Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Training Log: June 26: CLIMBING!

Yay, yay and more yay. Tom and I took the boys bouldering outside of Gardiner, and that was fun. But even BETTER than that was the two and a half hours of climbing that we did ALL BY OURSELVES tonight at Spire Climbing Center in Bozeman! YEAH!

Tom and I started out as climbing buddies... well, actually, we started out as coach and client... it cost me $360 in private lessons to get a date with him. And then, years later, we opened our own climbing gym, but by then, I was nursing a 3 month old... and then we had another baby... so in the last 7 years or so, we haven't done ANY climbing together!

We both coached, he climbed with the strong guys in SoCal when he could (but man, for two people who owned a gym, neither of us climbed at all..), and I coached, but was too fat, weak and pregnant to climb at all. And WAY to heavy for it to be fun.

Over time, we just got sad and kind of gave up on climbing together. I figured i was going to always be a fat mom, and when we lost our business to our evil landlord a couple of years ago, we were both so sickened by that loss that we figured we'd never climb again.

Guess what? Tonight, it was a blast. It was like when we first started dating only better, because we were just climbing, no expectations, coaching or anything. Ahhhhh.... climbing with my sexy hubby at last...

Here you go, here is True Love In Action: Tom is the ultimate Cheater Stone, giving me a boost in Thailand in 1999.

Also, been busy building up the training fund so I can go to Mt Hood in August! Visit my Ebay Store: Uuber Baby to buy all the crap I have laying around in my garage. Its actually very swank baby clothes from a designer friend of mine. Makes great shower gifts. She does Rock n Roll t-shirts and such for toddlers. V. Cute.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Training Log: June 21: Beehive Basin

It was reviewed as a five star, three hour hike to a spectacular glacial lake in a beautiful cirque. But this is the first thing you see when you get to the trail. Welcome to Beehive basin.

What they DIDN'T say, is that there are no less than 33 trail markers in the 1.5 miles to the official wilderness area, because the trail is on PRIVATE PROPERTY that the land trust has an easement to. There were times when we could see FOUR trail signs in the 100 yards we were hiking on.

GOOD GOD! And then, while the gazillion dollar homes being built in the area were beautiful, it was kind of like "Stay on the trail! Don't look at our house! Don't step off the trail! Move along, poor people!" Ick. Ick and more ick.

The pond was nice, the lake was pretty, the cirque was lovely. This isn't nearly the hike that Heather lake in Hyalite or So. Cottonwood to Blackmoor is. Don't waste your time unless you want to hike in a pack with a bunch of people that don't want you to hike there.

Boooooooooo! Lets make a nicer relationship between the homeowners and the hikers, right now it feels like the easement is a thorn, a well marked WELL LABELED, well enforced thorn. Then we can enjoy all the things this post should have been about, like these amazing flowers, views, and great friends.

Yes, I am making this face because Gin just grabbed my ass. Its true. She's like that.

Never Let Go of Your Branch!

This is an excerpt from a book I am writing for my figure skating clients called "Champions in Training". Oddly enough, most of the stuff in this book I learned from years of coaching competitive rock climbers! Take the "Skating" part and trade it for the sport you love, or the job you want to succeed at, and give it a try.

All of us who have participated in a sport we loved have at one time wondered why and how the elite got to be that way. What makes Michelle Kwan so special? How is it that she skated so flawlessly from so young an age? And Tiger Woods? And Andre Aggasi? And Tony Hawk?

Some will say that it is genetics, and a propensity to do well in athletics certainly owes something to being born long lean and fast. But not everyone at the top of his or her game is naturally genetically gifted. In fact, in my experience as a coach it is those with the most natural ability who have the hardest time cracking the top 25%.

Why is that? Aren’t Champions born and not made? Isn’t the Olympic Village peopled with those who started skating before they could walk, were born to parents of Olympic prestige themselves, and who had nothing but the best coaching staff dedicated to their every move their entire lives? Not necessarily! Sometimes yes, but mostly, No.

Who wins, then? Who gets to be a champion? Let’s look.

Imagine this: that the triangle below represents everyone in the world who likes to ice skate.

What does it take to make it into the top 5%? Lets start at the bottom of the triangle with everyone. First, you have to like to skate. Then, you’ll probably take some lessons. If you do well and still enjoy it you might start competing. If you like competing, you probably want to win. Lets be honest, even if you DON’T like competing (and you’d be surprised how many people don’t) you probably still like the idea of being a famous well loved awesome ice skater who goes to the Olympics.

