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Kikkan's Rap SkiTrax  

Kikkan “Kikkanimal” Randall, is the USA’s best-ever female cross-country skier with a historic list of incredible firsts • She won the Sprint Cup globe in 2012 becoming the first American women to win a World Cup title – then she defended it in 2013 • Randall also place 3rd in the overall World Cup standings in 2013 accomplishing what no other American female skier has done before • She also claimed the USA’s first FIS Nordic World Championship gold medal in xc skiing with Jessie Diggins winning the Team Sprint • This past season she became the first North American to wear the leader’s jersey at the Tour de Ski.

A protegee of the renowned Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (APUNSC) run by her coach, Erik Flora, Randall is the real McCoy both on and off-snow. In this unique daily blog Randall details her training activities. Each entry is colour-coded as to training zones – Zone 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or Recovery for easy reference and she also answer questions from readers. Find out how the legendary Alaskan star does it – day in and day out – and get ready for another amazing ride this Olympic season with one of the fastest women in the sport.

   Zone 1    Zone 2    Zone 3    Zone 4    Zone 5    Recovery Questions for Kikkan Home

May 4     – Am hike with my husband.  Scoped out some of the mountain bike trails but they’re not quite ready yet.  Busy day with my younger sister’s graduation, a baby shower for some friends and then our APU season celebration and auction.  Lots of standing but fun day.

May 3         – Local groomers put in a track for us on a forest service access road.  Already quite warm when we started.  Got some really good practice in soft conditions, still have lots of work to do on technique.  Took the afternoon off to work on some office projects.

May 2         – Warmed up for strength with some foot work on the treadmill.  Just barely getting past the soreness from the first session.  Felt good and shaky after the workout.  Evening long road bike ride in shorts and a jersey, beautiful!

May 1         – Happy May Day!  Met up with Sadie for a scenic dp/cl roller ski along the Turnagain Arm.  Arms and core still adjusting.  Afternoon hike – trail run combo, weather is just fantastic!

Apr 30         – Morning road ride loop around Anchorage, scoped out some awesome improvements to one of the main bike trails.  Afternoon trail run and then straight to a yoga class. Starting to feel the load of training already.

Apr 29         – Up early to drive to Hatcher Pass for a skate ski.  Much easier with the early daylight.  Had a great crust cruise in the sun.  Took a nice afternoon nap with my kitty.  Decided to get the roller skin muscles warmed up with a short dp.

Apr 28         – First day of the new training season.  Hit up the local trail known to be first clear of snow.  Felt great to be running on a trail versus pavement.  Jumped on my cross bike in the pm to ride to the gym, followed by a strength session.  Rode home and then went straight to a dinner with sponsors.

Apr 27         – Was planning on a nice walk/hike with my Mom but got kidnapped to coffee with my sister instead. Watched some more volleyball and then got caught up in errands and house work for rest of the day.  Fit in my 3rd yoga session of the week with a nice Relax & Restore evening class.  Now ready for training to begin, Namaste!

Apr 26     – Fun day to practice my spectating skills!  Drove 2 hours south to the small Alaskan town of Seward to watch my husband’s volleyball tournament.  Snuck in a run before spending a few hours in the bleachers.  Super fun to watch all the jumping, hitting and teamwork, will definitely look forward to playing such games when I’m done racing full time. Drove home in the evening for a long day!

Apr 25         – Up for an early Yoga class, really got a good stretch and sweat on!  Busy day running errands, getting ready for training to begin the following week.  Cooked dinner for friends in the evening just using what I had around the house, found a great new baked apple recipe for dessert!

Met up with my Dad for a great day of alpine skiing [P] courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Apr 22         – Got out for a quick run in the sun after breakfast.  Met up with my Dad for a great day of alpine skiing, almost no one on the mountain and nice soft spring snow!  Jumped out for a quick ride on my new cross bike in the afternoon, just because it was so nice out!

Almost no one on the mountain and nice soft spring snow! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Apr 21     – Another warm and sunny day!  Got all dressed up in my running clothes but ended up hammering away on computer work in the am.  Caught up with one of my local sponsors for lunch and then finally got out for a mid afternoon run in, wait for it, Short Sleeves!!!  Added in a little SkiErg after my run to keep some effort in my arms and core. Evening new adventure making pizza dough in the bed machine!

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Apr 20     – So excited about my new cross bike.  Rode over to my parents house in time to catch the end of Easter brunch.  Sat out on the porch in the beautiful hot sun for a bite and then made my family do some “active time” to counter act all the eating!  Had a lovely 2 hr walk catching up with my parents.  Rode home just in time to whip up a Kale Caesar salad and head back over for Easter dinner.

So excited about my new cross bike © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Apr 19      – Slept in and made a healthy breakfast.  Got talked into buying a cross bike (think beefy road bike for road/off-road conditions) and enjoyed a fabulous day with Jeff on a scenic 28 mile ride.  Only encountered about 50m of snow, biked right over it!  Evening family dinner at a Japanese Kobe steak house for my sister’s birthday.

Apr 18     Spent the morning catching up on computer work and then some work around the house.  Stayed busy all day just wrapping up small projects.  Went for a run with Jeff after he got off work.  Tested out a new salmon recipe from www.cookitfrozen.com, my new favorite iPhone app!  It was delicious!

Apr 17     – Up early to return to Anchorage.  Entertained the idea of a run when I got home but opted for a nap instead before springing back up and driving 1 hr north to give a talk to a Japanese National Honor Society group.  Home late, busy day!

Apr 13         – Ran through the woods over to meet my mom for our weekly coffee ritual.  Then helped unload some recyclables  before watching some of Jeff’s volleyball games.  Will be fun to play some other sports when I’m done ski racing!  Computer work the rest of the day.

Apr 12     – Joined 100+ runners for a new running event called the “Tough Slusher.”  Thanks to sub zero temps overnight however there was only ice and no slush.  Fun to chase some kids around the course and then hand out medals.  Headed straight from there to another Slush event, the annual pond skimming contest down at Alyeska Resort.  Wasn’t crazy enough to try it myself but got soaked anyway being a judge!

Apr 11     – Spent the first half of the day working from home, still getting used to not training in the morning.  Went for a ski midday but totally missed the kick wax call.  Arms still feeling pretty loaded.  Picked up my 11yr old cousin from school and went on a fun adventurous skate together.  Then she schooled me playing “Wii Sports Resort”.

Apr 10     – Chilly morning so waited for it to warm up before heading out for a ski.  Ended up getting distracted with computer work and didn’t get out on the tracks until late.  Sweet trails again with some fresh snow that fell a couple days earlier.

