August 2, 2019
By Marin Coletta
In the last few days of Nordic Team Collegiate training, the crew crushed three big over distance workouts, an L3 interval session, and our last power-focused lift in our time together. Despite our wishes for mild weather to accommodate this final surge of training, Mama Nature did not let up. On Saturday morning, a dramatic rainstorm poured over Triple Tree as we pushed our worn limbs to ski with style around an 8-10 minute loop. The women completed 4-5 intervals while the men completed 5-7.
After a large lunch and nap prescribed by Andy, the crew showed up at The Mountain Project eager to hit our last strength workout together. In this session, the progress we all made from Andy’s strength program was evident. You would see it too, whether you’re examining our core muscles, watching us perform our deadlift x double pole w/ ropes superset, or viewing the women run through the jumping warm-up routine (I’m looking at you, A-skips). Even though I always enjoy lifting, this group and Andy’s challenging strength plan made this summer of bands and barbells an even more exciting and productive one.
The next morning, we woke up early to meet at the base of Kelly Canyon, the location where we were to end our five-hour roller ski. Tim Baucom and Andy greeted our groggy faces as we piled equipment into the Club Wagon. They shuttled us out past Four Corners via US-191 N, as if you were driving towards Ennis. We hopped out on Churchill Road, clicked into our roller skis, and set out to double pole the rolling hills of Montana’s farmland. In Andy’s words, “we didn’t start on time but at least we started.” The morning grew hot as the women skied towards Manhattan, then around to Four Corners, and on towards Anderson School on South Cottonwood. With our watches clocking in at about 3:30 hours by the time we reached the school’s parking lot, we switched over to skate equipment and fueled up on peanut butter sandwiches.
Though the sun had grown hot by this time and fatigue had set in for some of us, we were all eager to complete the full five hours. The women’s group strung out as we wound our way around neighborhoods and eventually up through Triple Tree. The familiarity of these roads ensured that the stoke was high. At 5 hours and 6 minutes and 77 km, the women stood together waiting for an
afternoon train to pass 15 feet from our cars. The sweet promise of icy Coca-cola waiting for us in the Club Wagon danced like a fantom on our tongues, and we laughed at the comedy of our situation.
Finally, the train passed and we bounced over the tracks. Bumping fists and hugging, we concluded our final workout of NTC. Later that day, the crew got together again for a celebratory river float down the Madison. A huge thanks goes to Andy for a summer of fun and focused training! You have been an amazing coach and we credit you for the gains we’ve made. And cheers to all the NTC athletes who made Bozeman the place to be this summer!!