Making it from the group of people who compete (the top 50% of people who skate) into the group who does well enough to start training, who have Olympic dreams, who have desire to be the best is right around where I come in.

Stepping into the top30%, joining the group of “contenders”, or people who we can seriously consider as contenders takes something special. Most of us can guess what those things are, but let’s list them so that we know that it is hard work and not magic that gets us there.

• A love of skating
• Understanding that it takes work to improve
• A desire to improve

Lets stop right there. If I love to skate. And I understand that it takes work to get better, and I have a desire to get better, then… You have to learn to love to work!

• A love of the work that will make you better
• Determination to keep working when it gets hard

Have you noticed that I haven’t yet said “A will to win?” That’s because it takes a LOT more than a desire to win to become a champion. If I had to put “Will or Desire to Win” on the triangle above, I would have to put it down at the bottom with “Takes Skating Lessons”!

• Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed
• Get a coach you trust and listen to them

This list will get you into a more elite group. The big question is… how do you get out of this group and into success? The first guess is that the people who rise to the top of this group are naturally gifted.

Let me assure you that is not the case. I have trained people with more natural talent than anyone would know what to do with. I have trained people who had to work a hundred times harder to land a jump that came in a week to a peer. Its true that you need to have an ability to skate, and enough intuition and natural athleticism to master the moves, but what makes a champion?

Lets look at another triangle for the answer:

Here is my golden rule. It takes any combination of two of the above to succeed. That means: Timing (being in the right place at the right time, or more accurately, putting yourself in the right place at the right time) and Persistence are as likely to succeed as Timing and Talent, or Talent and Persistence. Talent alone won’t get you there. Being in the right place at the right time won’t get you there alone.

The top five percent are people who have remembered that, and are smart enough to hang their hat on persistence, keeping talent and timing in mind.

Imagine that all the competitors in the top 30% (All of whom are good enough to qualify for Senior Nationals. They all have triples. They all have put in the time, they all have spent a lot of money and made a lot of sacrifices.) are in a tree, hanging on to branches.

Let’s imagine that to make it to the top 5%, to be a real champion, all you have to do is hang on to your branch when the tree gets shaken.

What shakes the tree?

• Injury
• Failure
• Depression
• Loss of belief in yourself

You have been skating all your life. You and your family have made sacrifices. The last three competitions you have placed in the bottom 5 in the field. You examine your choices and… give up? Or hang on to your branch? What can you do here? Give up and never make the top five, or…

• Talk to your coach
• Make a new strategy
• Go back to basics
• Learn to reinvent yourself
• Hang on

And crack the top 5%. In my experience, everyone in the top 30% is talented to some degree. Everyone has an almost equal chance of becoming a champion, belonging to the top 5. The difference between the groups?

The only difference is that the people in the top 5% didn’t let go of their branch. They have a cantankerous desire to improve that makes them hang on, back up, and find another maze.

Want to be in the top 5? Never let go of your branch.

Does this help me reach my goal?

There's a new Quotes That Help in the side bar, so this one is coming down. If you ever want to refer to it, scroll down to posts by Label, and click on "Deep Thoughts."


Every time I reach for food, make a choice about spending money, decide to work out or not to work out, I ask myself this question.

And I think the trick is to realize that your GOAL isn't singular. I am NOT going to reach my goal if my family isn't happy. I am NOT going to reach my goal if my kids aren't spending time with me. I am NOT going to reach my goal if I eat Costco Pizza.

So sometimes, I choose not to go to the gym. But I ask myself, "Is this going to help me reach my goal?" If the answer is, my husband needs an evening with me because my training is stressing our relationship, then yes, skipping the gym helps me reach my goal.

Someone asked me, "What if I don't know what my goal is?" If that's the case for you, try this one "Does this help me discover what my goal is?" That's a great one if you are stuck in your routine, and unhappy. Just ask, examine, and act.

Ask, examine, and act.

What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If something isn't working, and you are not happy, find ONE THING and change it. And ask yourself, "Does this help me reach (or find) my goal?" If its different, new and charges you, the answer is probably YES!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gear I Use: The Horror of Kate's Feet Part 3

Ahhhhh... okay, so when I get home, I put on my very favorite slippers ever. Trust me, I have tried EVERY freakin' slipper out there. I am all about warm, soft, and barefoot.

