Sunday, June 23, 2013

It’s finally summer, and us ‘adults’ are balancing our desire for outdoor fitness activities along with good ol’ work, kid's needs and housekeeping/yard work demands and achy knees and hip joints. What to do? What is the best way to improve ourselves in the winter sport we love, with limited time and individual body limitations?

Speaking from one month into my 54th year of living, these are my suggestions and I would love to hear yours. Everyone’s schedules, time demands and mental determination are unique but there are things we all have in common and hopefully some of these suggestions will help.

You must commit to a consistent workout plan. Just like eating well, you have to want to workout and be willing to accept things you cannot do to fit workouts into a busy life.  Whether you commit to a 5 day/week, 4 day/week or 6 days of working out, stick with it as best as you can. Make the sacrifices necessary to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Commitment to a plan becomes habit forming and will allow you to reap enough benefits from it, to continue with it.

All rollerskiing, all running, all biking, all gym work, etc., will leave you burnt out before ski season begins, or the repetition will create injuries or boredom. In the very least, you  will not be as fit as you had hoped. Crosstraining is the key to reducing repetitive injuries as we mature.

I have been wrapped up in the sports world thru retail since I was 25. (Oh dear, that dates me). To begin with there were limited fitness choices, especially for women.  Workout options available to us now? Lots! For both men and women, they are only limited to time and money. When I first opened a bike store in ’85,  products available were only road bikes and black lycra shorts. There were no Powerbars, mtn bikes, aero bars, minimal shoes, stretchy hip fabrics, left and right socks, skate skis, coffee shops, … (computers!)! Today we can spend more time selecting workout outfits to best match our aerobic activity than we actually workout!

My suggested crosstraining workouts for skiing are: 
1) Core strength training (gym weights, outdoor playground strength) or, of course, classes offered thru LifeTime, or CrossFit, Kettlebell / Barre classes or Discover Strength or any of the myriad of independent gyms and associated fitness classes. 

2) Running / jogging / Nordic walking (vigorous). Weight bearing, aerobic workouts that tie directly into fitness.

3) Swimming. Great overall recovery and fitness training. Helps prevent injuries, stretches out the body and strengthens the arms and core.

4) Biking. Obviously. Mtn biking is even more ski specific as it taxes more body parts and raises the heart rate in short anaerobic bursts. 

5) Paddling sports with canoes, kayaks, surf skis, Stand-Up paddle boards, rowing shells. All require upper body strength and aerobic power in a fun way that introduces you to the beautiful lakes outside of power boats. 

Last and most important….

6) ROLLERSKIING! it’s a must if you want to improve your technique before the ski season. Rollerskiing is a fantastic workout since it is weight bearing but not knee jarring. It strengthens both the upper and lower body including the torso and is is perfect for specific ski strength workouts.  Because rollerskiing  best simulates ski movements (unlike roller blading) and you can focus on technique without freezing your toes and fingers The fact is, anyone who rollerskis with some consistency will improve their ski technique tremendously. BUT, you must rollerski with good technique, or at least understand the movements of good technique and set goals towards achieving it.

Checkout  Gear West Summer Nordic Camp
What a great way to renew your enthusiasm to workout! Join others to learn, relearn or tweak your basics in ski technique. These types of mini camps, just like joining a strength class or spin session, will sharpen your focus on training.  You will brush up on how to train effectively, using good technique and increase your desire to train when there are goals to achieve.

If you do the same thing, at the same speed for the same duration your fitness improvements will be limited.  Who wants SAMENESS?! Examine your week or a 10 day period as a puzzle where you attempt to fit in the different works below into your allotted free time.

Simply, this is how it’s done:

Over Distance Workout.
Do a longer than average workout. For some it will be 1½ hrs, for others 2-3 hours. Choose an activity that will tax your aerobic system. This can be done rollerskiing, biking, Nordic bounding….