Apr 9     Took one of my sponsors out for a skate ski lesson.  Always a good challenge to have to break down the sport for someone who’s never tried it before.  Afternoon of computer work and then made it out for a nice run in the sun with Jeff.  Felt good to run, feet feeling good after a nice rest!

Apr 8     – Morning visit to a local elementary school with a Russian immersion program.  Talked with the kids about my experience in Sochi and got them fired up to “GET OUT AND PLAY EVERYDAY!”  Early evening “Welcome Home” reception at the BP Alaska headquarters.  Had the chance to speak again about what I learned in Sochi.  Tired from all the standing by bedtime, not in shape for all this socializing

Apr 7         – Up early for a conference call with one of my sponsors.  Worked on the computer for another couple hours and then talked Jeff into going for a ski.  Conditions were still quite nice for skating.  Met my coach for lunch to debrief on the season a bit and start talking ideas for the new season.  Dinner with my family and friends from the BP Team USA program.  Fun to expose them to fresh Alaska Seafood!

Mar. 26     – Decided to take a day off from regular ski training.  Went for a run and did a little stretching and strength.  Afternoon ski event with my Olympic teammates and local kids.  Ended up skiing around a decent amount teaching different skills.  Great to see some great enthusiasm!

Mar. 25     – Evening race made for a chill day around the house.  Went for a jog and stretch after breakfast.  First ever National Club Mixed Relay.  Skied the anchor leg on a team with Reese Hanneman, Sadie Bjornsen and Erik Bjornsen.  Got a nice lead from the tag off and extended it slightly for the win!  APU first and third.  Beautiful and sunny evening with the snow still holding up great!

Mar. 22     – After some nice days off, time to get back to racing again.  10km skate individual start.  A little chilly warming up.  Great to be racing in my APU club suit.  Started fast, got tired in the middle but found a good finishing gear to take the win in a close battle with Liz.  Put on costumes to welcome Birthday girl Sophie into the finish.  Chill afternoon and dinner with friends.

Mar. 21         – Headed out to ski test and do some race prep for the SuperTour Finals.  Body felt pretty junky but good to do a little faster skiing.  Still adjusting to this cold weather!!  Fun lunch at one of my favorite local spots.  Afternoon chill time and then team meeting with the big APU crew.  Cooked Mexican for dinner, so nice to be back at home!

Mar. 20         – Had good energy in the morning and was excited to meet my club team for practice.  Midway through my ski energy started to tank again.  Made it home for a quick lunch and then spaced out on the couch for hours. Underestimated the jet lag effect this time.  Evening reception put on by my club to welcome home the Sochi Olympians.  Another chance to speak about Sochi and appreciate all the amazing support I have received through this journey!  Battling jet lag big time!

Mar. 19         – Only home for a few hours I got right to business addressing one of the local rotary clubs.  The first time I’ve had to really speak about Sochi and my experience of missing my expectations.  Feeling a lot of local support!  Got out for a ski with Jeff.  Great winter conditions although definitely feeling pretty tired after all the travel.   Fun celebrating the 2014 class of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame induction in the evening.

Mar. 18     – Full day of travel. 2 ski bags, a large duffle and 3 carry-ons gave me plenty of a workout!  Couldn’t sleep too much so watched a couple movies on the plane.  So excited to get back to the USA and home!  Arrived just after midnight in time to start perking up again.  Hard to sleep.

Mar. 17     – Slept in and enjoyed a casual breakfast.  Joined the ladies of the Swedish National team for the 2nd annual Fast and Female in Falun.  Fun afternoon of ski games (I taught finish lunges), inspirational chats (mostly in Swedish) and some really awesome Zumba.  Then packed up and headed to the Stockholm airport.  Last full day in Europe after 4 months!

Mar. 16 Race – Final world cup race day of the season.  Did a morning jog with Liz.  Mid afternoon 10km skate pursuit race. Got linked up with a good pack right away and took turns leading.  Headed to the front of my pack just after 5km and began reeling in skiers ahead.  Had just dropped two skiers and was closing in on 10th place when I face planted going into the stadium.  Ended up 13th and quite frustrated.  Still feels good to end the WC season on a good note. Cheered the men on, gathered with everyone for some cheers at the wax trucks and then enjoyed a fun night of dancing before we all parted ways.

Mar. 15 Race – Quick turnaround with a morning race.  Tested skate skis and then turned my attention to classic.  Got to start on the front line.  Felt tired from the start.  Skied a decent classic portion in the middle of the pack.  Felt a little better once on my skate skis but missed a couple good chances to move up.  Finished in 20th.  Was hoping for more.  2 down, 1 to go!  Evening jog before dinner and then hosted the Athletes for our annual end of season meeting.  Received some good feedback.

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Mar. 14 Race – Morning jog.  Another nice day for racing.  The whole course was salted which kept everything nice and firm.  Ski testing was a workout up those hills!  Decent qualifier in 16th.  Ended up in a quarterfinal heat with 2 of my teammates, Sadie and Sophie.  I led a 1-2-3 in our heat, Sophie and I moved on.  Strong finish in my semi to take a LL spot in the final.  Couldn’t quite access all my power up the steep climb but had another strong finish for 4th place.  Exciting afternoon with the globe ceremony presented by the Swedish King.  Finally got out for a cool down jog after dinner.  1 down, 2 to go!

Mar. 13         – Morning jog with Liz while we waited for official training on the course.  Classic ski testing and race prep on the course after lunch.  Sun was blazing but the tracks were nice and firm thanks to salting.  Going to be a tough course!!  Relaxed evening.

Mar. 11         – Got to check out some of the race tracks while other parts were still being worked on.  Nice and warm skiing in the sun.  Checked out town a bit in the afternoon and a short jog before dinner.

Mar. 10     – Casual morning and then a 7hr bus ride from Oslo to Falun.  Took a couple naps and played some “Catch Phrase” along the way.  Evening jog in a warm breeze upon arrival.

Busy afternoon with Fast and Female Oslo! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Busy afternoon with Fast and Female Oslo! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Mar. 7     – Easy skate ski around the tourist tracks above Holmenkollen with my friend, former World Cup skier Ella Gjomle Berg.  Despite the pouring rain the trails were in great condition.  Skied until we got too cold and then came inside for warm drinks!  Busy afternoon with Fast and Female Oslo!  190 girls, 2hrs of fitness and inspiration!

