Hard Work and Some Play

By: CXC Team Member, Andy Brown

The last couple of weeks have been full of activity. I had the privilege of attending this year’s REG camp in Cable, WI. The camp kicked off with a 4km uphill run on the Birkie Ridge trail. I surprised myself placing 5th overall in the run which for me is quite good. I have been doing a decent amount of running intervals in Eloise Butler and Quaking Bog which are paying off.

5K Running TT at the REG Camp
5K Running TT at the REG Camp

The 1km double pole time trial the following day was a little more humbling. A sprained wrist and limited strength training came back to bite me with a very slow overall time. Looking over video of the time trial later with Coach Andy Keller, showed that I was utilizing a long slow technique, rather than a faster more powerful double pole, which is required for sprints and steeper segments. Swinging my hands forward in sync with my hips is something I’veI have been working on since. While it is always frustrating to turn in a slow time, the opportunity to learn something from it compensates for any bruising to one’s ego.

By far, my best workouts of the camp were the last two days. On Friday we bounded up the Junior National’s course on Mt. Telemark. While chasing Jake Brown and Paul Schommer, I finally felt that the classic skier within me was coming to the surface. We managed to get in six strong intervals up the hill within the allotted time. On Saturday, the last day of the camp, we did a long combo workout. After classic skiing 18 miles we switched to running shoes for the last ten miles. The running trail was awesome, winding through deep woods and even over a beaver dam. I love running on trails, getting lots of mud, and even a little blood over the course of a run makes it far more enjoyable than any track. Unfortunately we did get attacked by bees though Coach Bryan Fish bravely took the brunt of the assault getting stung four times including some sensitive areas. Halfway through the run Jake Brown took off the front of the pack. With five miles to go I figured I could hold on and accelerated with him. Running with someone faster is a painful yet healthy thing to do and I appreciated the chance to learn something from Jake. We finished together and I took the opportunity to jump in the lake to cool off.

All in all it was a great camp. I learned a lot and have refocused my training to place a greater emphasis on double pole and strength training. While the week long camp was plenty of fun, I am very glad skiing is still mainly my recreation and not profession.

After REG camp, I had a recovery week where I went sailing on Lake Superior with my family. Sailing is something my family has done since I was born, and being on a boat is a very natural feeling for me. Just before we shoved off I managed to squeeze in one last workout, classic rollerskiing in the hills outside of Bayfield. There’s some great terrain in that area and it’s always an adventure skiing on some of the roads. On the way back down I was easily doing 30 mph while jumping over cracks in the road.

This year we chartered the performance cruiser “Just Is”. We had a little rain and there was a hick-up with an engine compartment blower that had me tracing the boat’s DC electrical systems, but there was plenty of sun to enjoy refreshing plunges and morning swims in Lake Superior.

052 Andy Brown
Sailing on Lake Superior

Andy Brown

On the way back into port there was a strong headwind that had us fighting up the channel. The boat sailed supremely well and we managed to hang on in a sailboat race around Basswood Island despite the fact that we were only flying our Jib sheet and pulling a dinghy.

IMG_0146 Andy Brown

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I need some time to recover from this much vacation. Fortunately I have plenty of work that needs to get done in lab so my recovery is assured. This summer still has at least one more adventure left for me with a Quetico canoe trip in August, but for now I’m happy to be back in lab and training in the Twin Cities.

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