Kikkan “Kikkanimal” Randall, the USA’s best-ever female Nordic skier and a top 10 elite international skier. A protegee of the renowned Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (APUNSC) run by her coach, Erik Flora, skiing is in her blood. So what does it take to be a top level Elite skier who gets the job done? One of the most important elements is training and in this unique daily blog Randall will detail her complete training log and more each day throughout the season. Each entry will be colour-coded as Zone 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or Recovery for easy reference and she’ll also answer questions from readers each week. Get ready for an amazing ride with one of the fastest women in the sport.
May 23 – Was all excited to do a long od classic session with my teammates this am. Made it through one hour but a small irritation I had felt in my boot a few days ago became quite painful and I had to end my ski early. Made up for the rest of the workout on the spin bike and SkiErg wearing shoes with no heel. Took a yoga class in the afternoon to stretch everything out. Finished the day off going to see the movie ’42′ about Jackie Robinson, super great story!
May 22 – A very Sochi-esc day out on the trails today. Did some skate threshold intervals with the girls. Took turns leading and spiced things up with a preem station midway through the interval. Had a really nice lunch with some awesome ladies from the Paralympic team, very inspirational. Then hit the mountain bike trails for another girls team session. Riding is so much fun it feels like a real life video game! A treat for a good day of training – strawberry ice cream after dinner. 3 days in!
May 21 – Woke up to the sound of rain outside my window, doh! Turned to snow as we headed up to the mountain. Easy skate distance session for me. Then an afternoon nap, spin warm up and strength session. Fun team meeting after a delicious Alaskan King Salmon dinner prepared by our coaches. Lucky to have such a great team!
May 20 Strength- Sunny skies set the day off on the right food. A delicious and healthy breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, nuts and greek yogurt. And lots of coffee!! Headed up to the mountain and put classic skis on for the first time since the 30km at US nationals. Had a great classic distance ski with the girls. Took it cautious with my achilles and even though I wanted to ski longer, I cut it short and just enjoyed the sun on the tailgate while the rest of the team finished up. Rented a sweet mountain bike from Webcyclery here in Bend and took it for a spin on the local trails with my coach, Erik Flora. So fun that the time just flew by. Great burger dinner on the deck and a team meeting to close up the evening. Sweet first day!
May 19 Rest – Up at 3:00am to catch a flight to Bend. Slept on both my flights to Seattle and then on to Redmond. Met up with my teammates for the first time since the season ended, a sweet reunion. Took a nice lunch break in downtown Bend and went for a walk. Just settled in to the condo in the pm and went out for sweet burritos for dinner.
May 18 Strength – Woke up to six inches of new snow on the ground and still had a few episodes of Grey’s to finish, so got back on the spin bike and cranked out a 90 min workout. Found a fan this time to keep me a little bit cooler. Spent the afternoon going through my room and trying to reduce my clothes. When you spend so many months of the year on the road you realize that you don’t need as much! Tried to go for a short run in the afternoon but my achilles was feeling tight so cut it short. Enjoyed a nice evening with the hubby.
May 17 Strength -A rainy morning, so decided to stay inside and ride the spin bike. Switched after an hour and did some more time on the SkiErg. Made an awesome lunch and then took a nice nap with the kitties on the couch. Ran some errands and headed to the gym as the snow started falling. Unbelieveable!! I’ve lived in AK almost my whole life and have never seen such a snow storm so late. Nice evening to be working out inside.
May 16 – My achilles is acting up a bit so decided to forgo the team run and ride the spin bike instead. Got really caught up in a couple good Grey’s Anatomy episodes that made the ride fly by. Did my first roller ski session of the new year, a classic roll and dp around the hillside neighborhoods. Kind of a weird feeling to be back on those wheels again. In the evening, celebrated our 5th year wedding anniversary with Jeff at one of our favorite restaurants. Really good bread pudding!
May 15 – Tested out my new road bike on the streets and trails around Anchorage. A chilly morning but such a nice smooth ride. Stopped in at my former elementary school to cheer on the students in their end of the year mile run and wish a happy retirement to the PE teacher that has been there since my days. Finished my ride and then took the afternoon off.
May 13 - First official day of the new training season. Met up with a big and excited APU team. Warmed up at the base of the hill and then ran 6 miles up Arctic Valley Road. A pretty solid hour-long grind at Z2-3 pace. Plenty of snow still up high. Enjoyed going back into the athlete’s schedule of eat, sleep, massage and then train again. Hit the spin bike and SkiErg for an afternoon distance session. Season’s off to a good start!
May 12 – Happy Mother’s Day. Joined up with my Mom for a nice walk to our favorite coffee shop. Broke a sweat just excitedly talking and catching up. Came back and made a delicious salad and then a movie. Really nice to spend some time with Mom!!
May 11 Strength – Got up early to get my studded tires exchanged off my car, it’s summer time now! Jeff and I headed south of town and ran on the Turnagain Arm Trail, known to be one of the first clear of snow and ice. Had a great out and back run and got a little excitement on the way back when we ran into a black bear. He followed us down the trail for a bit and we had to go up into the bushes to let him pass by. In the afternoon, started to get my upper body warmed up for the new training season on my Concept 2 Ski Erg.
May 9 – Rode the West Maui Loop with Jeff. 60 mile tour. Stopped at Lorraine’s for amazing banana bread. Awesome ride! Took a big nap after lunch and enjoyed a nice afternoon in the sun.
May 7 Strength – Did some paddle boarding for the morning workout. Good for core stability and strength from climbing back onto the board!! May have missed a few spots with the sunblock but overall a super fun session. Made for a really solid nap in the afternoon. Last week of vacation so decided to just chill and work on some computer stuff.
May 6 – Woke up to our first ever rainy day in Maui of the 3 trips we’ve done here. Took a lazy morning and got a bunch of computer work done. After dealing with a bad battery in our friend’s van, we headed back up to the high trail head for a run. Running in the rain is always fun. Did a nice out and back run along a fire road. Headed down to Paia for lunch and then caught up with our friend Julia Mancuso. After arriving back at the Star Lookout, I got ansy to bike again and dragged Jeff out for an evening ride. We finished in the fog. Hoping to get the sun back tomorrow!
May 5 Strength – Weather was a little cloudy so headed down the hill to Upcountry Fitness. Warmed up on the elliptical and then did a fun gym sesh with Jeff. Haven’t lifted for a while so muscles were nice and fresh. But I will definitely be sore from this!! Headed back up the hill and hit Grandma’s again, just can’t get enough of this place!! Got sucked into watching 3 back-to-back episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and then some light rain curbed our ambitions to get out on the bike again. Dinner with a nice view instead.
May 4 – Took our loaned KONA bikes for a spin from the Star Lookout down the “Drunken Road”. Descended about 3,000ft in about an hour over 19 miles and then had to turn around and head back up. Quite the climb on the way back. Worked my way right through zones 1, 2, and 3 on my way to 4 trying to keep up with Jeff. Felt good to ride hard. Got super hot. Cooled down with an Acai Energy Bowl at Grandma’s and then napped at the cottage in the afternoon. Super chill rest of the day. Went for a walk along the lane way, towards where Oprah supposedly has a house. No sightings though. Cooked dinner at home.
May 3 – Slept in and then made a leisurely trip over to Grandma’s coffee house for the best coconut pineapple macadaemia nut muffin you’ve ever tasted! Decided to check out a new hiking spot so drove up a windy road to almost 7,000ft and went for a trail run. Mostly downhill over the first half, legs are going to feel that tomorrow!! Then back up. Returned to Grandma’s for a delicious lunch and then headed down to the Beach. Took a nap under the hot sun and then jumped in the ocean. Loving vacation!!
May 2 – Woke up to rain and 36 deg F. Welcome home!! Went for a morning run with Jeff around the neighborhood, glad I’m heading back to the warm temps. Ran a few errands, packed up and headed to the airport. A long 6 hour flight but arrived in Honolulu feeling ready to have a fun time. Took a short inter island flight over to Maui and met up with our friend Ray. Got lift up to the Star Lookout and scoped out the stars. Looking forward to a great vacation!
May 1 – Got up at 5am to run one friend to the airport and then managed to make it back to sleep for another 1.5hrs before our morning run. Cruised through some of the vineyards and enjoyed running in shorts and a tank top. Said goodbye to my good friends and headed back up to Anchorage. In the evening, stopped by the local bike shop and got fitted for my new road bike. Heading to Maui tomorrow with Jeff for the last week of vacation.
April 30 – Sang my brother Happy Birthday via Skype in the am. Love modern technology! Took a road trip out to the coast with the intention of finding a fun trail to run on the way there. Ended up just playing on the beach instead and jumping off the sand dunes. Caught a nice healthy lunch at a local organic cafe. Worn out from all the driving. Enjoyed a nice nap by the pool. Used up the rest of the leftovers from the night before and loved being able to hang out on the porch past sun down!
April 29 – Headed over to a forest reserve and did my first real trail running of the spring. Just like the good ol’ times back on the cross country running team. Ran along talking the whole way, the time just flew by. Stopped in to grab frosty smoothies on the way back to the condo and then sat out by the pool in the sun. Evening BBQ at the condo made for some delicious and healthy eats!
April 28 – Went for a morning jog with a few of my friends. Got a little off course on the route back and almost sent us on a really long loop. Thankfully we had a GPS watch that got us back on track. Rented bikes in the town of Healdsberg and did a tour of local wineries in our neon outfits! What a great way to see wine country! Totally basked in the sun and enjoyed the time with friends.
April 27 – Woke up early to fit in a run and strength workout before catching a flight to Santa Rosa. Even though I don’t have to do any training this time of year, I do it because I love it! It was really fun just to be in weight room doing a few of my favorite exercises. Sat out in the sun in the afternoon waiting for a bunch of friends to arrive. A group of my high school ski teammates and I have remained close and are getting together for a few days to celebrate our collective 30th birthdays.
April 25 – Another full and busy day. From 8a-6p, the day was filled with video interviews and photo shoots with NBC as they gear up for the Sochi Olympics. I got to do a lot of outfit changes and tell my life story about a dozen times, but overall it was a super fun day and I think the images will turn out great. Couldn’t motivate to get in a run after the long day so headed out for a walk in the warm breeze.
April 24 – Up early to finish packing for LA. Direct flight from Anchorage. Arrived in time to pick up my USOC gear and have a nice dinner at the hotel, but no time for a run. The nice thing about this time of year is a day without training is okay. Would have been nice to jog to shake out the legs, but it just didn’t work out.
April 15 – My first full day at home!! Beautiful sunny day. Ran errands around town and settled back in at my house. Got to join in on a 25th anniversary celebration for the Subway restaurants in Alaska. My parents hosted a family party to toast the season and reconvene after a long time away!
April 14 – Woke up to a beautifully prepared breakfast by my good friend Liz. Fresh fruit, a veggie omelet with a side of bacon and some strong American coffee. Got us fired up to pack our things and head out on the slopes one more time. Today was freeform costume day. Liz was back in her colonial dress, I was all in pink and Chandra did the punk rocker jeans look. Carved some more great turns and then headed back into Reno to travel home.
April 13 – One full day of carving turns at Squaw Valley Resort. Went with a Lady Gaga theme. A little windier than the day before, had to add some extra layers. Hard to ski with a long wig without getting hair in your mouth. After a few good hours of skiing, we took a quick break to check out the hot tub at High Camp. Pretty busy and luke warm but fun to have done it none the less. Evening nacho and dance party!
April 12 – Said goodbye to our teammates and headed over to Squaw Valley after picking up some sweet demo gear from Granite Chief sports. Dropped stuff in our condo and then headed out in our Colonial Women outfits (an inside joke from the movie Bridesmaids). I never knew skiing in a dress could be so much fun! Skied until our legs were shot. Then enjoyed some relax time on the deck. Evening sushi dinner!
April 11 – Watched the men’s 50km and helped feed.Legs pretty tired just walking up the trail. Fun to finally close out the season. Nice BBQ with everyone in the sun. Went back to the APU house and packed up our stuff. Broke into teams for our annual APU relays. Fun to celebrate a great season with friends and lots of dancing!
April 10 Race – The final race of the season, the 30km classic national championship. Start was delayed by 1 hour so it wouldn’t be too icy. Tracks held up great for 1 lap and then started getting slower. Skied together with Liz and started off at a decent clip. Broke into a three-woman race on the 2nd lap. Arms started to go and couldn’t quite hang. Just tried to keep my arms moving on the last lap and fight through the slow snow and the fatigue. Finished in 2nd. Hot and sunny and psyched to be done. Jumped in Donner Lake with the girls team and got a little sunburned.
April 9 – Woke up to clear skies. Skied around the 10km lap for the 30km course. Tracks were frozen solid and the wind was kicking debris everywhere. Not the most satisfying ski in the world! Took an easy afternoon hanging with friends, visited Lake Tahoe and then did one final pm jog with Liz. Ready to finish off this season!!
April 8 Race – Woke up to a few inches of new snow and wind. The snow froze up over night thankfully but that wind was fierce. Had a good warm up around the nordic trails. Started off first and felt good coming into the hill. Hit the steep climbs and tried to focus on a good rhythm. Had my head down at one point and skied of course for a while, only some frenzied yelling from spectators got me back on course. Legs really locked up near the top as the wind just howled. Liz caught me with about 500m to go but my legs were too stiff to follow. Hung on for 2nd overall but a disappointing hill climb performance once again. Skied back down the hill. Took a quick dip in Donner Lake on the way back home. Super cold but really refreshing! Pretty blasted energy-wise for the rest of the day.
April 7 – Went out to Sugarbowl to scope out the hill climb course. Skied one slushy lap of the 3km on the nordic trails and then rented some alpine gear to check out the climb up the alpine runs. It’s going to be a tough ol’ climb!! Went for a jog in the afternoon with Liz. Getting pretty ready to be done with this afternoon jogs! 2 more to go!
April 5 Race – Sun was back. Boys went first which meant we didn’t have much time to test on the courses. 10km classic mass start. Tracks were decent on the first lap but really broke down and got slow on the 2nd lap. Tried to ski a relaxed and controlled pace for the first time up the hill. Got a gap on the field. Altitude fatigue came on hard with a few km’s to go but held on for the win. Big afternoon nap and a super short run.
April 4 Race – Woke up to pouring rain outside. Early morning for a 9am start. 3.3km prologue with a big climb at 7,000ft is challenging! Felt like I paced it pretty well but had to fight to hold it together in the last km. Happy to take the win and get out of the rain! Afternoon run with the girls as the sun came back out. 1 down, 4 races to go!
April 3 – Scrapped some skis in the am to test on the race course. Haven’t had to wax my own skis in a while, it was kinda fun! Did some race prep on the 3.3k loop, it’s deceptively tough. Took a much needed nap in PM and then went down low in the sun for a run. Feels good to be warm!
April 2 – Got out to the venue early to test some classic skis and preview the courses. Didn’t make it out on the trails for a good 45 minutes after we arrived because we kept running into friends and catching up. Snow was changing quickly from ice to slush in the hot sun. Grabbed a quick lunch and then skied, danced and shared inspiration for 3hrs during the Fast and Female CHAMP camp. So much fun but now I need a nap!
Mar 31 – Strapped on my nordic skis for the first time in a week and linked up with my APU teammates for a ski at Auburn Ski Club. Snowed off and on which made for some slow snow over the top of the transformed slush. But fun to preview the race courses. Actually felt pretty good. Meant to get outside for something in the afternoon but ended up hammering on computer work. Missed the Easter egg hunt but got a sweet Easter basket from my Mom!
Mar 30 – Woke up for an early sunny run with Jessie. Feels good to run on dry pavement, even at 6500ft! Decided to hit the alpine slopes one more time since it was so nice out. Ended up skiing most the lifts across Squaw Valley. Downhill legs are starting to come around! Evening strength session at Julia Mancuso’s Performance Training Center. Sweet gym with lots of fun stuff to do! Going to be sore tomorrow!
Mar 28 – Enjoyed a nice strong cup of American coffee! Drove down to Heavenly mountain in South Lake Tahoe for a few runs on higher slopes and some media stuff with the US Ski Team crew there. Rain moving in and out through the day but managed to hit the sweet spot during our ski. Evening pasta dinner at the Tahoe Donner ski club to kick off the SuperTour festivities.
Mar 27 – Slept in and enjoyed a lazy day just checking out the Village at Squaw. Nice to catch up with my Mom and enjoy some relaxed time at the condo. Watched the documentary “Forks over Knives,” for an interesting perspective on the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. Jessie came in later in the evening.
Mar 26 – Full on travel day. Left Stockholm after a nice breakfast with Jeff. Had some trouble being able to carry the crystal globe case on the plane, had to put the globe in my backpack. Finally arrived in Reno 22 hours later. So great to be back in the USA. Most of my bags didn’t arrive. Met up with my Mom and headed up to Squaw Valley.
Mar 22 Race – Woke up to the good news that the course had been changed. Refocused on getting ready to race. Didn’t feel great warming up but found better energy once on course. Super short and fast course. Psyched to be on the podium again in a distance race. A really good day for the whole team, 4 in the top 20!! Evening jog with the girls. 2 down, 2 to go!!
Mar 21 – Previewed the new prologue course and did some race prep intervals. The new downhill is pretty wild. Ended up meeting with a bunch of the athletes in the afternoon and together we decided to put pressure on the organizers to change the course. A tense exchange and the threat of a boycott, went to bed not knowing if we would race the next day. A lot of running around for me, not my normal race prep.
Mar 20 Race – Royal Palace Sprints. A pretty windy and cold day. Snow conditions were some of the craziest I’ve seen in Stockholm, sugary and wind blown. Skied a little spastic in the qualifier but energy was good. 22nd. Had a good start in the quarters but struggled up the first climb and lost touch with the leaders. Couldn’t bridge back up and my day was done early. Hung around to watch the finals and then had the awards ceremony for the overall world cup sprint globe. Pretty cool to shake hands with King Carl Gustav again and feel the weight of that crystal in my hand. The whole team stayed to support Andy and I. Then onto the bus to get to Falun.
Mar 17 – Hammered out some Z4 intervals on the race course before the women’s race began. Much more fun to ski the Holmenkollen trails at race speed. Got lots of cheers along the way. Quickly changed, grabbed a waffle and then went out on course to cheer on my teammates. All the girls skied great, and Liz is getting tantalizingly close to her first world cup podium. Hit the treadmill for a short easy run and did some stretching after.
Mar 16 – Meant to do some skate intervals but wasn’t quite feeling ready. Decided to ski easy instead. Hard not to ski to fast on the race course with all the fans cheering. Took an easy afternoon watching the men’s 50km from my bed. Warmed up on the treadmill in the afternoon for a short strength session.
Mar 15 – Easy classic ski with Jeff. Bomber kick. Snow started to fall during the workout, always on the days I decide to wear a headband!! Busy afternoon meeting the with Bjorn Daehlie wear designers to work on concepts for future uniforms. Fit in a quick spin down in the fitness room in the afternoon. Dinner with our Norwegian friends Ella & Oyvind and their 1 year old son Thurodd. Nice to enjoy a home cooked dinner! Watched my appearance on a late night Norwegian talk show, Senkveld with Thomas & Harald.
Mar 14 – Enjoyed a nice and relaxed morning. Moved our stuff up to Holmenkollen. Decided to give my feet a little rest and did a spin workout instead of skiing. Still got out on my boards for a quick photo shoot for Bjorn Daehlie tech wear with Diggs and some skiing with one of the local clubs. Couldn’t help throwing in a few 100m drag races! Got all dolled up in the evening to go on a late night Norwegian talk show.
Mar 13 Race – Drammen sprints. Clear skies and actually pretty nice tracks on the course. Headed out to Drammen a little early to participate in an “Aktiv Against Cancer” awareness rally before getting ready for the race. Ski testing was tricky to find skis with enough kick and still fast enough glide. Qualification was a little close, barely snuck through in 29th. Felt strong in the rounds and made up places on the final stretch to make it into the final as a lucky loser. Pace was fast in the final. Should have been a little more aggressive on the bottom section to try and challenge for the podium. Still satisfied with 5th place however, a new Drammen pr for me and my best classic result of the season! Feet a little beat up after hard racing, going to give them a break tomorrow.
Mar 12 – Did some classic skiing around Holmenkollen. A bunch of trail work was going on and we had to dodge some groomers during our race prep intervals. Made due without tracks and got the body fired up for tomorrow’ sprint in Drammen. Evening jog with Jessie, feeling pretty rested and pumped.
Mar 11 – Woke up to a snowy morning. Took a leisurely breakfast and then headed out for a quick run before the shuttle came to take us to the airport. Typical travel day, lots of waiting around. Enjoyed lunch with Jeff in the Helsinki airport and then a short 1 hour flight to Oslo. Nice to be back in Norway and looking forward to brown cheese at breakfast.