Mar. 6     – Easy skate ski around the Holmenkollen course.  Snow machines had been driving all over the tracks which made it very soft.  Also very foggy.  Still had a nice ski though.  Afternoon short spin and strength session.  Dinner with the legendary Vegard Ulvang, man that guy has some cool stories!

Mar 5     – Sprint day in Drammen.  Salted course made for good hard tracks.  Body felt strong and skis were fast.  Made it through to the semis.  Just missed the finals by .02 sec, doh!  Silver lining of the day was clinching the Overall World Cup Sprint title!

Mar 4         – Glad to notice upon arrival at Holmenkollen that concerns about the snow were unfounded, plenty to ski on for as many kilometers as you wish!  Did a classic race prep workout with Sophie in some new pink suits we’re trying out.  Tracks were a bit funky but we got the work done. Afternoon jog around our hotel, fun to see lots of kids out playing sports!

Mar 3     – Travel to Oslo. Made a visit to the Bjorn Daehlie (clothing co.) offices to give uniform feedback and see previews of next year’s stuff! Chilled in the afternoon.

Mar 2     Race – Boys raced first so we had a long morning. Watched their race and the end of the Vasaloppet on TV to get pumped. Snow still pretty soft on top of ice. Felt decent warming up. Went out aggressive and felt strong for the first 2.5km. Legs got tired in the middle, tried to just keep the tempo up. Marit [Bjoergen] caught me with 2km to go. Was able to latch on to her pace and follow her the rest of my race. Finished in 21st. Decent day. Legs super achy in the evening, teammates convinced me to go running and it made me feel much better. Team pizza dinner tradition at Mamma Maria’s!

Mar 1     Race – Skate sprint day. Pre-breakfast jog to shake the legs out. Felt a little sluggish. Decent qualifier, 11th just 2 seconds out. Power felt good in the quarters. Lots of changing places in the semi. Pumped to be in the final. Didn’t get a great start. Narrowly avoided a crash. Skated hard off the downhill to take the lead in the stadium. Kept my balance and power going to the line, took the win. Waited for a photo finish to see if Sophie would get her 1st world cup podium! She got it with a lunge! Fun to share the podium with a teammate! Evening jog to help the legs recover.

Feb 28                 – Ski testing and race prep workout on my own.  Liking the new modifications to the course, you can almost get a little air off the stadium bump!!  Chill afternoon grabbing some coffee with Liz.  Evening jog.  Excited for another skate sprint!

Feb 27     – Easy classic ski.  No tracks, just sifted through the sugar on top of the ice.  Not the best classic skiing but good for an easy day.  Took a big nap in the afternoon and hit a jog before dinner.

Feb 26                 – Checked out the courses on skate skis and did some intervals.  Legs still a little tired from the 30km but felt good to go hard.  Evening strength session, first in a while.

Feb 25     – Up early to catch a flight to Helsinki.  Arrived in Lahti by mid afternoon.  Went for a run by the lake and settled in.  Nice to be back in a city.  Not much snow around.

Feb 24     – Arrived in Munich at 5am after a middle of the night flight from Sochi.  Never felt so good to crawl into bed for a morning nap.  Got up for a good breakfast and then headed out for a run.  Spent the rest of the day repacking to head back onto the World Cup.  Evening pizza dinner with the team.


Sochi 2014 Olympic Games


Jan. 13         – Easy distance session on the 2km loop of manmade snow.  In two hours I was able to make about 16 laps.  Thankfully I had my iPod to keep me company and the sun was out.  Took a lazy afternoon with a nap and some computer work.  Then got out for a jog.  Found a small grocery store on my run so picked up some extra snacks. Evening team activity watching “Cool Runnings” together to start getting into the Olympic spirit!

Jan. 8         – Enjoyed one final easy distance ski in Davos.  Was absolutely perfect:  freshly groomed, cool but not cold and my husband for company.  Packed everything up (after one month in Davos) and hit the road with the team.  The 8 hour drive took us from perfect winter to the exact opposite in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.  Only a 2km man made loop here amongst the green grass.  Foggy and dark upon our arrival, looking forward to checking out the scene in daylight tomorrow.

Jan. 7     – Skate intervals to get the body back revved up for racing.  Perfectly fast snow for some high speeds.  Final lunch at our favorite cafe, a brief moment in the sun, some PT, a nap and then back out on the trails for an afternoon classic session.  Finished with a little strength training.  Evening dinner with friends and caught the first period of the hockey game with HC Davos vs Bern.  Last night in Davos!

Jan 6        – Easy distance classic session in the morning with Jeff.  I am so fortunate to have not only a great husband, but he makes a pretty good technique coach too!  Mid afternoon PT and nap.  PM ski, along with a little drive by video shooting (for a new sponsor, announcement coming soon) and then some skate distance.

Jan. 4         – Warmer temps blowing in again, had to work to get kick in the tracks. Easy distance session.  Felt a little tired and had to fight off being grumpy.  Mood was better by the end of the ski. Chill afternoon. Went out for my pm ski right as it started raining. Finished on the lighted loop after it got dark. Turned to snow after my ski so maybe it will be fresh in the morning!

Jan. 3     – Skate intervals L3. First hard session in a while, took the body a little while to wake up.  Followed by a drone to get some action shots, kinda fun. Got back to the apartment in time to catch the last 3km of the TdS stage, fun to see my teammates continue to rock! Big nap in the afternoon, exercises for my back and then a classic distance session. Stuck in traffic on the way to PT so parked and ran the rest of the way. Chill night on my own.

Jan. 2         – Went for a distance skate ski with Ida on freshly groomed trails, just a wonderful feeling!  Met up with half the team that returned from the Tour for lunch and then got some PT work afterwards. Did a quick video interview in the snow with one of my new sponsors and then headed back to the apartment for some chill time. It was snowing like crazy right up until I headed out for my 2nd ski. Had a nice classic distance session in some light fluffy powder and beautiful alpenglow on the mountains.

Jan. 1     – Back still pretty sore but able to get out and ski. Did an easy skate session in the morning. Went out and finally found the missing scavenger hunt clue. Took a hot shower afterwards. Lunch and race watching with Ida. Got some more PT work from the Swiss physio which helped a lot! Headed out for another skate workout as it was getting dark so finished on the lighted loop. Beautiful night scene and stars.

We watched Simi win his first world cup!! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

We watched Simi win his first world cup!! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Dec. 31     – My Golden birthday, 31 on the 31st!  Jeff made me a wonderful breakfast.  Was psyched to head out for some birthday intervals but tweaked my back 30 seconds into my ski as I was trying to warm up my hand with an arm swing.  Tried to ski to loosen up but my back was totally cramped.  Had to head back to the apartment and spent the rest of the day dealing with my back.  Ida came over and we watched Simi win his first world cup!!  So exciting.  Went out for a few walks and got some massage from the Swiss team physio.  Ida made me a great birthday dinner.  Hoping the back feels better tomorrow!

