Simi Hamilton

 

Archive for June, 2012

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One for the books…

Topic: General News

I’m a believer in the truth that it only takes one good thing to make something good. Well, maybe two things. For us, it was the cold temps last night and the sun’s rays today that made what we do and why we’re here pretty obvious. Thanks to Kristian Sorlund (Norwegian friend and DU Ski Team member) and friends for the great day. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

 

 

 

06.21

2012

Not a bad place to train for two weeks. Unfortunately, that blue in the photo has been a seldom occurrence

Logging Hours

Topic: General News

When I think of Norway, the first things that come to mind are: Short days. Cold nights. Down jackets. Headlamps on afternoon training sessions. I guess when you spend over a month every winter in a place in the world that is at or above the latitude of Anchorage, AK, these characteristics of the environment tend to stand out. I love spending time in Norway. I love eating the food, I love meeting the people, I love skiing 4+ hour loops that start in Oslo neighborhoods, and, yes, I love to layer-up with Polypro until I can’t move and pack a headlamp in my drink belt when I’m heading out the door. But coming to Norway in the summer is an entirely different game. And it’s a good one. Minus my rain jacket, I think I could have managed with about 1/4 of the cold-weather training clothes that I brought on this trip. You can’t blame the old dog, I’m just used to packing my bags for this place in November, not June.

24 hours of daylight is a wild concept if you’re not used to such a thing. For lack of a better description, it’s awesome. Over the last week that we’ve been here at the Sognefjell training center in central(ish) Norway, I’ve been tending to the views out my window at all-hours of the day like a watchful warden. I’ve watched people zig-zag around the switchbacked trails at noon and at midnight. When teams and individuals come to ski, they tend to do as much of it as possible (this is Norway, after all). And the atmosphere is contagious. So far I haven’t ventured out before 8 a.m. or past 7 p.m., but that’s mostly due to the fact that I’ve been attempting to catch up on as much sleep as possible following some fitful nights back home in which I could only sleep on my back (see earlier post for explanation). I’m a stomach sleeper, so blame me. Anyway, it’s on my ticklist to get out for one of those famed midnight skis with the kiddos this coming week.

Our dream team of kids on this trip has been great. It’s been a while since I’ve spent so much time with such young energy, and I find myself exhausted from their never-ending tank of energy. I’ll be setting up an orienteering course for the crew this week, and I’m seriously considering sending them down to Oslo for one of the checkpoints. There’s no doubt in my mind that they’d complete the course, and they’d probably be back before dinner too. Eliana is our solo female athlete; she’s been a saint with keeping all the boys in line and has been the only one of us courageous enough to strike up a conversation with Ole Einar Bjørndalen, the most successful biathlete to have ever lived. Ben has been composed and focused; he’s here to train and I can’t wait to watch how his hard work this summer pays off come race season. Warren has been the toughest of all of us; he hasn’t let some bad blister complications slow him down and  his affinity for chocolate is astounding. Timmy’s resilience and determination has been inspiring; a week ago this kid had never even put on a pair of cross-country skis but his athleticism and work ethic has paid off. On an easy over-distance ski today, I found myself going way harder than I should have been just to try to catch him. I hope this guy sticks with it, he’ll be a force on the scene someday soon if he does. Peter has been our American ambassador, showing up for workouts in LA Clippers jerseys and shouting absurd (but positive) things when I pass by on the trails. He’s been attempting to convince the small, but high-quality population of cute Norwegian girls at the training center that he’s 17. He’s been our entertainment for the week, as there’s only 1 TV in the building.

It’s been a blast hanging with this crew and now that we’ve got our feet under us from travel and getting used to on-snow training again, this coming week is bound to be a great one. Stay tuned for more pictures and stories! -Sim

The crew getting to the glacier. A little jet-lagged, but none the worse for wear.

Training

Dorm-style living. Get used to it if you like ski racing

Not a bad place to train for two weeks. Unfortunately, that blue in the photo has been a seldom occurrence

Timmy. The learning curve has been steep.

Sun's out guns out!

Coach Kate!

The photographer telling me to look "hot."

06.17

2012

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An early start to summer

Topic: General News

Aspen to Indian Creek to Moab to Park City to Bend back to Park City. It’s been a busy last six weeks, and time has been rushing past leaving me reeling from the start of a hard, but great training season. Our annual on-snow camp in Bend, OR went great. The conditions were awesome (2+ feet of snow fell while we were there), and central Oregon is always a great place to be in mid-May if you’re at all into biking, swimming, running, kayaking and enjoying the onset of long and warm summer evenings. Because this camp always falls in the beginning of the training season, our primary focus is volume. The boredom level drops and the psych factor rises when there conditions are good and you rarely have to ski the same thing twice during a three hour workout. I thought the men’s team really came together this spring and our workouts were quality and productive. It is always great to have distance guys mixing it up in speed workouts and sprinters working on efficiency and consistency while skiing with the distance crew. The heat has been knocking on the door here in the Park City area, and I am just hoping that my body is ready for the 90+ degree days that are sure to come. A brief 40 degree drop in the air temp the other afternoon sure did feel good though. We have a great crew here right now- Andy, Tad, Liz, and a slew of friends from other ski disciplines- so training and hanging out after training has been fun and different every day. On Sunday I jump on a plane bound for Scandinavia where I will have the awesome opportunity to co-coach a group of motivated and fun-loving young athletes on Pete Phillips’ annual summer training trip. My girlfriend Kate, who coaches for Burke Mountain Academy in VT, will crack the whip as head coach on the trip. I’ll be sure to post some updates on my blog with lots of pictures and stories from the trip so check back soon.  Until then, the photos below tell a good story of what’s been going on with the men’s XC USST as of late. In the last couple shots, you can see that I got my one crash of the summer out of the way during a speed workout at Soldier Hollow. Enjoy!

 

 

06.09

2012

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