Huzzah to Haflinger! At $60/pop they are definitely the MOST expensive slippers I've ever owned. But BUT BUT!! They are super soft, warm, dry, and DON'T STINK when you wear them barefoot all day!

Made of thick, non-itchy boiled wool, it's like walking around with someone hugging your feet all day. As you can tell, I've had mine for a year (I told you I was hard on shoes) and they've very accommodatingly worn holes in the toes where my poor big toes need to breathe.

FYI: my sister has the same slippers, and hers don't have holes, that's just me and my gnarly feet.

The Bottom Line: Nothing beats em!

Gear I Use: Horror of Kate's Feet Part 2

These are my Solomon XA Pro 3D XCRs from last season.

About $90, things I love: super light weight, fast drying, quick on and off, nice closure, cushy footbed.

Not so psyched: The sole lasted longer than the shoe for me! The shoe offered great support for the first month, and then began stretching out quite quickly. Now, when I close it up, I have to tuck the laces in because I have to crank down the shoe so much!

A fun shoe, great to run in, but if you are a serious hiker logging lots and lots of miles, buy two pair, or three, they won't last a whole season. (Well, the sole and footbed will, but the support just won't.) I'll probably give these one more try and see how this season's stacks up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gear I Use: Welcome to the Horror of Kate's Feet

Okay, it's that season of the year when shoes become really really important. These are my North Face Gore Tex XCR's from last season. At about $110, they are a bit pricey, but well worth the dough!

Now, a caveat here: I am really freakin' hard on shoes. They have that new shoe feeling for me for about a month, and then most shoes are all compacted, broken down and just useless to me. I am also really REALLY picky about fit and comfort because I have chronic frost bite on both my big toes, whose toenails are always on the verge of coming off... so I'm hard to please.

And I have to say that TNF did it. They made my feet happy for almost 6 months before they started breaking down. These suckers are almost still goin' strong a full year and a half later! I think they have about 600 miles on them at this point, and the sole is finally coming off the last. I can also feel rocks through the compacted foot bed. BUT! They are STILL stable! Yes, indeed, they have softened quite a bit, but out of the hundreds of pairs of shoes I have run into an early grave, this sucker could take a re-soleing and probably last the summer.

They are a bit heavier than most would think they want (just over 1 lb), but again, I've worn lots of them, and heavier seems to equal bomber in this case. When they are dead, I am going to replace them with another pair by TNF, you can count on that!!

Now, let's test their customer service: I'm sending them in to see if they will fix the sole. Stay tuned!

If you want to know about other gear I use, it is always posted in the sidebar under Gear! Or, just click here. More gear reviews and updates soon!

Wildflower Bonanza

I just really needed to share this incredible bunch of wildflowers with you! The roses are starting to bloom on Kirk hill! Liat and I found wild irises, wild orchids, and just a veritable plethora of amazing color especially at Kirk Hill and on the South Cottonwood trail. If you get a chance in the next two weeks, get out there, man! Its amazing!

This, by the way, is a lovely and handy guide that I like to carry in my backpack, its all stuffed with field samples and notes of when and where I saw each flower.

A Field Guide to Wild Flowers of the Rocky Mountains by Carl Schreier. If you are here in Bozeman, they sell it at the Roundhouse, Northern Lights, and Barrel, the last time I looked. Otherwise,

A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains
Buy it at Amazon

Training Log: June 20

Its a Kirk Hill day. First hike after the Epic, we were going to go all the way up to the fire road, but about 2/3 of the way there, my body started saying "NOT YET!" Good golly. So if it were anything other than my hips, I'd keep going, but I have decided NOT to hurt myself training for skiing so that I am healthy enough to just hurt myself skiing. So I hiked down.

If you get a chance, get out there, the wildflowers are mind blowing! It's backday at the gym, and we'll shoot some video of new drills tonight... hold your breath, its gonna be awesome!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Training Log: June 16: Epic Hike of Dooooom

So, when Mike Hickey told me that the S. Cottonwood trail connected to Mt. Blackmoor, the smart thing to do probably would have been to look at a topo of some sort, and just, you know, make sure.

