Q: What inspired you to participate in the Triple Crown?
A: When I first came to visit to see if Jackson fit the bill for a move, someone said to watch this multi-leg race called the Pole Pedal Paddle (PPP). I thought wow, adventure racing – cool, cool, cool. Pretty hardcore. It stayed in the back of my head. Just reading about multi-day races in the Sahara and the Barkley Marathons, the PPP would be a great testing ground to see if I had the grit to make it to something like that. Once I moved here last year, I noticed the PPP was part of a series, called the Triple Crown. I was only on day 17 of skiing EVER and had only been cross country skiing once and didn’t feel mentally tough enough to take on a three series race and didn’t see anyone that looked like me doing these races. When I found out Jenny Wolfrom had done the Leadville 100 three times, I was inspired to train with her since that race has been on my list since my cross country coach in high school mentioned it. So I did the PPP solo last year, borrowed almost all the gear, and my running shoes barely worked because of the snow. Miserable conditions.
Fast forward to the Wright Mountain Challenge and preventing injury and fostering my mental toughness, add in a little DiverfyOutdoors spice and I knew if I won the Wright Mountain Challenge, Wright Training would see that I could put in the work to compete in the Triple Crown.
Unfortunately, I did not win. But, I know where I need to be faster. I passed three people on the skate-ski which is huge for me because last year I was on the ground for 97% of the time because I never had skate-skied.
Q: Do anything special to prepare for the events?
A: To prepare and prevent injury, I came to Wright Training. We do lots of single leg, balancing, and core movements at Wright Training. It helped a ton for transitioning from leg to leg since you’re supposed to clip your heels while you skate ski. The downhill is still an anomaly for me; the skis are so heavy. Crystal said she might do a clinic so more people get into it. I also started ingesting a protein/recovery mix called Herbalife24 before or after multi-training days when I would come to Wright Training in the morning and then skate ski or run or vice versa; it helped a ton during the #WrightTrainingMountainChallenge.
I also reached out to Jenn Sparks. She mentioned last year when I was dead last due to the skate ski, that she loved to skate ski and loved to teach people. She was shocked I could not unclip from the skates last year. So this year she gave me a few pointers, and I went out on my own before the Moose Chase, PPP.
Finally, I did lots of yoga to stay loose and not tighten up, another lesson learned from the mountain challenge.
Q: What was your favorite and least favorite event and sport in the events and why.
A: Oooo, they were so different. My favorite was the downhill because it was over so fast! There was so much build-up and it’s over in less than two minutes, sub-minute if you’re faster. I got a lot of stares for racing in my downhill skis and a backpack; I didn’t want to go back up for my bag, so yeah, I used it during my trial run. Least favorite was the Moose Chase, 15K isn’t even that far, but when you’ve only been skating five times, it’s pretty intimidating. Then you go out, and everyone’s been doing this for so long, and everyone has their race suits and they all know each other, and no one looks like you and you’re skating over to the start and eat it in front of everyone. You realize Jenn Sparks was not kidding when she said it was hilly. She said to prepare mentally, I thought, “I’m fine… try step ups for 10 min with 30 pounds on your back.” I could do it, but man was it mentally challenging, the downhills were such a relief, similarly to a minute break during sets here. On top of all that, I got passed by probably all the little kids doing the 5K because I hadn’t gotten my stride. Overall, it was a mess.
Q: Anything you would do differently if you had to do it all over again?
A: I am definitely going to do it again.
Let’s see, the Moose Chase: I would have practiced my skate skiing way more for speed, lunch practices and some mornings was not enough.
Downhill: not try to do a spread eagle on the jump and eat it and get Crystal to give me some pointers.
The PPP: would have raced on a road bike instead of my mountain bike, my bike was stolen, and I was tired of asking people for gear.
Skate skied harder and gotten a longer boat, not a carving kayak. So many more things I want to adjust in every race and that’s what gets you hooked, but it depends on if I feel confident in my work-capacity and mental toughness. The skills part is just practice and finding people willing to teach you; the gear can be fixed by borrowing, injury prevention, and mental toughness takes time and awareness that’s why I like to come to Wright Training, Jenny’s not just yelling mental toughness during hard sets for fun.
Q: Final thoughts/comments/shout-outs?
A: Shout out to Betsy Neal for letting me borrow lots of gear and for joining the adventure with the Moose Chase and Downhill. Peter Smith for his watercraft goodies. Max Martin for training and letting me borrow his race suit, so I didn’t look like a complete jaborni. Lizzie and Katie-Chloe for coming out to cheer during the Moose Chase, then we got her car stuck in the snow. Jenny for the inspiration, the snacks, and training. Jenn Sparks for her skate ski pointers. Rachel Attias and Wren Marvel for helping me set up the day before the PPP and coming to support during the downhill. Crystal for her support and understanding that competing would be a small win for Diversify Outdoors, she’s also a pusher when I see her in the gym. If you’ve ever wanted to compete in something like this, prevent injury and grow that mental toughness with Wright Training.