Short Intensity Workout.
Usually 15 min to 45min with a warm up and cool down sessions. This workout raises your heart rate, period. It’s tough to do but fun and exhausting and leaves you with a satisfied feeling. And you complete it quickly! Workouts like this are best found thru indoor classes like Zumba, or Crossfit, or any group activity that pushes you to your limits. Yes, you can do intensity on your rollerskis but often times joining a group makes it easier to achieve your goal. 

Hills and Fartliks.
By incorporating both anaerobic and aerobic workouts into one hour or so, you can simulate a race environment. Sometimes you push hard, then you recover and then push hard again. Many times this is best done running or rollerskiing. Incorporate the outside terrain into the workout, using hills to stress the body and then flats and downhills to recover. It’s fun and builds strength and speed.

Strength Workout.
Yes, this can be pure lifting or a hill workout can overlap into the intensity workout as in Crossfit WOD. Build arm strength, core-body strength and leg strength by pushing your body in a controlled and focused way.

Introduce a plan for each workout. Understand what you want to achieve from the above. If 75% of your workouts have a fitness goal, then relax.  Allow the other 25% to be your ‘fun’ workouts with friends. Sometimes after work it’s all you can do to get out of the door and if that is achieved, great!

Stuff can help make the workouts informative, challenging, more fun, more comfortable… it all depends what stuff and who you are.  Learning about what works for your sport allows you can enjoy it better. Who wants to train and run/walk a 10k with ill-fitting shoes such as a hi-stability shoe when you are a neutral forefoot runner? Don’t choose a trail shoe when you desire flexibility and cushion when you are running on roads. Who wants to ride HillFest, a hilly 100m bike ride in Wisconsin on a Huffy? Don’t enter your first paddle race in a carbon fiber pro-boat on a windy day. Don’t attempt a double pole rollerski workout without rollerskis gloves to prevent blisters. Women, consider training with a water bottle waist belt before you carry it on a trail marathon and rub a raw spot on your back because the bottle was too high and you are short-waisted.

Experience has provided me with many helpful suggestions about sports, mostly because I have worn the incorrect clothing, or shoes at one time or another. I have paid the price with blisters, chafing, and struggling. Back in 1985, I completed the Hawaii Ironman on equipment that now, I would not suggest to my worst enemy! I used a bike that was loaned to me from a pro-triathlete who was 4” taller than me; strap down pedals that created numbness on the upper and lower foot parts (clippless pedals were not invented); an ill-fitting round, non-vented helmet. I knew nothing about nutrition and only ate on the bike, Quava-jelly sandwiches premade weeks ahead of time by the volunteers. I used drop bars; a hard bike seat; no wet suit, heavy Brook ‘Beast’ shoes… oh my.

Heartrate Montitors and GPS devices give you super useful information on workout levels, and mileage and speed goals. All are ways of increasing one’s interest in exercise. Again, gadgets do not make the athlete and don’t use the lack of gadgets as a reason for not joining a class or completing a workout. 

Carry your stuff in the car to eliminate excuses about why you cannot fit in an impromptu stop at the woods or gym. Build in friends or events to commit you to a consistent reason to get moving. Reward yourself with improved training equipment or cool clothing as you stick to a plan or sport(s).

Then enjoy the intangibles of feeling healthy! Your energy levels will be higher, your speed will improve.  As you are working out your mind will be occupied by learning how to do things better (like your skiing technique) and wow! Life is way more fun and rich when your body and your mind remain flexible and youthful.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gear West Twilight 5K Results

