Sunday, September 1, 2013

Just so that all are informed, I have started an athlete page on facebook to streamline my posts about athletic events and my usual shinanagans. Look up the Brenton Knight - Salomon Athlete and you should find it. I can post from my phone which is awesome.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Post Minneapolis slumming and racing

     Ok, so i finished the Midwest supertour in 5th overall, which im satisfied with. The thing i take away from it is that i had consistant solid races through the whole tour with the sprint being the thorn in my side as the time bonuses were significant if you made it into the semifinals, which i did not. But overall, i left the midwest feeling pretty good.... and tired. There is something about 5 races in 8 days that will dig you a little hole.
     I am still using Bozeman as a good hub to travel from. I get pretty tired of getting on and off planes and always traveling that way. Bozeman is a nice place to chill and the skiing is fantastic. I spent all of a day there before renting a car and heading down to Sun Valley for some team sprints and the Boulder Mountain Tour (32k skate race). I didnt really know what to expect as i was still feeling pretty lethargic from the last week of racing. The team sprints that took place a couple days prior were a blast. Music and a big crowd compliments the short field loop approx. 600m in length and complete with jumps. I won crowd favorite as i was the only one to hit each one. Yes thats right.... Brent was hitting the jumps. My sprint partner Allison and I managed to finish 4th and im pretty sure had way more fun than any other teams.
     The Boulder had to be one of the funnest races ive ever done. 32k of skate race that descended almost 2000ft from start to finish made for some really exciting and fast racing. I won a sprint preem at 24k as i was starting to feel pretty good.... unfortunately all the sprinters were able to hang tough without many hard climbs and conditions being fast and i ended up getting swallowed in the sprint finish. i ended up 7th a solid 1.3 seconds behind the winner.

     From Sun Valley i headed to Vail, CO for the Teva Mountain Games 10k skate race. This was at 8300ft elevation and i felt every ft of it the last kilometer. I couldnt stand for a few minutes afterwards trying to catch my breathe, but managed a solid 3rd.

     I drove that night over to Aspen for the Supertour races. Trying not to have a repeat sufferfest from the day before, my race plan was to keep as smooth and relax as possible and not stress to go hard. At this elevation, when you cross the red line... your done for. Worked out well as i again found the 3rd spot on the podium.

Tomorrow will be my third day of racing with the Owl Creek Chase, a 21k lung burning skate race. We will see how the body recovers. Im psyched with all the good recent results and hope to keep the good vibe rolling.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Legs: Sometimes they dont agree with you

So I have not been true to my work on posting once a week, but it always seems hard to be candid about what goes on especially when its not going the way you intend it to. I guess the first lesson in being an elite athlete is to have faith in your fitness and the work you have done and not give up mentally when your results dont go the way you expect. This first period of racing for me fell well below par as far as performances go. I was motivated with a descent first weekend of racing in West Yellowstone having put down two top ten performances with the races there, but the weekend following was nothing short of a disaster. The body felt tired and did just about everything it could to disregard anything i wanted it to do. For the first time since I can remember, i finished almost 4 minutes out in a 15k classic mass start. This was a race that i generally would be competing for podium position in the past. Nonetheless, I tried to stay positive and remind myself that i did the training and this was not typical for the body. Thankfully, i was right. The body finally tanked itself over US Nationals and I ended up with a solid head cold. Not the best place to be sick, but at that point i was ready for the body to finally kick whatever it had been dealing with for the past month and a half. Having paid for all the races and starting to feel a bit better I decided to just into the 30k classic race. I had skipped the 15k skate when i could hardly get out of bed on race day. I had gone out to ski the day before and felt like someone had beat the bejeezus out of me and I hoped that the 30k the next day would not feel the same. Its hard knowing that the last 15k classic race i had raced was a disaster and that this would be twice the distance and i would be one day out of being bed ridden with a cold. I placed no expectations for the race and let myself relax to the idea of just going out and seeing how it went. I was pleasantly surprised to find the body was responding to almost all my requests. I felt strong for the first time in a while and found myself comfortable in the lead pack for 25k. The body was not quite ready to respond to some strong attacks on the last lap, but for the first time in quite a few weeks, i felt like the racer i had trained to be. This result was followed by one of my best sprint finishes at Nationals.

