The living in Europe has seamlessly faded from fall to winter. In the Rockies, one can expect it to change from an Indian Summer one day and then the frost and cold wind to slap you in the face, suck the moisture from the air, split the ends of your hair, and for your roller ski tips to no longer serve a purpose on the frozen ground. I guess I've never really lived a full-length fall season before, but it seems to go on for ages here! Golden larches, crisp mornings and warm afternoons. I am more than getting used to that. October brought the Swiss Ski TG3 back to Magglingen for fall testing on the roller ski treadmill as well as the Schnalstal Glacier in Süd Tirol.
Kämpfe, Kämpfe - fight, fight! The treadmill is a fickle beast. There is no winning and I always walk away thinking that I could've fought for a few more seconds. Three tests later (uphill incremental skate, double pole and classic VO2 max test) the results are in (treadmill won 3:0) but great progress has been made since July. For me, it's important this year more than ever to have some baseline tests to go off of. When all of my surroundings and bearings (i.e previous baseline tests and familiar teammates) around me have changed, it's rewarding to see how I compare to myself on the same baseline tests from the summer to fall. Progress in the right direction and some time before the season for important final touches.
Here's a short video profile on my friend and teammate Nathalie von Siebenthal (good practise for your Swiss-German :)) Some of the clips are from our testing in Magglingen.
After the testing in Magglingen, I came back to Davos for some recovery and back into normal training. Carved a pumpkin with the Schatzalpstrasse gang and then headed to Schnalstal/Val Senales for a 5-day glacier camp. Considering you're training and sleeping above 2000m, it was important to keep the pace tame and the sunscreen lathered on. I couldn't have asked Mother Nature #pachamama for better conditions or weather. Unreal. I think I said that every five minutes as I span laps on the glacier. It was great to be there with a solid Swiss presence as both TG3 and TG4 were training together making it a big group of over 20 athletes and staff. Not to mention training around the best in the world with many of the Swedish, Russian and Norwegian national teams present.
Training in Davos at the moment serves us well with a snow track in Flüelatal. Although it's only 1km long, it keeps the itch for snow in check, at least for the time being. The Swiss team will fly north - way north - to Saarisalkå, Finland November 13-23 for some darkness, groomed tracks and visits with Santa. There are a couple of FIS races the weekend on November 22/23 which I'm looking forward to with nervous energy!
The 'formal' season for me kicks off with a Swiss Cup in Goms on December 5/6. With the Davos World Cup the following weekend on December 12/13, the motivation and excitement for the season is high! Mark your calendars and get the cow bells ready!
An liaba Gruass :)