Mar 10 Race – Beautifully clear but chilly morning. Tested skis while wearing two training jackets. Kick was easy to find. Individual start 10km classic, 2 laps of a hilly 5km loop. Started off a little two conservative and had to build my way back up the standings through the race. Didn’t ski as technically well as I had during my warmup but found good energy in the last few hills. Distance race system feels like it’s coming back. Tied with my teammate for 28th. Nice cool down with some world cup friends and then an awesome sauna session at my friend Aino-Kaisa Saarinen’s house, a true Finnish sauna experience! Evening jog and strength with Liz and then some fun girls team bonding time.
Mar 9 Race – Last skate sprint of the season! Felt a little jittery and spastic in my qualifier but good enough to get in the heats. Made some good tactical moves to advance to the final. Fun to finally meet up with Bjoergen in a skate sprint. Put myself in a good position and took the lead over the bridge. Led down the final stretch with Marit charging hard but lunged just in time to take the win and secure the Sprint title! Now I can relax and enjoy the final two classic sprints of the season!
Mar 5 – Our final day in Val Di Fiemme. Enjoyed a nice and easy classic cruise on the Marcialonga trail. Packed up our rooms, which had be one quite lived in during our 2.5-week stay, and headed off to Munich. Got delayed in traffic but arrived just in time for dinner. A round of burgers for all and then into bed early for a 6am wake up call. Now off to Lahti!
Mar 4 – First day post champs always bums me out a little bit. Everyone has packed up and left and the venue feels empty with everyone gone. The weather is still absolutely beautiful though and I had a great morning ski with the team up at Passo Lavase. The grooming was totally fresh and the scenery was pretty epic. Just enjoyed a nice easy cruise. Took a nap after lunch and then hit up the first strength session in a couple weeks. Tried not to get too excited so hopefully I won’t be sore tomorrow. Pizza night out with the team. Last night tonight in Italy.
Feb. 20-Mar. 3 Race – 2013 FIS Nordic World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Feb 16 Race – Woke up already feeling better than yesterday, although 6:30am felt very early. Tracks had firmed up and it was easier to find good skis. Skied a really smooth and evenly paced qualifier for 5th. Took the inside line of the sketchy corner each lap and made time. Felt strong in the semis but struggled to kick my skis up the climb. Just missed being the Lucky Loser, ended up 8th. Psyched to have good feelings in the body. Will skip tomorrow’s 10km to rest up for World Champs sprint on Thursday.
Feb 15 – Race prep day in Davos, Switzerland. Picked up a few pairs of skis at the wax tent and headed out on course. Snow was a little bit tricky, hard to find good kick. Skied a couple hard laps around the 720m course. Took over 4.5 mins for 2 laps. This is going to be a challenging sprint. Practiced the downhill a few times. Didn’t have the best feelings during the workout but it should be good prep for tomorrow. Chill afternoon. Went for a jog by the lake and got a flush massage before heading to a bib handout ceremony. Celebrated my coach’s 40th birthday in the evening with the team.
Feb 14 – Easy distance skate in the morning. Saw the sunshine and thought it was going to be warmer. Froze in the first 30 min of my ski and had to go back and get more clothes! Did a few short speeds while skiing around the distance course. Then met up with Jeff and went out for a nice Valentines Day lunch. Fit in a nap and then a run in the afternoon and then had fun cooking dinner with Anna & Emil and Liz and Jeff.
Feb 13 – Mostly just a rest day. Went for an easy jog around the lake in the morning, just me and my tunes. Had a nice pre-lunch hammer session on my computer getting some work done and then did some sightseeing in the afternoon. Chill day all around.
Feb 12 – Interval day. Met up with Erik for some Z3-4 intervals on the distance course. Put in some good work sharpening towards race pace. Snow was a bit slow so had to focus on the feel and not so much the speed. Power strength session in the afternoon. Getting excited to race.
Feb 11 – Skied down from the hotel with the group. One of those days where you just have to ignore the speed on the snow and just go by feel. Snow was a little tricky to kick on and had to stop trying so hard. Did some good speeds on the sprint course and then enjoyed a nice cruise back up the hill. Took a monster nap in the pm and ended up more tired at the end of it. An afternoon run with Liz and Jeff helped snap me back to reality.
Feb 10 – The snow finally eased off and we got back to our favorite Davos sun! Enjoyed a nice recovery day with no training. Did some training planning with Erik, took a Fika with my Swedish friends and strolled through town with Liz. Feeling my normal energy coming back!
Feb 9 – Still snowing. Posted our US Ski Team music video on YouTube for the FIS video contest. You can see it HERE. Skied down to the race course from the hotel. Started with some Z3-4 intervals. Body is starting to feel more normal again. Finished up with some short intervals on the new sprint course. It’s going to be a tough one! Nice ski back to the hotel with Erik. Lots to catch up about. Short run/spin in the afternoon before a quick power strength session. Jogged back to the hotel after. Got a massage.
Feb 8 – Finally feeling clear enough to attempt intervals. Dropped Jeff off at the train station and moved back in with the team. Easy classic ski for the am session. Met up with Anna Haag and jumped in for a few speeds during her interval workout. Afternoon just chilling at the Hotel Kulm. Erik arrived from Alaska. Went out for a skate interval session in the afternoon. Just some Z3 to get the body going again. Fun to just go by feel. Nice to ski with Erik, hadn’t seen him since Canmore.
Feb 6 – Up early to get in a ski. Jeff and I met up with Swedish friend Anna Haag for a nice cruise up the “sunny valley”. Temps ended up being colder than I thought and barely stayed warm enough. Went straight into the hot shower when I got home. Watched the men’s Worlds Super G, pumped to see Ligety win. Took a monster nap. Jogged over to the strength room and did a solid power session. Fun to be in there with lots of good skiers. Made dinner at home, nice evening with Jeff.
Feb 5 – Woke up to a beautiful Davos morning. Enjoyed one of my favorite European breakfast spreads at our home away from home, Hotel Kulm. Moved in with Jeff into a small apartment for a few days of quality time with my hubby. Nice skate easy distance session in the sun. Picnic lunch from the grocery store. Watched the women’s World Champs Super G on tv, bummed to see Lindsey’s fall. Got out late for a pm double-pole, finished in the dark.
Feb 4 – Easy run on the treadmill in the morning and some stretching. Thank goodness too because it was a long travel day. Got some extra strength training hauling bags to get checked in on our charter flight. Long and hot flight, arrived in Zurich around 9:30pm. Still had a 2hr drive to Davos. Happy to crawl into bed at 1am!!
Feb 3 – Expected to feel better today but instead felt worse. Cut my ski off after an hour of super slow slogging around the course. At least it’s a beautiful day!! Watched the semi’s of the team sprint from the stadium and then headed back to the cottage for more rest. Hard not to be out on course cheering our teams on but have to get healthy!! Packed up and rode the gondola down in the pm. Short warm up run and then a strength session. Invited out to dinner by our US Ski Team buddy Dexter Paine to a French restaurant tucked back in the middle of nowhere. The food was amazing. Last night in Sochi!
Feb 2 – Body pretty wiped after the hard sprint day. Skied a couple laps of the classic course with Jeff. Cough is pretty bad again. Watched the skiathlon on TV. Really pumped for my teammates that skied really gritty races in the slow snow conditions and tough course. Won’t get a chance to race on the distance course this year but I like what I see. Evening short jog around the compound and filmed some stuff for our team music video (coming out soon)!
Feb 1 Race – Woke up feeling a little better still. Still some stuff in the lungs but feeling confident enough to race. Made sure to do a hard warmup, which never feels very good. Body opened up in the qualifier, happy to be 2nd fastest. Had some brief coughing fits before the rounds began. Got super foggy during the quarterfinals, reminded me of Eagle Glacier. Went for the lead each time and kept the pace high all the way around. Lungs actually felt better every round. Had a good start in the final and controlled the race from the front. Had good energy the whole way around and took the win in the midst of heavy snowfall. Busy afternoon with ceremonies and doping control. Never going to pee before races again!! Evening walk.
Jan 31 – Sore throat had abated so decided to try a little race prep. Did one lap of the course at a threshold pace. Could feel some catch in the lungs but energy was decent. Jumped in a few short short speeds with my teammates. Happy to at least feel healthy enough to race the sprint. Afternoon super short and easy jog around the athlete village.
Jan 30 – Woke up with a bad sore throat. Energy was better though. Headed out to the course and walked the dog around the courses. Slept the rest of the day. Just trying to be patient!
Jan 29 – Cough is worse and throat a little sore now. Felt low energy on the way to breakfast so decided to skip training for the day. Stayed in bed and watched movies and slept all day. Super hard to be at the pre-olympic test event and not able to ski!! Only exercise was the 3x daily walk up to meals. Food is interesting!
Jan 28 – Still adjusting to the 3hr time change, woke up at 10am. Took a wild van ride to breakfast that felt like going on safari through several inches of mud and potholes. Took a snow machine ride up the hill to the cross country venue and got our first look at the stadium and the trails. Hard to see though through the heavily falling snow. After 1 short lap, I could tell I was feeling a little off. Decided to cut the ski short and take a rest day to be safe. Spent the rest of the day just chillin’ inside our cottage. Had some excitement when the ceiling started raining water from the upstairs shower. Hoping to feel better tomorrow.
Jan 27 – Quite the travel day! Up early to fit in a run before breakfast. Headed to the airport a full 4 hrs before our charter flight to Sochi. Wasn’t enough room for all the bags beneath the plane so they put some of it in the seats! 3.5hr flight and then a lot of standing and waiting. Thankfully got all our bags and finally arrived at our condos at 12:30am. Sochi and “Psekhako Ridge” (where the xc venue is) seem to be pretty interesting so far!
Jan 26 – Final ski in Les Saisies. Packed up our rooms and then headed out onto the trails with the girls team. The scenery was the most epic day yet, the grooming was perfect and we had an absolute blast!! Took the GoPro down our favorite “technical descent” trail. Hit the road after some delicious crepes for lunch en route to Zurich. Said goodbye to Jeff (he’ll take the charter flight on Wednesday). Packed up our ski bags in the hotel parking lot. Pizza dinner with the team (tried a hawaiian pizza with cherries on top).
Jan 24 – Skate intervals with Liz and Holly. Found a good climbing section. Had to keep it super controlled at the beginning of the intervals since we’re at altitude. Intervals were hard but a good training stimulus. Some of the most beautiful skate lanes I’ve ever seen!! Got a french haircut in the afternoon and had my pink re-highlighted. Evening spin on the bike and a nice night just chilling with the team.
Jan 23 – Easy distance classic ski with Jeff. Did some one pole drills to work on body position and rhythm. I sometimes forget how good it is to go back to the basics sometimes. Ate some sardines out of the can for lunch along with a big homemade salad and then hit up a big nap. Afternoon skate ski with Liz. Cruising around right at sunset, the mountains had a nice glow. Evening fun times with the team working on a fun new project.
Jan 22 – Morning skate session with Jeff and our first look at the trails. Ended up skiing around 30km without skiing the same trail twice!! The terrain here is awesome and there is tons of snow!! Sun was out and it was a great day to be outside. Picked up a fresh baguette and some French cheese for lunch. Drove 35 mins to a neighboring town to find a weight room. Spin warmup followed by a force strength session.
Jan 21 – Rest day. Slept in and spent the morning packing up. Ate one final lunch at our hotel that treated us so well. Snow lightly falling as we headed to Les Saisies. Easy drive through some pretty awesome terrain. Arrived at our new hotel and got to work getting groceries and setting up shop. Treated to some traditional French cuisine for dinner and then watched the movie Pitch Perfect with some teammates. Even got some of the boys to watch.
Jan 20 Race – Relay day!! Weather even warmer. Had a super long morning waiting for the 3:45p start. Our hotel made us a huge and gourmet meal but unfortunately we didn’t dare take the chance of eating too much rich food before the race. So we packed up the scallops and roasted duck breast in tupperware containers to bring up to the coaches. Arrived at the venue in the brilliance of the sun only to see the sun immediately fall back behind the clouds making the light totally flat. Took extra care testing skis to make sure I had good kick and glide. Tricky glazed track again. Wasn’t feeling great in the warmup but tried to convince myself I would be fine. Relay ended up being a little tough for all of us. We lost touch with the pack after getting caught in a fall on the first lap and from there we were skiing all alone. I struggled with a tired body and some tricky kick conditions. Regardless, we all put in a committed effort and got good training out of it. Our teammates were on course cheering their hearts out. Cooled down after the race in this mysterious fog. Nice evening at our hotel in La Clusaz where the chef treated us to French delicacies.
Jan 19 Race – Typical classic race morning, we woke up to much warmer temperatures and fresh snow on the ground, completely changing the waxing conditions. Ski testing went reasonably well and I felt good about my skis going into the race. 10km classic mass start. Started on the first line. Fast start but tucked into a good position in the pack. Skied with some teammates on lap 2, just started icing in the end of the lap. Going into Lap3 the body was getting tired but I was fighting through. Skis started to ice on the first climb and began picking up more and more snow. Ended up running on stilts and then had to stop and scrape my skis across each other at the tops of the hills. Slid back thru the pack fighting with my skis. Just missed getting all 5 of US girls in the points with 32nd. Bummed. Then icing on the cake to get called in for doping control again, for the fifth race in a row, and took over 2 hrs to produce a full sample. Immediately refocused on getting ready for the relay the next day.
Jan 18 – Woke up to epic scenery at sunrise above our hotel. Went for a little morning jog to wake up. Tested skis up at the venue in perfect cold powder tracks. Psyched about some new skis that I just received, feeling good! Joined the girls for some race prep around the course. Tough loop but has some fun elements. Went for a run in the evening with the girls, have to go either up or down. Found some really cute puppies. Really pumped to get racing again!!
Jan 17 – One final beauty ski in the Risoux forest. It’s always the most beautiful conditions on the days you don’t get to ski that long!! Packed up our apartment and said goodbye to Les Rousses. Drove 2 hrs, through Geneva, and up into the big mountains to La Clusaz. Jeff had to head straight to work so I dropped him off at the stadium. La Clusaz ended up being totally different than I pictured. Rejoined the team and it was fun to catch up with everyone after a nice break. Walked around town with CA buddy Chandra.
Jan 16 – Strength session in the morning. Gym was busy with the French National paddling team, those chicks are pretty buff and impressive!! Did some power and quickness training to wake up the body for racing again this weekend. Headed out for an easy classic distance session in the pm with Aurore Jean to check out some new trails. With the new snow there are endless possibilities of places to ski!!
Jan 15 – Skate intervals in the 10cm of powder snow, made my legs really work!! Freezing rain towards the end froze me down pretty good, went straight into the hot shower when I got home. PM run in the snow, really coming down. Enjoyed a nice dinner with Aurore Jean and her husband.
Jan 14 – Easy distance classic in the morning in the lightly failing snow. Met up with French National Team skier Aurore Jean and her husband. Time flew by while getting to know each other. Always interesting to me how similar we skiers are coming from different countries! Quick turnaround after my ski to drive into Geneva to pick up Jeff. Enjoyed a nice afternoon off and then met up with some Alaska friends for dinner.
Jan 13 – Another perfect day. Easy distance skate. Found some new trails and made a 40km loop. Had some fun with the GoPro camera. Watched the Liberec team sprints on my computer and then took a big nap. Felt pretty groggy afterwards but came back around after an espresso. Afternoon off from training. Got invited to a friend’s friend’s house for dinner. More delicious French food!
Jan 12 – Back to sunshine. Crisp morning. Arrived at the trailhead to see perfectly groomed tracks. Headed out for a classic ski on Extra Blue. Forgot my heart rate monitor watch so had to do the workout totally on feel, just checking my iPhone for time every so often. Did some pace work in the middle, Z2-3. Felt good to pick up the pace just a little. Just in awe of how sweet the skiing was!! Quick turnaround to hit strength right after lunch. Was checking the live timing of the Liberec races to see how my teammates were doing. Really hard not to be racing this weekend but rest was definitely needed!
Jan 11 – Still snowing. Decided to make a go of it with hardwax. Actually worked ok. Skied in my own track most of the way. Quite peaceful with the falling snow. Took a big nap in the afternoon and got out for a short jog before dinner. Got invited upstairs for a big family style dinner of homemade pasta and lots of cheese.
Jan 10 – Sun was replaced by snow. Was going to classic but forgot my zeros and didn’t feel like battling the wax for 0 deg C and fresh snow. Skated instead. Skied a big loop with Jeff. Kept the pace easy. In the afternoon, drove down to Geneva and dropped Jeff at the airport. Evening jog and then enjoyed a nice night on my own. Made some salmon and a big salad, really loving being able to cook!
Jan 9 – Was invited to use the strength facility at the National Ski Center of the French team. Felt good to do some strength exercises, although my energy was depleted quickly after just a couple sets. Fun to lift with Jeff. Rode up to the ski area and went for a tour of the trails with our “landlord” Herve. Plenty of snow up high and the trails were in great shape. Made Mexican burritos for dinner, so good!!
Jan 8 – First morning in Les Rousse. Slept in and then enjoyed making my first omlette in a long time!! Got out for an easy jog with Jeff in the sun. Legs felt a little disconnected from my body. Thought about skiing in the afternoon but ended up taking an extra long nap instead. Goal of this week is recovery, sleep trumps training I guess!! Made hamburgers at home for dinner.
Jan 7 – Woke up to a beautiful blue sky day. Ate a leisurely breakfast with Jeff and then packed up our stuff to head to France. Said goodbye to my coaches and teammates and hit the road. Enjoyed a nice 7 hrs drive through Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France. Greeted upon arrival by our French host with fresh fondue!! Settled into our temporary “european home” for the next 10 days. No training.
Jan 6 Race – Final stage of the Tour de Ski. Felt pretty good warming up. Worked hard in the first 2km to catch the group ahead and then followed them to the base. Once we started up the climb, legs were a little stiff and I lost touch with the pack. Up the steep sections I struggled to keep my tempo up and wasn’t skiing dynamic in the legs. Made it up the hill in survival mode but didn’t ski as aggressive as I wanted. Slipped from 7th to 12th. Kind of a disappointing end to an otherwise great tour. Focused on celebrating the awesome podium climb by my teammate Liz, enjoyed a toast with my teammates on the top of the mountain. Watched the mens race. Afternoon was busy wrapping up the Tour and getting gear reassembled.
Jan 5 Race – Classic mass-start race. Warm and windy conditions, lots of pine needles in the tracks. Tested three different pairs of skis and picked the best combo. Got a good start and picked up a few bonus points at the top of the course. Lost some ground on the downhills but was able to climb well. Started moving up on the 2nd lap. Ran up the last hill as hard as I could, but lost some ground in the stadium, finished 11th. Got selected for doping control post-race but a little dehydrated and took a while to get the full sample. Got back to the hotel late. Quick jog, massage and ice bath.
Jan 4 Race – Classic prologue in Toblach. Nervous as classic races can go either way, really good or really bad. Picked good skis and although I didn’t feel great on my warm-up, headed to the start in a good place. Charged hard from the start, really working the flats and skiing smooth on the uphills. Ended up being a decent race, 7th place. Quick change and then into the car to travel to Val di Fiemme.
Jan 3 Race – Long day waiting for a 3:15pm race. Morning jog before breakfast. Watched the men’s race on TV. Ski testing was smooth. Started the day in 5th place, just ahead of Kalla. Tripped myself on a corner and gave up a few seconds. Got caught but led the train for a little. Kalla was too fast on the flats. Linked up with Jacobsen and Kyllonen. Pace was high. Blew my slingshot move in the stadium and didn’t have the right position into the finish. Ended up 8th. A decent day, I think my legs were a little dead after Tuesday’s sprint! Evening jog, massage and cold/hot baths.
Jan 2 – Slept like a baby! Went for a morning jog with the team in the lightly falling snow. Packed up and drove 3.5hrs to Toblach. Arrived in time for lunch. Felt bagged so took a short nap before skiing. Tested some classic skis and checked out the course with Jeff. Did a short Z3 interval, felt pretty tired. Hung out with some of my european friends before dinner and then enjoyed a nice evening with my husband. Got back to the hotel just in time for our team meeting. Fell asleep quickly!
Jan 1 Race – The one and only sprint of this year’s tour. Felt good and skied strong and smooth in the qualifier. Excited to have the fastest qualifying time. Long break before the rounds, got a massage and then curled up to my favorite tunes. In a quarterfinal heat with Holly and Liz. Led from the front through the rounds and skied strong over the climb each time. Really sweet atmosphere for the Final under the lights. Got a good start and took the lead. Skied strong but controlled and then went for it up the big climb. Felt like the others were right behind. Pushed hard all the way down the homestretch to take the win!! Super fun day to kick off my 30′s and 2013!! Spent the night in Val Mustair to ensure best recovery.