Gear West Twilight 5K 2013 - Final Results
Place Name Age Sex Time Place Name Age Sex Time
1 Paul Brauchle 18 M 16:39 43 Rob Kill 49 M :27:03
2 Alec Schultz 21 M 16:49 44 Stephen Keating 37 M :27:17
3 John Van Benschoten 18 M 17:01 45 Deb Ukura 60 F :27:22
4 Brandon Heebink 28 M 18:05 46 Chelsea Kover 26 F :27:24
5 Brent Schultz 22 M 18:20 47 Anna Healy 13 F :27:31
6 Josh Surver 18 M 18:41 48 Monica Healy 42 F :27:32
7 Eric Bakken 17 M 18:48 49 Scott Healy 43 M :27:33
8 Logan Wikstrom 14 M 19:31 50 Mara McCollor 12 F :27:39
9 Matt Moris 25 M 19:42 51 Erin Church 21 F :27:44
10 Deb Gormley 46 F 20:47 52 Derek Arens 26 M :27:49
11 Lauren McCollor 9 F 20:54 53 Lance First 48 M :27:52
12 Michael McLachlan 25 M 21:10 54 Mariatta Cady 50 F :28:09
13 Mario Williams 20 M 21:15 55 Lidia Cornelius 45 F :28:11
14 Paul Kohls 39 M 21:29 56 Jen Heebink 26 F :28:22
15 Drew Retterath 26 M 22:23 57 Charles Canodento 64 M :28:32
16 Kyle Cadwalder 14 M 22:25 58 Anita Trapp 35 F :28:36
17 Betsy Surver 13 F 22:35 59 Rachel Stepka 26 F :28:54
18 Rick Cornelius 51 M 22:50 60 Kaylee Strom 22 F :28:55
19 Meghan Pressing 25 F 23:27 61 Tammy Lambas 47 F :29:14
20 Bree Simon 37 F 23:33 62 John Hensley 33 M :29:17
21 Tony Boe 61 M 23:41 63 Ellie Obrien F :29:46
22 Jill Steinmetz 45 F 23:42 64 John Obrien M :29:46
23 Vern Quast 47 M :24:06 65 Tessa Cady 22 F :29:53
24 Rachel Hurley 24 F :24:20 66 Ben Kill 12 M :29:54
25 Troy Koltes 43 M :24:25 67 #148 :30:30
26 Dale Kover 55 M :24:26 68 Mike Schwartz 32 M :30:31
27 Sara Schwartz 34 F :24:35 69 Jill Sunders 45 F ;30:48
28 Holly Bicket 42 F :24:37 70 Shannan Lindquist 37 F :30:51
29 Greta Van Benschoten 57 F :24:45 71 Amy Guerre 30 F :30:52
30 Danielle Landa 41 F :24:47 72 Suzette Johnson 51 F :30:55
31 Noah Steinmetz 13 M :25:18 73 Amanda Kuchenbecker 27 F :30:58
32 Joshua Smith 34 M :25:19 74 Gretchen Erpelding 45 F :30:59
33 John Toftland 26 M :25:31 75 Sheila Adams 51 F :31:05
34 Andrew Carpenter 32 M :25:40 76 Laura Kivisto 16 F :31:15
35 Megan Roller 15 F :25:43 77 Isabella Bakkala 11 F :31:16
36 Caitlin LaClair 32 F :25:51 78 Lauren Loegering 8 F :31:20
37 Danielle Johnson 38 F :26:19 79 Tina Deitmeyer 36 F :31:26
38 Lynn Sosnowski 44 F :26:31 80 Eli Hamer 8 M :31:31
39 Jeffery Ek 54 M :26:32 81 Naomi Hamer 38 F :31:33
40 Tara Cady 13 F :26:36 82 Chrin Sterhagen 34 M :31:38
41 Dean Enright 25 M :26:47 83 Chad Sponsler 35 M :31:39
42 Laura Lee 27 F :26:51 84 Geri Scherer 50 F :31:40
Gear West Twilight 5K 2013 - Final Results
Name Age Sex Time Name Age Sex Time
85 #139 :31:41 127 Marilyn Hurley 51 F :37:24
86 Katie Gjerstad 51 F :31:50 128 Bethany Anderson 6 F :37:39
87 Kathryn Zenk 47 F :31:50 129 Travis Anderson 34 M :37:40
88 Jeff Thompson 33 M :31:51 130 Jerrett Loegering 11 M :37:42
89 Martha Tofteland 33 F :31:51 131 Sheri Loegering 43 F :37:42
90 Cole Shipman 14 M :32:02 132 Anne Keating 37 F :38:07
91 Darrin Hargreaves 47 M :32:14 133 Laurie Johnson 49 F :38:55
92 Carsyn Hargreaves 11 F :32:14 134 Karen Preston 41 F :39:40
93 Cori Jensen 29 F :32:18 135 Toni Cecil 46 F :39:41
94 Sutton Smith 32 F :32:22 136 Erin Anderson 33 F :39:48
95 Katie Williams 55 F :32:29 137 Olivia Bekkala 9 F :39:48
96 Christina Korger 23 F :32:30 138 Teresa Kivisto 44 F :40:03
97 Rachel Tobias 24 F :32:31 139 Samantha Olson 11 F :40:04
98 Krista Vande Vegte 31 F :32:44 140 Courtney Taylor 38 F :40:11
99 Zach Berbig 31 M :32:45 141 Ronda Hague 47 F :40:57
100 Mary Bonde 32 F :32:47 142 Mary Sanko 61 F :41:36
101 Eva Pinske 8 F :32:48 143 Matt Smith 40 M :42:54
102 Ned Pinske 51 M :32:49 144 Jantipa Smith 33 F :42:56
103 Mary Beth Kivisto 10 F :32:57 145 Angela Becker 34 F :45:06
104 Mckenzie Kramer 25 F :33:20 146 Jeffrey Pickert 11 M :47:59
105 John Vogt 61 M :33:23 147 Melissa Pickert 33 F :47:59
106 Emily Nordstrom 33 F :33:24 148 Samantha Pickert 9 F :48:07
107 Kathryn Kozub 48 F :33:24 149 Patrice Greger 51 F :48:13
108 Klerissa Church 37 F :33:26 150 Lisa Bobyak 46 F :48:35
109 Koke Sponsler 32 F :33:42 151 Alex Beck 18 M :48:44
110 #140 :33:43 152 Alexa Bobyak 18 F :48:45
111 #67 :33:59 153 Vincent Monico 5 M :52:56
112 #81 :34:11 154 Elizabeth Monico 43 F :52:57
113 Rory Smith 31 M :34:14 155 Scott Monico 41 M :52:59
114 Matt Koltes 11 M :34:49 156 Cynthia Nelson 46 F :54:35
115 Morgan Swenson 15 F :35:28 157 Julia Burke 17 F :54:37
116 Courtney Pray 28 F :35:29 158 Lori Shipman 43 F :59:04
117 Diane Hemstad 61 F :35:35 159 Sarah Shipman 13 F :59:04
118 Eleta Donaldson 57 F :35:36    
119 Alice First 15 F :35:40    
120 Amy Miller 15 F :35:40  
121 Tom Corneliessum 53 M :35:46  
122 Steve Harris 41 M :35:47  
123 Paul Johnson 52 M :35:50  
124 Samuel Shipman 11 M :36:40  
125 Carroll Shipman 41 M :36:40  
126 Leah Sternhagen 32 F :37:09  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Jan's (sort of) Healthy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

