Sunday, May 8, 2011

Food Matters

As an elite athlete, I've always known it is important to fuel your body properly. When the body does not receive the nutrients it needs, the effects on the body are felt tremendously and therefore performance is compromised! I've more recently been informed that proper nutrition is not only important for elite athletes but it is also very important to the everyday ordinary person!

I recently watched a documentary called "Food Matters" (which I strongly recommend watching). The message of the movie comes from Hippocrates quote "let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." The effects of food on health is an issue that keeps arising over and over in my daily life. We live in a society that feeds on nutritionally-depleted foods with chemical additives and we have a tendency to rely on pharmaceutical drugs to cure our illnesses. The focus of the film helps us rethink what we have been taught about modern medicine and health care. In this movie, several leading experts in nutrition and natural healing express their thoughts on the how we are harming our bodies with improper nutrition. They claim with the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification, we can treat chronic illness as serious as terminally diagnosed cancer!

As my biology teacher always said "you are what you eat!" I encourage you to watch the film. It can be found on instant netflix or at any movie store. I guarantee you, it will make you rethink what you eat and the effects is has on your health.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Season may be Over but the Skiing is NOT!

When you think of the end April, you think of spring, sun, crocuses, bikes, running and the sort. Well, that is not the case here! There is still 2-3 feet of snow in my yard and tons of skiing to be had! The past couple weeks have been filled with several back-country adventures, cross-country skiing and lots of what we call "crust-skiing." Snow is still in the forecast for this week, so we will see how much we get...could be another foot! Here are some pictures from our adventures:

Colin crust skiing

We found the secret Iron Creek Hot Springs

Enjoying the last day of groomed skiing at Galena!

Carey hot springs

A beautiful day of crust cruising

Making some tele turns

Check out our turns

A view from the top

Morgan, Chris and Colin at the top of Gladiator

Monday, April 11, 2011

That's a Wrap!

It's hard to believe the 2010-2011 ski season has come to an end! The spring series super tour did not disappoint in Sun Valley, Idaho. After a huge snow storm, the week kicked off with the U.S. National 30/50k with pristine conditions and progressed to the super tour finals. It was a long week of racing, but thanks to all the volunteers and organizers, it turned out to be a great event!

The week did not go as well as I had hoped but I managed to pull off one of my best races of the season on the last day off competition on the hillclimb up Dollar Mountain. This is not a usual cross-country event...instead it was a 4 kilometer skate race up an alpine ski resort. Right from the start I charged up the mountain. I definitely came to a point where I wasn't sure I was physically capable of finishing, but thanks to all the spectators, the cheers kept me going. I crossed the finish line and collapsed to my knees, completely out of breath! Whoa! I had given it everything I had! Later that afternoon, I was unexpectedly called up to the podium to receive my 4th place award!! I had no idea that the race went that well! What a nice way to end the season!!

Making my way up Dollar Mountain

Woman's podium for the hill climb

The following day, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation put on another very successful Fast and Female event! With over 70 girls attending, 7 Olympians and 23 ambassadors, we spent the day skiing, playing games, dancing, doing yoga, listening to Olympic advice, eating lunch and signing posters! What a great day!

My 9-10 age orange group!

All the girls!

Now it is time to get rested, do some relaxing and go on some adventures! Winter is still in full swing around here, so we are making the best of it and enjoying some fun back-country skiing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Racing is Underway!

A big week of racing in Sun Valley, Idaho is underway!!! The men's 50k classic National Championship race kicked off the series yesterday. Unfortunately, the guys awoke to freshly fallen snow with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, making for difficult waxing conditions. They skied 7 laps on a relentless course with a total of 4491 vertical feet of climbing! Whoa! Talk about a tough race!!! Just to give you an idea of how hard it was, 10 guys dropped out!! Congrats to the guys who hung in there and finished the race! Way to go!

Today was the women's 30k classic National Championships. Luckly we woke up to quite different conditions that the previous day. Instead of clouds and snow, we had blue skies and sun!!! Instead of soft slow tracks, we had solid fast tracks. Instead of warm temps with slippery conditions, we had cold temps with bomber kick conditions. To say the least, the women lucked out with a perfect Sun Valley day of skiing! This however did not make the race easy. The pace was pushed right from the start...within the first couple kilometers of the race the field of skiers had already broken up. A lead pack of five girls took off, with girls strung out behind. I maintained 10th-11th place for the first couple laps and managed to move into 9th by the end. It was a tough day of race but fun none the less.

