Summer is the heart and definition of "work". It is the time that we put all our "money in the bank" for the season ahead, building on previous years. We wake up every morning, work as hard as we can all day, and rest to prepare for the next day. It is an easy time to feel like you are working on a "check list". You accomplish your daily goal, only to set out for another daily goal, another weekly goal, and another monthly goal. We measure our "work" by the amount of hours we are training, and the number of workouts we are finishing. With this continued daily "work list", it becomes easy to fall into the mindless effort to check the workout off the list, and forget about the actual "value" I am working towards.

Running in the mountains, and still finding snow!

Running in the mountains, and still finding snow!

Quite the "scenery" with the mountain biking in AK!

Quite the "scenery" with the mountain biking in AK!

For that reason, I have made one overarching goal for this summer, and it revolves around value. Rather than getting my workout done, to know I accomplished my daily volume goal.. I have used this summer to use every workout to accomplish a skill. I finished last season wanting to improve skills such as classic uphill running, uphill skating, sprint finishing speed, efficiency in high speed double pole, etc. All of these skills can only be accomplished through starting every workout working towards more than an hourly goal. 

Mountain Goat buddies.

Mountain Goat buddies.

Taking some time for some wednesday night yoga in the park.

Taking some time for some wednesday night yoga in the park.

So what does that mean? It means that this summer I have learned to manage both my physical as well as my mental fatigue. On speed workouts when I am so focused on adapting to new technique changes while also going at my 100% speed, as well as staying on my feet to avoid road rash… all of these things leave me exhausted by the end of the workout. This has meant that I have learned the importance of rest a little more than before. I have started to learn what "value" actually means. It means putting myself in a place to show up twice a day with a brain fully switched on, muscles rested, and heart that is ready. 

You better have muscles that are ready to keep up with these mountain goats on the climbs!

You better have muscles that are ready to keep up with these mountain goats on the climbs!

Sometimes being "ready" means switching up usual training in order to keep your muscles balanced. (Classic Visions Photo).

Sometimes being "ready" means switching up usual training in order to keep your muscles balanced. (Classic Visions Photo).

Last week I had a "recovery" week, which means that I got to take a week to slow down mentally and physically, and spend a week to "shut down". I always look forward to these weeks, because I know that if I put in a great push of valuable training, I am rewarded for an entire week. I was lucky to be spoiled with some amazing summer weather during that week, so I was able to have a little "vacation" at home, which has been wonderful.

Pretty stoked I can still find snow so close to town despite the serious "summer weather".

Pretty stoked I can still find snow so close to town despite the serious "summer weather".

Recovery week means you can combine your biking and your fishing in one! Erik and Marine headed for the Russian River on a search for the Salmon! 

Recovery week means you can combine your biking and your fishing in one! Erik and Marine headed for the Russian River on a search for the Salmon! 

Working on my balance when the creek decides the best path is down the trail. 

Working on my balance when the creek decides the best path is down the trail. 

Sometimes that means a tumble... (even on your birthday)

Sometimes that means a tumble... (even on your birthday)

Enjoying some time outdoors with the Delta Constructors employees on our "Peak of the Month" challenge.

Enjoying some time outdoors with the Delta Constructors employees on our "Peak of the Month" challenge.

Poster signing at Yoga in the Park. 

Poster signing at Yoga in the Park. 

Recovery Week activities doing some filming with The Alaska Club. (Classic Visions Photo)

Recovery Week activities doing some filming with The Alaska Club. (Classic Visions Photo)

I am now headed into another block of intense training before I get to take my next "vacation" home to the Methow to visit family! During this block of training, the National Team will be coming up to Alaska for two weeks of training, one in town, one on the glacier, which hasn't happened for a few years, so I am really looking forward to it!