November 30, 2009

Colds and Cold

Brrrrrr, its turned very frosty here in West Yellowstone. We woke up to temps well below zero this morning. The snow is nice and squeaky, but there are rock hard tracks so the skiing is still holding up. I got two pictures from the race, courtesy of Ian Harvey/Toko USA.

10k Skate Race

5k Classic Race

Yesterday, we got a bunch of Dartmouth students and alums and went for a long ski. We skied every trail here! It was a beautiful day!

The Whole Crew!

Dartmouth Girls

and now I've got a cold! So I resting up trying to get healthy before the next races.

November 28, 2009

Race Race Race

Yesterday was the 10k skate race. It was pretty brutal. The course was very flat, but had NO rest so it was very challenging and definitely favored a certain type of skier. I have a hard time on flat courses as my technique is not as good as many of the top skiers. Overall, it was a pretty average race. I ended up 11th place. today was the 5k Classic. Classic has always been my favorite and I guess things haven't changed this year. The sun was out and the tracks were nice and hard. I skied a very solid race, but still felt like I had some more to give out there so I think the more I race the more of that top fitness I will gain. I ended up 5th place and 2nd american so that was very positive. Now we have a week of some good training before heading to Bozeman for a few more races!

November 26, 2009

And We're Off

Yesterday, I completed my first race of the season! It was a sprint race, however, it was only the prologue/qualifier section of the sprint race so all we did was 1 1.4km race. The course was also point to point which made it harder as it took out much of the flat that a stadium typically has. Conditions changed quickly overnight and were much different than everyone had expected. It was COLD and dry making the snow pretty fast and the downhill corners icy and a bit terrifying. My legs were feeling a bit dull from the training this week, but I was very nervous and ready to go. I had thought so much about this race as it was so short, yet very important, but once I got out of the gate, my body did just as it does in every race and that racing subconscious took over so I did all the worrying for nothing, my body certainly knew best! The icy downhill corners took me by surprise causing me to do the dreaded snowplow that I am endlessly fighting, but all I could think about was getting my left ski caught in a rut and tearing the rest of the ligaments in my knee. Fortunately, I survived, and skied on to the finish. I ended up 8th place, and 5th American which I was quite pleased with. I felt that I could have gone much harder as when I finished, I felt like I could have skied a bit longer, but I got the job done and got the first race jitters out of the way! Tomorrow we have a 10k Skate and then Saturday a 5k Classic. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

(here's the link to full results:

November 23, 2009

It's here

I headed home to Park City for a few days to empty the car and repack the race gear as well as pick up some of my Dartmouth teammates. Sunday we then headed on up to West Yellowstone and were greeted by a big snow storm just south of Pocatello, making for a long and scary drive! We made it here safely though and have been skiing ever since. The trails are in great shape and are packed, only to become more busy as the week wears on. It has been SO great to be reunited with some of the Dartmouth team. It really feels like race season has started now! I have been busy testing my new skis and I think I have found a few good ones. Wednesday is the first race so look back then for a bigger report with hopefully some pictures!

November 15, 2009

Fresh Tracks

A small storm hit the Wood River Valley. It rained at my house, however some snow fell up high, enough snow that rollerskiing became dangerous on the iced over bike path. We were left to some hill bounding intervals in a few inches of snow. Friday afternoon, we decided to head up and just check out how much snow fell. I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautifully groomed trail. I strapped on some skate ski and headed out. The days are short so I only got to ski about an hour before it became dark and very cold. It was fabulous though! The first few steps are always quite awkward as I suddenly have a ski that is 187cm long instead of a heavy rollerski that is only about two feet long, however, I had the best transition yet and after a few strides it was as if I had never even left the snow for the road.

When I got home that night, my friend Parker (U of U ski racer from VT) arrived with two of her friends that are on the soccer team. We had a great time catching up and gossiping the night away. The next day, I awoke to a couple of inches of snow on the ground at our house and big white flakes still falling. We geared up and headed back up to the mountains to ski some more. Just as we arrived at Galena Lodge, the skies cleared and it turned into a glistening sunning day. About 20km or so was groomed and despite a few hazards, conditions were pretty good. It was so wonderful to be out enjoying the snow with two great friends. The moment I hit snow is always the moment I am sure I will ski the rest of my life. It was a great weekend! I think we should be able to hold the snow through the week so I might just be packing up those rollerskis for good, but weather is crazy so I might hang on to them for just a bit longer. I will be heading back home sometime at the end of the week to prepare for the journey to West Yellowstone and the beginning of race season! o boy!

November 8, 2009

Rosie and Sophie go Adventuring!