Not that it doesn’t connect, it does. Sort of. You see, I thought it connected to the Mt. Balckmoor TRAIL at the LAKE. As we hiked along, it became apparent that I was wrong about this… and thus begins the story of an 11 mile hike that turned into a 22 mile epic…

Okay. Here is the map. Look in the middle to find Cottonwood Creek, the trail runs along side it. Now go to the bottom, you’ll see the trail split around Mt. Blackmoor. Now look at the right, the body of water? That’s Hyalite reservoir, where one of our cars is parked. The other one is off the map at the S. Cottonwood Canyon trail head, where there is a sign that says, “Mt. Blackmoor, 11 miles”. (Not the Lake, Kate, the MOUNTAIN.) Well, (sigh) they don’t call me SuperKate for nothing.

I probably would have been a lot less cavalier about this if I had known what was coming… Alright, here we go. So I hiked the first bit of this trail with Mama Jen a couple of days before, and it took us 3 ½ hours to do the portion that took Liat and I, uh… 20 minutes. Alright, 40 if you count it as an out and back. That’s what happens when you have little legs!

It started out so great, the weather was amazing, we left to shuttle the cars at 7:15, thinking we’d hike from S. Cottonwood to Blackmoor lake, and connect to the trail that goes over to the resivoir, and be done at like 12:30 or so. I told Tom we’d be home for lunch.

Liat is trying to show us here just how incredibly ugly this hike was. In fact, for the first four hours of the hike, we were going on and on about how it was our new favorite hike, it was so incredibly beautiful. We were laughing and joking and stoping to take pictures… the trail goes along the creek the whole way, there’s no one out there, and it keeps opening up into these amazing meadows, full of wildflowers…

Yes, I opened my book and recorded flower after flower that I’d never seen before, including a really rare wild orchid, some wild irisis… it was truly amazing.

I doubt that Liat would have been running through this meadow if she had known what was coming… but anyway… We were thrilled with the beauty. We were excited to take my mom on this trail when she visits. Even with the 8 or 10 skinny log stream crossings. It was that magical. And never mind that after about 2 miles the trail hasn’t been maintained. That’s why we work out! Over, under! Find the trail again!

The recent storms had wreaked havock, and some massive trees had fallen across the trail, bringing lots of little ones with them, and creating a bit of a pokey obstacle course. But no matter! Nothing is a match for SuperKate!

You know, it took about 7 miles for me to start to wonder if it was a good idea to keep climbing over these uncleared trees and venturing out where no one has obviously gone yet this season. I mean, the trail was easy to find every time we went around one of these massive road blocks, but it did occur to me that big time fast water stream crossings on tiny 8 inch logs and tree climbing might be a bad thing way out here… but no matter, lets forge on! It was still that beautiful…

Unfortunately, Wya is getting old. She is almost 10, and, well, she just doesn’t really dig the whole mincing across a little log over a raging river thing… so… she tried to swim it. Now, as you know, I just took a swift water rescue course, so of course, I am completely freaked out by two foot deep white water, because I know all about… (cue the scary music…) foot entrapment!! and strainers!! and all kinds of things that can getcha and killya if you aren’t super savvy. And, of course, I can’t explain to my dog that there is no way she can swim this.

But she tried. More than once. Luckily, she managed to get into an eddy and swim back to shore this time. I coaxed her out on the bridge. She wouldn’t go without me. I didn’t want to be ahead of her. But… she finally followed me out, and we walked across, and she got closer, and closer, and then she FREAKED OUT and tried to get between my legs to get to the other side. Thanks, Wya!

So, this is me wringing my shorts out after I fell off the bridge face down in the whitewater… and now I am sporting some rather awesome purple bruisage on my hand, thigh, knee, and shin from SMACKING it into the river bottom.

Lucky me, my savvy sister (who had to listen to me regurgitate my newfound Whitewater Rescue and Safety knowledge all the freakin’ way up the trail thus far…) was standing right on the bank with her hand out, and the second I realized that I couldn’t breathe because I wasn’t standing on the bridge anymore, but I was face down in that Really Freakin’ Cold Water, and I flipped over, her hand was there and she pulled me out. Thanks, Liat!