My goals going into this season were to qualify for the Canadian World Cups that happened in December and to put forth my best efforts at US Nationals to vie for that outside chance of making a World Championship team. Judging from how my training went this summer and fall, i felt both these goals were attainable. Its important as an athlete to understand that there will always be hiccups on the road and sometimes they may derail you. I felt a bit derailed the past two months and its finally feeling like im making forward progress again. Very few athletes will enjoy a perfect season with stellar results at every race. The athletes that succeed in the toughest of sports are the ones that can keep the faith in the hard work put in even when the produced results simply dont add up. Im looking forward to see what comes of the Minneapolis Mini tour during the next two weeks and I will keep this blog updated.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Steamboat Pre-Camp

     So Once again I am wallowing in the sunshine in Steamboat, CO for a few days prior to heading to West Yellowstone for our first set of races. Even though Steamboat itself is hurting for snow, a 20 minute drive yields some phenomenal skiing..... and lung crushing altitudes. Whatever though, oxygen is for wusses.

As per the usual, Mark and I took the red eye out of Anchorage and no matter what i try, sleep just does not happen for me. So I take the advantage of sunshine in the Denver airport to go into a 'death nap".

I am never a fan of having to acclimate, but i do have to say that the plethora of sunshine does make it easier.

The Steamboat Winter Sports Club was gracious enough to let Mark and I join them in their wight room the other day. Although my head got cut off, I thought this was a cool picture of me doing some cleans.

Marks Parents got a new puppy. Ranger is 6 months old... and loves everybody and everything. Shouldn't we all be like this?

We take off for West in the morning at the cheery hour of 6am. We all know everybody loves that time of morning and cant wait to share their enthusiasm with others. Apparently the snow is still waiting till the last minute to show its face in West, so keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting Huge

    Its been a busy summer and although i wasnt expecting it to be so busy, i did enjoy it. I am working quite a bit more in the race timing and event management field and am starting to see the other side of racing a bit.  Training has been amazing this summer. Two things i changed; one was that i didnt race hardly anything this summer which has led to a more consistent training regime and secondly, I starting working with a professional strength coach.  I have never been great about doing strength and im sure that has been one of the many pitfalls i deal with as an athlete.

Jody Potosky runs IronWill Athletics here in Anchorage. If you ever wanted to feel small, just stand next to this guy. Jody competes and trains for the Highland Games, which to my understanding is a more raw version of strength competition.

Jody Rockin the Farmboy Carry

I asked jody to help me get strong this summer. First the first few months i was doing what i equate to as Stongman workouts. I was pressing giant tractor tires, Swinging sledge hammers, swinging kettlebells of all sizes and perhaps my new favorite, Farmboy walks (carrying heavy weights in each hand and walking 100m. Try it... you'll find out where you're weak really quick).

I take off for Steamboat next week to start the season. Im looking forward to it. Having not raced all summer, i cant wait to see how everyone actually stacks up. Im psyched and hopefully i will be a better blogger. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Minnesota Mini tour and back

So the last few weeks has been chalk full of good racing. After the races in Steamboat, CO, which were ok but not quit what i was hoping for, we headed to Minneapolis, MN for a 5 day mini tour. Instead of cumulative time over the 5 days of racing, points were distributed for individual places and cumulative points were used. The prize purse was enticing to all as the winner of the cumulative could pull in $3000. The races paid out 6 deep though, so even if one ended up 4th it gave a nice $400. In the grand sceme of things, that not much money compared to overall costs, but its better than a swift kick in the pants.