When it comes to cookies "healthy" is relative. Jan's are a bit better than the rest with whole wheat flour, nuts and heart-healthy oatmeal. And they're chocolatey/nutty good.

Here's how you make them:
1. Pre-heat oven 350
2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Place ping pong ball sized balls of dough on greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 7-9 minutes - until delicious.

1 c - Nuts, sunflower seeds or other
2 c - Chocolate chips
1 3/4 c (2 sticks) - Butter
2 - Eggs
1 tsp - Real vanilla
1 tsp - Salt
3/4 c  - Brown sugar
3/4 c - white sugar
1 tsp - Baking powder and
1 tsp Baking soda
2 c - Oatmeal, ground (in food processor)
1/2 c - Either Grapenuts or Rice Krispies
1 c -  whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cup white flour depending on density etc

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"I have raced on Salomon skis for my entire professional career and absolutely love them.  This year, Salomon skis helped me towards 13 individual top 30 results on the World Cup. Salomons are fast, stable, and competitive both Internationally and on your local trails and

Check out Holly's blog


My favorite race ski is a pair of skis that I got this year in Val Di Fiemme World Champs. The new air core ski just came out during this week, so I was really looking forward to using them. I didn't get a chance to do a skate race on them until Lahti, Finland in the skate sprint where I made my first top ten on the World Cup.