Dec 31 – My 30th Birthday!! Went for a great run with the team to a beautiful sunrise. Enjoyed a delicious breakfast and then hit the road. Beautiful drive to Val Mustair. Stopped at a church that is underwater in this lake. Team busted out fake mustaches and we spent the rest of the drive rocking out to country music. Arrived in Val Mustair just in time to get a few laps around the sprint course. A tough loop but love all the different features. Finished the ski with an easy cruise down the valley. Epically sweet conditions!! Got a singing cake visit from my Swedish friends and celebrated a fun evening with the team. Noah fired off our one piece of fireworks and then into bed by 11pm.
Dec 30 Race – Awoke to a mixture of rain and snow falling and still plenty of wind. Ski testing was more difficult trying to find the right balance of kick and glide in the soft snow. Pretty fun to start Bib 1. Tried to make Kowalczyk work to catch me. Held on for the 1st of three laps. Skied the 2nd lap with Kalla. Big pack caught us going into lap 3. Worked hard to try and hang on. Was getting really tired and struggling in the soft snow. Kept pushing. Ended up 14th, lost some time to the lead. Still need to work on my soft classic skiing. Quick contrast bath and massage and then drove halfway to Val Mustair.
Dec 29 Race – Morning jog with Liz. Legs felt heavy. Conditions warmed up over night and snow was much softer than during our race prep. Reminded me a lot of Eagle Glacier! Ski testing went smooth, finished my warmup on the test track. Body felt a little sluggish again. Started near the end of the group. Really windy through the stadium loop. Built speed as I went up the big climb. Effort really started getting hard up the last steep hill, had to keep digging. Finish stretch was so hard into the headwind, crossed and laid in the snow. Ended up winning the prologue by 4 seconds!! Happy to celebrate the win on the podium but felt so sick to my stomach for a good 20 mins after. Lots of recovery work in the afternoon and another easy jog with the girls.
Dec 28 – Tested skis and then joined my USA teammates for some intervals on the race course. Broke the course into two sections and skied each section just below race pace. After many easy days, the intervals felt really hard. Mind wants to get concerned but you just have to remember that the hard effort today will get the body ready to race. Went for an evening jog with the team after the opening ceremonies. Fireworks going off overhead in the fog was pretty wild. Excited to kick off the Tour.
Dec 27 – Jet lag is definitely catching up with me. Slept in and then joined the team for a super easy classic ski. Conditions were pretty warm and windy, snow is melting fast. Went for a nice long and delicious lunch at CORTINA, a restaurant recommended by local Jens Filbrich. Really good food!! Made a leisurely move into our team hotel. Took the afternoon to move in and relax.
Dec 26 Strength – Easy distance skate around the tourist tracks. Feeling a little tired. Did some overspeed pick-ups with Holly, felt good to go fast. Kept my warm down super easy. Went to the gym in the afternoon with Andrea and Manuela Henkel. Warmed up on the SkiErg and then hit up some power/agility strength exercises. Sometimes it’s so fun to be in the weight room!!
Dec 25 - Took a while to unpack and get skis ready but headed out for a great morning ski with Jeff. Race trails were pretty glazed from the warm wind, had to add more red klister. Discovered some new trails. Nice Christmas lunch with my Hubby. Evening run with Liz and Holly in the dark and warm winds. Another elegant German dinner and then Skyping with family until bed time!
Dec 24 - Arrived in Europe via one flight from Toronto to Munich, pretty smooth trip! Met up with Andy and drove up to Oberhof. Evening run with the team and then a special German Christmas Eve dinner.
Dec 22 Strength – Enough snow fell over night that they opened 6km of trails up at Highlands Nordic Center. Borrowed some rental skis and headed out on the course for some intervals. Body was a little junky after a bunch of easy days and the snow was pretty soft, but it felt good to do some harder skiing. More good practice for those often less-than-optimum conditions we see on the World Cup. Got to meet some of the local junior skiers too. Evening warm-up run on the treadmill and then some quick strength. Busy with lots of family Christmas stuff.
Dec 21 – Snow started to fall in the morning taking away the option to roller ski. So I went out for a morning run in the sleet and then enjoyed a nice morning with the family making “ziplock omletes”. Drove my Mom down to Toronto to the airport and got some new running shoes. I forgot how good that feels!! Made the road trip back up and had to hit the hay for a little nap. Jumped on the spin bike while watching Elf, my favorite xmas movie, followed by some Exer-Genie. Nothing like a 90-min all-indoor workout!! Evening dinner while the wind and snow howled outside.
Dec 20 – Skate roller ski on a rickety pair of borrowed roller skis. Didn’t realize I was heading uphill and into a headwind for the first 20 min, glad to get a faster ride on the way back. Jeff got some wife points riding the bike with me. Threw in a few speeds. Lunch and Christmas shopping on the main street in Collingwood. Went out for a short evening run in the rain and the wind. Definately a character building day! Big Christmas party with all of Jeff’s relatives.
Dec 19 Strength – Headed up to the main Nordic park, Highlands, but not enough snow to ski. Went for a lovely run around the trails. Had to check a couple times that I wasn’t dragging a tire! Oh, the load of racing finally setting in! Afternoon spin and strength session.
Dec 18 – Rode the spin bike in the morning while chatting with my parents. Took a little driving tour around Collingwood and just hung out at home with the family in the evening. Really nice to be eating home-cooked food for a change!!
Dec 17 – Travel day to Ontario. Met up with my hubby and waited for my parents to come into the Toronto Airport. Packed a Jeep Cherokee to the gills and drove north to Collingwood. Pretty weird to be back in the land of no snow!! Starting Christmas early!!
Dec 16 Race – Final race day in Canmore. Made a quick easy preview lap of the skate course and then set about dialing in my classic skis with Erik. Body was pretty tired during the warm-up but kept myself feeling positive. Pace was fast off the start and my body didn’t want to respond. Struggled through the first 5km of the classic. Got a boost skiing with my teammates and felt better coming into the transition. Felt way more comfortable on my skate skis and moved up over the two laps. Caught the 2nd chase pack with 2km to go and finally nailed my finishing stretch to take 8th place. A solid finish to a successful first period of World Cups. Now psyched for a little recovery time and spending a pre-christmas week with the family.
Dec 15 Race – Sprint day!! Felt decent warming up, easy to select my fastest skis. Felt controlled and powerful through my qualifier, psyched to take the fastest time. Controlled the pace and accelerated over the high point to advance through the quarters. Sat in the pack in the semi final and had to make a big charge in the last 100m to advance through the semis. Got myself in a good position up the first climb in the final and decided to attack over the top. Didn’t know who came with me until Maiken came up beside me into the finish. Bobbled for a split 2nd and lost my momentum to challenge for the win. But happy with 2nd. Busy afternoon with recovery jog, massage, PT and contrast baths. Fun awards ceremony.
Dec 14 Speed – Enjoyed a nice breakfast. Tested skis on the sprint course and then joined my teammates for a lap at Zone 3. Picked a few critical points on the course and did speeds together. Had to dodge in and out of all the athletes and coaches testing skis. Felt decent. Went for an afternoon run on my own.
Dec 13 Race – Morning jog to wake up. Got a great warm-up just dialing in my classic skis up the big hills on the course. Got to start bib #1. Pace was fast from the gun. Arms were heavy and tight, skied my own pace on the first lap. Felt much better going into lap 2 and got in the chase group behind Kowalczyk. The effort set in hard on lap 3 and fought to stay in the pack. Tried to pull a slingshot move in the last downhill but came out too early and didn’t find my best dp sprint gear, ended up 6th, 2 secs off the podium. Still a solid classic race for me. Afternoon jog, massage, PT and contrast bath. Awards ceremony on the Christmas train!
Dec 12 – Met up with my teammates for some faster skiing around the 3.3km loop. Skied one lap controlled and then one more repeat to the top. Big climbs but a fun course. Feeling good. Coffee date with my Mom and a nice easy afternoon. PM run with the girls.
Dec 11 – Easy skate ski. Checked out a few laps of the sprint course and then did some easier skiing on the Banff trail. Canmore offers such a nice mix of hard competition tracks and nice easy rolling terrain. Conditions were excellent once again. Went running along the river while Newell and Skyler tossed a football.
Dec 10 Strength – Easy classic distance day. Warmed up on the Banff trail and then skied a couple laps of the 3.3km classic lap. Tracks couldn’t be anymore perfect!! Ran up to the Nordic center in the afternoon for some strength. Pretty crazy with all the world cup athletes in there doing their respective routines. Enjoyed a nice home cooked meal at Chandra’s house, such a treat after more than five weeks on the road already. Also got to do some laundry!
Dec 9 – Joined Chandra for a Quebec Fast and Female. A new experience to have my story translated into French!! Good energy to depart Quebec with! A quick little stop at Tim Horton’s for my favorite donut (honey crueller) and a holiday themed Latte with the girls. Fun to see so much ski coverage in the local papers! Traveled through Montreal and then on to Calgary. Got in around dinner time. Total rest day to let my feet and body rest.
Dec 8 Race Sprint – Short morning run, legs feeling really heavy. Ski testing went quick, finished off a good warm-up. Had a solid qualifying run, ended up 3rd. Jog cool-down, massage, and then a quick rest before getting back out there. Started snowing for the heats. Controlled my quarterfinal to advance to the semis. Sat in the pack but put on a good finish to make the final. Got a good start and tucked into 2nd for the 1st lap of the final. Decided to go for the lead going into lap 2 and kept the pace high. Felt really strong in the finish and grabbed the win. The best part was getting to ski a “victory lap” with the US flag down the finish stretch with so many US fans on course. And to hear the national anthem and spray champagne again. What a weekend!
Dec 7 Race Team Sprint – Went for a short morning jog to wake up. Team Sprint day. Actually got some decent time on the course to test skis, so got a really good warm-up. Raced in the 2nd semi-final, Jessie skied lead-off. We skied smart, staying in the pack and then got the lead on the last lap to advance to the final. Got a quick flush rub-down from our massage guy Michael and did my 2nd warm-up on foot. We skied smart in the final as well, holding a good position for the first 2 rounds. Jessie made a great move to give us the lead going into the final exchange and I was able to hold it to the line for the first ever US team sprint WC victory!! Had to show Jessie how to spray the champagne on the podium!! Evening contrast bath, massage and a jog to get ready for the next day.
Dec 6 – Race prep day in Quebec. Our first chance to check out the course. Conditions were super firm on the first few laps. Took the GoPro around for a headcam preview. By the time we’d done several laps, the snow was breaking down into sugar and it was quite the obstacle course ducking through athletes and techs. Did a couple hard laps with the team and some speeds. Nice to be back on snow after a couple days off. Evening run and some jumps to get ready. Anxious to see if my sprint gears are ready!
Dec 5 – Drove 1.5 hrs to a 2km loop of man-made snow for a classic distance section up at Fort Montecy. Laps took about 6.5 minutes, so made about 20 laps in my two-hour ski. Nice to be on snow at least! Took a little walk around the old town with Jeff, Quebec City is pretty cool so far. Went for a run on the treadmill before dinner. Team meeting with the full nations group, spirits pretty high in team USA!!
Dec 4 Strength – Got out for a jog around the sprint course and checked out some of the old town and historic stuff. Pretty cool city! Fought off some heavy sleepy feelings with a strength workout in the pm. A little flat after travel but it felt good to spark the system.
Dec 2 Race – The cold wind died down and the snow picked up!! Starting the day in 2nd place!!! But lots of fast girls to hunt me down. Dialed in my skis with good kick and fast glide but again feeling a little bit flat. Tried to start aggressive but the body was a little sluggish. Caught by a fast train but couldn’t hang on. Skied with Lahteenmaki and then made it my own race with 5km to go. Got a little spark back and held on for 5th place. Not my best classic race but another good hard workout!! A successful mini-tour is done. Crazy after the race, grabbing Subway for our service men, packing up and traveling to Rovaniemi to spend the night with the Jauhojarvi family. Now back to North America!!
Dec 1 Race – Felt heavy again on the morning jog and a little dead in the warm-up. But found some fast skis and skied a strong steady pace through the 5km course. Felt powerful on the flats and quick on the uphills. Got word that I was 1 second in the lead coming up the final hill and crossed the finish line in 1st. Hands were frozen but managed to get my warm-ups on in enough time to sit in the leaders chair until [Marit] Bjoergen came in. Psyched with my 2nd distance podium!! Fun flower ceremony, then press conference, then busy afternoon of flush massage, jog and contrast baths.
Nov 30 Race – First sprint day of the season and Andy Newell’s birthday!! Felt a little groggy on my morning jog, but hard not to when the first steps are right uphill! Felt okay in my ski testing and warm-up. Really important to have good skis on this Ruka course!! Skied a decent qualifiying round, ended up 16th. Felt a little better in the quarter finals, finishing strong and moving on. Was in great position midway through the semis but didn’t have the gas for the charge over the top and finished 5th in my heat. Day was done in 10th place. Classic sprint pace still needs some time to come around. Went for a nice evening jog with my teammates. Then contrast/bath.
Nov 29 – Got together with my teammates for a pre-sprint workout on the course. We skied one lap at a moderate pace and then one lap closer to race pace. Then we took turns leading short sprints around different parts of the course. Super sweet to have teammates to test out different strategies. Took our headshots for the TV graphics in the afternoon and then an evening jog. Air is quite chilly and a nasty cold wind is blowing. Hope we can stay warm tomorrow!!
Nov 28 – Woke up feeling a little tired from the max strength the day before. Went for an easy distance skate ski and tested some skis with Jeff. Lots of people flying around the course doing intervals and getting ready! Easy run in the pm. Looking forward to race prep tomorrow!
Nov 27 Strength – Easy classic ski around the distance courses. Got the chance to test skis and work on technique with Jeff. Quick turn-around after lunch to head back out for a distance run and then strength. A bunch of the other World Cup skiers were in doing strength as well and it was fun to see what they were doing. Some similarities and some totally wild exercises. Evening PT and then off to bed. Somehow these days are flying by!!
Nov 26 – Woke up to an influx of well wishes from all our friends, family and supporters back home. Packed up and drove six hours over to Ruka. Went for a walk around town but mostly took the day off to give my feet a rest. Everything is feeling relatively good which I am very thankful for!!
Nov 25 Race – Big relay day!! The team was super fired up, donning our special “relay socks.” Felt good warming up and testing skis and found a pair with solid kick and great glide. Headed to the start warm and ready to rock!! Holly skied our lead-off leg. She hung tough and kept us in contention. When I got the tag I had to remain composed and work on steadily catching the skiers ahead. Took over 2nd place midway through the 2nd lap and tried to reel in Johaug. Tagged off to Liz feeling satisfied with my effort. Quickly changed into dry clothes and then cheered Liz and Jessie on course. Super nerve wracking watching Jessie battle down the finish stretch to claim 3rd, we all piled on top of each other and celebrated. Such an incredible wave of emotion to share with the team. Another trip to the podium!! Sailed on cloud 9 the rest of the day!! Got out for a distance skate ski in the evening and then hit up strength. Not a bad first weekend!!
Nov 24 Race – Got out for a pre-race morning jog. Felt decent. Went through my pre-race routine and headed out to the venue. Ski testing went smoothly as the snow started to fall. Big goal of the day was to just go out and get a good hard workout. Started in the middle of the seeded group. Holly had just come in with the leading time right as I started. Built my pace through the race. Got some splits through the race that I was leading. I didn’t believe Matt when he told me I was fighting for the podium. Crossed the finish line to take the lead from Holly. Got to sit in the leaders chair for a while until Johaug and Bjoergen came in, but I managed to hang in for 3rd place and my first DISTANCE PODIUM!! Unbelievable!! Flower ceremony, press conference, anti-doping control. It was a whirlwind day. Managed to sneak in a quick jog before the prize giving ceremony in downtown. Pretty sweet day all around!
Nov 23 – Started off with some ski testing with my wax tech Peter who lives in Gallivare. Got the skis dialed in and then met up with the other girls for a race prep interval around the course. Our plan was to ski part of the course at Zone 3 and then dial up a little bit in the end. Started off and felt surprisingly good, ended up skiing the whole lap. Felt like a new racer which was encouraging for the next day’s race. Afternoon jog with Liz in the dark. First pre-race team meeting, stoke is high!!
Nov 22 – Easy classic ski around the course. Kick was a little tricky. Felt pretty tired from the intervals the day before. Took the afternoon off and got ready for our FIS Athlete meeting. More and more teams arriving!
Nov 21 – Fired up for some classic intervals. Joined Holly and Jessie for a bit of Zone 3 to get the body firing and then split off to do some sprint pace work. Did several repeats up the first climb. Was definitely a shock to the system and felt pretty hard. Almost fell apart midway through but pulled it back together and maintained times on the last couple intervals. It wasn’t pretty but it did the trick! Afternoon easy skate with Matt. It was already dark by 3pm so we skied with my headlamp.
Nov 20 Strength – Easy day on the skis to shake the legs out after travel. Skated around the distance course and got reacquainted with the area. Did some boot testing to further dial in my new insoles. Temperature was a little cooler than we had been used to. Had to take a hot shower after to warm back up!! Afternoon run and strength session together with Liz. Busy gym, had to fight some big guys for the squat rack!
Nov 19 – Took the day off to give my feet a good rest after six solid days on snow. Made the travel over to Gallivare, Sweden and caught some awesome sunset action around 2:30pm! Settling in and excited to hit the courses tomorrow!!
Nov 18 Strength – Up early for a morning jog to get ready for skate intervals. Hammered some repeats around the sprint course. Body is slowly coming around. Cheered the girls on in the 10km skate, Liz only seconds from the win and all 3 girls in the top 10!! Feeling inspired! Afternoon run and strength. Evening viewing of the new Bond movie, ‘Skyfall’ in an underground theater.
Nov 16 – Joined Liz and Holly for part of their race prep intervals this am, classical style. Really nice firm, hard tracks. Felt good to fire up to race speed. Did 2 intervals with them and then 3 more on my own. Can tell my fitness is there somewhere but will take a while to dig out! Hard to watch the sprint race and not be racing but psyched to see my teammates ski well. Afternoon skate session. Feet seem to be adjusting now better to the snow.
Nov 15 – Back to some easy skiing. Tested classic skis while skiing with Liz. Snow got pretty glazed from so many skiers on the tracks. Pm skate distance. Trained with Liz again. No foot pain this time, hopefully my foot is adjusting to the skiing on snow!
Nov 14 – First hard skate interval session in a while. Warmed up including a short interval at Z3. Then jumped into five repeats on a 4-min course. Finished with a short sprint at the end of the last two. Skating fast felt a bit awkward at first but came around through the workout. Visited the local middle school with the rest of the team after lunch. A very dark run warmup before strength in the afternoon.
Nov 13 – Awesome morning classic ski in tracks! Feels so good to be on groomed trails! Tested out my new skate boots in the afternoon. Right foot got sore by the end and had to cut it short.
Nov 12 – Full day of traveling from Munich to Muonio. Met up with the team in Helsinki, super fun reunion! Arrived in northern Finland under the dancing bands of the Northern Lights.
Nov 11 – Early breakfast with Erik to send him off and then captured the coffee buzz to hammer on some computer work. Then headed out for my first outdoor run in 3 months!! Even though it was pouring rain it was such a good feeling to be running outside again. I really missed the freedom of running!! Jumped on to my Exer-Genie back at the hotel and hammered away while watching a world cup video. Stretching felt good too after the long travel. PM spin on the bike.
Nov 10 – Morning arrival in Munich. Got to the hotel and met up with my coach Erik. We had to navigate the buses and trains to get downtown, quite a fun adventure. Met up with Bertrand from Salomon and worked with the insole specialists at Ertl-Renz to dial in my insoles and boots for the season. I think this will make a big difference in keeping my feet healthy from here on out!! Had to fight off major waves of fatigue and decided not to try and force a workout. Managed to stay awake until 9pm and then crashed hard!!
Nov 9 – Got to listen to US gold medalists Hannah Kearny and Evan Lysacek speak, always inspired by great Olympians!! Got me pumped up for an hour run on the treadmill followed by an hour spin. Sweaty!! Threw in a little core strength afterwards. Ended up dying my towel pink Managed a quick visit to the Lululemon store on my way to the airport. Evening travel to Munich.
Nov 8 – Third early morning in a row to catch a 7am flight out of Newark. Headed to Chicago for a USOC function. Fun to spend the day explaining my sport and getting people psyched to cheer for us in Sochi!! Fit in a short treadmill run before lunch and then a 2nd session back in the gym in the afternoon. One hour on the Exer-Genie takes lots of focus and determination and a good sound track!! Did some 30/30 intervals. Finished with an elliptical cool-down.
