get some good hard intensity sessions in, while keeping the easy days light to ensure optimal recovery.
We started the week off at 7 am on Monday with some max squat testing. While it’s certainly not my favorite way to spend time in the gym, it’s nevertheless rewarding to see my teammates getting stronger. We headed out in the afternoon for an easier session of double pole technique in a location we refer to as “the neighborhood,” which is indeed a small suburban neighborhood street in Hanover. Smooth pavement and minimal traffic make it an ideal place to practice more difficult maneuvers such as “no-pole” double poling.
Tuesday morning was a skate interval session at Occum Pond. It was the perfect workout to focus on being quick and smooth rather than going super hard, and to finally enjoy some shorter L3 intervals. We re-convened at 6pm in Alumni Gym for a yoga session, where we not only reaped the restorative benefits of stretching and breathing exercises, but also learned some Sanskrit numbers!
On Wednesday, we had a very boring mandatory meeting at 8am in Robo basement. At least, that’s what the freshmen were anticipating on Tuesday night. Little did they know that the rest of the team would be waking them up at 6am for “special practice”—a beloved tradition that doesn’t involve an actual workout, but does involve dressing up in flair and going to breakfast at Fort Lou’s in Lebanon.
Today wraps up an amazing first week of training. By amazing, I really do mean amazing…ask any of the underclassmen who would probably regard my enthusiasm for our first week’s workouts as strange and probably excessive. While I’m not going to refute either of those two adjectives, I will say that I think that I am justified in my eager optimism. We started out our week with a 7:30 am captain’s practice core session. Despite the early start and a hectic first day of classes ahead, the entire team showed up motivated and excited to begin the first week of training. The enthusiasm continued throughout the week, from L3 bounding intervals at Oak Hill with the men’s team, to our 2 hour OD ending at the Dartmouth Skiway, to the Canadian Strength Test on Thursday. Honestly, by the end of the day Thursday, I already felt as though I had been on campus for two months, but nonetheless, our week was not over! The entire Dartmouth ski team got the chance to train together and cheer each other on during our annual Velvet Rocks Uphill Time trial on Friday. The women’s Nordic team flew up the hill, with everyone running right around or below 10 minutes. Taryn led the group with a time of 8 minutes and 34 seconds, while Lydia came in a close second. Following the workout, Hillary led some games that integrated the Nordic and Alpine teams and the evening culminated with a delicious barbeque. Continue reading
Once again no snow in Hanover called for creative training. On Tuesday we had an indoor workout with a mix of spinning and erg speeds. Thursday called for a run or rollerski(!) in the pouring rain, which turned out to be quite fun!
Corey and Lydia puddle jumping after a fun run in the rain
On Friday the Carnival team headed off to Middlebury for the last carnival races of the season!
Carnival team (minus Zoe and Cal) gettin’ classy at the dessert banquet
Middlebury and Rikert did an amazing job pulling together a race course after the rain on Thursday. They worked so hard to make the slush and ice skiable and we raced on a 5k loop for the first time in a while! The women raced a 5k skate on Saturday, mastering some icy downhill turns and steep pitches. The rest of the team came to Rikert for the day to ski and do a time trial, and made up an awesome cheering squad! Sunday was a 15k classic mass start and Cami and Ruff once again covered themselves in klister to give us some great skis. Many of us raced in t-shirts, and there was a post race team EISA picture and cooldown to end a great season of eastern racing! Continue reading
The East Coast is continuing its streak of no snow. Following frigid racing at Dartmouth carnival and an over distance ski in -15 degrees, Hanover made a 60-degree weather shift, and by Tuesday it was 40 degrees and raining. But weather doesn’t stop the Dartmouth ski team! -15 degree racing? No problem. Spin bike workouts because there is no snow anywhere near campus? No problem. So, on Tuesday the team cranked up the jams and got pumped about “spin-tervals,” The positive mentality on this team is unwavering. My teammates are excited whether they are gliding along freshly groomed tracks in Silver Star or spin biking and running in February. And on the bright side, we still haven’t resorted to roller skiing!
The results don’t change either. In fact, the team just keeps improving. Last weekend we traveled to the Williams Carnival in Lake Placid. On Friday, flying freshman Lydia led the team with a fifth place in the skate 10K, followed closely by Emily Hannah in sixth. This set the team up well for a killer 5k classic pursuit in some of the craziest conditions I’ve ever seen. We awoke to 40 degrees, rain and nearly impossible waxing conditions. Half the team chose klister, the other half decided to ski on zeros…I don’t know if any of our skis actually kicked, but everyone made the best of it and we ended up with some great results. Mary had the third fastest time of the day and moved up to seventh overall! I think the most credit goes to our amazing coaches. We must have tested every klister, hardwax and combination of the two. Cami and Ruff kept a steady pace all morning, juggling our testing information, scraping and re-waxed our skis and re-sanding our zeros.
Mary waving the flag high after her speedy 5k classic
So, here’s to positive teammates, great coaches and crazy weather patterns! Keep the snow dances coming.
Mary hitches a ride to the awards ceremony
What a week!
From the beginning, it was pretty clear:
This one was going to be quite unique.
The festivities began Sunday
With a burst of bright, bright PINK!
To celebrate our Winter Carnival,
We dyed our hair in a blink.
Goodbye boring old brown-
Now we are spotted from across the Green!
All of campus knows who we are, and they agree,
Nothing better has ever been seen!
But despite our high hopes,
Hanover said goodbye to snow.
So it was decided,
Off to Craftsbury we’ll go!
And something else happened
That was really quite silly-
The weather outside grew
Really, really chilly.
But, we are the Big Green-
We race in the cold,
We race in the rain,
We race over ice,
We race through the pain.