Ida made me a great birthday dinner © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Ida made me a great birthday dinner © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Dec. 30         – Beautiful day for a distance ski as fresh snow allowed the opening of more trails!  Was given the first clue for a birthday scavenger hunt before my ski but decided to put my time in first and then play the game at the end.  Underestimated my teammates though and ended up skiing another hour longer than I meant to looking for clues.  Got stumped on the 2nd to last and had to abandon the hunt.  Long ski in the morning allowed me to take the pm off.  Got a surprise pre-birthday visit from Jeff in the evening.

First clue for a birthday scavenger hunt © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

First clue for a birthday scavenger hunt © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Dec. 28         – Went for an easy distance skate ski.  Ventured further down valley and was pleasantly surprised to find new tracks groomed.  Made one big loop without any doubling over in 2hrs!  Made lunch and then sat down on the couch with Ida to watch the Tour de Ski prologue.  I think watching a race instead of being in it is way harder than actually racing!!  Cool to see our teammates and fellow North Americans ski well though!  PM jog to shake out the sleepies!

Enjoyed a beautiful classic distance ski with Ida © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Enjoyed a beautiful classic distance ski with Ida © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Dec. 27         – Woke up to clear blue skies.  Enjoyed a beautiful classic distance ski with Ida.  The snow from yesterday had turned everything back to winter again!  Chill afternoon and then a jog and a strength session.  Lots of talk about the Tour de Ski.  It’s hard not to be there right now but I’m excited about my training plan with just six weeks to go until Sochi!!

Dec 26         – Rain turned to snow just as I headed out the door. Opted to skate instead of classic to make it easier for waxing. Went out for an easy distance ski. Snow got slower in the 2nd half. Finished in time to have lunch with the crew that’s heading off for the Tour de Ski. Said goodbye and took a nap. Afternoon walk through town and dinner on my own. Training time now.

Dec 25         – Christmas Day! Another fabulous breakfast and then headed out for a late morning ski. Wind overnight left a bunch of debris on the trails and by the end of the session it started to sprinkle. Chill afternoon inside Skyping with friends and family and watching Christmas movies. Walked into town for a nice dinner.

Kikkan and Jeff © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Kikkan and Jeff © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Dec 24     – Slept in and enjoyed a great breakfast prepared by Jeff. Followed him on his run while riding a FATBACK snow bike, got a few funny looks. Enjoyed a chill afternoon playing scrabble and drinking hot chocolate. Traveled over to the Capol family’s house for a Christmas Eve dinner with my teammates. So nice to be celebrating with a family in a home!

Xmas eve feast… © Kikkan Randall

Dec 23     – Enjoyed a nice full day off from training. Slept in, drank a couple cups of delicious American coffee and caught up on some computer work while listening to Christmas music. An afternoon out and about town with Jeff and then more good chill time at the apartment in the evening. Getting in the Christmas spirit!!

Dec 22 Race – Team sprint day! Got out the special relay garb and put two women’s teams in the final! Fast and furious for every lap. Felt slightly better than yesterday. Sadie gave me a great final tag and I was able to win the sprint for 5th place. Now looking forward to a nice Christmas break!!

Dec 21 Race – Sprint day! Up at 5:15am in order to eat breakfast in enough time before the qualifier. Had decent energy in the prelim but didn’t get enough out of each stride. Barely snuck through in 27th place. Fought hard in the quarters but couldn’t hang on to the pace. Finished 4th and did not advance. Great to see Ida make it to the semis. A solid day for USA but more to come tomorrow!! Afternoon pizza. Massage. Jog. Finished the night watching Christmas Vacation.

Dec 20         – Tested skis and got the first look at the course in Asiago. Just a ribbon of man made snow but a decent track! Did some race prep with the girls. Didn’t feel great so took a big afternoon nap. Went for a nice team jog in the evening and then enjoyed a fun bib draw ceremony in the town square.

Dec 18         Strength – Classic speed intervals with Jeff. Did a few variations of striding and double-poling. Felt hard but good to get back to sprint speed! Jeff is still pretty darn fast! Afternoon jog with my teammates (lots of giggles burn more calories) and a strength session. Enjoyed cooking dinner at our apartment, made Mexican!

Went up the Sertig Valley for some Swiss fondue © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Went up the Sertig Valley for some Swiss fondue © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Dec 17     Easy distance classic ski with coach Erik. Talked training and worked on some technique. Went up the Sertig Valley with Jeff’s family for some Swiss fondue. Had to lay down for a quick nap after! Evening run with Jeff around the lake.

Dec. 15 Race – Early breakfast at 6:45am to get digested enough before the 9:45 qualification start. Had a decent qualification for 10th place, the times were super close. Advanced through the quarters and semis with strong finishes. Had a couple close calls in the final but got the lead going up the final hill and almost held it. Photo finish with Bjoergen, this time she got the win by a couple centimeters. Already excited for the next time we’ll meet in a skate sprint which might not be until Sochi.

Dec, 14 Race – 15km skate individual start on a 2 lap course. Skied the first lap at my own pace, perhaps a little too conservatively. Got caught at 9km by Kristin Steira of Norway and followed her to the top of the course. We took turns and worked together on the downhill, allowing us both to pick up some valuable time. I finished 18th. A solid race with still more to uncover. Afternoon jog.

Dec. 13     – Ski testing and race prep on the course. Didn’t feel great in the first 15 minutes but felt better as the ski went. Finally wore enough clothes this time. Not too often that we get to race a long lap like this 7.5km loop. Will be good and challenging. Had a chill afternoon with some PT and a jog around the lake.

Dec. 12         – Switched back to classic skis. Tricked again by the iphone, should have worn more clothes. Worked on classic technique with Erik and did some speeds. Came back to the apartment and got ready for Jeff’s parents to arrive, nice to have some family here. Took a big nap in the afternoon and then headed out for a short job. Moved back in with the team in the evening just in time for Secret Santa poems. Super fun!

Dec. 11         + Strength – Dressed much warmer this time! Went for another easy distance skate, this time with my coach Erik. Got to catch up on all the stories from the first month on the road. Finished the ski with Norwegian buddy Astrid Jacobsen. Went to lunch at our favorite coffee shop in town with Swedish friend, Emil Joensson. Afternoon strength session. Super busy in the strength room with Norway, Sweden, Germany, Australian, Swiss and US teams in there. Fun to see all the different exercises!