Nov 7 Strength – Met my brother at his local gym (right in Times Square!!) for an early morning workout. Treadmill warm-up and then strength. Got a few funny looks when I strapped the 45lb plate to my waist to do some pull-ups. Working out together is always one of my favorite ways to catch up with people! After grabbing a post-workout snack, I met up with a group of US Ski team athletes and did some volunteering at a clothing donation spot. Then fit in a couple meetings, lunch with Liz @ 30 Rock and got my hair styled for the evening gala. Attended the US Ski Team Gold Medal Gala and got to be interviewed by Jonny Mosely. Fun to rub elbows with some pretty awesome USST alums!! Made it a solid four hours in my high heels but pretty psyched to take them off at the end of the night!!
Nov 6 – 4:45am wakeup call. Said goodbye to my house and my kitties, and my husband too, but at least I’ll see him in a few weeks. Flight to Minneapolis and then on to NYC. Arrived in time to meet my brother for dinner. Pretty crazy feeling to be in Anchorage, AK and then a few hours later, cruising the streets of NYC!!
Nov 5 – My last full day at home for the next 5 months. Met up with the team for a ski at Glen Alps. Repeated my skate intervals from the other day with a little extra intensity. Can tell I haven’t done a lot of Z4 lately, the workout was tough!! Feet faired well though. My APU teammates came over for hot chocolate to say farewell and wish me luck. Then another busy afternoon running my final errands. Managed to make it on the treadmill for a short distance run before turning my attention to packing!!
Nov 4 – Up early to get in an Exer-Genie and treadmill run workout before getting totally decked out in pink, loading the car and heading off to Fast and Female!! Set up some sweet fitness stations – SkiErg, slackline, hulu-hoops, etc. – for the girls to try and had a station for pink hair streaks. Over 200 girls attended and it was pretty magical seeing 200 bodies in sync for circuits and zumba!! Overall a super day!! Hit up the Warren Miller film “Flow State” in the evening. Pretty sacked by the end of the day!!
Nov 3 Strength – Morning double-pole on snow just as the sun was coming over the mountains. I’ve never seen Mt. McKinley look so brilliant! Excitement for skiing is high, lots of people out to cruise some pretty scrappy conditions!! Busy day doing some shoe shopping and getting errands run for tomorrow’s Fast and Female event. PM run on the treadmill and then a strength session. Enjoyed a nice night at home with my hubby and roommates.
Nov 2 – My first go at skate intervals. Teamed up with Erik and Sadie for a steady Z2-3 workout. Felt better as I went. New boots and more focus on improving my lower body position are keeping my foot feeling good. Afternoon run progression on the treadmill and then the remainder on the spin bike. Being stationary is not nearly as fun as the snow biking yesterday.
Nov 1 – Got up and did a short jog on the treadmill before breakfast. Classic intervals with Erik. Haven’t touched Z4 for a while, felt hard but good. Afternoon run progession and then got my first taste of snow biking on a FATBACK. Rode with headlamps, pretty fun!
Oct 31 – Happy Halloween! Met Erik for a morning ski up in the mountains just as the sun was coming over the ridge. Surprisingly good skate conditions. Afternoon treadmill run/walk progression followed by an hr-long spin on the bike. Finished totally drenched in sweat just in time to scare some trick’o'treaters. Halloween get together with the family in the evening, I went as a Canadian lumberjack.
Oct 30 Strength – Woke up to a few inches of new snow, had to change my roller ski session to a strength session instead. Continued to work on my running progression as well. Pm tested out the ski trails. Did two laps of the course. Coverage was decent but I was definitely hitting some rocks. Caught a vibrant sunset on my last lap.
Oct 29 – Day off from training to let my feet absorb the four consecutive days of skiing on snow. A very productive day. I hammered away on some details for our upcoming Fast and Female event and worked on gathering stuff to begin packing for my 5-month winter adventure. Got a much needed massage in the afternoon to work on a nagging bicep tightness. Pm more time working around the house.
Oct 28 Speed – Halloween costume ski at Birch Hill to finish off the camp. Made it a whole hour skating without pain in my foot and then did another hour of classic. Went straight into a 3-hr Fast and Female event. Got a good sweat on doing Zumba. One more short ski with speed and then back to Anchorage!
Oct 27 Speed, Strength- Classic distance warmup around the big loop. Joined the team for some double pole speeds. Fun to go fast. Got a nice nap in between sessions. Went out for a short skate ski and then headed to the gym for strength. Dinner at Beaver Sports while Holly and I gave a talk about the World Cup.
Oct 26 – Classic warm up and then some double-pole specific strength. Worked hard to hang with the boys. Arms pretty tired by the end. Lunch with Peter Ashley and Brian Schiller from Fischer. Right back out onto the snow. Foot felt good skating a few laps, to finally skate again feels so awesome!! Evening Super Fit clinic at Goldstream Sports with Salomon.
Oct 24 – Ski-walk-run progression on the treadmill in the am. Got my hair highlighted and re-pinked for the upcoming season. Packed up and headed up to Fairbanks. Camp starts tomorrow.
Oct 23 Strength - Super cold mountain bike ride in the am @ 8° F!!! Did Z3-4 intervals. Can’t wait to get back to ski intervals!! Afternoon run/walk progression in the treadmill to warmup for strength. Already missing the weightless feeling on the Alter G! Strength session.
Oct 22 – Met the team for a double pole session at a park in the middle of the city, one of the few ice-free places at this point. Had to dodge frozen goose poop but managed to lay down some short and hard repeats. Went out for a chilly mountain bike ride in the pm and then enjoyed an early Thanksgiving dinner with my family.
Oct 18 – Said goodbye to all of my teammates leaving for Canmore and then started my mountain bike ride from the COE and gradually worked my way back up to the Deer Valley condo. Beautiful day to ride! Got some PT on a sore elbow. Watched youtube videos while on the Alter G.
Oct 17 – Classic/Double-pole distance workout. Gradually getting back to a normal mix of striding without pain in my foot. Took a bone density scan in the afternoon just to double check but everything looked strong. Another session on the Alter G and then pool running intervals with Sadie.
Oct 16 Strength - Solo mountain bike pace workout up Park City mountain. Could feel that aerobic system getting quite revved up! Pm run on the Alter G (I’ve graduated up to 70% bodyweight) and a session with Alex, my strength coach. Lots of circuit style exercises – hard! Quick shower and then straight to a US Ski Team fundraiser. Busy day!
Oct 14 – A nice, productive rest day here in Park City. Hammered away on some computer work in the morning and then hit up a short Alter G session in the afternoon. Dinner with the APU crew at the Brennan’s, yum!!!
Oct 12 – After a nice run of sunny days the clouds finally rolled in. Took the mountain bike out for a solo ride up PC Resort. Added in a 30-min segment of threshold on my way up, very different feeling than threshold on skis! Tried to take a short cut on the way down but it ended up taking longer, doh! Afternoon Alter G run and then another day tied to the edge of the pool running against the current. Dinner with the Farra family in Heber.
Oct 10 – Headed up the mountain again for a solid 1:45 Z2 climb on the mountain bike. Afternoon session on the Alter G and then some pool running to finish it out. Definitely missing some of my favorite training modes but going to be patient!
Oct 9 – Hit the trails with my husband Jeff for a beautiful mountain bike ride around Park City Mountain Resort. Almost two solid hours of climbing and fun descending. Tested out the Alter G (Anti-Gravity) treadmill, super fun to run at 60% of your body weight! Finished off with a pool run.
Oct 7 – Spent the morning getting ready for the 2nd annual Fast and Female Park City CHAMP Camp. Joined 30 other amazing elite female athletes to lead 75 girls in a 4-hr event of fitness, inspiration and fun. Had to wear my walking boot around just so I wouldn’t be tempted to join in on all the jumping and dancing. Super fun event. Didn’t manage to get a work out in the for the day but probably good to have a rest day heading into the next 10 days of altitude training and normal volumes.
Oct. 6 – Met my APU teammates at Soldier Hollow for a classic roller ski session. Did some L3 double-pole intervals with my coach Erik Flora. Highlight of the day was adding in 10-15 mins of striding to start building my foot back up. Went for a ski walk with poles in the afternoon up to the top of Sundance Resort. Was a little annoyed when it took longer to get down riding the lift than it did to hike up!! Danced a few extra calories away at the wedding.
Oct. 5 Strength - AM strength session in Vail before hoping in the car and driving the six hours back to Utah. Landed at the Sundance Resort where we will stay a couple nights to attend our friends wedding. Despite arriving in the dark, I still managed to sneak in an elliptical workout in the “fitness yurt.” Felt good to move again after all the time in the car.
Oct. 4 – A great day to test out Vail’s playground. Morning mountain bike ride with Sylvan Ellefson up to the top of Vail mountain and then a fun descent. Lunch with the Hochtl brothers. Marathon meeting with awesome PT Ana J making a plan to build skiing and running back into my training routine. Got to meet the Ski Club Vail Nordic team in the afternoon. Switched my planned strength workout to a SkiErg/Exer-Genie combo when the weight room was full. Capped off a great day watching Sylvan’s brother star in a telemark film.
Oct. 3 - Woke up to the sun in Vail. Morning bone scan followed by a 2nd scan after lunch. It was an anxious wait until I got to see the doctor. The bone scan showed on-going healing which means my metatarsal was probably fractured, not just stressed like we originally thought. But a CT scan showed new bone growth which is a good sign. I got the clearance to start adding skiing and running back into my training and getting back to normal volumes. Didn’t fit any training in for the day but psyched to be heading back towards normal soon. No more walking boot either, yay!
Oct. 2 - Full day of travel so no training. Caught a 7am flight to Seattle then on to Salt Lake City. Drove up to Park City for a quick hemoglobin test. Then a 5.5-hr drive to Vail got us in just after midnight. Seeing the foot doctor tomorrow to get an update on the stress reaction in my foot. Crossing my fingers for good news.
Oct. 1 Strength - Hit the gym early to get in a strength session before my final PT appointment. Cool to be seeing and feeling gains in both strength and PT. Dashed off to do an elementary school assembly for Healthy Futures and then jumped right into double pole intervals. Finished just in time to make my massage appointment. Busy day all the way to the end, now packing for the next 2-week training camp in PC.
Sept 30 – Slept in for the first time all week. Woke up to 25 deg F outside!! Brrrr!!! Enjoyed pumpkin french toast with Jeff and our roommates and then headed out for a mountain bike ride. Got out about an hour too late, the frost had already melted on some of the trails making for a muddy ride. Still super fun though!! Spent the afternoon doing some shopping with a friend – that’s way harder than any training day!!
Sept 29 Strength - Woke up to everything covered in a layer of white! Headed to the gym for a strength session. New explosive upper body reps and core gave me a good challenge. Short 2-hr break and then hopped onto the SkiErg for a double-pole workout.
Sept 28 – Full day of school visits to motivate kids to be physically active everyday. This certainly gets me energized! Had a mid-morning PT session and then a pm aqua-jog for my physical activities of the day. Watched some Aussies rule football in the evening and then stepped outside to be surprised by snowfall!!
Sept 26 Strength - Up early for a strength session. A new arm circuit followed by a core circuit really worked me over but loving the feel of some increased upper body and core strength from the last several weeks. Got to visit a fellow APU skier that is recuperating in the hospital from being hit by a car while on her bike. Mary is super tough and it was great to witness her tenacious spirit to recover! Had a fun time speaking with some elementary students about being active every day and then worked out with some local junior skiers. Fit in a quick distance unicycle session before dinner. A full day of sharing my passion with others – I love my job!!
Sept 25 – Double-pole intervals with some other people, yippee!! Joined the team for a fast session. Had to do some manoeuvering around a sidewalk sweeper but it sure was nice to have some of the leaves cleared off for the last interval. Fit in a quick Exer-Genie session in the afternoon before heading out to the local Tuesday Night XC Race series to cheer on the munchkin runners.
Sept 23 – One double pole session in the morning on my Marwe zero wheels. Felt good to fly along. Spent time with office work the rest of the day.
Sept 22 – Morning gym session. Got a really good warm-up on the elliptical and then hammered the weights for 2hrs. Afternoon nap and then an aqua-jog workout with some short bursts mixed in. Really missing my weekend ODs!!
Sept 20 – Morning aqua jogging session. It’s a totally different feeling trying to sprint in the water! Participated in a ‘Health & Wellness’ expo showing folks how to make delicious smoothies at lunch time and then rushed straight off to another school assembly for Healthy Futures. Followed that immediately with some dp intervals. Erik followed me on his BMX bike and helped me put down some pretty hard repeats. Finally got to relax a bit at home in the evening.
Sept 19 Strength - Strength session in the morning saved me from a workout in the rain, although that may have actually been easier. Hit up the pool for some aqua jog intervals in the pm. That final sprint never felt so long.
Sept 18 – Wind picked up again and blew me around during my morning dp intervals. Didn’t feel super fast but got a hard workout in. PT session with increased resistance afterwards. Then a massage. Was making chili when the power went out again, finished it on my Coleman stove.
Sept 17 – Warmed up on my Ski Erg and then hit up some morning aqua jogging intervals. A new kind of hard!! Waited till my hubby got home in the evening to go for a mountain bike ride, was getting pretty dark when we finished.
Sept 16 – Woke up early to head out for a pre-brunch double-pole. Was feeling a little frustrated with my speed at the beginning until I realized I was going uphill and into a headwind. Felt much better on the return trip. Added in a little Exer-Genie session and did my strengthening exercises for my feet and hips before driving the six hours back to Anchorage.
Sept 15 - Took the day off to head up to Fairbanks to watch my Mom and her sisters compete in the 50th addition of a big Alaska tradition, the Equinox marathon. Got a couple cheers from people that thought I was walking the marathon in my boots and jeans, ha ha!!
Sept 13 - Double-pole intervals on my own. Accidently brought one ski each from two separate pairs (one fast and one slow). Managed to keep the skis running straight enough to do the intervals. Intervals aren’t as much fun without teammates around. Another PT session in the afternoon. I think the PT’s like having someone athletic to try out new stuff on! Spent the evening cooking with my APU teammates for a fundraiser dinner. My teammates are quite the chefs!
Sept 12 Strength - Morning strength session after a short warm-up on the elliptical. Core routine is good and hard! Rain from the morning cleared off for an afternoon cruise on my road bike. Ended up finding a few big hills on my ride and got into Z3 for a while.
Sept 11 – First try at some aqua jogging intervals – 30 sec on – 30 sec off. Made the session fly by a lot faster and I was surprised how hard you can make sprinting underwater! Did a short distance swim cool down after. PT session after lunch with some new exercises. Seeing some improvement which is encouraging! In the afternoon I jumped on the Exer-Genie and Ski Erg for upper body specific work. Got a good sweat on!
Sept 10 – Another beauty fall day. Took my new mountain bike out for a climb up to Glen Alps. Really got the heart and lungs pumping on the steeper sections! Made dinner with my Dad to finish off a good day.
Sept 9 – A friend with a few sea kayaks took Jeff and I out for a paddle on Eklutna Lake. It was a most beautiful fall day. Had a sweet tailwind on the way out but had to work a little harder on the way back! Got to work on my balance a little more too!
Sept 7 Strength - Missed my alarm for an AM swim sesh so bumped my strength session to the morning instead. Had a fun afternoon getting some kids fired up about being healthy and active everyday and practiced my unicycle a bit. PM mountain bike ride on my new Kona Hei Hei. Loving it!
Sept 6 – Got to start practice with my APU teammates. Did another set of DP intervals along the bike path into Kincaid Park – two sets of out and back. Had to battle some head- and cross-winds but found a good rhythm. Experienced a nice rush of endorphins after the workout, made me realize how much I had been missing that feeling. PT workout gave me a good burn and then did a pep talk for a United Way fundraising campaign kick-off. Needed a nap in the afternoon. Power still out at our house post-wind storm…went out for dinner.
Sept 5 – Power was out from a wicked wind storm but did some arm specific strength on the Exer-Genie, could feel the power start to dip by the end. Tested out a Centergy yoga class. Pouring rain and more high winds convinced me to spin on the bike inside, got soaked from sweat instead. I don’t know which is worse!
Sept 4 Strength - Up early for a morning aqua jog/swim. Getting good at entertaining myself without passing scenery! A PT session at midday got those small, little used muscles nice and fired up. Working on balance on the good foot for now. Afternoon strength session. Alex really made my new core program challenging!
Sept 3 – Rain relented long enough to head out onto the bike with Jeff. Did a sweet 1.5-hr long climb and then just cruised back down. Spent the afternoon honing my hand eye coordination at my cousin’s birthday party while playing lawn games. Crashed for a big nap into the evening.
Sept 2 – Woke up to a brief reprieve in the rain but worked out indoors any way. Did a split session on the Exer-Genie and Concept 2 Ski Erg. Can tell this is going to be really good for my upper body specific strength and movement patterns. Then watched my cousin Casey Kelly pitch in his second MLB game for the SD Padres. Tried to go for a swim workout in the afternoon but pool was closed for the holiday weekend. Went out for a double-pole instead while my Dad rode along beside on a bike.
Sept 1 – Dragged Jeff and my Mom to an early morning Yoga class. Man, I can tell I have a lot of room to improve in the flexibility department!! Stopped by our local bike shop after to pick up a demo bike and then headed out to Kincaid Park for a ride. Rain was pouring down but the KONA 29′er was an awesome ride. Looking forward to the day when I can do a lot more biking.
Aug 30 Strength - Back on my roller skis for the first time in two weeks. Double-poling felt a little foreign at first but gradually got the feel back. Did some zone 3 intervals out and back through Kincaid Park. Erik observed from the Suburban. Felt good to do some intensity. Rushed off to a PT appointment right after. The calf drops and hip drills burned more than the intervals! This body awareness and strengthening of the little muscles is going to be good for me. Made it to the gym in the evening. Short warm-up on the elliptical and then a new strength program focused around the upper body and core. Getting challenged in all sorts of new ways!!
Aug 29 – Thought it was a good idea to go to a 6am yoga class. So hard to wake up to the 5:30am alarm though!! Jeff came along too. Sometimes just stretching can be such a challenge. Body needs to loosen up!! Got out for a mountain bike ride in the afternoon, just as the rain started to sprinkle. A little muddy but fun.
Aug 28 Strength - So nice to be back home after six weeks on the road!! Made a big omlette with Jeff and then jumped on my mountain bike. Rode over to my Mom’s place and picked her up for part of the ride. Felt good to zip around. Had a good meeting with my coach Erik to discuss my training plan over the next five weeks while I let my foot injuries heal. Going to be creative! Met Jeff for a short warm-up and strength session in the pm. Excitement of being home energy wave plus the time change hit me hard after dinner, went to bed early.
Aug 27 – Another early morning to get to the hospital for a bone scan. Fit in some PT between scanning sessions. Anna J put together an awesome menu of exercises for me to work on for the next five weeks. This may not be the training I was intending to do, but I think it will make me stronger in the future. Wrapped up a good visit in Vail with a routine heart check by Dr. Gaul. Traveled back to Anchorage. Couldn’t fit in any training today, some days you just have to let it go!
Aug 26 – Rode the stationary bike for a while before PT to put a little load on my achilles and foot to compare with the previous day. Then went in for PT. Worked on the “pilates” machine and got some serious calf and hip burn going (with minimal resistance). Reminds me that sometimes you have to focus on the little things. Went for a ski walk with Dr. Larry Gaul (US Ski Team doc) with poles up the access roads on Vail Mountain. Took the gondola down. Definitely enjoying the 80+ F temps and sun!!
Aug 25 Strength - Got some PT in the am. Amazing what can be accomplished with a little help over just a few minutes!! Went over to an alpine boot shop and got scanned for some new custom insoles. Super sweet to see a 3-D image of my feet, excited about the potential of these new footbeds. Hit the gym in the afternoon for some exercise. Warmed up on the elliptical and then did a modified strength session. I always feel so much better after I train! Nice dinner at the golf club nearby, I can see why many of the world’s elite live here!
Aug 24 – Traveled to Vail, Colorado to see a foot/ankle specialist for my nagging foot injuries. Finally got the firm advice that I needed to make me realize that if I don’t deal with healing my injuries now, I could have bigger troubles in the near future when racing is on the line. So we made a plan for me to lay off the big impact activities for several weeks and reduce my training to let my body heal itself. Won’t be easy with 2.5 months to go until the season starts, but it’s the smart thing to do. Getting some PT at Howard Head over the next few days before returning to Alaska.
Aug 23 – Last day of vacation. Went out for a 70km road bike ride with Jeff. Decided to throw in a couple intervals at threshold. Fun to try and hang in Jeff’s draft. Not so used to the heat, heart rate stayed high on the way back. Second workout of the day was a round of golf up at Highlands. Apparently the boot makes my game better!