I definitely didnt go blazing out of the gates on the first day. The few days previous my body had been feeling on the verge of sickness and I was not sure if i was going to be sick for the races or not. I lacked snap, but i still pulled together an 11th place. I was disappointed for sure because i feel that i should be racing much faster or placing better to convince myself its worth still doing this "professionally", but I wasnt that far out time wise in the end. The points that were awarded seemed to say i was well off the pace and is probably what made me feel like my chances of finishing in the top 6 were slim. I was overdramatic....

The second day went very well as I found a nice groove early in the race and was getting splits that i was leading, then in 4th, then leading again, then 2nd..... and yes... the race ended up pretty tight.  I finished fifth in a very tight race between 5 guys.... someone has to take 5th i guess.

Third day.... night sprint..... might as well have taken a nap. I thought i was moving well, but was 5 seconds out. I should probably lift some weights to get huge and fast for these things again. finished 12th :(

Fourth day... 10k classic mass start.... our wax tech shows up with no kick wax..... FIRED!!!!
After Mark, Lars and myself sacrificed our warmup to test kick (which came from our training wax we had in our water belts), we all suffered through the race with less than optimal skis. The race was still tight though. I finished 10th and about 36 seconds back from first.

The final day was a pursuit start 20k skate based off the previous days time. I started 36 seconds after the leader left the gate. I went out hard and caught the lead pack after 7k. Two skiers had made a breakaway just after i caught up, so still being in the groove I took off after them ... by myself. I was in no-mans-land for about 10k as i slowly reeled the front two in. One of the two front skiers had skied away and i finally caught 2nd place with 4k to go. With a strong last lap and one feeble attempt at a sprint over the last hill, I broke away and was able to capture second place for the pursuit! The kicker here is the pursuit finish had no bearing on the points awarded. It was the elapsed time for each individual skier that the points were awarded to. I had had an amazing race to say the least, but i wasnt sure how far in front Matt Liebsh (the front skier) was. I had to be within 36 seconds of him to beat him in the overall and people said that the time would be close. In the end..... I won... by 3 seconds. I first big victory in a while. I was extra psyched too because first place gave 5 extra points.... which catapulted me from 11th in the overall to 4th! I won a little money and can pay rent another month.

It was great to head home afterward and finally ski on trails that had more snow than a groomer knew what to do with. Home is always more relaxing.... until you work 18 hours the first two days home... boo ya!!

I will finish this post with the update on the first of four UAA invitational races here in Anchorage. 5k classic for men.... a distance i have not races in many years..... perhaps high school? It was a great course with lots of bigs hills and striding. Not being sure how to pace it, i went the slightly conservative route thinking that being able to ski the whole course well without completely flooding with lactic acid would prove better than the alternative. I went out at a 10k race pace and tried to go for broke over the last 2k of the race. I skied strong through all the climbs and was definitely toasted at the top of the last climb. It was everything I could do to maintain composure over the last 800m to the finish. To my surprise.... i won. I beat David Norris by 2 seconds. David is a young gun from Alaska, now skiing for MSU that has been skiing extremely well this season. He will be a major competitor in the years ahead, but i was glad to be in front this time. I hope this whole being in front at the end of races thing sticks a little longer...... say a couple of years?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Post Nationals

So taking the first period of racing off and using that time to stay home and prepare better for Nationals paid off. I had my best results at Nationals in a couple of years. I unfortunately picked the wrong skis for the 30k mass start, but considering the vast difference in ski speed between myself and those in the top 5, i was able to stay in the race for a good portion simply off of how great the body felt. A little frustrating for sure, but overall it was great to finally feel fast and be in the mix.
Taking some time to work on my much needed tan.....

Start of the skate sprint

So now, Mark and I are hanging out in Steamboat Springs, CO preparing for a 5 day min tour in Minneapolis, MN. 4 distance races and a sprint qualifier should make for some exciting finishes.