This week was pretty strandard. Training twice a day everyday and the rest of the day spent resting and trying to think of things to occupy the time. I have spent some time reading, making jewelry, and cooking this week. I also found a Snuggie on sale at Albertsons (if you haven't seen the Snuggie commercial, youtube it now, quite a humorous product) and my boyfriend happened to tell me all about this Snuggie thing last year so I snagged one and sent it his way. We have also had to pick winter classes this week and work on our housing and administrative details for the winter term. This weekend however, we planned a full schedule!

Saturday, we hit the road to Boise so I could get my H1N1 flu vaccine. Boise Health Department had things very organized so although I had to wait in line a bit, it was a rapidly moving line and most importantly, I got it! Then Soph and I headed downtown to check out the scene down there. We shopped a few places downtown. Boise happens to be one of the few cities to host a Title 9 store so that was exciting to see that, although just about everything is much out of my price range. Then we hit up a massive mall that had every store you can imagine. So needless to say, we shopped til we dropped.

Sunday, we decided to head to the mountains for a long workout. We headed up towards Pioneer Cabin, a ski cabin up in the Pioneer Mountains. There was quite a bit of snow at the cabin and it was relatively new snow so we were post-holing all over the place. We intended to make a loop out of this workout and possibly summit a peak in the middle. Snow was covering the trail though so we couldn't see where it went.......looking around, we spotted a peak that seemed like it could be the one we intended on summiting so we just headed straight up it. This part wasn't too bad as we were on the south side so we could climb along the ridge without snow impairing our way. Upon summiting however, we could not see the trail at all and the north slope had a couple of feet of snow on it. Sophie had done this hike a few years back and we thought we could see a trail on what we thought was the ridge we were suppose to head back to the car on so we just went for it. Not the best idea or smartest..... We post-holed, somewhat dangerously down a rocky north face for a couple 1000 feet. I kept falling on my knee which was not ideal and our feet were frozen, not to mention that we had no idea if we'd actually be able to make it the whole way down and find a trail. We made it down to the tree line and that snow was a little easier to go down on, however our feet were so numbed, I don't think it mattered. Then the snow turned to a sheet of ice down a steep slope, straight into a creek. We just slid down on our butts and fortunately didn't fall in the creek. Then we had to climb up the other side just to see where we were and figure out our next move. We saw the ridge we thought we wanted to be on, but not the trail we had spotted from way up high so we decided to just traverse along the side of the ridge until we could get up on top of it. We were following some animal paths and suddenly below us appeared to be a more developed path so we scrambled down and sure enough found the trail. There were moments coming down the the snow that I was not sure we would easily make it out, if at all so I was quite pleased to come upon a trail. We started jogging down and came upon two men hiking up and they asked us how much snow was up there. We explained to them our route and they just kept pointing to the mountain and saying: "you went up that? How on earth did you get down." They most certainly thought we were nuts and maybe we were. I would not say it was the smartest thing I have done and I of all people, growing up in the mountains, should know to always carry a topo map and probably a few more articles of clothing, food, and water. BUT, we made it back to the car after just under four hours of adventuring and were both very glad we went up the peak. It was quite a day up there!

Me approaching Pioneer Cabin

The view from the top!

Soph and I at the top of the unknown peak.

Me falling through the snow on the north slope descent....NOT FUN

November 3, 2009

Sun Valley is for Nordic Skiers

Last friday I was reminded of why I decided to come here and train. We were doing some all out rollerski intervals on the bike path. There was one hard 90 degree corner in the beginning and it had some loose gravel on it. Our coaches were in the process of trying to remove it by sweeping it with their feet when the mayor of Sun Valley drives by and asks what they are doing, then turns around, drives back to his house, returns with a big push broom, and sweeps away the gravel. I thought that was pretty cool and gives a good picture of the support nordic skiers get around here. Nordic skiing is actually a pretty big deal up here, in fact they have pictures of nordic skiers on the little flags that hang from the side of lamp posts on main street.

For Halloween, I was a bag of Jelly Bellies and unfortunately failed to take pictures.......It was great to dress up and check out downtown Ketchum.

Sophie, my teammate from Dartmouth, arrived Sunday night so I am psyched to have some company around the house and a great training buddy. We went for a beautiful run yesterday. It warmed up a bit this week so morning training isn't quite as brutal as last week when it was in the 20s for most our training sessions. Today we did the Canadian Cross Country strength test, which was extremely hard! It involves pull ups, situps, push ups, box jumps and dips. You do each for a minute, then a minute rest, then on to the next exercise. I couldn't do box jumps because of my knee, but I got worked by the test nonetheless. I did the most pullups I have ever done, but failed to do as well as I had hoped on the other exercises. O well now I have something to work on.

There is a hunter that has been coming around the house recently and I hadn't seen the elk in awhile so I was worried they were hoping to save their lives and had moved on, but they back last night so Sophie was able to see them. Daylight savings makes it trickier to spot them as they usually come around about 6 and now its dark at 6. Hopefully they will make it through hunting season!

I will do my best to get some pictures of Sophie and I one our various training adventures this week.