Aug 22 – Borrowed Jeff’s wetsuit and swam across the lake to the far shore and back. The wetsuit makes open water swimming so much easier! Followed up my swim with a solo kayak in search of a lost buoy. Got some good resistance from a stiff headwind. Took a nap in the hammock before our packing up and heading back to Cwood. Time went by way too fast.
Aug 21 Strength - Spent the first half of the day hanging out with friends. Resisted the urge to go cliff jumping and took pictures instead. Finally got out for a strength session in the afternoon. I always feel ansy when I don’t train early in the day. Felt good to throw some weights around.
Aug 20 - First full day at the Ellis cottage. Got out in the water after a late breakfast for a paddle with Jeff. Just explored around the lake. Only one session for the day.
Aug 19 - Up at 5am to gather our triathlon gear and head over to Bala. Was going to sit out the race because of my sore foot but got caught up in the pre-race energy and decided I could just do the swim and bike. Did my first open water swim over 750m. Took me half the course to get my breathing down. Headed out on the bike with plenty of people to chase. Hard not to continue onto the run but fun to cheer Jeff in for 4th overall. Got to the cottage in the afternoon just in time for me to crash for a big nap. Vacation is officially on!
Aug 18 - Slept in and made blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup and enjoyed a nice morning with Jeff after five weeks apart. Then put our road bikes together and went for a road ride. Super nice riding around the Collingwood area, very different from Anchorage. Stopped for lunch 2-hrs in and then road home. Took a nap in the afternoon sun. Just a great chill day.
Aug 17 - Up early to fly to Toronto. Ticket agent recognized my Olympic ring and let me check in my ski bag for free. Also got upgraded to First Class, big thanks to Air Canada! Finally met up with my husband and spent the rest of the day visiting friends and family.
Aug 16 - Slept in and then did some yoga with the girls before heading to the airport. Got my enormous ski bag checked in without issue and embarked on my 15-hr journey to Toronto. Unfortunately got delayed in Iceland and missed my connection to Toronto. So I spent the night in Halifax.
Aug 12 - Tunnel day. Classic ski easy distance in the tunnel in the morning. Tested some new skis from Fischer. Took a nap after lunch and then headed back to the tunnel for an afternoon skate ski. Tested some more new skis. Did some running on the outdoor ski trails after my ski session. t was a beautiful, sunny and hot day outside, kind of funny to be all bundled up and skiing inside!!
Aug 11 - Day off from training. Spent the morning packing up and did some yoga with the girls while we waited for our laundry to wash. Drove two hours back to Torsby for the 2nd half of the camp.
Aug 10 - Classic threshold intervals. Mix of double-pole and some dp with kick. Good to work together. Pm easy run warm up and power strength session. Tomorrow is a rest day!
Aug 9 - Long morning run in the bogs at an easy distance pace. Then an afternoon skate session with some no poles skiing.
Aug 8 Race & Strength - Skate sprint time trial in the morning. Coaches made a course with high-speed over the first half, then a challenging uphill and a flat finish. First time I’ve had to go all out in a while. Got that all-too-familiar “am I going to puke?” sensation after the qualifier. Quick turnaround, just 23 min, until the quarterfinals started. Added in an extra round too to make five all-out efforts. Got some really tough competition from the Swedish Team 2015 girls on slightly faster skis. Managed to be first to the finish line in all but the last round. Hard but great workout. Took a big nap in the afternoon and then did a core strength session at the gym and then specific strength on classic rollerskis. A big day all-around finished with evening bowling competitions.
Aug 7 - Started off the camp with a 3-hour run in the bogs just above our cabins. Pouring rain when we started made the bogs nice and soggy. Felt good to run with the group and get caught up with everyone. Afternoon rollerski session on classic skis. Formed two big pacelines and did “Indian run” style speed with the last skier sprinting up to the front of the group. Then some distance training after. Total hours for the day, five big ones!!
Aug 6 - Strength - Morning strength session just to spark the body a little bit and then will take the rest of the day off. SWE-USA camp starts tomorrow, want to be rested and ready to train hard. Jammed on my computer while a couple of the others skied in the tunnel. Driving to Salen this afternoon.
Aug 5 – Skate distance again in the tunnel. Went back and forth between the new carbon skate boots and my regular boots. I am really liking the feel of the new boot, so light!! Did a few speeds through the session. Took the pm off to take a nap, get a massage and hang out while watching the Olympics.
Aug 4 – Met up with Matt and the rest of the team at the ski tunnel in Torsby. Testing the new boots with Salomon for a few days before our camp starts with the Swedish women’s team. Felt good to be in the cold air and back on snow. Picnic’d with the girls and Matt in the sun for lunch and then headed out on a pm solo double-pole. Explored some back country roads.
Aug 3 – Skate over-distance session around Orsa-Mora with Anna and Liz. Anna’s sister Fia followed us a bike. The time flew by while we covered the 50km. Started to get pretty hungry by the end so we stopped at the gas station for some bolle (think awesome cinnamon rolls). Just the trick to get us home, I felt like a new person after eating! Missed my afternoon nap finishing the final few pages of “the Hunger Games.” Left on a bike ride to the strength center but encountered a full on down-pour and arrived at the gym soaking wet and muddy. Followed Anna’s strength plan and then rode home.
Aug 1 – Repeated one of my favorite interval sessions from our trip here last summer, 6×10 min threshold skating up to the alpine area. Anna, Liz and I took turns leading and had a great workout. It took us 45min to ski home and ended up being a 2.5hr total workout, but it was worth it. Fit in an awesome lunch and a short nap and then headed out again for a distance dp and then some strength. Anna jumped in with us and followed our strength plan. I’m sure she will torture us with some of her exercises next time. Made enchiladas for dinner and got rave reviews from Anna’s parents.
July 30 – Woke up early to catch a train to Mora. Met up with Anna Haag’s mother, grabbed some lunch and then headed out on a three-hour double pole roller ski around a big lake – 47km total. We did this route last year with Anna and just had to retrace our way by memory. Only did a small detour. Had a nice evening settling in at the Haag household.
July 29 – Opted to take an extra rest day after three solid weeks of training. Hard to miss out on a 3-hr bog run but made up for it with some awesome lego building with the Lillefjell boys. Saw some 5,000 yr old rock carvings too. And watched lots of Olympics. Not a bad day after all!
July 28 – Met some of Frode’s club kids for a bounding workout up to the radio tower. Did some longer threshold intervals following Liz. Got quite hot and sweaty during the workout. Took a big nap. DP warm-up before strength and then some lifting at the brand new Steinkjer sport center, super nice!! Rain started to pour just as we got done.
July 27 – Classic and double-pole distance around the main Steinkjer roller ski loop. Sun was out and it was really nice to be warm. Worked on double-pole technique with Frode and really found a good groove towards the end. Spent some time after lunch working on my training log, making sure it is up to date. Afternoon bike ride from Frode’s house. Just rode mountain bikes on a mix of paved and dirt roads. Nice evening and it felt really good to ride.
July 26 – Skate distance around a big loop. Got to go back to the “video game road”. Beautifully paved roads in the rolling country terrain. Found some good climbs as well. Was supposed to go 2hrs but the loop took 2.5km – 40km total, max speed 61 kmph! Packed up and headed back to Steinkjer. Ran another loop around the bog above the house.
July 25 – Classic and dp over distance workout. Crossed the big bridge and made some loops. Found the most perfect looking road. Reminded me of being in a video game. Covered almost 50km and felt good the whole way. Afternoon nap back at the cabin and then ran to strength. Did our workout in the tiniest little strength room but found everything we needed. Joined by Frode’s nephew Oliver. Evening BBQ hosted by Terje (the owner of the cabins we are staying in). Got to meet Petter Northug’s father and mother and shot a gun for the first time in my life. Just a .22 but still fun to knock beer cans off the dock!
July 24 – Distance run from the house up into the bog and a big loop around some of the lakes. Crazy to run on the spongy surface, quite theraputic for the legs. Drove a little south to Sandvikhamn to Frode’s sister’s cabin. Had the best lunch. Early evening skate distance. Started into a headwind and was gradual uphill on the way out. Skied by the Northug farm. Super sweet on the way back with a tailwind!
July 23 – Rest day. Up early to travel to Trondheim and meet up with my former coach Frode Lillefjell and his family. Nice relaxing afternoon just checking out the farm and playing with the boys.
July 22 – Went for an easy distance cruise with Liz to workout the race fatigue and then hit up a strength session. Felt good to be explosive and do some lifting. Met up with an Alaskan friend that is working in Stavanger for a little sight-seeing and a sweet hike up to the Mannefossen. Evening dinner w/some Americans and Canadians that work in Norway. Had to navigate the public transit to get home.
July 21 Race - Double-pole distance workout with the Swiss, French and some of the Norwegian girls. Borrowed some faster roller skis and had a much better time hanging in the pack this time. Really scenic loop with awesome terrain and nice pavement. Afternoon Blink sprint race around the Sandnes course. Led most of the quarterfinal. Skied a little more tactical in the semi and advanced to the final. Made a good move on the 2nd lap to be in great position off the final corner but scrapped the bolts of my ski on the ground in the final sprint and lost momentum. Ended up sixth. Need to work on my sprint technique on roller skis I guess.
July 20 Race - Went for a distance double pole with some of the Norwegian and Swiss girls. Our roller skis turned out to be slower than the others and it was hard work to try and keep up. Felt pretty whooped after the session. Afternoon 10km criterium race on the 750m race loop. Did a long warm-up to try and get used to the race speed skis. Got out to a good start in the 10km mass start crit on stage 2 and tried to sprint for some preems. Lost touch with the leaders just after halfway but had a good battle for fifth place. Super fun new format for me.
July 19 Race – Pre-breakfast jog with Liz, haven’t done one of those for a while. Took a two-hour boat ride out to Lysboten for the start of the uphill race at the Blink Festival in Norway. Got to see people BASE jumping off the high cliffs on our way there, crazy!! Warmed up on the race organizer provided roller skis. Only got to see the opening kilometer before the race. Crazy and chaotic start as usual. Was trying not to get poles broken. Things spread out once we got climbing. Followed Liz through the 1km long dark dark tunnel. Had to settle into my own rhythm with 4km to go. Caught a couple girls in the last 2km and sprinted it out for the finish to claim 6th. Hard but fun!! Liz took third – great. Took the 2-hr boat ride back and then headed out for a cool down run. Actually felt quite good!
July 18 – Classic roller ski from our hotel. Out along the fjord again. Added in a little zone 3 to get ready for tomorrow’s race. Took the train into Stavanger for the afternoon and met up with an Alaskan friend. Ran an hour long loop around the city and then enjoyed the sun down by the harbor.
July 17 – Slept in and almost missed breakfast. Got out for an easy roller ski around noon, just in time for a downpour. Afternoon run with some Norwegian-based Alaska friends. Evening trip to the theater. Pumped to be back in the land of good bread and brown cheese!
July 15 – Spent the morning packing up for my 5-week trip to Norway-Sweden-Canada. Always hard to say goodbye to home, hubby and the kitties, but excited for some roller ski racing and sweet training and then some lake time in Ontario. It’s going to be awesome!! Flying over the pole, will be in Frankfurt in 9hrs and then five more to get to Sandnes.
July 14 – Got up early to start a combo-OD before Jeff’s race started. Did the first half of the workout double-poling and the second half on foot. Cheered on Jeff during the bike and run while training, it’s a great way to spectate. Went straight from the race to a company picnic to sign posters and let people pose for pictures with the crystal globe. Was just able to fit in a SUBWAY stop and a short nap before riding my road bike over to the gym for that delayed strength session. Ended the night feeling pumped with a good day (and week) of training.
July 13 – SJoined up with my APU teammates for some Zone 3-4 double-pole intervals. Windy and rainy made the pavement a little slow but we were still able to hammer pretty good. Kept the intervals controlled but finished at sprint race pace to work on movement patterns. Really had to fight to keep my technique together on the last one. In the afternoon I got my hair re-pinked at Halo salon, which takes a little while, so I ended up bumping my strength training to the next day.
July 12 – Skate distance roll from sea-level up to 2,000ft over the course of 2.5 hrs. Mostly distance pace but threw in a few speeds along the way and skied with teammate Becca Rorabaugh. Legs coming back around after the post-recovery week heaviness. In the pm I met Jeff out at Kincaid to preview the run course for the XTERRA triathlon he would be doing on Saturday. Man, Kincaid Park has some good hills! Legs were feeling the climbing from the morning.
July 11 – Took my faster roller skis out for a double-pole on the flats today to work on my float. Met up with my Aunt Mary at halfway and she followed me on a bike through the rest of the workout. For the afternoon workout Jeff and I did a spin workout on our bikes indoors while watching the ESPY awards on TV. I’ve been so busy training I have missed out on so many of the big sporting events during the year!!
July 10 – Bounding intervals with poles on one of our standard APU routes – five times the approx 4-minute loop. Did the first four at a solid L4 pace and then max effort on the last one. Took times, heart rates and lactates and will compare to previous data. Gives me a good indication of where I’m at energy-system wise. Afternoon warm-up on the spin bike and then a strength session. Still killer sore from my first session of roll-outs last week, so the core was hard!!
July 9 – Skate distance session from home to get done in time for a Fast and Female conference call about “international expansion.” Threw in a few speeds during my ski. Legs feeling a little tired still from the previous period. Three-hour nap in the afternoon to recharge and then a pm run with my hubby. Convinced him to run over his hour-threshold (he’s retired now) and finished off the workout with some core strength on our front lawn. Watched Jeff play some beach volleyball (AK style) in the evening.
July 8 – Recovery day. Sent off our final house guest and got to work getting reorganized again. Sometimes I just enjoy a good garage cleaning!
July 7 – Over-distance double-pole roll “Tour of Anchorage” – a 56km loop from my house, dp’ing with Chandra. Great way to get the easy-to-use muscles worn out and really work on body position, sequence and efficiency. Felt pretty decent by the end. Took a big nap after lunch and played 9-holes of golf with Jeff, Chandra and our friend Paul for the afternoon activity.
July 6 – Uphill intervals on foot with poles. Did 3×10 mins at threshold pace with the last couple minutes a little faster. Felt good to do a little intensity again. Afternoon double-pole session to warm-up for strength and then a good strength session. Progressed to some harder core exercises, going to feel that tomorrow!!
July 5 – Woke up early to see Liz off at the Kenai airport and then packed our things to get back to Anchorage. Went for a short morning jog with our friend’s dog, kind of fun to be pulled at higher speed. Got out for another run in the afternoon with Chandra and Heidi from the house.
July 4 – Happy 4th of July!! Spent a nice morning making breakfast and hanging with our Homer cabin hosts, Sally and Burky. Loaded up the boat and headed back to the mainland. Drove a couple hours to the town of Soldotna, and went running on their local ski trails. The girls and I re-enacted my sophomore year XC running state title victory. Then drove on to Kenai and had an excellent dinner of fresh salmon and an awesome boat tour on the the Kenai river at dusk.
July 3 – Slept in. After breakfast we headed out for a walk at low tide to check out all the sea-creatures that laid uncovered by the Bay. Super cool starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, bald eagles, otters, etc. Hopped into some boats and water bikes after lunch for a tour around Peterson Bay. Spent half the tour in a sea-kayak and half on a water bike (which are way fun by the way!!). PM took a short nap, then a hot sauna and a couple big leaps into the ocean. Sweet rest day and new Alaskan adventure!!
July 2 – A farewell breakfast to officially close the 2012 NAWTA camp at our favorite downtown spot, Snow City Cafe. Then loaded up our small AK Adventure contingent of Liz, Chandra, Corey, Heidi and myself. Drove four hours down to the sea-side town of Homer. Took in the local scene on the “Spit”, grabbed some gourmet pizza to go and met our host Burky at the dock for the 20 min ride across the Bay. Arrived at one of the more cool ocean side cabins I’ve ever been to!
July 1 – Canada Day!! Met the team at APU for a short run and a strength session. Got right back into it and did the full menu. Felt good to run, jump, climb and lift!! Spent the rest of the afternoon getting everything ready for our Canada Day BBQ at the house. Had an awesome night of good food, lawn games, Jeff’s band “Midtown Revival” playing and hanging out after a successful camp.
June 30 – Final day on the glacier. Got out for some classic intervals – 4×12 mins on the lower loop. Track was pretty soft and getting slower every lap. Combined with the building fatigue of the camp, it was a mental challenge to keep pushing. Felt good to get that workout finished. Afternoon easy distance classic session. Clouds rolled back in and out. Got to fly out. Dinner at Moose’s Tooth.
June 29 – Skate team sprint relay on the upper loop. Four woman teams, 3 short sprint sections. Super fast and wild. Midway through the relay, a helicopter came buzzing overhead with Jeff and our friends from North Carolina. Managed to face plant a couple times. Super fun!! Distance skiing afterward. Sun was out. Took a bunch of pictures in our NAWTA outfits. Afternoon classic distance. Evening TALENT SHOW was a total riot. Each relay team had to come up with a talent. Our group did singing chins!
June 26 – Snowing during our am skate session but the snow stayed firm and silky. Got some video footage to review later. Took another monster nap in the afternoon. Pm classic session. Easy distance mixed with some short speed and start practice. Super fun to mix it up with the big group. Finished off with more striding in the fog and a delicious dinner. Coach Grover presented footage and info for the Sochi Olympics.
June 25 – Skate distance in the morning. Conditions were a little soft which was good practice for finding float. Another solid nap between sessions and then back out for a distance classic ski. My Polar RCX5 tells me I logged 56km for the day and burned about 4,500 calories. A good first day!
June 24 – Slept in and had a nice relaxed recovery day on the glacier. Did a short easy spin in the afternoon and helped cook dinner. Logged 14 hours of sleep.
June 23 – Long distance run from APU up to Glen Alps – 26km in just under three hrs with some solid elevation gain. Found out we needed to fly up to the glacier 18hrs sooner than expected so packed up and flew in. Enjoying a beautiful night up on Eagle!
June 22 – Classic roller ski time trial up Potter. Took a turn leading on the flats and into the climb but didn’t have the impulse to keep up with a hard-charging Liz Stephen and Jessie Diggins. Still happy to have eclipsed my PR by 30 secs. Big nap in between sessions and then running and weights.
June 19 – Skate roll intervals this am. Had to change our course a couple times due to moose on the trail. Awesome pack skiing on fast terrain. Took turns leading. Really good for working on technique. Afternoon run and strength session. Felt surprisingly springy. Local ski family hosted us for a bbq right after strength, so grateful to have dinner already prepared!
June 18 – First session of the 2nd annual NAWTA Training Camp. Double-pole speed. Super fun to mix it up with so many fast ladies. Afternoon point-to-point run on a course I’ve never even done before. Solid first day!
June 17 – Leisurely Father’s Day hike with my Dad. Nicest and hottest day of the summer in Alaska so far. NAWTA Camp starts tomorrow!
June 16 – Skate over-distance roller ski. Toured all around the Anchorage Hillside. Had a sweet train of ladies all decked out in neon colors. Skied over 50km and managed to get up to 43mph on one of the downhills!! Super fun to be showing the out-of-towners our most awesome training venues. Sun was out big time and finished off a great workout with waffles on my deck!
June 15 – Another day for climbing. Did a pace workout running mostly uphill with poles. Steady effort. Had our little cool-down up in the mountains and got in some snow sliding too. Needed a big nap in the afternoon before heading out for a skate distance roll and some strength. Sky is finally clearing off.
June 14 – Woke up early to fit in a dentist appt before training. Met up with the APU team for a distance classic roll. Started at sea level and climbed up to 2,200ft. Threw in some short speeds along the way. PM distance run from home around the ski trails. No major wildlife sightings.
June 13 – Went for a pre-breakfast jog with Aikku (Saarinen’s nickname) and then headed out the door for a distance double-pole through the middle of town. Ended up going a little longer than planned, bonus time!! Afternoon was busy getting ready for a fancy gala fundraiser. Chandra Crawford flew in and now we have a full house!
June 12 – Early morning DP intervals at Kincaid with Jessie. Raining and windy. First hard DP sesh of the year, definitely worked the upper body. Jumped in the car right after and picked up Aino-Kaisa Saarinen from the airport. PM run in the rain and strength at APU.
June 11 – Jessie and I joined the other APU ladies for skate roller ski distance session and some speeds. The other clubs in town were all out at the same venue so it must have looked like a roller ski convention out there!! Stopped in at Costco on the way back to load up on training fuel for the week. Evening run on the trails by my house with Jessie and then a family bbq. Full day!
June 10 – Spent the morning cleaning up the house for teammate Jessie Diggins’ arrival. Picked her up and after a little chill time, we hit the trails for a little Sunday jog. My calves were super sore from the race but felt good to stretch out a little. Mostly a rest day.