Dec. 10         – Went for a nice easy distance skate ski. Got tricked by the iPhone weather report and the blue skies outside to think it was warmer than it was. Frozen!!! Spent the afternoon hanging out with Hubby and getting settled into our apartment. Took a sauna in the evening.

Dec. 9 Rest – Up at 5am to travel to Davos. Got in one more dose of brown cheese and waffles and then headed on to the sun!! Arrived in Davos in the early evening and got set up in a little apartment Jeff and I are renting for the month. Nice relaxed evening cooking at home.

Dec. 8 Race – Relay day!! Heavy snowfall already by breakfast. Had to start the warmup in the dark. Took great care to make sure my skis were good. Anxious to be leading off our 1st team. Decided to take the lead out of the start and control the pace. Felt relaxed and was able to make the jump when Weng accelerated. Brought the team in with the lead and my teammates took care of the rest. BRONZE!!! So much good energy after the race, love this feeling with the team!! Evening strength session.

Dec. 7 Race – 10km classic race. Felt good testing skis and made sure to get in a solid warmup. Finished my warmup by running back and forth in the stadium. Started just as the current leader was lapping. Followed her for the first 2km but then realized I needed to ski my own pace. Held a steady pace through the rest of the race but couldn’t quite get to my high race gear. Finished in 16th. A decent race but still waiting for more speed. Evening jog with Liz with a quick stop to get a xmas present for my Mom.

Dec. 6         – Tested skis with Grover and found good rhythm striding up the climbs. Did some race prep with Sadie. The course is challenging but skis better at race speed. Took an easy afternoon. Went for a jog on my own in the pm.

Dec. 5         + Speed – Arrived at the venue just as the snow started to fall. Took an easy lap around the completed 5km loop which mostly consisted of walking on my skis up the big hills. Met my APU teammates for some start practice and speed. Hard to see in the heavy falling snow. Felt kinda sleepy all afternoon. Went for a run in the snow with Holly, eyes got stung with the wind.

Love the quotes they have on the walls at the Olympic athletic center [P] courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Love the quotes they have on the walls at the Olympic athletic center [P] courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Dec. 4         – Went for an easy distance classic ski up in Sjusjoen to get on some easier terrain. Not a ton of snow but decent tracks. Chill afternoon with a nap. Ran over to the Olympic athletic center and warmed up on the treadmill. Then did strength. Love the quotes they have on the walls in there.

Dec. 2     – Up early to get in a final Finnish breakfast (love their porridge) and travel to Oslo. Spent most of the day traveling. Went out for an evening run with Jeff. Tripped over some rocks in the dark but thankfully just scrapped my knees. It’s a bit icy here, good thing I have my Salomon spike cross running shoes!

Dec. 1 Race – Happy December 1st. Super pumped to be back on my skate skis for the final day of the Ruka Triple! Had a great starting position and got settled into a fast pack right out of the start. Stayed in the pack and made sure to counter any moves. Followed Astrid’s surge on the final lap and then went for an all-out sprint up the final hill to grab 5th place. Felt awesome to lie in the snow at the end! Easy run and strength in the afternoon for the unofficial “Ruka Quadruple!”

Nov. 30 Race – Started off the day by sending teammate Andy Newell a happy birthday cat picture for his 30th birthday. Snow was falling as we warmed up for the 5km classic race. Dialed in the skis easily but found it hard to really get fired up in my warmup. As a consequence I started a little slow and even though i moved up through the race I finished a little back of where I had hoped. 15th place.

Nov. 29 Race – What an exciting day!! After a 50/50 record on the Ruka sprint course I was excited to find good form, qualifying in 12th and skiing strong through the rounds to make the final. Despite getting caught up behind a crash midway, I was able to make up solid ground on the final climb and ski my way into 2nd for my first World Cup classic sprint podium! Felt really good to hit such a high note in the 1st world cup of the year!!

Salmon beets IMG_3344Nov. 28                 – Thanksgiving day back in the USA but business as usual over here in Finland. The mandatory anti-doping blood draw in the morning and then the chaos of all the teams and all the athletes out testing skis on the sprint course all at the same time. Managed to get in a decent race prep workout with my teammates. Pretty chill rest of the day saving energy up for tomorrow. Had Salmon and Beets for dinner!

Nov. 27     – Easy distance skate mostly around the race course. Love this course for racing but not that fun for trying to ski easy. You pretty much have to walk all the uphills. Trails definitely getting busier as more teams arrive. Took the afternoon off and prepared for the athlete meeting.

Capped off the evening with some neon bowling © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Capped off the evening with some neon bowling © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Nov. 26         – Slept in. Hit the trails for a nice easy classic ski with Jeff. Really pretty and snowy out there. Chill afternoon and then a run and strength. Capped off the evening with some neon bowling…

Nov. 25     – Travel day. Oslo to Helsinki to Rovanemi to Ruka. Arrived in time to fit in a run which felt so good after sitting all day!

Nov. 24 Race – Skate sprint day! Warmed up for the qualifier in the dark. Qualified 7th. Used fast finishes on the homestretch to advance to the final. Made a move up the final hill and managed to stay away for the win. Felt good to go hard into that sprint gear! PM travel to Oslo.

Nov. 21             – Met up with my former coach Frode Lillefjell and did some technique work while ski testing and doing my pre-race intensity workout. Reminds me of those first few workouts as I turned into a nordic skier at age 16! Had a nice chill afternoon and hit a run just as the sun went down. Beautiful sunset. Celebrated Sadie’s birthday and getting psyched to race tomorrow!

Nov. 20         – Distance day. Skated in the morning, the corduroy was quite stiff in the am which made for some challenging descents. Had the chance to chat with Marit a little bit and catch up with a few other world cup friends. Did a quick interview with one of the Norwegian newspapers (Aftenposten), which meant doing some silly jump poses in the middle of the street. Evening classic distance session in the dark. A full media day having dinner with the guys from TV2 that came to visit me in Alaska this summer and got a sneak peek at the piece they’re putting together from their trip.

Nov. 18            – The trails quieted down quite a bit after all the club teams left. Just national team athletes out on the course. Did some Z3 pace intervals around the 5km loop. It was really nice universal klister skiing and it felt good to go fast. Met up with some of our Norwegian team friends in the afternoon. Then went for a run and strength.

