Saturday, May 24, 2014

2014 USASA Nationals Re-Cap #4

Be sure to read Nats Re-Cap #1 + #2 + #3.

Final preparations for race day include tuning and waxing boards (lots of waxing), some gym work, visiting with friends and family, and of course the traditional Nationals lasagna dinner.  How you manage your time and activities during a longer break (I had 3 days off before race day – technically 4, but I worked the day after practice was done) makes all the difference in staying in the peak zone for performance.
Ale's Board Getting Some Speed Mojo
Before getting too serious about waxing I took my board over to Ryan’s shop, MonoCera, and got the edges cleaned up.  Ryan does great work, as attested to by all the pro boards/skis waiting for service along with autographed photos and other memorabilia on every wall of the shop.  It didn’t take him too long to set and sharpen the edges and the Oxess was ready to rip.
Ryan Working the Edges
Happy Pro Customers
I spent Saturday and Sunday finalizing details for family travel/course access/camera responsibilities, etc., working-out in the gym, waxing snowboards, prepping gear and trying to get some rest.  My parents were on their way from Pennsylvania to watch the races and wanted to be on the course sidelines for an up-close view of the action.  They had never been to one of my races before and were excited to once again visit Colorado.

My gym sessions consisted of stretching/rolling/mobility, speed work with weights and some general lifting and core exercises.  The workouts were designed to provide some active recovery as well as keep my body and CNS primed and ready for action.  There’s a fine line to training a few days before a competition – too much and you’re tired and worn-out, too little and you react slower and feel somewhat lethargic.  When you get it just right, you feel energized and mentally sharp.
In the Waxing Zen Zone
Ready for Speed
Next up is waxing.  I like waxing the boards; no really, I do.  There’s a meditative quality to the process that I do enjoy.  It’s the scraping I don’t like. It helps that the wax I use, Purl Wax, is super easy to work with (and fast on the snow!).  I’d say I put in about 3 and ½ hours each day on wax prep (3 boards).  The tuning set-up in the condo garage is pretty solid which also makes things go smoother.  It was cool to run into the 'Board Tech Machine' from Minnesota again this year.  He’s always got a huge stash of homemade scrapers and was kind enough to give me some.  And considering he preps boards for the entire G-Team (70+ competitors) he does a lot of scraping.
Soon-to-be Yummy Lasagna
On Monday night (the night before race day), everyone got together for the best tradition of all (other than winning Gold that is) – Nationals Lasagna!  This year’s version included some elk and bison along with kale, roasted red peppers and of course lots of gelato for dessert.  It was a great meal with great friends and a relaxing way to spend the evening and take our minds of competition.  The added bonus to eating this awesome meal is wanting to go to sleep about 20 min after dinner so there was no trouble getting to bed early. 

Next up: Race Day - Part #5 coming soon…

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