Hello from America! Sorry about it being little late, but we have been too busy training and having fun to write!
We arrived in San Francisco on the 27th all feeling a little jet lagged and decided to run it off (literally) with a 6km run. It worked wonders and we were able to sleep considerably well. We stayed in a nice youth hostel in Fort Mason, which included breakfast and WiFi. The second day began with a morning rest (until 9), and then we began our real exercise. JC had a 16 km run in store for us... We ran over the Golden Gate Bridge - it was cold, but definitely worth it by the end of the run! We followed this up with a tour of San Francisco and some shopping, which included the purchase of some cool glasses, which you will no doubt hear about. Ronice was waiting for us back at the hostel and that night we saw a NBA game, which was an incredible spectacle, even before the game started! The following morning, we left for Tahoe Donner.
It was a long drive, though nothing compared to the 5 or more hours endured between Falls Creek and home for some of us. Once we arrived at our accommodation, we quickly found that the "Big House" was awesome, having two stories, beds for everyone (though some are willingly on mattresses on the floor) and plenty of space to relax. We went up to the shelter, picked up our season passes, and went for a short afternoon ski.
The following day, our training began. We were divided into 3 groups headed by JC, Ronice, and Ewan Watson (who had just arrived from Australia) and went out for a long 12-15km ski around the Euer Valley. We quickly found that Tahoe Donner is very different to Falls Creek - the lowest point is at about 2050m, the highest about 2240m! At Tahoe, one can start at about 2100, and can take multiple loops either into the hills, or drop down into the Euer Valley, which is easy to ski down into - but not so easy to climb out of! The afternoon consisted of a long group skate with Ewan, into the hills rather than the valley.
The following morning we went for our first morning run on snow - we all woke up at 7, got changed, and ran for 1-2 kilometres, with a few stops for stretches and strength exercises. Afterwards we ate breakfast, and launched ourselves outside, ready to ski! We got back onto our classics for a few drills to improve our technique on a flat section outside the Nordic shelter - perfect! After that, we followed up with a long ski, the highlight being the fun, windy, way back down. JC, Ewan and Ronice decided to give us an afternoon off to get skis, poles, boots and other necessities we would need for the remainder of our trip.
The following day we woke up (some feeling better than others) at 7 for our morning ritual, the run. This morning, we focused on our technique, some people having themselves filmed whilst the rest picked up some tips from JC. During the afternoon the boys went to the gym whilst the girls worked on speed and agility on skate skis Due to our entry into the gym, we were allowed entry into the hot tubs at the exercise complex, (like a massive house but actually a gym and pool/spas) which was extremely enjoyable! The speed and agility session was a course set up by Ewan, where you had to step turn around as fast as possible, with the focus being on balance and speed/agility.
Yet again we rose at 7 for the run. The girls had a rest day, traveling to Reno for a shopping excursion. We boys however, had to do an intense 12-15 km ski in the valley, without poles. In the afternoon the guys completed the speed and agility session that the girls had done the previous day.
The past few days had been clear skies - cold mornings and warm days. It was -8 or less overnight and in the morning, and sometimes got up to 3 or 4 degrees during the day. We are all having heaps of fun, and working hard to improve our technique and fitness and we will keep you posted on our endeavours.