Nov. 17         – Enjoyed a really solid night of sleep and didn’t bother to set an alarm. Had a good breakfast and headed out to ski mid morning. Tons of junior club skiers out on the trails, quite chaotic for most of the ski. Just did some easy distance classic and ski testing. Hard to stay awake in the 2nd half of the day. Tested out my new carbon skate boots for an evening distance session. Got the first half done before it got dark, did the 2nd half with a headlamp.

Nov. 16     – Arrived in Norway to a big reunion of the team. Man, seven months went by fast! Excited to be back in the groove again. Drove four hours up to Beitostolen and settled into our apartments for the next 10 days. Went for a short run via headlamp to get the body unstiffened after all that sitting. Team spaghetti dinner and desperately trying to stay awake until 9pm!

Nov. 15     – Up early to catch my flight. Said goodbye to home and the cats for the next four months and hit the road to Europe. Flights through Seattle and Amsterdam en route to Oslo were smooth. Wasn’t too sleepy on the flight so got up to walk around a lot and watched a few movies. No training.

Nov. 14     – A final workout with the team, skate distance and speed on the local trails. Felt good, conditions were fast and temperatures were moderate. Spent the rest of the day finishing my packing, tidying up the house and running final errands. Grabbed one last Mexican food fix before heading off to Europe. After a busy day, my hubby Jeff talked me into some quiet time on the couch with him and the cats while we watched a movie. Then it was to bed for a few hours.

Nov. 13         – 2nd to last day in town. Happily surprised that the local trails got even better after more people skied and they even groomed a bit!! Am distance classic and PM distance skate, errands in between. Loving home but also will be good to get on the road. Mom came over and helped me pack in the evening.

Nov. 12     – Finally able to ski in town and it’s actually pretty impressive how nice the trails are from just skiers packing it down and a couple passes with a snow machine! Worked on technique and rhythm today during some Z3 intervals. Not super high heart rate but good to work on balance and staying relaxed while still keeping good tempo. Afternoon spin and strength.

King crab for dinner [P] courtesy of Kikkan Randall

King crab for dinner © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Nov. 11         – Enough snow fell overnight to make it skiable in town, yippee!! Hit the treadmill for the morning session and then waited for the snow to get packed down a little on the trails. Nice classic ski with some start practice. Oh and a little photoshooting for Alaska Seafood along the way and some king crab for dinner as a reward!

Nov. 10     – Slept in and then started the day with a short run on the treadmill. The weather was absolutely miserable outside with freezing rain falling instead of snow. A good day to be inside! Worked on cooking an early thanksgiving dinner to enjoy with my family. While I was working, the rain turned to snow and actually started accumulating. Snow finally!! Can’t wait to see how much is out there when I wake up tomorrow!

Nov. 9     + Strength – Decided to take an easier day and head out for a run instead of trucking out to the pass to ski. Had a lovely run on the trails near my house while my Mom rode along on her mountain bike. Had some chill time after to sign a few autograph cards before the Sochi Send Off party hosted in downtown Anchorage. Really nice to see all the support and enthusiasm in the community. Used a strength workout to get warmed up again in the evening.

Nov. 7         – A chilly morning for a rollerski. Brought my skate poles for a classic workout so luckily a teammate had an extra pair! Did some practice starts and finishes. Body felt good. Got out for an evening run at dusk, so happy that the feet are feeling good!

Nov. 6         – The final day of shooting with Kashi, a day in the life of Kikkan! Captured my morning routine, packing my bags for training, eating GO LEAN Crunch, etc. Fun to have to explain why I do what I do! Got out for my training session a little later than I meant too. With Day Light Savings over now, I actually got caught finishing in the dark. Was a little sketchy not being able to see the debris in the road very well. Air is getting colder, might be time to start making some snow Anchorage!!!

Nov. 5     – Met the team for our first on snow time trial, a two loop 5km classic. Good to get the first dose of that feeling to start to dial in the race prep. Solid on the first lap, died a bit on the 2nd. Figured out some good technique pointers. Afternoon cat nap on the couch and then a strength session.

Nov. 4     – Another full day of video shooting with the Kashi team up at Hatcher Pass. Nice weather and a stuffed moose made for a fun day. Got a few sprints in for the cameras.

Nov. 3         – Went for a lovely hike with poles accompanied by a good friend and my mom. Always great to catch up and get a good workout in at the same time!! Started off pretty balmy but got quite blustery by the top! Came home and made pumpkin pancakes. Got in a rhythm organizing the garage after lunch (too much coffee) and almost talked myself out of a 2nd workout. But got on the spin bike anyway and had a great workout. Dropped a few pounds of water weight but caught some good HGTV!

Independence Mine at Hatchers Pass, AK © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Nov. 2         – Left town a little early to get first tracks. Beauty morning for a classic ski. Pristine and quiet for the first hour and then the droves started coming! So many people pumped to be skiing. Time flew by. Signed some posters for the Mat-Su Jr Nordic kids after. Got home and was supposed to nap but was on an energy kick so did housework instead. Watched Jeff’s volleyball game and then tried out a new salmon recipe: Baked King Salmon with Hot spicy mustard and honey glaze. Delicious!

Mat-Su Jr Nordic kids © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Nov. 1     + Strength – Skate intervals on snow, first real session always makes me feel like I’m just learning to ski. Got better as I went and got a great workout! Took a short nap in the van on the way back to town. Then another nap with the cats at home. Afternoon spin and strength session. Getting explosive! Chill evening at home finally.

Skate intervals feel like I’m just learning to ski © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Oct. 31         – Happy Halloween! It was a real dark and gloomy day in Anchorage. Broke out the roller skis again, had been optimistic that I was done with them after PC but Mother Nature is not cooperating! Did some classic distance and speeds with the team. Took a nice nap in the afternoon, got some PT from our team therapist Zuzana who dressed up as me for Halloween! PM spin inside at my house, had to stop a few times to give candy to trick or treaters. Evening traditional Halloween chilli and games with my family. I dressed up as smurfette.

Oct. 30         – Hit the gym for a spin and strength session. Fun to be able to do jumping again now that the achilles is stronger. Went straight to massage and then PT after for maintenance work. Picked up some fresh groceries and then spent the afternoon catching up on computer work. Afternoon spin and SkiErg session. Took a family out for a nordic walking session by headlamp to redeem a “ski lesson with Kikkan” gift certificate they had won at an auction. With the lack of snow, nordic walking did the trick.