June 9 – Joined 7,000 ladies for the 2012 Alaska Run for Women 5-mile road race. Got to “run some red lights” on my way to a personal best time of 28:18 – a PR by almost a minute!! Felt a hot spot forming on the underside of my foot about a mile in, which ended up turning into a giant blood blister. Was running in new racing flats, rookie mistake!! Cooled down by running backwards along the course, super inspirational to see so many women getting out on a Saturday morning! Had a quick turnaround for an afternoon weight session before heading off to join my APU teammates to cook a five-course meal that we auctioned off as a fundraiser. Full day!
June 8 – Slept in and didn’t get out training until almost 11am. Air temps warmed up a little bit and I had a very pleasant skate distance tour from home. Threw in a few short speeds during my ski as well. Headed out for a dp roll in the pm, also a little late. The wind picked up while I was on my way out and I ended up having to power into a pretty decent headwind on the way home. That, and the course is slightly more uphill on the way back…felt a little bonkish by the end.
June 7 – Rode my bike from home on a big loop around the perimeter of the city, 61K/38 miles. Had rain, wind, clouds and sun, and even ran into a few of my teammates out there. Spent the rest of the afternoon stretching and napping at home and then got out for a classic distance roll in the pm. Put my tunes on and made up a new loop. Quick turnaround post-workout to host an annual meeting of the Alaska Winter Olympians Foundation. Crazy that we started our foundation 10 years ago now!
June 6 – Will be doing a running race on Saturday so moved my long workout to today. Skied just over two hours of DP from home and then transitioned to running shoes. Felt a little bit like I was coming off the bike in a triathlon. Also felt better and better through the run and finished feeling strong at 3:15. Afternoon massage and then cooked a healthy dinner with my in-laws.
June 5 – Running intervals with the team on the ski trails. Did 5x8min L3 laps around a set course. Felt good to let the legs loose and run. Did the intervals with Holly. Mosquitos are already out so you didn’t want to stop for long. Finally got in a nap. Met up with the team again in the pm for a easy distance DP before strength session.
June 4 – Back into training mode. Went for a distance skate roller ski from home with some short speeds sprinkled in. Realized that I haven’t roller skied very much so far this new training season. Afternoon distance run with my hubby. Legs were a little heavy, not sure whether it was from just having run the last four days straight or whether it’s a post-rest-week groggy feeling.
June 1 – Final early am session on the treadmill before my 9am bus ride to Seoul. Got to the airport six hours early but gave me some good time to hammer on some computer work – then a 9.5-hour flight to Seattle. Took a 2-day stop-over to surprise my friend for her medical school graduation. Even managed to fit in an afternoon run.
May 31 – Early am treadmill run workout before an all-day excursion to the 2018 Olympic venues. Snuck in a nap on the bus ride home and then dragged myself down to the fitness center for another short bout on the elliptical. Celebrated the winners of the 2017 World Championship bids in the evening to close out my official FIS business for the week.
May 30 – Finally fit in a 6am treadmill session before breakfast and more meetings and then got in a strength workout during a free period in the afternoon. Ventured out for dinner at a local Korean BBQ family style place, ending my streak of 72 consecutive hrs in the hotel.
May 28-29 – So busy with meetings and presentations and the 16-hr time change that I just had to let go of training for a couple days. Very productive though and really fun to be able to represent the voices of the athletes.
May 26 – Missed my alarm for my 4am pickup but still made it to the airport. Now en route to Kangwonland, South Korea. Had a 7-hr layover in Seattle so found an athletic club near the airport and met some nice ladies in the parking lot whom I followed to a spin class and then a Cenergy yoga class. I’ve never sweated so much in my life! Good to get the blood flowing before an 11-hr flight to Seoul!
May 25 – Snowing like mad up at Mt. Bachelor, sweet ZERO conditions. Classic threshold intervals with a preem sprint line midway. Took turns leading with a solid women’s group. Last chance PT and nutrition check-in and a final strength session used up the whole afternoon. Quick pack job before a ‘Shins’ concert. Off to Korea tomorrow for the FIS meetings.
May 24 – Fresh snowfall right around the freezing mark made for some squirlly tracks this morning but the skiing was still quite good. Worked on some DP only for the first hour and then strided the remainder. Got a 2nd wind around the 2:15 mark and finished my ski feeling really good. Rain poured all afternoon but we got out there any way. Sweet distance run w/Liz, Holly and Matt in Shevlan Park for my first run over an hr this season.
May 23 – After some successful PT on a sore achilles, I decided to give it one more day to rest up and skipped the skate relay time trial and just skied distance. Solid 2-hr distance session in the am. Focused on the core and upper body for the pm strength session.
May 20 – Morning long classic ski up at Mt. Bachelor. Skied with my coach and talked training and technique the whole 3hrs. Got a short break for homemade waffles before leading a 3-hr Fast and Female event. Need to work on my coordination for Zumba!
May 19 – Big day in Bend with the Pole Pedal Paddle event. Our women’s team divided into two teams of three where we each competed in two legs. I did the Alpine and bike legs for my team. The Alpine was super fun and the bike was a real leg burner but Sadie, Jessie and I pulled off the win for the Open Women’s category. We waited around for a couple hours to accept our awards and then went straight to a weight session. Busy day!
May 18 – Snow froze overnight so conditions were nice and firm, although a bit bumpy. Good balance practice. After a short warm-up we got a speed session going – 3×15-20sec stations around a 3km loop. We formed a big ladies train and got after it. Two laps of speeds w/easy skiing in between stations. One recovery lap and then two more speed laps. Then distance training followed. Got in a nap finally in the afternoon. For the afternoon session, I did a run/bike combo to get familiar with the PPP course and the bike I’ll be riding tomorrow.
May 17 – First session on snow, classic. Tracks were nice and fresh and the klister conditions were excellent. Got to meet up with several of my gal pals for an easy distance session. Busy afternoon getting gear together for the weekend’s PPP race. PM run by the river and strength session. Fun to be back training with my US teammates.
May 16 – All finished with testing and off to Bend. An easy direct flight from SLC to Redmond, lunch at Strictly Organic Coffee Roasters and then an afternoon run by the river. Lovely day.
May 15 – Test day #2. Got to meet Alberto Salzaar and some of his Nike team before we got started. They seemed happy to just watch us test “Near max” classic, VO2 Max classic and VO2 Max double-pole were the torture tests of today. Always fun to test yourself at the limits of your performance. Going to fall asleep fast tonight, wiped!
May 14 – First round of testing at the COE. “Near max” skate, strength and mobility and an altitude response tests. Spent 11hrs straight without even going outside. Evening birthday celebration for our teammate Simi.
May 13 – An early Mother’s Day breakfast with my Mom and then traveling down to PC for two days of testing before our first US Ski Team XC camp of the new season begins in Bend, OR.
- AM roller ski double-pole from home. A sore achilles is forcing me to put some work in the upper body for a few days. I spent the afternoon helping out at a Habitat for Humanities build project and then packed up my stuff to head to Bend Camp.
May 10 – Morning DP session from home. Joints start to ache a bit around the 1-hr mark so I have to ease myself back into the longer workouts. Spent a good chunk of the day hanging out with some elementary kids on the last day of their Healthy Futures ARISE running program. Over six weeks the kids ran a total of 1,338 miles! Afternoon workout was a cold road bike ride. Missing the riding in Maui already!
May 9 – Classic klister skiing up in the mountains at Hatcher Pass. Good practice for this summer’s glacier skiing. Took the afternoon off.
May 8 – First rollerski of the year, just double poled an hour to ease the joints into it. Then transitioned on to my mountain bike for a 55-min climb up the ski area access road. Ran with some elementary school kids right after training and then crashed for a 1.5 hr nap. Afternoon strength session. Body is feeling a little more tired in the second week of training!
May 7 – Rest day slept in! Spent some quality time at Home Depot picking out the next home improvement project with my hubby Jeff.
May 6 – Bike for women time trial. Always good to try a new challenge. Hard but fun. Got to ride a fancy bike! Finished 4th to some awesome biker chicks.
May 5 – Long distance crust ski adventure on today’s plan. Met up with a couple teammates and ventured into the Anchorage Alps. Found some powder for figure 8′s on the backside. Encountered some tricky breakable crust on the way back that must have been quite hilarious to watch us try to go down. Finished at 3.5 hrs and then watched a HS track meet and took the pm off. On track after the 1st big week back!
May 4 – Scoped out the bike course for this weekend’s time trial and tested out the TT bike I’m borrowing. Not quite as warm as Maui last week but still felt good to ride. Back in the weight room for strength sesh #2 of the week in the aft. Core strength is not exactly how I remembered it – hard!
– More crust skiing but just distance today. Cruised zone 1-2. Hit up the track for some more speed, 12x100m, in the afternoon. Running legs feeling better already.
May 2 – A few short skate intervals in zone 4 just to spark the system followed by some great crust skiing in a new valley I hadn’t been to before. Took the afternoon off from training and got a massage to help absorb the first few days of training.
May 1 – Excellent crust skiing conditions in the mountains above Anchorage. Within a 12-min drive from my house I was out on the snow for 3.5 hrs of skating with my APU teammates. Days like this make me really love “my job.” Got back in the weight room in the aft. Slowly building myself back into my strength routine.
April 30 – First official training day of the new season. Kicked it off with zone 4 classic intervals in the am on snow and some running and track speeds in the afternoon. After a month away from the ski scene it actually feels good to be back in the rhythm again.
April 29 – Got back into Anchorage at 5am. Spent the morning catching up on sleep. Meant to get out for a light run but managed to get carried away taking care of stuff that had accumulated from the vacation. Starting back to training tomorrow!
April 28 – Morning run and then a dip in the ocean with my Hubby. Last day in the tropics before we head back to the snow. It’s been a really nice month off and I’m looking forward to getting back into a training rhythm.
April 27 – Up at 5:30am to drop a friend off at the airport, so took advantage of being up early to get in another stand up paddle board session on calm water. Spent the afternoon refining my golf swing at the driving range.
April 26 – Met up with ski team friend Julia Mancuso for a ride up Haleakala. A great way to catch up after a long season and gain some altitude at the same time.
April 25 – Awesome 70-mile ride today in 4.5 hours thru the northeast coast of Maui along the Hana highway. Super fun to dip and roll through the rain forest. Rain washed away some of the sun screen though so got a little rosey. Starting to get used to this big ride in the am, big nap in the pm schedule!!
April 24 – Sweet 4-hr, 62-mile road bike ride around the West lobe of Maui. Some fresh made banana bread kept me going strong after halfway. Feels good to be warm on the bike! Afternoon big nap once again!
April 23 – Morning stand up paddling boarding session, although got out a little late and had to battle the wind. Really good for balance training!! Afternoon big nap and then a short run down toward Oprah’s compound. Dinner w/Jessie Diggins and Lenny Valjas.
April 22 – Woke up early to beautiful sun and the birds chirping. After some delicious coffee made by our buddy Paul, we got out on the road bikes and descended the “Drunken Road” down to sea level from 3,000ft. Wicked head/cross winds over the last couple miles but nice to get the push on the way back up!! Couldn’t help but throw in a couple intervals. Total ride 3hrs. Afternoon nap and chill.
April 21 – Final ski on the local trails before packing up and heading to Maui. It’s great to be home but there are way too many distractions to truly relax and recover. Plus, when you chase winter around all year, you need some sun and warmth!
April 20 – Had a bunch of media appointments through the day and then took some photos for the Wall Street Journal. The strength training shots are going to make me sore tomorrow!! Snuck in a short pm run with Jeff around our neighborhood loop before watching my sister’s play.
April 19 – Local ski trails still being groomed daily by our awesome groomers at NSAA!! Trails were like butter! Did an awesome tour of the Hillside trails on skate skis with my hubby. Feels so good just to ski this time of year without any pressure to get ready for an upcoming race! Afternoon photo shoot in the mountains was really fun too.
April 18 – Reunited with a former Olympic teammate, Wendy Wagner, and headed into the backcountry for my first AT sesh of the year. Made two big runs over four hours and got to catch up on how far the US cross-country ski program has come in the last six years! Super fun too to see Wags still ripping years after her competitive retirement!
April 17 – Another busy day getting ready for the welcome home celebration. Did a couple of non-traditional morning radio shows, then got my hair updated from the long winter by my friends at Halo Salon, and then straight off to the parade! Got to ride on top of one of the biggest pisten bully’s in the world and great the community celebrations with the crystal globe. Super fun to see everyone so fired up!!
April 16 – Busy in the morning hitting up a few morning radio shows and then running errands to get ready for tax day. Fighting sniffles all day so I opted to head to bed at 7:00pm instead of an evening ski.
April 15 – Woke up early for a beach run with the locals in Juneau. Felt good to stretch out and run some trails again. Then headed back to Anchorage.
April 13 – After just four days at home I packed up my stuff and headed down to our state capitol city of Juneau to watch my husband jam in the Alaska Folk Festival. Tomorrow I will be leading some ski clinics for the local ski club.
April 12 – Took full advantage of a beautiful sunny day and went crust cruising in the am for a couple hrs on skate skis and then hit up the alpine slopes for a few hrs in the afternoon. Sweet day!!
April 9 – It’s been a busy week in NYC visiting my brother. With so much racing under my belt this season I am taking this first official week of “vacation” super chill. Did a lot of walking and subway riding in Manhattan and just a couple short jogs to check out Central Park and the George Washington bridge. Today I am on my way back to Anchorage where I haven’t been since November 13th. Can’t wait to get home and see my hubby!
April 2 – Slept 12 solid hrs! Went for a walk with the Stephen family for an hour and that felt like all of the exercise that I wanted to do for the day. Joined Liz for a slideshow presentation about the season to the local ski community in the pm. We sure had a good time. Off to NYC tomorrow!!
April 1 – Super fun final day at Craftsbury for Fast and Female. A total of 115 girls joined us for some skiing, dancing and inspirational talks – five hours worth – and I ended up even more jazzed by the end!
Mar. 31 – Got to cheer on the men as they raced 33 laps around the 1.5km course for the 50km. Amazing!! Really fun to see the guys digging deep and leaving it all out there. Tonight, we will have a chance to dance and celebrate what’s been a great season. And tomorrow we get to dance it out again at Fast and Female. Pumped!
Mar. 30 Race – Finally we’ve come to the last race of the season. The organizers pulled off an amazing feat and saved 1.5km of snow for us to contest the 30km over 20 laps. I was happy to have rebounded from my cold just in time to ski in this season’s final race. The pace was high from the gun and with 10km to go, we were down to three. It was so much fun to be racin’ it out with my best buddies this season, Liz and Jessie and it was exciting all the way to the end. My quads were cramping badly but I managed to make it to the finish just in time to take the win. Now we can relax, let the whole season really sink in and celebrate some amazing results from the whole team!
Mar. 29 - Took an easy morning and then headed out to the race course after lunch. Trail was pretty deserted while I skied my 10 laps. Did a couple faster laps near race pace to test out the body. Didn’t feel great but might help for tomorrow. One more race left in the season!!!
Mar. 28 - Finally admitted to myself that racing while sick was not smart and decided to sit out the Hill Climb. Went for an easy jog and watched the race instead. Looked pretty tough. Hoping to rebound in time for Friday’s 30km.
Mar. 25 - Travel day. After spending the last 4.5 months of my life in Europe I am finally heading back to the mother land! Hoping to jump in the last of the SuperTour finals and the US Champs 30km to cap off the season.
Mar. 24 Race – Red Bull Nordix, what an awesomely fun and adrenaline packed day of racing!! The course was in much better shape today after they salted the heck out of it. Didn’t get a chance to test out the course before the quarters, but skied strong in the opening two rounds to make the final. Unfortunately got tangled a couple of times and couldn’t make it back up to the front, and had to settle for 4th. But still managed some decent air off the final jump. A great fun race to work on your downhill and pack skiing skills! Thanks to Red Bull for putting on a great event!
Mar. 23 – Moved back up to Holmenkollen for the Red Bull Nordix. No snow outside of the race course and temperatures worthy of a nice summer day. Got in a few training runs to test out the speed and the jumps. Got pretty slushy out there. Had a solid qualifying run to lead going into the heats tomorrow. It’s going to be wild!
Mar. 22 Race – Bislett sprint. Had good speed in the 500m and just missed out on the silver. Unfortunately was out early in the 100m race. Super fun racing in the track and field stadium. Snow was the same from Drammen!
Mar. 21 – Slept in and then enjoyed delicious American pancakes made by Andy Newell. Then off for some ice fishing in the sun. Long nap in the afternoon and orienteering before dinner.
Mar. 20 – No snow in the hometown of Emil Jönsson so we didn’t get to race the promised team sprint showdown of Newell-Randall vs Jönsson-Haag. But went for a nice run by the lake and pumped some iron in a heavy metal gym. Also had the first home-cooked Mexican meal in a long time!
Mar. 19 – Took an easy morning to sleep in after dancing the night away with the World Cup crew. Hanging with Anna [Haag] and Emil [Jönsson] for a few days and checking out some more of Sweden.
Mar. 16 Race – Prologue day at the World Cup Finals. Organizers salted the course so conditions were still firm even in the hot sun. Felt strong and skied to a new PR in 7th. USA had all three ladies in the top 13!! Two more to go!
Mar. 15 – Warm and sunny spring day in Falun. Not as much snow here as usual. Previewed the Prologue course and did one lap at zone 3. Body is feeling a little tired and achy after the Stockholm sprint but it’s a pretty normal feeling by this point in the year. Rest of the day ended up being busy with a press conference, photo shoot, and opening ceremonies.
Mar. 13 – Took a running tour around the royal palace and waterfront here in Stockholm. Then afternoon sesh on the course. Conditions were a bit soft and windy but it should be firmer for the race tomorrow.
Mar. 12 – Warm and sunny spring day as we leave Oslo for Stockholm. Got out for an easy jog to work out the stiffness from the 30km. Definitely sleepy tired the rest of the day.
Mar. 11 Race – There aren’t many sports where the spread of distances is 1.2km to 30km! Got to be out there for an hour and a half today. Pace was really fast off the line. Settled into a good pack after 5km and had a great mid-section up as high as 12th. Switched skis going into the last lap which were a little slicker. Arms were cramping and couldn’t make my skis kick well enough to hang with the my pack. Fought hard but dropped to 21st. Was aiming for top 15 but still a personal best at Holmenkollen! Now on to Sweden.
Mar. 10 – Tested skis and did some zone 3 skiing on the course with my teammates to get ready for tomorrow’s 30km. Then watched the grueling men’s 50km on TV. Also got to see US combiner, Bryan Fletcher, win his first World Cup. Pumped for tomorrow!
Mar. 9 – Another skate day to give the classic muscles a rest. Kept it easy but couldn’t help climbing a lot. Watched US ski jumper, Sara Hendrickson, receive the inaugural women’s ski jumping crystal globe. Used the afternoon to run over and visit some friends that live near the hotel.
Mar. 8 – Emotional energy was much higher than the physical energy. Plowed around for an easy skate ski and took the afternoon off from training. Got to have dinner with Bjorn Daehlie. He presented me with a bottle of champagne “…from one champion to another.” Super cool!
Mar. 7 Race – A bitter sweet day in Drammen but with emphasis on the SWEET. Qualified 10th and skied strong to move through the quarters. Unfortunately went down in the semis and my day ended early – but 11th place locked up the sprint overall title!
Mar. 6 – Woke up and enjoyed a sweet Norwegian breakfast buffet before heading out for an easy run. Did my race prep workout up at the Holmenkollen in the afternoon. Looks quite different from Worlds here last year. Drammen CL sprint tomorrow!
Mar. 5 – A nice sunny, and chilly morning in Lahti. Went for an easy skate ski with Liz and Jessie. Off to Oslo after lunch.
Mar. 4 Race – Psyched with a strong showing in the Lahti classic sprint. Qualified 5th and skied strong through the rounds to make the final. Ran out of gas and couldn’t quite hang with the leaders but finished 5th overall and held on to the red bib. Two more to go!
Mar. 3 Race – Pursuit day in Lahti. Felt a little heavy in the opening kms but opened up through the race and skied up to 12th. A good first race to start this final period. Psyched to sprint tomorrow!!!!
Mar. 2 – Tested skis and tested the body for Saturday’s skiathlon. Still feeling a little groggy from altitude but it felt good to rev up a bit, especially with my teammates. Got out into town for a little SUBWAY fuel and shopping before the pre-dinner run. Pumped for tomorrow!
Mar. 1 – Carried out some ski testing and re-familiarizing ourselves with the Lahti distance courses. Feeling a little creaky coming off a long travel day but nice to be back at sea level again. PM off. Lahti is always a refeshing place to come, being right in the city with a chance to find some new clothes and perhaps hit up the local Subway!