Fischer Skate Skis are fun because they come in all different stiffness levels with many different grinds. This particular pair of skis has become one of my favorite skis because it is considerably stiffer than any other pair I own. The best way I can describe the feeling is that it has a lot of "play". The harder you push off your ski, the harder it pushes back at you- and in response, the faster you can move across the snow. This makes a ski like this especially fun in sprint racing, because for three and a half minutes you have the energy to really push hard at that board! Every time I test my four cold skate skis the morning of the race, I always come back with the same response since I have gotten this new ski. "I pick the new one; it feels like I am having a party on my ski".

I encourage everyone to find their very own party ski so they can join the dance with all of us Fischer Athletes. 

Check out Sadie's blog


My favorite race pair is my pair of soft ground Salomon skate skis that I raced on in the World Championship Team Sprint. Kikkan and I won that race, getting the first Gold that US Cross Country Skiing has ever had, and my skis were a big part of getting that medal! I know they were the fastest pair in the world that day, because they were out-gliding every other country on the downhill and they climbed through the deep new snow effortlessly. I love how it feels to race of such a fast pair of skis; it feels like they are "giving back" to me every time I push off. The flex of the ski and the way it springs back means that it glides just a little farther every step up the hill, and it feels springy enough that instead of plowing into the snow it continues gliding. A good pair of skis, like my World Champs pair, also tracks really well on the downhills. They aren't squirrely, but continue in a straight line even when moving quite fast. I love this pair of skis and every time I snap the bindings down I get a boost of confidence, because I know my equipment is among the best in the world.

Check out Jessie's blog


Holly, Sadie and Jessie have  techs from their sponsoring ski companies hand selecting skis from the factory. Doug turned to Matt at Gear West to review his fleet and select some new ski from the factory inventory. These athletes enjoy racing on perfect skis. Matt and Brian at Gear West will give you the opportunity to have the same experiences (sans World Cup) by hand selecting you next favorite skis. Learn how Gear West finds your next favoite pair of skis

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Gear West Review of Nike Vomero+ 7

Nike Vomero+ 7

by Speedy - Gear West Shoe Sales and High School Track and Cross Country Coach
The Nike Vomero+ 7 is the seventh edition (as the name implies). Since it first came out in 2006 the Vomero has been a staple in the Nike line of technical running shoes. Made for high mileage runners needing neutral cushioning, the shoe has been a winner from the beginning.

The Nike Vomero+ 7 is a high cushion neutral shoes made for runners putting in high mileage or runners looking for more cushion to help their legs recover faster. I coach high school track. At the start of the season last March I was looking for a new shoe. I tried five or six pair and ran a little in each. The Vomero was the best. The fit, the feel and the cushion I knew it was the shoe for me.

My feet are average width and I have a medium arch, (Goldylocks arches) Not too high, not too low. I'm a pretty efficient runner with not a lot of wasted energy and minimal pounding. I'm comfortable with a wide variety of shoes but tend to prefer shoes with more cushion. The Vomero is among the best. Running with these shoes my legs feel better than they have in several years.

After three months of running and a 250 miles the shoes still have great cushion. I've run in the rain and snow, on roads and trails and the shoes still give great cushioning and good support.

Section meet was last week and track season is winding down, so I went for a longer run on my own last Sunday. My run of 11 miles went easy and the shoes felt great. With the new Vomero+ 8 just out I'm thinking I'll take advantage of the closeouts and get a new pair of Vomero+ 7s.

Vomero+ 8 is now on the market. We have a large selection of Vomero+ 7 on clearance,
or you can come to the store to check out Vomero+ 8.