Whatever, it was like 75 degrees out, and I was fine. I gave Wya some peanut butter and a little bit of love, and we were off again. I figured, you know, I’d dry. A bit further along, we hiked up away from the creek, and I figured we were going up and over to the lake, now. (Um, I was wrong, but that’s not the point. The pretty picture is the point.) Liat spotted this amazing growth of wildflowers flourishing along the craggy banks, and it reminded me of the kind of garden my other sister, Beth likes to grow when she is at home in Topanga Canyon. (She’s in Germany for a year, so her little unibomber shack out there is sadly neglected… ah well…that’s another story…)

This is the first huge cairn that we came to, and I assumed that it pointed out something significant on the mountain behind it, it was beautiful, so we took a picture. I later found out that this is where most people turn around because this is “a bad trail.” Whatever. We kept going.

But I was beginning to worry. It was about noon, and we hadn’t even made the lake yet. I knew we were past it, and probably heading to the Mountain itself. Now, I have skied Mt. Blackmoor, as you no doubt remember, the great “Follow the skin track there will only be one” episode. (And by the way, (regarding that post...) its not a 16 mile trip, I think its actually an 8 mile trip. But whatever...)

So I was aware of the fact that if this trail was taking us up the backside of Mt. Blackmoor, we were going to summit, and then, I don’t know, glissade down?? And then catch the 4 or so mile trail out to the car. So… okay, total of 15 miles instead of 11. We could handle that, we hike fast, and we’d only be an hour and a half late.

I told Liat at this point that it was going to be longer than we thought, and she had pretty much figured, and we sort of chatted less (because the trail was a lot harder to find) and hiked on, picking up speed. You’ll notice that there aren’t any more pictures after this. Hmmm…

So the trail was like a faint line in the meadow, and we followed it from giant cairn to giant cairn… there is a huge meadow where there are three of them to mark the way, and that was really amazing, and it made me feel good to know we were on the right path, and not just on an elk path… (we had passed a HUGE skeleton earlier, just amazing, the vertebrae were like 7 inches across… sorry I didn’t take a picture…)

Anyhow, my concern was becoming that I wasn’t sure if this trail was just going to take us out into the wilderness, deeper and deeper, sort of end up out in Yellowstone somewhere, benighted with no food or jackets… uh…

After another hour, we came across an enormous Elk fawn, frozen, staring at us. Her mom was across the meadow next to this snow field, and she was SO big, I totally thought it was a moose. Alaska and Wya just flopped down in the snow at this point… and rubbed all over it. We kept going. We lost the trail. There were no more cairns.

I asked Liat the horrible question… what time is it? At this point, it’s 1:30 in the afternoon. It was supposed to be thundering by 1, we were supposed to be HOME by 12:30… and we are 5 ½ hours out and lost.

I was SO tempted just to scrabble over what I assumed was Mt. Blackmoor on our left, and scramble down and find the trail and get to the car… but you know, this is how you end up in the newspaper.

We could look for the trail… but it was already turn around time. I didn’t have a headlamp or supplies to get benighted, (although, yes, we had a water filter, first aid, matches and all that, just no blanket, uh… MAP, or jacket… plenty of food, though…)

So we decided. Time to turn around, and hike the (at least) 11 miles we had just done in reverse. We’d be out at 7:30. We’d be 7 hours late. Tom would be insane, the sheriff would be on his way… oh, man.

And then Liat had an inspired idea. We could run. It’s faster. So we sinched down our packs, and ran out. On the way out, Wya decided she’d had enough of this river crossing on a log nonsense and decided to swim it again.

She got swept in the current, pinned against a strainer, and her head went under. This is a 90 pound dog! I was standing there, looking at her, knowing I couldn’t save her, when the branch she was pinned on broke, and her butt swung downstream, allowing her head to come up, and she swam for her life into the eddy.

She came out of the water into my arms, and just stood there, staring at me. She didn’t shake off, or move, she just looked at me. Then I told her to hop up on the log, and she did, running across it at light speed, and falling off on the other side into the water again. She swam out on that side.

We had six bridge crossings to go. Each one, she ran, slamming into the supports on the ones with railings, nearly falling in on every one. She made it.

We all made it. We got home at 5:20, and it was so bizarre to see Tom mowing the lawn, slightly cranky that we were late, the kids playing on their bikes… life had been so dire only 4 hours before…

Anyhow, this is my protracted excuse for not working out since Saturday, because well… today (Tuesday) is the first day I have been able to, you know… walk around and stuff. (Wya, the amazing trooper, has been laying almost in one place since Saturday… she’s up and around today.)