Feb. 29 – Smooth travel day up to Lahti – a 4-hr drive, then a 2.5-hr plane ride and another 2-hr drive. No training.
Feb. 28 – Did some short classic intervals to tune up for the weekend. Joined by friends Crawford and Bohner. A good kick in the pants. Didn’t feel the best but it should do the trick to complete this short Davos training block. Fit in my last full strength session of the season too. Lahti here we come!
Feb. 27 – Sun was back out. Easy distance skate workout in the morning. Got in some sweet turns off piste. Afternoon off.
Feb. 26 – Fresh falling snow around the freezing mark made for some challenging classic intervals. Did 3 x 8-min in zone 3. Nice to build into a good rhythm and focus on technique. Had to keep it controlled for the altitude. Afternoon jog to finish up a pretty light week of training due to the sickness.
Feb. 25 – Added in a little speed to my easy distance classic today. Felt good to go fast. Did a couple double pole sprints with my buddy Chandra, always more fun with friends! Afternoon jog by the lake while awaiting the day’s race results to pour in.
Feb. 24 – Sun was out and the trails were immaculate. Did a little skate skiing with my GO PRO headcam. Still keeping things conservative. Afternoon run and light strength session.
Feb. 23 – Finally feeling more normal. Went out for another easy and short classic ski. Still feel like I’ve run over by a semi but feels great to be outside. Anxious to train but playing it cool. Went for a pm jog around the lake.
Feb. 22 – Starting to get a little energy and some appetite back. Went for a short easy classic ski, ended up more like an old woman’s shuffle. Slept through the midday and got out for a walk in the pm.
Feb. 21 – Feeling super wiped out. Spent the day in bed sleeping and watching movies. Missed out on a beautiful sunny day.
Feb. 20 – Woke up with another case of the stomach flu just in time for a 9-hr van ride from Poland to Davos. Not the most comfortable road trip I’ve ever done!
Feb. 19 – A chill morning for me while some of my teammates took on the World Uphill Trophy. Went for a nice run with the boys through the woods. Coffee and crepes for lunch. Still getting lots of cheers when we walk through town, Polish fans are into it! Off to Davos tomorrow!
Feb. 18 Race – Super tricky waxing conditions in today’s 10km classic race. Started off with a good rhythm and was leading the splits through the first lap. Second lap was pretty tough but I kept digging and skied to a personal best distance classic result in 8th. So glad to be feeling healthy again!
Feb. 17 Race - Another wild day at the office. Crashed in the opening meters of the final and had to chase my way back into the pack. Got the lead off the final turn but didn’t have the gas to hold onto it to the line. Lost the photo finish for 2nd but pumped to take the bronze. Now back to distance !
Feb. 16 – Back to 100% and ready to rock tomorrow. Did some fast laps around the sprint course. Good to get the body revved up again.
Feb. 15 – Quite the blizzard out there at the venue today. Just skied some more easy distance classic with a few speeds. Having lots of fun with my new Polar G5 GPS – max speed on the downhills today was 49 kmph! Afternoon strength workout to get the body primed for Friday’s sprint!
Feb. 14 – Happy Valentines Day!! Scoped out the venue here in Poland. Tons of snow, sun was out and the skiing was excellent! Skated a few laps of the distance course and threw in a few short speeds on the sprint course. Haven’t been here since World Juniors in 2001. Afternoon run and really cold ice bath. Feeling better every day!
Feb. 11 – Tough to be on the sidelines today but it was great to see our men’s and women’s team gut out some challenging racing here in Nove Mesto. The pace was high in both classic races from the start and everyone raced their hearts out. I put in an easy distance classic ski on the tourist trails. Was a little under-dressed for the wind out in the open. Went for a nice jog in the pm with Liz. Just trying to be patient right now and get healthy.
Feb. 10 – Got to check out the courses after lunch. Did some skate skiing around the outside of the tracks. Decided to skip tomorrow’s 15km and just do the relay this weekend. Excited to cheer on my teammates tomorrow. Made some Valentines Day cards in the afternoon. PM run under the stars.
Feb. 9 – 8-hr van trip from Ramsau to Nove Mesto. Trip actually wen by pretty quick. Jumped out for a run with my teammates on arrival. Never been to Nove Mesto before, seems like a cool place so far.
Feb. 8 – Easy distance classic ski around the mountain. Tested out the GPS function on my new Polar RCX5, super cool to see my route laid out on google earth map! Afternoon run and strength session, my first in a while. Did some speed ladder drills!
Feb. 7 – Snowy morning in Ramsau. Went for an easy skate ski on my own. Nice to just zone out with my ipod. Afternoon jog. Still recovering from whatever it was that hit me last week.
Feb. 5 Race - Didn’t have the magic in today’s skiathlon. Body was a little flat and struggled to follow some good rides coming through – finished 25th. Still a super hard effort and good experience. Now leaving Russia and heading back to central Europe tomorrow.
Feb. 4 - Another brisk day here in Rybinsk. Got out for distance skate with some race prep while wearing double long underwear layers and two jackets. Opted to sit out today’s 10km but psyched for tomorrow. Super impressed to see our young teammate Jessie Diggins get a best-ever US distance result in 5th!!! Still managed to get out for an evening jog.
Feb. 3 – Slept in after the long travel and got in an afternoon training session. Cold here in Rybinsk too. Opting to skip tomorrow’s 10km skate race to make sure I recover fully from the stomach flu I had the other day. Planning to race on Sunday. Just did an easy distance classic ski. Snow was pretty slow and cold. Heading out for an evening jog now. Russia is an interesting place!!
Feb. 2 Race - Sprint day in Moscow. Funny how a temperature change of a few degrees from -20 to -15 can make such a difference!! Long and flat course in cold snow. Laid down a Decent qualifier in 7th. Got through the quarter finals to meet two of my teammates in the semis. USA controlled from the front until the last few meters. Jessie skied awesome and qualified for her first final while I just missed advancing and had to settle for 7th. Great to celebrate our first ever 3 skiers in the top 12 for our US team. Then we hopped on an 8-hr through-the-night bus ride to get to Rybinsk and arrived at 4am.
Feb. 1 – Got to inspect the Moscow sprint course and do a few test laps. Temp was around -20 C so it was pretty chilly. Nice to do my race prep workout with my teammates!
Jan. 31 – Traveled to Moscow. Air is a lot colder here! Got out for an evening jog with the girls. I think the venue for Thursday’s sprint is going to be pretty incredible!!
Jan. 30 – Day two of coming back from some sickness. Energy is slowly coming back. Driving to Munich en route to Moscow tomorrow.
Jan. 29 – Had to change my training plan today when I woke up feeling a little off. Spent the day resting instead. Sometimes you just have to be patient.
Jan. 27 – Did some natural L3 intervals classic up the long gradual climb on the “around the mountain” loop. Felt good to stride it out and play with some technique ideas. Afternoon off from training leaving some free time to get my pink streaks refreshed!
Jan. 26 – Easy distance classic in some of the most beautiful conditions I’ve skied in all winter. Even better enjoyed with my awesome teammates! Hard not to ski longer but still resting. Afternoon jog with my favorite tunes at sunset. Girl’s team dinner completed an awesome day.
Jan. 25 – Awesome girl’s team skate ski this morning. Just cruisin’ the Ramsau loops. Afternoon classic ski. Nice to put in some distance.
Jan. 24 – Got to meet up with our US Ski Team strength coach for the first time since the season started. Super fun to do some different stuff to challenge the body! Went to the Schladming night slalom after dinner to cheer on our friend Ligety.
Jan. 23 – Travel day from Talinn to Ramsau and will arrive for a late dinner. We hear there is lots of snow so should be great skiing!
Jan. 22 Race - A solid 10km classic for me today in Otepaa in 15th place. Didn’t feel very good warming up but built into the race and finished strong. Really psyched that our team skied so well today. Looking forward to some rest now and a little training.
Jan. 21 Race - A solid classic sprint result for me today in 9th. Felt the strongest in qualifying with the 7th fastest time. Raced in a fast quarterfinal heat and advanced to the semis as a lucky loser. Semi-final was fast too and unfortunately I ran out of gas and didn’t make the final. Flatter course made for super fast racing. Double-pole is getting better but still work to do. Did a slow cool down jog in the evening to cap a busy day. Tomorrow 10km classic!
Jan. 20 – Tested skis and took a couple of hot laps around the course. Going to be a tough course with lots of double poling. Got out again in the pm for a jog.
Jan. 19 – Did an easy skate while checking out the Otepaa courses. It’s snowing a lot!! Got in a run and some strength training in this afternoon.
Jan. 16 – Enjoyed a nice easy classic ski with my teammates around Seiser Alm this morning. Feeling pretty good after two hard days of racing. Took the afternoon easy with just a walk.
Jan. 15 Race - Another big day for Team USA and North America in the Milan team sprint! Had to come back from a crash in the exchange zone midway through the final but managed to snag 2nd place. Canada third! Now back to Seiser Alm for a couple days.
Jan. 14 Race - Felt better through the rounds in today’s freestyle sprint in Milan. Course was pretty flat which meant working the whole time. Had good energy in the final but didn’t carry my momentum well enough off the last turn and got out-gunned in the final 50m. Still psyched with 2nd. Quick turnaround for tomorrow’s team sprint.
Jan. 13 – Morning van ride to Milan. Arrived just in time to hit the course for a race prep workout – a 600m loop. In pretty good shape, right in downtown. Going to be fun tomorrow!
Jan. 12 – Celebrated Liz’s 25th birthday with a beautiful classic ski around the plateau. Big lunch in the sun and then some afternoon strength. Still feeling a little wonky from the Tour de Ski but psyched to head to Milan tomorrow!
Jan. 11 – A beautiful sunny day here in Seiser Alm! Went for an easy skate cruise down valley and back. Perfect cordoroy, birds chirping and some of the most epic mountains I’ve ever seen = nice ski! Still feeling pretty tired but starting to come around! PM jog.
Jan. 10 – Beautiful classic cruise around the plateau with Liz this morning, finished off with some tele turns down the alpine run. Your skis feel really skinny riding back up the lift! Big Italian lunch and then an afternoon nap. Great recovery day!
Jan. 9 – First day post-Tour. Slept in, had a great breakfast and then traveled over to Seiser Alm. It’s beautiful here, the perfect place to relax for a few days and recover. No training today, just a dip in the pool.
Jan. 8 Race - The 2012 Tour de Ski is in the history books! Psyched with my 1st top ten! Finished off the day with a night team sprint, took the victory with Liz Stephen. Still on our way home at 11:30pm! What a day!
Jan. 7 Race – Woke up with a lot of energy. Morning jog with my teammate. Blue skies for the first time in a while. Watched the men race and then prepared for our 3:45pm start. Had an awesome start and felt great skiing near the front on the 1st lap. Wheels started to come off on the 2nd lap but kept fighting and held on for 12th. Now 8th overall heading into the final day! Alpe Cermis, here we come!
Jan. 6 – Woke up in Val di Fiemme and had a nice late morning ski checking out the classic course and doing a short interval to keep the body firing. Afternoon contrast bath and massage for recovery. Food here is awesome. Last breath before the final two stages!
Jan. 5 Race – Another solid day in stage #7. Got chased down over the first half but responded well and skied in a fun pack over the last lap. Won the 3-way sprint for 5th. Now on to Val di Fiemme for a rest day and the final two stages.
Jan. 4 Race – Super pumped with the silver in today’s TdS skate sprint in Toblach! Qualified 3rd and then followed big moves by [Marit] Bjoergen and [Justyna] Kowalczyk in the final. Hard day but moved up to 4th overall. Six down, three to go!
Jan. 3 Race – Another long wait until the late afternoon start. Did some sprints and jumps in the morning to reawake the body. Snow conditions for the race were kinda funky. Decided to go on hardwax. Felt better than the result showed but may have been a little flat from the long travel. A good warm up for tomorrow’s sprint. Now officially past halfway!
Jan. 2 – Easy morning jog. Supposed to be an easy travel to Toblach but got held up a couple times and didn’t arrive until after dark which meant we missed skiing. Settled for a run instead.
Jan. 1 Race – Morning jog and then a long wait until the 3:45 start. A little stiff from my crash but still feeling good. Pace was mad out of the start. Drifted back a little during the classic but kept calm and moved up through the skate. Felt really good on the final climb. Almost got back up to 5th but ran out of trail, finished 7th. Now on to Italy for a rest day.
Dec. 31 Race – One of my best classic sprint performances ever. Qualified 4th and was feeling strong and in position to advance when I crashed on my own at 200m from the finish in the semis. Bummed I didn’t get to race in the final. Celebrated my 29th birthday with my teammates in the evening so overall it was a great day. Happy New Year!
Dec. 30 Race – Super tricky waxing day for stage 2. Skied around the top ten for most of the race and sprinted up to 6th on the final straight. Feeling strong with two down and seven to go! Snuck in a quick contrast bath, massage and dinner before jumping in the van for the four-hr ride to Oberstdorf.
Dec. 29 Race – Started off the Tour on a good note with tenth in the Prologue today. Most excited to have felt good after coming off a rest week. Did a little pre-race jog this am and then had a massage and a walk this evening for recovery. One down, eight to go!
Dec. 28 – Checked out part of the Prologue course they had open here in Oberhof which was pretty much just the main climb. Snow was super soft (like glacier snow), making it hard to do much ski testing. Did some race prep and discovered the tourist trails near the end. Opening ceremonies are this evening – ready to get this Tour started!
Dec. 27 – Said goodbye to Ramsau and made the 5.5-hour trip up to Oberhof. Felt like we left a winter wonderland to head back into the land of no-snow. Just a short jog this morning to get ready for the drive and a little walk around town this evening. Will go check out the course tomorrow. TdS begins in less than 2 days!
Dec. 26 – Post Christmas let down. Went for an easy skate with my hubby. Body is getting tired of resting, ready to start racing again! Did an explosive session in the weight room to get things going. Saying goodbye to our Christmas crew and heading to Oberhof tomorrow. Tour de Ski here we come!
Dec. 25 – Went on a jolly good ski with my teammates around the mountain. Stopped to take in the beautiful scenery and take lots of pictures! Spent the afternoon unwrapping gifts sent over from my family, and then stockings and a gift exchange with the team. Merry Christmas everyone!!
Dec. 24 – Happy Christmas Eve. Did some L3 skate intervals with Holly and Liz. Felt good to fire up the system after a few easy days. Afternoon jog and bodyweight strength in the basement. Enjoyed a traditional Austrian Christmas Eve feast and then finished off the day chatting with some good friends over Skype and watching Home Alone.
Dec. 24 – Q & A – Warm Ups
As a junior skier, coaches often tell me to “get a good warm up” before races. I was wondering what that looks like. Can you give me a picture of what your warm up looks like, and what you change in it for sprint vs. distance races?
Getting a good warm-up is important for both interval workouts and races, to make sure your body is open, warm and ready to perform at it’s best! I usually start all of my warm-up routines by skiing or jogging easy for 15-20 min. Sometimes it can be hard to keep this pace easy with race nerves surging and an exciting atmosphere around, but try to keep a lid on the effort if you can.
Towards the end of the 20 min, I start picking up the pace just a little bit and then transition into about 5-10 min of L3 or sub-race pace skiing. This is a pace that is a little slower and easier than your goal race pace and helps switch on the aerobic system. The next part depends of whether it’s a sprint or a distance race.
If it’s a distance race, I usually just add on a couple minutes of race pace skiing to the end of the L3 interval. Nothing too hard or too long, but it does help to wake up the body to the pace it will be racing at. After the interval, ski easy for another 5-10 min and then throw in a few short bursts. In the start pen, I usually jog around, swing my arms and just work on staying loose.
If it’s a sprint, I next add in some 30-60 second short intervals at race pace with a couple minutes rest in between. I usually do 3-4 of these on important parts of the course. I finish up my warm-up with some easy skiing and a few short 6-10 sec bursts. While I’m in the start pen, I continue to stay warm with some track-style drills like high knees, bounding, skips, etc. The key is to feel warm and sweaty when you start!
Practicing your warm-up routine on interval days will help you figure out what works for you. Everyone is a little different. Sometimes the situation at the race site may cause you to change plans, so just remember the basics and be ready to be flexible.
Best of luck!
Dec. 23 +speed – Warm winds and rain blew in for this morning’s skate. Found the best skiing right behind the groomer. Did some speeds in the stadium. Got pretty slow by the end. Super low key afternoon with a nap, some computer worked and a jog. Worked on some sugar cookie dough with Liz before dinner.
Dec. 22 – Snow continuing to fall here in Ramsau. Went on one of the more beautiful ski outings in the my life around the Rittisberg with Jeff. Classic skiing on Fischer zeroes was epic! Spent the afternoon taking care of some business down in Schladming and then a pre-dinner sauna with the team. Life is good!
Dec. 21 – Went for an easy skate cruise with Jeff, Liz and Holly in the snow. Got a little lost and ended up going twice as far as we wanted. But still a super fun ski – then and afternoon jog and weight session. Psyched to see some SkiErgs in the gym! Now heading out to watch the men’s WC slalom 2nd run.
Dec. 19 – Packed up and headed out of Rogla for a few hours on the road. Made a stop over in Salzburg to check out the Christmas markets before heading up to Ramsau. Had a nice day off from training and psyched to feel the Christmas spirit in the air. Looks snowy and wonderful here, can’t wait to scope out the trails tomorrow!
Dec. 18 Race – Not quite the finale I was hoping for today. Felt strong in the rounds through the day but had some bad luck in the final and went down in the first 150m. Chased but couldn’t get back up to the group and had to settle for sixth. The effort hits you a lot harder when the adrenaline goes away! Still psyched to keep the red bib and now looking forward to a nice Christmas break!! Going to take a few days easy now.
Dec. 17 Race – Super tough but fun 10km classic today. Conditions were hard but much nicer than yesterday. Got up in the lead pack early in the race. Faded a bit over the 2nd half and just got out-lunged at the line for 10th place. Still psyched to grab a new distance classic WC personal best with 11th. Now looking forward to the skate sprint tomorrow.
Dec. 16 – Got our first look at the Rogla courses this morning. Super windy and soft tracks. Pretty chaotic on the short 2km loop. Did a some race pace skiing and tested skis. My husband arrived after lunch from Alaska, yay! Pre-dinner jog with the North American girls. Psyched for tomorrow!!
Dec. 15 – Back to non-winter here in Slovenia. Today we did a team run in the pouring rain. It felt like we were suddenly back in September! Thankfully I have kept my running legs in shape and it was nice to stretch out the legs. They’re piecing together the course today and hopefully we’ll have something to ski on tomorrow. Tonight there is thunder and lighting outside the window while I catch up on some computer work.
Dec. 14 – Final ski in Davos was a good one. Did an easy skate with Liz and Holly. Snow felt silky under foot. Threw in a few speeds as well. Then travelled to Rogla via a flight and a couple bus rides. Back to no snow again.
Dec. 13 – Put in another easy distance classic session. Lots of World Cup skiers out doing intervals and testing skis. Took another big nap after lunch and then right from bed into a run down to the weight room for strength. Last day in Davos, will be sad to leave tomorrow.
Dec. 12 – Coming back down from the clouds after an exciting weekend. Enjoyed a nice easy classic cruise with my teammates while listening to Christmas music out of my drinkbelt. Took a big nap this afternoon and had coffee at our favorite place. Snow is falling and life is good!
Dec. 11 Race – Oh, it was a day that athletes dream of! Not that it felt perfect but my body was strong today and I had full power through all the rounds. Super psyched to qualify first and end the day in the top spot too! Had a great team behind me and it’s a day I’ll always remember!
Dec. 10 Race – Long and tough 15km skate today. The course was surprisingly tough with mostly climbing up the first half of the lap and a lot of working sections on the descent back to the stadium. Had a great start through 2km but got stuck in a middle gear for the rest of the race and ended up 27th. Still my best distance result here in Davos which has previously been challenging for me and a great warm-up for tomorrow’s sprint!
Dec. 9 – Time to get back on the skate boards and test skis for the weekend. Once my skis were dialed, I did some L3 on the course with my teammates. Sun was out and the skiing was awesome. Blasted some Christmas out of my waterbelt which caught some people by surprise. Afternoon “Fika” with some friends and then a jog home by moonlight.
Dec. 8 – Q&A Drafting
I am a biathlete from eastern Canada and am trying to take my raceing to a new level, my question regards drafting. How effective and important is this? Any insight you could provide and tips for effective drafting would be of great help to me.
Good luck, and keep up the great results.
Thanks for your question. Drafting is always a curious topic. Sometimes it can really make a difference and sometimes it doesn’t seem to really work at all.
