September 24, 2015

Fall Training

August marks the transition from summer to fall in Alaska and generally I associate the transition with rain, rain, and more rain. August came and went and somehow there was no rain! I was able to get out of the city for one last good weekend of adventures, checking out Talkeetna and Denali State Park for the first time. They did not disappoint with fall colors exploding and some unpredicted sunshine. 
Perfect camping spot

Fall colors popping strong up north

Riverside beach

Training continued with beautiful skies and a move towards more intense training as we get our bodies ready for racing. But Alaska is nothing if not unpredictable and the rain did come. We had our two weeks of mental toughness training in which it rained everyday and the sun never appeared. I was lucky and had to zip down to the lower 48 for a friend's wedding in Iowa. I had never been to Iowa, but didn't expect much other than cornfields. I was wrong! I was pleasantly surprised to find some corn fields, but also nice towns, nice people, single track trails, beautiful rivers, and nice bluffs above them, not to mention that it was beautifully sunny the whole time. It was essentially a high school reunion for me with some of my closest friends all making the journey and every minute of the trip was full of laughs, smiles, and lots of hugs. 
The beautiful bride

The neat church where the wedding took place

The happy couple, so happy they're blury

Catching a free ride on the Spongebob Squarepants rollercoaster at our layover next to the Mall of America

The Whole Gang

The last time we were all together, maybe 2009? 

Running with brother

My new Iowa Fan Club. Randy's store made us great burgers and shuttled us for an afternoon canoe and has promised to air the World Cup this winter!
 Upon arriving back to AK, things got intense. We pushed through the rain, ramping up the training with many hard sessions each week. This will continue through much of the fall in order to work on our racing speed and skills before the snow flies, O wait, that 2 weeks of rain, yeah, it left the mountains with quite a blanket of snow. Skiing will be here soon!
At least rain makes rainbows, back in Anchorage

Kikkan and I suited up for a wet ski

Eventually the rain broke and left snow!

Blue Skies : )

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Snowy trail