And thus endeth the epic. And yes, I have a topo now. Thanks for asking. And, by the way, now I REALLY want to do the Ridge Run! Too bad its full!! It's only 20 miles!

Go, Speed Racer, GO!

Its Rollerbladeriffic! This is what I felt like tonight (but not quite what I look like... yet...although I am searching for some fabulous pants like that...)

Liat is loaning me her rollerblades and tonight I went for a quick RIP around the circle at our house, good to be on skates again! Funny, though, I am MUCH further back on my skates than I was before I spent so much time on my skis. I have moved from the center of the ball of the foot back to the front of the heel, so my skating was a bit wonky!

Interesting to find out in the fall what rollerblading all summer does to my ski stance. Better too far forward than too far back for now, I guess, though. (Over the handlebars, anyone???)

ALSO: MUST replace Liat's wheels! She's been stroking on the inside of the wheel, so when I went to roll from outside edge to inside edge, I almost ate it! Whew!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

So, that's 22 miles...

Ungh... can't type. Suffice it to say: dog almost drowned, I almost drowned, we got lost, we hiked 11 miles and ran almost all the way back. We have pictures. Its an epic story. But I'm going to bed, so tune in tomorrow for the details.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It CAN'T be a vice, the Pope did it!

Thanks to Jill from Big Sky for sending this in, its a GREAT article in Skiing Heritage magazine on the Pope skiing, way back in the 20s all the way to 1987!

By the way, if you don't read this mag, you should, its incredible. One of the men who got Lifetime Achievement Awards from PSIA this year at Academy started this magazine, and he knows his stuff!

Oh, NO! Ridge Run is Full!

Oh, I am so bummed! I was getting on line to post that I want to run in the Ridge Run this year, a 20 or so mile run along the ridge of the Bridger Mts, and its full! And not only is it full, the WAITING list is full, too!

So sad. So, I'll try to register early next years (it filled up in 11 hours!), and this year I guess I'll volunteer to help out. Sadness all around.

Want to ski, want to ski, want to ski

So... everything is melting! And I can't find anyone to ski with! Ahhhh! If you are out there, and you don't mind hiking for snow... email me... Beartooths... wherever... before its all gone!

Training Log: June 13

So I hiked S. Cottonwood Canyon with my most loverly rather preggers friend, Ms. Mama Jen, and all four of our kids, out to the meadow past the bridge (dodging horse poop the whole way). It took us three and a half hours! Good golly!

Ethan and Duke were Anakin and Luke Skywalker, Isabel played the part of Princess Leia, and Bodhi, of course, was the Transformer Wing Saber. (Although he pronounces is Wing Saver).

But it was a lot of fun, we saw an amazing variety of wildflowers, and it was great to be out hiking no matter how fast!

Mini Epic hike tomorrow from S. Cottonwood to Blackmoore... We'll continue and do the peak if Liat has time. Otherwise, I think its about 13 miles.

For those of you who are counting: Its Back Day! Yay! Liat and I did some new exercises on the Bosu Ball for stability and resistance, we will video them tonight and post, they were great core strengtheners, and worked well on the back as well!

Lat pull downs, assisted pull ups, upright row, hyper extensions, bicep curls (preacher, and incline dumbell), abs on the ball and to failure on the incline bench (this is really fun, we will video this for you as well!)

Here are a couple of pics from the Sourdouh Trail mini hike last weekend:
That's Bodhi on his Trike with the Leaf Hat, and Tom carying his girlfriend, Isabel, who Bodhi is determined to marry. Either her, or Milla Jovovitch from the Fifth Element, he's not sure.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

UPDATE: "Freeze That Fall!" renamed! "Recover Into Balance"

***UPDATE: Megan brought up a good point that I want to make sure and share with you regarding this type of training... Once you have gone past the point of recovery, you should NOT fight to save yourself, but take the fall. Let go, and fall. Otherwise, you can really hurt yourself over stressing your tendons in your knees while you try to overcome the force of the fall.***

These drills are meant to train the core and stability muscles to recognize "uh, oh!" the second you get out of balance, and recover back into balance, before the bobble becomes a full-blown fall.

Knowing when to recover, and when to let go... well, that's beyond my expertise at this point. My suggestion is to listen to your body, and utilize those well trained core and stability muscles to hold and get back in balance quickly. If it doesn't happen, let go, and take the tumble!