From my experience, if you can tuck in behind a good skier and follow their rhythm, it can help teach you how to make efficient movements and stay relaxed in your own skiing. You can also save up a little energy for that last punch you need at the finish.
The only thing to consider when drafting is that you are at the mercy of the skier ahead. They get to take whatever line they want, they could fall or bobble and you may have a hard time getting around them when it counts. So my advice is to practice skiing behind others in practice and learn to always be ready for something to happen.
Good luck in your racing!
Dec. 8 – Got first tracks on perfectly groomed trails this morning. Easy classic cruise on the 5km course. Blue skies. Spent the afternoon cruising around town.
Dec. 7 – Winter has finally arrived in Europe! Woke up to heavy snow fall here in Davos. Got out early for our intervals to avoid the crowds. Did some classic threshold using what they have completed of the 5km so far. Waxing was pretty tricky by the end. Ran to the weight room and did strength in the afternoon. Got in a little time on the SkiErg as well. Finished of the day with contrast baths.
Dec. 6 – Nice classic cruise around the 2km “lower loop” in the am. Pretty busy out there. Had some coffee and saffron cake with our Swedish friends after lunch and then got out for an afternoon easy skate just as the sun went down. Finished in the dark which was actually kinda fun.
Dec. 5 – Woke up early and traveled back to Davos. Feeling a little bit worked over from a hard weekend of racing but still feeling the positive endorphins of some good performances. No training today, just napping and getting settled back in at the Hotel Kulm. It was snowing upon our arrival so maybe we’ll see more than the 1.4km loop this week! Yeah!
Dec. 4 Race – Wow, what a day!! Sadie and I teamed up for our first ever Düsseldorf team sprint. We were definitely dark horses coming in. The semi-final was super hectic but we avoided crashing and advanced thru to the final in 2nd. In the final, Sadie got off to a great start but then got caught behind a crash and we spent the next few laps trying to catch up. We got back into contact on the last laps and I was able to move up over the final leg to snag the silver for our team. A historic first team sprint podium for the US and pumped to share it with my awesome team!
Dec. 3 Race – A fast and furious day in Dusseldorf with typical weather – warm, cloudy and rainy. Laid down a decent qualification placing 10th to advance to the heats. Made moves over the 2nd half of the course to advance through the quarters and semis. Pretty hectic final. Snow was hard to balance and there was some contact out there. Made it into 2nd coming off the last curve and free skated into the lead on the homestretch. Psyched to take my 4th world cup win. Really pumped for the team sprint tomorrow!!
Dec. 2 +speed – Left Davos and traveled to Dusseldorf in the morning. Afternoon jog with the team. Pretty odd to be running on green grass! 800m city sprint tomorrow!
Dec. 1 +speed – Skied about 30 loops on the sprint course today. Thankfully I had some intervals and speed with my teammates to pass the time. A little tune-up before heading to Ddorf. Afternoon run in the woods in borrowed clothes from Anna Haag.
Nov. 30 – Drove one hour to ski on a 4km man-made loop in Pontresina. Sun was out and the skiing was pretty sweet. Skied an easy distance classic workout. Two-hour nap after lunch on the Deck. Easy run and strength this afternoon.
Nov. 29 – Awoke to the sun streaming in my window here in Davos. No natural snow around but the skiing was surprisingly good on the 2km man made loop. They are seriously good with snow making here! Enjoying the sun, good food and coffee and good friends. Just easy distance today again to absorb the weekend.
Nov. 28 – Took a super easy morning post mini-tour and went for a slow jog. Packed up and left Ruka, headed for Davos, Switzerland. Traveled the rest of the day.
Nov. 27 – Pretty stoked with sixth place in the Ruka mini-tour this weekend. Today was a tough battle, skied mostly by myself and had to fight off a hard-charging pack. Skis were great. Even did a jog and some strength this aft. Now I’m looking forward to a few easy days!
Nov. 26 – Another solid day. Legs were a bit heavy but fought hard and finished in 12th. Two down and one to go…!
Nov. 25 – Kuusamo classic sprint today. Finally got back in the rounds with a 15th in qualifying and then skied my way into the final. Had good speed in the finishing stretch but couldn’t quite catch third. Still super psyched with 4th place, my career-best in a classic sprint. All the rounds were super hard today, fast and quite anaerobic. Should be a good boost for tomorrow’s 5km skate! Easy jog to cool the jets in the afternoon.
Nov. 24 – Woke up to a warm wind and some rain. Pre-race testing went smoothly. Did a couple of hard laps around tomorrow’s sprint course. The rest of the day was full of athlete rep duties.
Nov. 23 – Skied quite a few laps around what has been prepared so far – 2.5km. Nice to see everyone walking the uphills. Easy distance skate. Run and strength this aft.
Nov. 22 – Travel day, no training. Two drives and two plane rides. Arrived in snowy Kuusamo, Finland. They hope to have 5km open by tomorrow.
Nov. 21 – Took an easy day to wind down from the exciting weekend. Put in an easy distance skate on the Sjusjoen course. Legs were a little tight from the racing but overall the body felt pretty good after the two races. Did an easy jog and strength session in the afternoon. Tomorrow we travel to Kuusamo.
Nov. 20 – Fun relay day. We had a bit of tough luck on the 1st leg but I was able to bring back some teams on the 2nd leg and Liz and Holly did a great job of skiing us all the way up to 9th place. Tracks were glassy and fast. Body felt strong again and it was fun to hammer. Team is looking strong for the future!! Easy jog in the pm after the race – roads were icy from the freezing rai
Nov. 19 – Opening World Cup race today, 10km skate. Started hard on the first of three laps and then just tried to hang on! The course was Deceptively tough with not much rest – had to keep working the whole time. Psyched to finish 8th, my first distance top ten. The women’s team was strong today so the relay tomorrow should be fun!
Nov. 18 – Finally got to check out the race course for tomorrow’s opening world cup. It’s pretty sweet considering there is no snow outside the course. Did some ski testing and a threshold lap with the my teammates to wake up the body. Kind of fun to be back around the world cup circus again! Looking forward to a 10km skate.
Nov. 17 – Conditions in the tunnel greatly improved for this morning’s classic ski. Just another easy distance session. Then a quick pack up and a 4-hr drive to Lillehammer. Excited to see all the World Cup peeps tomorrow when we go scope out the courses.
Nov. 16 – First ski in the tunnel. Conditions aren’t quite as nice as during my trip here back in June. It’s kind of like skiing in a giant sugar bowl. Did a super easy skate today just to work out all the travel in my legs. Feeling a little sleepy this afternoon from the jet lag but headed out soon for a jog and some light strength training.
Nov. 15 – Arrived in Torsby by mid afternoon and went for a light jog. Pretty weird not to see snow on the ground after leaving the winter wonderland of AK. Great to be reunited with my US teammates!
Nov. 14 – A full day of travel. Left Anchorage at 1:30am on Monday and will arrive in Oslo Tuesday morning. Got to see my brother for a couple hours during a layover in Newark. Psyched to get to Europe!
Nov. 13 – Was supposed to be on my way to Norway today but my 12am flight got cancelled and I was delayed 24hrs. Made the most of an extra day at home and went for double sessions on another fresh six inches of snow. Tired of saying goodbye and ready to get on with this trip!
Nov. 12 – My last ski at home for a long time! Easy classic distance this am. Got more new snow overnight. Now putting the final touches on packing for my 5-month trip! Goodbye bed, see ya in April!
Nov. 11 – Skate distance time trial today. Feeling a little awkward at race pace but still so good to get in a practice before the World Cup openers! Put in a strength session this aft.
Nov. 10 – Classic sprint time trial this morning. Definitely felt the burn but good to get in a hard effort! Went for an easy jog in the afternoon.
Nov. 9 – Another cold but beautiful day. Groomers were going around the course during my ski so the trails were pretty sweet! Did a little race prep for tomorrow’s sprint TT. Feeling the leg work from yesterday’s strength. Easy jog in the afternoon.
Nov. 8 – Over-dressed for my morning distance ski – at 10 deg F it ended up feeling pretty balmy. Cruised around the easier terrain while having a little fun with my new GOPRO head camera. For the afternoon I hit up the gym with a warm up run on the treadmill and strength session after. Going to be sore tomorrow!
Nov. 7 – Woke up to more fresh snow! Beat the groomers out there so we packed a small loop down and then did some speed drills. It felt like skating on pillows. Just one session today to absorb the last couple weeks.
Nov. 6 – Christmas comes early! Woke up to 6 inches of new snow. Went for a fun classic cruise in the fluff with my Mom and Aunt Betsy (’80 Olympian).
Nov. 5 – Classic distance time trial this am up at Hatcher Pass – 1hr north of Anchorage. Snow was a little slow and soft but it was really good to get in a hard race effort in tracks! Definitely blowing the cobwebs out before the World Cup starts in 2 weeks. Afternoon workout was getting my hair re-PINKED for the season!!
Nov. 4 – Q&A Nutrition
Really enjoying your training rap. I’m a cyclist as well and think about nutrition and the sports I partake in more than I actually put into practice but know it’s an important factor in the whole “equation” so to speak. I love all kinds of foods and any tips you can share would be great.
Thanks for your question. As an athlete you can appreciate the role nutrition plays in optimal performance! I like to think of my body as a race car engine, the higher the quality of the fuel I put in it, the “faster” the performance I get out. That means eating a balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats and a lot of fruits and vegetables. One of the benefits of being an endurance athlete too, is that the engine burns pretty hot so there is a little room for “treats” in there too. One of my favorite treats after a tough interval session is the white chip Macademia nut cookies at Subway.
Basically, if I eat a smart balance of foods and time my meals/snacks to occur every couple hours, I keep an even level of energy that allows me to handle all of the training and racing my schedule demands.
Enjoy the winter!
Nov. 4 – The snow on the local trails is still hanging in there despite some warm winds yesterday. Today’s time trial was postponed due to a heavy snowstorm at the venue so I did some classic distance skiing this morning instead with a little one-pole training thrown in. Got in a good agility workout just trying to avoid the rocks! This afternoon took in a run and some strength building as well.
Nov. 3 – Got in two distance sessions at the local ski trails five minutes from my house. A little rocky but still decent skiing. Did manage to dig up some dirt when we picked it up to sprint speed, 10×15 seconds, had to switch to double-pole speeds halfway through. Battled the wind in the afternoon and did half my workout skating and half running. Hope the snow hangs in there!
Nov. 2 – Got up early to workout with my sister at the local gym. Always fun to share my passion for fitness with others!! Then an amazingly scenic (and chilly) ski up in the mountains above town while filming some clips for a local commercial. For my afternoon distance ski I checked out the local trails on my rock skis, skiable!!
Oct. 31/Nov. 1 – Snow has graced the city streets of Anchorage. The trails aren’t quite skiable yet in town and now rollerskiing is done, so I will be spending some quality time on the SkiErg. Did some skiing up high today and now off to the gym…
Oct. 30 – Wrapped up a successful Fairbanks visit with an OD skate on snow this am and a Fantastic Fast and Female event in the afternoon. Logged a ton of skiing in four days, now one week until the Euro trip begins!
Oct. 29 – Put in some distance and one-pole skiing this am with the camp and then got to turn on the jets with an afternoon team sprint! Starting to get the hang of this skiing thing.
Oct. 28 – Another solid day with double sessions on snow here in Fairbanks. Skied with the 1st tracks high school camp and did some great drills. Never too old to learn new tricks!
Oct. 27 – Q/A – Equipment
Thanks for taking time to answer questions from your fans – I enjoy reading your training rap as it inspires me with my own training. As a World Cup level skier I’m wondering about your equipment – how many pairs of skis, poles and boots do you own or need at your level of racing? Is there a big difference from say when you were a national level skier?
Good luck this season.
As a World Cup skier there is plenty of gear involved! Let’s start with the skis. I usually travel the World Cup series with about 30 pairs of skis. Split those into 50% skate and 50% classic and then you have different flexes, different grinds and even different base materials for different temperatures.
While I have a few pairs of favorite skis that seem to be great in many conditions, I still have to have those specialty pairs for certain conditions. For poles I travel with two sets of each for skate and classic and usually have a couple spare shafts on hand. For boots, I travel with three pairs: skate, classic and skiathlon.
I have found that as you go up the ladder of performance, the need for more specialized equipment has become more important. On some days the level of fitness is pretty even at the World Cup level, and it might just be the racer with the fastest skis that can win.
The good news is that the faster you get, the more companies are willing to help you find the best equipment. I’ve been working with Fischer, Salomon and Swix for skis, boots and bindings, and poles respectively for several years now, and having a strong relationship with these companies helps me focus on skiing my best performances.
Thanks for your question and good luck this season!
Oct. 27 – Great to be back on snow again. Just arrived in Fairbanks for a 4-day volume camp. Had a 2.5-hr easy distance classic ski this am and will head out for another easy distance skate this afternoon. Going to join up with some high school skiers tomorrow.
Oct. 26 – Cold and slow DP roll this am as a midweek recovery workout. Did the 1st half alone and then met up with my hubby for the 2nd hour. Now off to Fairbanks for some skiing!
Oct. 25 – 10km skate roll threshold session with my APU teammates. Felt like we were absolutely flying compared to the UT altitude! Then an afternoon run and weight session.
Oct. 24 – Worked on some high speed bounding, 7×75 secs up Lone Tree Hill. Got after it pretty good and was definitely flooded by the end. PM easy double-pole to round out the day.
Oct. 23 – Took the day off from regular training but went for a walk with my Mom and sister to a local fitness park and did some stretching and strength exercises.
Oct. 22 – First real ski of the season this morning at Hatcher Pass. Three hours of tracked classic on Swix VR45 reminds me why I just love to glide! Put in another hour on the treadmill and SkiErg this afternoon to balance out a great day!
Oct. 21 – Rebounded after feeling crummy yesterday with a solid bounding workout this am – 6x4min on one of our standard interval courses. Saw some really fast times. Definitely feeling the fitness getting stronger! This afternoon some weights and core!
Oct. 20 – Definitely feeling the let down post-altitude. Went for a skate distance roll, there was the slightest layer of snow on the pavement. In the afternoon I went for a classic roller ski and then met up with Jeff [her hubby] for a 30-min run. Felt a little disconnected from my body.
Oct. 19 – Q&A – Strength Training Part 2
What are the details of your strength and core program this time of year? Specifically what exercises would you be doing. Do you have a maintenance program once the ski/racing season starts?
My current strength sessions are divided into three parts. Part one is mobility exercises that help me reverse and balance out some of the motions I do over and over in skiing and focus on the shoulders, hips and back flexibility. Part two is the main part of the program where I do a couple big leg/whole body lifts like power cleans and a couple upper body exercises like weighted pull-ups. The final part of the program is core based and usually includes three core exercises like weighted plank.
Once the racing season starts, I will still continue to do a mix of mobility, power lifting and core, but the amount in each session will be reduced. I also use some explosive exercises to get the muscles fired up for racing.Cheers,
Oct. 19 – Up early for a 3-hour drive further north to Healy, AK. Got to spend an hour with the elementary kids talking about skiing, Olympics, etc. and we made up our own version of the Winter Games. Then it was a five-hour drive back to Anchorage, to fit in a quick workout before the annual APU fall potluck.
Oct. 18 – Snuck in a nice skate roll distance ski this am before heading two hours north to Talkeetna to visit their local high/middle school. Shared my story with the kids and did a little nordic workout afterwards.
Oct. 17 – Encountered some snow flurries on my run this morning, could be skiing in a few days here in AK! Just one easy distance session today and a massage.
Oct. 16 – Wrapped up a great 2.5 -week altitude camp in Park City and now I’m psyched to travel back home. No training today and a couple easy days coming up.
Oct. 15 Finished up my Park City camp with a classic roller ski-run combo over distance session this morning. There’s been some great training here with the team and now it’s time for a short break as I head home to Alaska.
Oct. 14 – Skate sprint time trial at Soldier Hollow today. Felt a little sluggish in qualifying but opened up in the heats. Good to go through a full sprint protocol before the season starts. Gym session this afternoon, did plyos up the stadium steps. Solid race + strength day!
Oct. 13 – Worked on some classic speed today – starts, transitions and over speed. Even got a little sunburned. Afternoon trail run to cap off a great day.
Oct. 12 – Early morning visit from USADA delayed my training a bit but I still logged a great Z1 recovery skate roll with Liz Stephen. Spent the afternoon running a few errands in SLC.
Oct. 12 – Q&A – Strength Training
I’m a skier and I was wondering how often you do strength training each week?
Thanks for your question. Strength training is an important component to my weekly training plan. I typically do two sessions a week in the afternoons following my intensity sessions. I work with Alex Moore, a US Ski Team strength & conditioning coach and he builds my plan based on testing we do in the spring. Strength training is important not just for building more strength to go fast on skis, but also to help balance out the body, increase mobility and prevent injuries. Plus it’s pretty fun too! Best of luck this season!
Oct. 11 – Today featured bounding with poles intervals up Canyons Resort in the Utah mud. Good test for the heart and lungs! This afternoon I set a new PB with my power clean @ 60kg.
Oct. 10 – Started off the week with some challenging uphill skate intervals, 5×8 min @ Z3 up East Canyon. Got buzzed by a helicopter at the start. Distance classic roll this aft.
Oct. 9 – Today’s a rest day as we’re still unwinding from the energy of Fast and Female. Enjoyed a pancake breakfast and a stroll in the sun. No training today but back in action tomorrow.
Oct. 8 – Busy day! Started off with a 7:30am meet up for a 3-hr skate OD. We went point-to-point through snow, sleet and rain and finished with 2,400ft in elevation gain. Immediately after we headed back to the COE to get ready for four hours of Fast and Female. It was a very successful event with 85 participants and 30 Ambassadors from six different sports. Now I’m going to go sleep for 18hrs to recover. All Z1 – although the dancing at Fast and Female certainly got my heart rate up!
Oct. 7 – Classic distance time trial at Soldier Hollow this am – three laps of 3.3km. Good to get in a hard distance race effort at altitude. Hope to have a little strength left for this afternoon’s weight session!
Oct. 6 – Total change of climate here in PC…awoke to slightly falling snow! Our skate speed session on roller skis was quite chilly! Ran through about three inches of snow in the afternoon.
Oct. 5 – Q&A
Thanks for doing this Q and A with us guys. Could you tell us your hours per month from May until now and what you are shooting for total hours for the year?
The goal for total training hours this year is around the 750 mark. That will be about a 30-hour boost over last season. My training progression has been to hold a solid amount of volume from May through August around 65-75 hrs a month. Then in September I’ve come down a bit in volume as we bring in more intensity, to around the 65-hr mark.
October should be similar and then once we’re into the race season, it’s all about being best prepared for the races. Usually with travel days this fluctuates quite a bit between 40-50 hrs.
Oct. 5 – Recovery DP/classic roll session this morning up Mirror Lake Highway. Worked on light and quick movements. Greeted with a giant apple fritter after the ski! Afternoon off from training and getting ready for our Fast and Female Park City event this Saturday!
Oct. 4 – Post thunderstorm, the sun came out just in time as we started our skate RS intervals this morning – 4×10 min at Zone 3 around the Soldier Hollow roller ski track. This afternoon, a strength session at the COE – worked on my power cleans.
Oct. 3 – Distance run around the Mid Mountain trail, peaking out at close to 9,000 ft. this morning. Probably should have worn some gloves for the distance DP this aft… BLISTERS!! But still a good session.
Oct. 2 – Good start to the camp with a (Z1) DP roll and speed this am and an easy (Z1) skate roll this aft. Feeling the altitude a bit but psyched to be in the sun!
Oct. 1 – Day three at altitude so taking it easy with a 30-min run/hike on the mid-mountain trail. Beautiful sunny skies and temps here in UT – now off in search of Costco to fuel this camp…
Sept. 29 – Solid 1st day of testing on the treadmill at the COE. Made it further in both the near max and VO2 Max classic tests as compared to May. Max tests are hard but great to see the improvement. Skate and strength tests tomorrow.
Sept. 28 – Travel day down to Park City. Tomorrow we will replicate the testing we did back in May to see what improvements have been made over the summer.
Sept. 27 – DP [double pole] roll this am on a chilly 0 degree C morning with some specific strength mixed in. Then a strength session right after. Feeling pumped!
Sept. 26 – Recovery run this am for 90 min. Clear skies, gently falling leaves and a rockin’ playlist on my ipod made for a very enjoyable cruise!
Sept. 25 – Enjoying a day off from training and taking the time to catch up on projects around the house.
Sept. 24 – Finished off a solid 3-week training block this am with a 3-hr skate roller ski OD [Over Distance] around the Anchorage hillside. Body definitely feels the load and am now ready for a short break before heading to PC [Park City] for testing.