November 26, 2012

On the road again

Even though I have packed up and moved out many times now, it never gets any easier or any less hectic. Sadie and I spent countless hours asking each other which shirt, which jeans, how many pairs of socks and on and on, trying to make sure we have everything we need for the next 5 months. On top of that, I found out I had to move out of my room with less than 48 hours to go. Between that and trying to figure out how to turn digital video cassette files into files I can upload on to Youtube for my classes, I was in a mad furry for all 48 of my last hours in Anchorage. I somehow managed to fit all my belongings in my car, perfectly back my car into a storage unit that was only inches wider than the car and get to bed by eleven, exhausted!

We headed to the airport about 4 AM and made it to West Yellowstone about 9PM, nothing is close to AK! We were greeted by less than ideal conditions. There was little to no snow on the ground and the sky kept moving snow to rain, back to snow, and back to rain again. This continued for days. As a result, races had to be moved, changed around, and altred.

We had one official SuperTour race on Friday. It was  9k rolling uphill course at about 7500ft with a net gain in elevation on a forest service road up on top of a plateau outside of West Yellowstone. While net elevation gain is always frightening, it wasn't the uphill portions that were grueling about this race. In fact, for my likings, it wasn't steep enough. But, what was very challenging was the fact that there were no downhills so there was no rest anywhere on the course. Anytime I tried to sneak in a tuck, I feared I was loosing too much time.

I started early on, so any splits I got out on course, I had to take with a grain a salt knowing that there were many fast girls coming through after me, however, I was able to follow 2 very talented athletes, particularly in skate technique. Before I knew it, I was closing in on the woman in front of me, arguably one of the best skaters in the country. The splits I was hearing were good and I was just relishing in the pain of racing at altitude. I caught her and then passed her and just kept going until I hit the last giant hill and the wall came and I hit it. I was crawling up this hill fearing I just lost the race and telling myself just to make every movement count for something. I eventually made it to the top and the finish was in sight giving me one last push to get there. It was the best race I have had in years. I ended up winning the race by a mere 6 seconds for my first SuperTour win ever! I am absolutely elated by this accomplishment and hope I can continue to race this way the rest of the reason.

My new Rossignols skis are boots were incredible!  Swix Sport Photo

So what happens when I am racing? Well I made 3 goals for the race so any moment I lose focus I have somewhere to look to: 1. Make every motion count 2. Get up on the balls of my feet to maximize power 3. Believe in my fitness Toko Photo

It was a perfect wintry day for a race. Swix Sport Photo

Coming up the finishing stretch! FasterSkier Photo
If you are interested here are a couple of articles and links to results:

Ski Trax:

But even more important then the SuperTour is the World Cup and my teammates crushed it this weekend. Kikkan Randall reached the podium for the first time in a distance world cup race while Holly Brooks had a career best finishing 5th place. Then, Holly and Kikkan, along with Jessie Diggins, and Liz Stephen teamed up to finish 3rd place in the 4x5km relay, a historic finish for the U.S. This is incredibly inspiring for me as I train with these girls all the time and finally all this hard work is paying off on a world scale. The US Women are just crushing it!

I have moved on to Bozeman, MT for 3 SuperTour races.

November 14, 2012

Last Day

Thursday November 15th, 2012 is the last day for us to reach our goal!

The National Nordic Foundation is a great way to support Nordic skiers across the country. Please consider a $25.00 donation! Follow the link below:


November 8, 2012


After 2 weeks of dryland training in single digits, yes below 10F, I decided I had had enough. Although I will say, the cold crisp air, and low sun really makes for some unbelievable views of the mountains, if only I had a good  It's really something to experience that first cold lung burn when you are bounding with poles or rollerskiing, definitely a first for me. After that joyous experience, I was able to snag a ticket north to Fairbanks, where a little bit of snow had fallen in order to get a long weekend of skiing. Erik, my coach, coached a  junior camp up there at the same time. So not only were we training a fair amount, we were helping out coaching some of the juniors and making appearances in the evening to help further inspire these kids. Fairbanks is known for being bitter cold, but we lucked out and things never got below 0!!! A teammate of mine is from Fairbanks so we were able to stay at her house, thanks Becca and Family!
Everyone getting their wax on early in the morning (Holly Brooks Photo)
The whole group, juniors, coaches, and elite skiers
 There was just a couple inches of snow, so we had to use some old skis that could handle a few scraps from the occasional rock, but we did have close to 30km of skiing so it wasn't too bad.
As with all camps, we finished off with a fast and female event. I got to lead the power station so we had relay races with one girl pulling another to develop leg power. All the girls had fun and it was a great time had by all!

This sculpture was outside one of the local outdoor shops that we did a presentation in. It's made all of bike parts!
 Unfortunately, we came back to just a few inches of snow up high in Anchorage. I guess after all that rain in September, it was bound to dry up at some point....So we have been able to do a little skiing higher up in the mountains mixed with more running. The moose are also in mating season which means they are a little crazy right now. We had a rough encounter doing some running intervals in the ski trail. We had passed this fellow a couple of times and then for some reason, on the 4th time past, he decided that was it and started in a full on run chasing after us. Well, let me tell you, that interval was quite quick, nothing like getting chased by a bull moose. Fortunately, he steered off into the bushes at the last minute so we were all safe, despite the scare.

I am entering into my last weekend in Anchorage for the next 5 months so I have more than a few ends to tie up before leaving including finishing up with all my classes that don't actually end until mid-december. Luckily, I've had a little bit of practice at that one before. The excitement for the season is rapidly building. I am extra excited because the beginning of the season not only means racing, but also seeing my family and spending more time at home! I am going to do my best to update my schedule frequently so please check back to see where in the world I might be racing.