Vomero+ 7 and 8 at Gear West

Taking care of your skin

Skin Considerations For The Athlete This Summer by Dr. Brian Zelickson and Dr. Susan Rudolph, Dermatologists

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It is critical for regulating body temperature, protecting from injury and defending against infection from the outside environment. It is important to take good care of your skin so it will remain healthy as you age and continue its role to protect you. Aside from time, the most damaging factor to your skin is the sun.
Long hours of training and activity outdoors can result in excessive sun-damage to the skin and may put you at higher risk for skin cancer. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. There are three main types of cancer that arise within the skin:
1. Basal cell carcinoma
2. Squamous cell carcinoma
3. Melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer followed by squamous cell carcinoma. These are generally easily treatable if caught early, as they rarely spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma, on the other hand, is very serious and sometimes fatal because it has the highest potential to spread to other parts of the body.
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas often appear as a new red bump or sore that just doesn’t heal.  It may also bleed, scab, be scaly, or even painful.  They are typically found in areas that get the most sun (head, neck, chest, shoulders, arms and hands). Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body and typically looks brown in color like a mole.  It can arise in a pre-existing mole or as a new “mole” all together.
When examining your moles, it is helpful to remember the acronym “ABCDE” which can help you to identify potential melanoma:
A = Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not look like the other half.
B = Borders. The borders of the mole are irregular: scalloped or poorly defined.
C = Color. The mole has varying shades of tan, brown and black, and sometimes even red, white, or blue.
D = Diameter. The mole is larger than 6 mm or about the size of a pencil eraser.
E = Evolving.  The mole changes in shape, size or color over time.


Minimizing the amount of UV light absorbed by your skin is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer and the signs of aging. There are 2 types of UV rays: UVA and UVB.  UVA is able to penetrate your skin deeper and is largely responsible for the aging effects on your skin.  UVB is responsible for sunburns and has been shown to play an important role in the development of skin cancer.  It is important to realize that sun damage is cumulative and builds up over your lifetime. It cannot be reversed so it’s vital to protect your skin while you’re young.
Tips for protection:
  1. Minimize being outdoors between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm when ultraviolet rays are the strongest. It’s best to do your training early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
  2. Use sunscreen every day on your face and the rest of your body when doing activities outdoors. This is true even for cloudy days since UV rays can still reach your skin.
  3. Apply sunscreen about 15-30 minutes before going outside and reapply at least every 1-2 hours.
  4. Most adults need at least 1 ounce of sunscreen, or about a ‘shot glass full’, to fully cover all areas of the body.
  5. Use a sunscreen that is "broad spectrum" which means it will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. It can also protect against skin cancer, prematurely aging skin and sunburn.
  6. Use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. While SPF 15 is the FDA’s minimum recommendation for skin cancer prevention and sunburn, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends choosing a sunscreen with an SPF level of at least 30.
  7. Look for a sunscreen that is “water resistant”, especially if you are going to be sweating or swimming. These sunscreens are formulated to provide protection in water for up to either 40 or 80 minutes (depending on the brand) before you need to reapply.
  8. Consider wearing sun protective clothing such as light-weight, long-sleeved shirts, pants and broad-brimmed hats.
  9. Wear sunglasses with UV-blocking filters as melanoma can also develop in your eyes.
  10. Don’t forget your lips!  Skin cancer can also develop on the lips and may be quite aggressive. To protect your lips, select a lip balm that is labeled "Broad Spectrum SPF 30."
Prevention is key but is there anything you can do if you get a sunburn? One option is to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to decrease the degree of redness and help with discomfort.  Topical steroids, such as over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, may also be helpful to decrease the inflammation.  Remember to give yourself adequate hydration with plenty of water and fluids as well.
You should see a doctor if you have extreme blistering, nausea, fever or signs of heat stroke (headaches, confusion, light-headedness, disorientation, seizures, and loss of consciousness).
Following these sun smart tips can help you have a safe and healthy summer for your skin!