Without thinking twice,
We race in anything to keep our reign! Continue reading
Last week was a volume week for us as we took advantage of some snow, and for once in most of our lives we wished we lived in D.C. Despite our lack of snow, we pulled out the rock skis, headed to Oak Hill and went into a hard week of training ending with the Carnival team up in Waterville for the Colby Carnival and the rest of us here to enjoy the snow at Oak Hill and then head up to Craftsbury for a fun Duatholon and Hil’s birthday!!
Lydia celebrating being a part of the big green. We had a fun day of skiing on a mixture of landcovers and made the most of some of our final patches of snow.
This season so far has been a huge learning curve for me in terms of the culture of our team and the history it carries. Traveling with the D-team is an experience in itself; we don’t stay in hotels, we often wax for ourselves, we work hard to work hard. It takes a full team effort to even get to the races and once there even before proving our skills, we provide our own luck (most of which Hillary takes care of). Not only does this bring an entirely new perspective on ski racing, it has given me a view into the culture of Dartmouth skiing, as we often stay with different alumni on our weekend adventures. Alumni are not hard to come by in the east and we often have visitors drop by our dusty basement to reminisce about the good ol’ days on the Dartmouth ski team. Talking to these alumn, whether in the basement, on the trails, or often in their houses where they generously allow us to stay, has given me a deep appreciation for the culture of our team and a determination to continue that culture. I’ve seen different dynamics on different teams. Female athletes, through my experience, have a tendency to feed off of each others energy and individuals cannot succeed unless there is team strength. The Dartmouth Ski Team has an impressive history. So, what does it take to succeed?
The Carni team after our grand victory
Following a six-week break from campus highlighted by a training trip to the winter paradise known as Silver Star ski resort, the team returned rested, excited, and ready to kick off the season…the only problem, it appeared, was that the weather wasn’t as ready as we were.
Unwilling to let the lack of snow get in the way of our training, we found some alternative solutions (no rollerskiing on principle!). We resorted to a run up Reservoir Road on Monday, but on Tuesday, Cami was able to reserve the spinning room in Alumni gym, where we did some hard “spin-tervals”.
We finally woke up to a few inches of snow on Wednesday morning, so we dutifully adhered to our traditional “bikini ski” celebration. Nothing like starting off your day with a ski on the Green!
Yes, bikini skiing is as fun (and as chilly) as it looks!
Those few inches of snow weren’t quite enough to render Oak Hill skiable, so Hilary scouted out some terrain by Bragg Hill for those of us who had not left for Bates Carnival by Thursday afternoon. No groomers? Not a problem for this team! After a few laps of the field, we’d carved out our own trail.
Meg surveys the work of the Dartmouth Ski Team groomers. Continue reading
If a week is measured by the amount of character you build, this week is probably at a 12 (out of 10). The week started out innocently enough. Me on Monday: “This week’s blog is about fashion, so make sure you’re looking your best this week, ladies!” By the time Friday rolled around and I hadn’t taken any fashion pics (I’m not much of a photographer) I was feeling a bit at a loss with nothing to write about. Oh, if only I had known what was in store!
Friends, if you thought the Dartmouth Women’s Ski Team was spending a leisurely Friday evening watching Netflix and chilling, think again. If you thought we were maybe map-and-compassing through the forest with 50lb/50yr old army packs, paddling across a bog and through a tiny culvert in deflating rafts, and completing 101 Burpees interspersed with sprints, you would be a bit closer. Except most of these activities were completed in the dark and in sub-freezing temperatures. An eventful Friday night indeed. I should mention that all of this was sanctioned by our coaches and Steven Spaulding, the Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership. Bruised hips, sore shoulders, wet feet, all in the name of team building!
Photos from the beginning of our adventure. The latter portion was not captured because it was dark.
I can’t speak for every member of the team, but I think everyone is loving fall and the energy the team has! For our volume block this week, I believe that we encountered every type of weather. We completed some ski walking intervals in some light rain, Wednesday’s OD run was just after a torrential downpour. We really enjoyed the colors and views on the “Sound of Music” run. Friday we did some over/under skate intervals. This consists of 30-40 minutes of continuous low L3 skiing broken up by a 30 second stretch of L4 every 5 minutes. I think we all learned a little about pacing, drafting, and working with each other during this workout! And conveniently, on our ski home Harfest was taking place at Dartmouth’s Organic Farm. Some of us grabbed some hot cider and made caramel apples for the remainder of the ski home – a perfect post interval snack!
Ski Team Assistant Hilary McNamee is a true genius when it comes to team conversations and facilitations. She led us through an incredible goal setting session where we all learned how to B-SMMART! Look for Hilary in the future – she is a true gem. And to continue with the theme of BA Women, Kikkan Randall skied with our team on Sunday!! We learned a lot from her in terms of technique, recovery, and everything in between. It was awesome to follow her though the Vermont back roads on a beautiful fall morning.
The first week of term was a whirlwind for all, yet certainly an exciting one. The girls are full of strength and vigor as we move into the fall training season. We are happy to welcome Lydia Blanchet, Emily Hyde, and Taryn Hunt-Smith to the Dartmouth Women’s XC team as freshmen!
The team began official training on the first day of classes, September 16th. This last first day of school was a scary thought for the senior class, so we figured a classic Robo steps photo was necessary.
Caption: The ’16 girls are ready for the last first day of school! (photo by Lindsay MacMillan)
A few days in we had a strong showing for the 3000 meter time trial on a hot NE day, where nonetheless the team presented impressive results.
Just in the past week the nights have been getting chillier and chillier, making for some cool early morning practices. The trees are beginning to change and we can smell fall in the air!
Caption: The tree in front of Robo is already showing signs of fall!
The team decided an early fall apple picking outing was a must.
Caption: Meg loves her teammates and her apples (photo by Zoe)