A beautiful sunny day at Lake Creek

Making my way up one of many hills

My number one fans, Noi and Rob

We have a day off tomorrow and then the Super Tour Final takes off on Tuesday! This will include:

Tues: 2.8/3.3k skate prologue
Wed: 10/15k classic race
Thurs: off
Fri: Classic sprint
Sat: 5k skate hill climb

Its going to be a tough week of racing but I am excited and ready for it. Lets hope for some sun and some good ski conditions!

A view out the kitchen window

A huge pile of snow from the storm last week...leaving 2+ feet!

Keep you posted!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Idaho Nordic

Once again, I had the pleasure of putting on a ski clinic for the Idaho Nordic Master's group, in Boise this weekend. Instead of conducting a dryland camp, which most of the clinic's are, I was able to give these master's some help on-snow. After working with this group for the past four years, it is amazing to see the vast improvements they have made...and great to see the growth in beginning skiers as well. (Pictures soon to come)

Unfortunately, the Super Tour race in Truckee, California scheduled for this next weekend was canceled!!!! Big bummer!!!! Instead our team will stick around Sun Valley and continue to get good training and preparation in for the U.S. Distance Nationals and the Super Tour final the end of this month. The snow is good and the skiing is great around here!

I will keep you posted on the upcoming races!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A week in Hayward

If there's one lesson I've learned over the past couple weeks it would be this: "Be flexible and adaptable to unexpected changes."

This lesson has popped up several times over the past two weeks. It all began when we were in Aspen, Colorado. After a week of beautiful sunshine, it began to dump snow the afternoon we were planning to leave for Madison, Wisconsin for our next competition. Later that evening, we were informed that the sprints that were scheduled around the Madison capitol were called off. For obvious reasons, law enforcers pulled the permit to allow cross-country ski racing to occur in the midst of 70,000 protesters! We immediately switched our plans and flew to Minneapolis instead, so we could head to Hayward, Wisconsin to begin our preparations for the Birkie the following weekend.

We enjoyed some great skiing on the pristine groomed trails of the Birkie from Cable to Hayward. Thanks to Dennis Kruse, we had nice and comfortable living conditions! The highlight of the week was visiting a bear den! And YES, there was a bear in it! I was a little hesitant to stick my head in the cave but it was exciting to see the bear in there.

George taking a peek at the bear

After a week of skiing on the birkie trail, eating a lot, and feeling good, I was ready to put the 50k course to the test. The forecast called for chilly weather, and sure enough it was!!! At the start of the race, thermometers read -10 F degrees! eeeekkk!!!! Everyone was bundled from head to toe. Unfortunately, that did not keep people from getting frostbite! The race was going well until my right contact froze and fell out at the 10k mark. While I was a little blind, at least I could see out of one eye:) As the race progressed, the temperatures did not warm up much. And then at the 40k mark, I lost my other contact! Oh great, now i really can't see! Despite the lack of eyesight, I managed to stay in the lead pack. Once the pace really picked up in the last 3k it was difficult for me to see the trail. Unfortunately, i lost a few seconds in those last few kilometers and just barely missed the podium. I was happy with my 4th place effort. Now, I am recovering from a frostbit eye!

Birkie sprints

After a long couple days of travel, I made it back home! And the lesson I learned of "being flexible and adaptable to unexpected changes" resurfaced again this morning as I was informed that my Grandma passed away. She died a peaceful death at the age of 97! She was an amazing woman and every time I think of her she puts a smile on my face:)

Grandma De Yong and I

Monday, February 14, 2011

On the Road Again...

After a nice few weeks in Sun Valley, we are on the road again. Last week we had the excitement of hosting the Boulder Mountain Tour in town. With over 800 racers in town, the place was a zoo! The Festival kicked off with a sprint relay in downtown Ketchum. Spectators lined the course and cheered as the racing took place. I teamed up with Colin Rodgers and we managed to sneak away with a close 3rd place finish.

Number 3 must have been "my number" because I ended up 3rd in the 32k tour as well. Although a little disappointed with the result, each year my result gets a little better.

Podium picture: 1st place, Sylvan Ellefson, Evelyn Dong. 2nd place, Chelsea Holmes, Leif Zimmerman. 3rd place, Brian Fletcher, Nicole De Yong

I am currently in Aspen, Colorado. After a long 12 hour drive, we made it to the beautiful, sunny valley last week. The Super Tour circuit and the college circuit joined forces and raced a 5/10k classic race on Saturday and a 21k skate race, known as the Owl Creek Chase, on Sunday. Racing at 8,000-9,000 feet is always a bit challenging, but good none the less.

We are enjoying the next few days here before we head our next stop: Madison, Wisconsin.

Stay posted! More updates and pictures to come!
Happy Valentine's Day!