Oct. 29             – Classic interval session. Started off on my Fischer crowns and wasn’t sure if they were going to work in the icy track but they worked better and better as I skied up to the main trails. Did several laps of the 2.5km loop at threshold. Felt good to go fast on real snow. Went in for lunch and a little break and then bit the snow again just 3 hours later for another distance session. Had to finish training in time to make two speaking engagements. Nice camp atmosphere for two days but good to be heading home.

Oct. 28         – Raging winds and rain greeted us for our morning ski but it was actually pretty good striding. Had to change into dry gloves and keep adding layers to stay warm. Staying right at the trails though so had a great lunch and cozy nap before heading out again. This time it got better through the ski and had more snow than rain. Solid volume day!

Oct. 26         – A rainy Sunday morning, it would have been really nice just to stay in bed! But got out for a run anyway and ended up having a great time. Finished just in time to get over to cheer for the runners at the APU costume fund run. Then loaded up the car and headed up to Hatcher Pass. Fit in a distance classic ski in heavy wet snow. Really enjoyed the ski but got a little cold by the end.

Oct. 25         – Woke up early to get a quick spin in before loading up all the gear and heading over to set up for the Fast and Female Anchorage CHAMP CAMP. Welcomed over 200 girls for three hours of fitness, inspiration and fun. Really got my sweat going during the insanity boot camp session! So cool to see all the smiles out there! “Unwound” from a big day by watching ‘Gravity’ in 3D with my hubby! Space must be pretty crazy.

Oct. 24         – Caught the team van at 7:30am and headed back to Hatcher for a distance classic ski. Sky was a little dark but the skiing was excellent. Great tracks and kicking on extra blue. Felt pretty good but made sure to keep it a little conservative for the rest week. Took a big nap in the afternoon with one of my cats. Hit up a trail run from my house in the pm, felt great.

Oct. 23     Rest – Another day of production at Hatcher Pass. Ended up doing some shots where I had to ski hard uphill without warming up too much. Full day so didn’t get in much training. Just tried to enjoy the process!

Oct. 22         – A full day of film production with new partner Kashi at Hatcher Pass. Did some really fun shots to capture the beauty of cross country skiing. Snuck out for a distance ski in the afternoon and it was wonderful! Love that feeling of gliding on snow!

Took Nick through my gym routine © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Took Nick through my gym routine © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Oct. 18         + Strength – “This is the day we take the lid off,” my coach said when describing our interval workout. Bounding intervals up The Canyons Resort. Was accompanied by Nick Gismondi from Universal Sports for the “Train like a Champion” series. He got a good taste of how hard bounding intervals can be! Worked through the intervals and the lid was definitely coming off by the end! Met up with Nick again in the afternoon and took him through my gym routine. It was kind of fun to see a normal person try to do our training and get a little different perspective. Will be fun to see the show when it airs in January!

Oct. 17         + Speed – Skate distance and speed out at Solider Hollow. Went on my faster skis and kept it controlled. Had fun practicing some over speed no pole skating off the downhill. Afternoon double pole session with Liz. Came back against a headwind on a long gradual uphill, took me twice as long to get back as I thought. Felt good though.

Oct. 16         – Double-pole and classic distance roll session. Pavement was cold and slow and body was dragging a bit after the time trial the day before. Worked our way up in elevation and reached the snow line. Beautiful scenery! Afternoon run on my own. Felt better as I went.

Oct. 15 Race + Strength – Skate sprint roll time trial. Full warmup, qualification and heats. Felt strong and kept consistent times through all the rounds, final was the fastest. PM run warmup and strength session.

Oct. 14         + Speed – Classic speed roll workout at Soldier Hollow. Body was a little sleepy after the day off. Afternoon run and dinner with the team sport psychologist.

Oct. 12         – Big group combo OD. Started around 4800ft and climbed up to 7800ft on classic roller skis. Then put on the running shoes and ran 10 miles back over to I-80. My first real trail run in over a year and the Achilles did great! Filled the afternoon with some more media stuff and a US Ski Team fundraiser. It’s been a good week!

Oct. 11         + Strength – Skate threshold interval session. Skied as a big pack, changing leads until the very end. Got our legs really burning on the last lap! Great practice for Sochi! Full day after that at the COE. Team photo shoot and then strength.

Oct. 10         + Speed – Up early to lead a skype call with the FIS Athlete Commission. Got to training a little late. Quick warmup and then jumped into a speed session with the girls. Starts, corners and uphill accelerations. Fun! Busy afternoon with a meet and greet with the USSA staff. Run around Round Valley with Holly and Grover, should have worn gloves! Women’s team dinner to cap off a good day.

Oct. 9         – Classic roll with Jessie from the COE. Made a big loop, sun came out midway through, great easy distance ski. Quick afternoon nap and then got all gussied up for an interview. Hit the trails for a solo mountain bike ride after. Another day in the books…

Oct. 8     + Strength – Bounding intervals up the Canyons resort. Better footing with dry ground this time. Really worked on the engine in this workout. Breathing like a freight train and focusing on keeping the tempo up!! PT session to keep my achilles progressing with our awesome APU PT Zuzana afterwards. Then actually managed to fit in a short nap before heading back down the hill to do some strength testing and a strength session. Evening team dinner prepared by our awesome US Ski Team chef Allen!

Oct. 7         + Speed – Classic distance with speed at Soldier Hollow. Got to check out the newly paved sections, super nice!! Worked on some starts and overspeed finishes. Fun to go fast!! Busy afternoon with a USOC Ambassador training session and then straight into a distance run. Felt good to be running in shorts again.

Fast and Female 4hr event with 138 girls © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Fast and Female 4hr event with 138 girls © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Oct. 6     – Woke up early to get some computer work done and then went out for a lovely short hike up the mountain behind our condo. Then the rest of the day was committed to Fast and Female! 4hr event with 138 girls. 6 fitness stations, inspirational chats and interacting with some awesome top female athletes!

Interacting with some awesome top female athletes at Fast and Female [P] courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Interacting with some awesome top female athletes at Fast and Female © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Oct. 5         – Got dropped off at the bottom of Big Cottonwood Canyon and skied 4,986ft up to where the road got too icy to continue. Awesome scenery! Had a delicious lunch cooked by Holly and then snuck in a quick nap. Went for a hike up Canyons Resort with Sadie.

Skied 4,986ft up Big Cottonwood Canyon [P] courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Skied 4,986ft up Big Cottonwood Canyon © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Oct. 3         – A full day of snow flurries. Skate roll with holly from town up to the condo in deer valley. Took a little longer than expected so got to make the afternoon workout a little shorter, DP with some specific strength.