To see the drills and video, visit this link, or scroll down.

Do you know... where the Kate has gone...?

I'm here! Sorry I haven't posted in a week. We had a bit of family time, and a bit of an accidental (but needed) training break. This used to freak me out... oh my god, its been two day since I went to the gym, that's dangerous, what if it becomes three? Then five??? Then it will be a week and i will be OUT OF TRAINING! Which means... all kinds of horrible things.

But I had a chat with Mike, and we talked about staying sane, staying in it for the long haul, and then I let these couple of days sort of stretch out... and its good.

My plans for the weekend, epic hike on Saturday, epic ski on Sunday got derailed, and this time, rather than panicking, and getting down, and lashing myself for being less than perfect, I took care of some things around the house (Tom did a bit of demolition, we took down the wall between the office and the kitchen, which is SO cool...), I wrote a bunch of sculptural proposals, (I worked on one for our Bozeman Library, and one for Red Bull!), and got them in, and I went to the movies with my hubby. (Knocked Up, excellent, go see it, Ocean's 13... well, they are pretty, so its worth the drool factor, but aside from that... It's fun, not nearly the movie Oceans 11 was.)

I did do two hikes, one on Sourdough trail with our kids and my great friend Jen and her brood, and one with them today (with Duke in his Batman Cape) up Leverich Canyon to the old mine. The kids did great, its not quite what you'd call a workout, but it beats sitting at home!

See you on the snow this week!

Okay, so that was the happy, upbeat, positive side. Let me also say that I ate peanut butter cookies this week, drank 3 RedBulls, and gained 2 pounds. So while it was a nice vacation, (although I still did my Balance 360 drills, its time to GET OFF MY EVER SPREADING ASS and get the H E double Hockey Sticks out there!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Oh, Canada: Training Tips from Up North

So Josh Foster and I have been chatting about skiing, what it feels like, how we approach it, and so on, and he sent me these really great photos along with a sort of distilled version of the CSIA's version of the "core concepts", called "Movement In Motion" Read on, its very interesting!! (And yes, that is Josh in the photos...)

Here's the ski tip that was published to go with the photos. In the CSIA we talk about four planes of balance, vertical, lateral, fore/aft and rotational. Rotational balance is more of an axis than a plane but we lump it in there anyway. The pictures demonstrate lower body movements in all four of these planes. These images all also in line with a concept that we (the CSIA) have called Movement in Motion. This concept describes the relationship between the Centre of Mass (three dimensional balance point of an object, not a fixed point) and the Base of Support (pretty much the feet) in terms of effectively moving downhill. Gravity provides the motion, the skiers contributes movements (in those 4 planes) to deal as effectively as possible with all the stuff happening in a ski turn.

Here's how I look at it, it's a bit out there so see if you can follow it, think of your centre of mass being a basketball and your base of support is a cafeteria tray. Visualize your basketball hovering over the center of your tray. If the tray and the ball were to move down a slope together and they were turning - at any point on the arc if the ball was to drop it should land in the centre of the the tray. This would be accomplished not by manipulating where the ball (COM) is but by positioning the tray (BOS) throughout the turn to support, deflect and capture the COM. Do you see the link between this and the photos?

Here's another way to look at it, balance your ski pole in the palm of your hand with the grip to the top. You won't move the grip to keep it balanced, you'll move your hand. Grip = COM, hand = BOS.

An active BOS and a stable COM is the key to balancing on a pair of skis, you've got to ski with your lower body.

Okay, Kate again: I think that the basket ball/lunch tray is an amazing analogy, because it shows that no matter how the center of mass is moving, it needs to be stabilized, ready to be re-oriented, but still connected to the base. Reading this, I think a lot about what it is like to balance on the Balance 360 board, how its the tray on top of the ball, but to stay stable, the unit has to move together, in symbiosis.

Thanks for sharing, Josh!

If you have thoughts on this, please post a comment here! (Our skiing community is a bit shy, we've been commenting mostly by email, which is fine, but I'd love for people to get the benefit of all this wisdom!!) (PS, you can post anonymously!)

Weigh In

Wow, I haven't weighed in since May 5! I am 155 lbs today, but I haven't been clipped recently, so I don't know my body fat percentage. I'll clip later this week and let ya know. Hold your breath!