Oct. 2     – Left the condo in the dark to make an early breakfast before the media blitz began. Hauled a gear bag around all day of lifestyle clothes and racing uniforms. Went through a full day of broadcast interviews, photo shoots, round table discussions and more photos. Even got to sing a few lines for the “12 days of Sochi” production to be aired later by NBC. A fun day for sure but now excited to get back into the training routine!

Oct. 1     + Strength – Took a casual morning to make breakfast and respond to a few emails before heading down to the COE for my morning workout. Hit the trails in Round Valley for a nice solo distance run and then went inside for a strength session. The gym was hoping with athletes all trying to get their training before the gym closed down at 1pm for filming of the show ‘The Biggest Loser’. Fit in a pt session and a couple meetings and then headed back out on my skate skis for a distance roll. Altitude has started to kick in, felt pretty sluggish and just had to be patient with myself. Evening check in for the USOC Media Summit and packing for a full day of interviews and photo shoots.

Got on the treadmill again for a classic max test [P] Kikkan Randall

Jumped on the giant green treadmill for a sub max skate test © Kikkan Randall

Sept. 30                     – Up early again to get some blood work before eating breakfast. Got my body composition checked and then jumped on the giant green treadmill for a sub max skate test. The numbers were solid and it’s always fun to dial in your technique at a steady speed. Managed to hang out at the COE. Caught a quick nap under a desk before getting on the treadmill again for a classic max test. Only 12 minutes long but one of the hardest things we do. Like sprinting towards a finish line you can’t seem to reach. Good to push hard though! New PR too which was nice.

Got on the treadmill again for a classic max test [P] Kikkan Randall

Got on the treadmill again for a classic max test © Kikkan Randall

Sept. 29     – Snuck out for a quick run at Sunrise on the mid mountain trail. Quick shower and then off to a full day of video production with BP Team USA. Took some shots with fellow Ambassador Tatyana McFadden and then did some roller ski action and healthy food shopping shots. Also did some more skiing on the synthetic snow carpet and waved Old Glory. Finished off the evening at a meet and greet with all the USOC folks rolling into town.

Video production with BP Team USA [P] courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Video production with BP Team USA © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Sept. 28     – Up early to get in a ride on the spin bike before heading to the airport. Pretty smooth travel down to Park City. Settling in for a 3 week camp.

Sept. 25         – Up early to get in a PT appointment and then rush off to a sponsor commitment. Had a short window before my massage appointment so got my sweat going on the elliptical. Massage, then lunch and then another Healthy Futures school visit. Pushed my long workout to the pm so headed out at 5pm for a 2.5hr skate ski. Was almost getting dark by the time I got done.

Sept. 24         + Strength – Hit the treadmill inside for a run to warmup for strength. Cruised through the session and felt pretty good. Did another Healthy Futures school visit in the afternoon and then got my body comp checked. Leaner and meaner than two months ago and on track! Finished the day’s training with a mountain bike ride on the new single track trails at our local nordic area. Super fun!

Training shots with NBC © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Sept. 23     – Woke up to.. What is that?! Falling snow!!! Pump up the Christmas music! Didn’t have the chance to get out in the snow, made a school visit to talk with kids about healthy lifestyle choices. Cleared off and got sunny in the PM, so I had a great trail run out at Kincaid. Filmed a couple more shots with the NBC crew and joined them for a farewell dinner.

Training shots with NBC © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Sept. 22         – Up early to head out to the valley to take some training shots with NBC. Found a sweet footbridge that almost looked like it had tracks on it. Headed up to 3,000ft after and encountered snow flurries, made it look epic! Subway lunch break and then on to the gym. Recorded some of my strength routines. Fresh Alaska Seafood pickup. Evening interview in my garage and a demonstration of waxing a ski. Not a big training day but busy enough!

Spent all afternoon getting my hair re-blondes and re-pinked. © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Sept. 21         – Classic OD roll with Sadie all around Hillside. Even though it right around freezing when we started I really enjoyed the dry pavement over the wet stuff we’ve been In a lot lately. Spent all afternoon getting my hair re-blondes and re-pinked. Snuck out for a quick run and felt awesome. Met the guys from NBC sports for sushi to go over the filming plan.

Met with NBC sports to go over the filming plan. © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Sept. 19         – Went to practice in the fog. Joined the team for a distance skate with some speeds mixed in. Definitely feeling the end of a hard training cycle. Went home and took a big nap. By afternoon the sun had come out. Had a nice run on the trails. Evening Iron Chef competition and fundraiser for the APU team.

Went to practice in the fog © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Sept. 18         – Double poled from home. Was tired and achy from the hard day before but made it through a solid distance ski. Went straight to massage and boy did that feel good! Missed my nap in the afternoon to support a friend. Evening mountain bike ride on the new singletrack trails at our main nordic park. So fun!! Mountain biking is awesome! Evening dinner with my former high school ski teammates.

Sept. 17     + Strength – Bounding intervals in the rain. Used a loop that we’ve done a lot so it was fun to compare times to past data. Shows I’m getting fit and on track! Had an ‘Al Jazeerra America’ news team come out and film the workout. Had to get home and focus on recovery and get a nap in before my pm PT appointment. Achilles is continuing to get stronger and stronger. Evening spin and strength session. Was pretty tired from the morning’s intervals.

Sept. 16             – Right at the freezing mark at my house when I woke up. Actually had to scrape off the car windows. Thankfully it was warmer on the other side of town where practice was. Joined my teammates for a classic speed workout. Traded some skis around to add to the challenge. After the long dp on Saturday, my body already feels a little more adapted. Was able to dial in technique! Short afternoon nap after preparing some chili in the crock pot. Wonderful afternoon run on the trails. The leaves have turned and I’m loving that fall smell in the air!

Sept. 15     – Recovery day. A beautiful day outside but unfortunately had to spend most of the day inside working on computer stuff. Got out for a short walk with my Mom and my Aunt. Grabbed some lunch at Subway and then walked home. Then back on to the computer. My legs were actually achy by the end of the day from sitting so much. Can’t wait to get back to training!

Sept. 14         – Long distance classic roll. Had my Mom drop me off about 20 miles outside of town and then I skied my way home. Beautiful day! Mom joined me on her bike halfway through and then we celebrated a good workout with homemade blueberry pancakes. Took a short nap in the afternoon followed by a short run. Met up with my APU girl teammates to cook a dinner we had auctioned off as a fundraiser. My teammates are actually pretty good cooks!

Sept. 12         – Finally woke up to a day without rain. Joined the team for an uphill classic session with speeds. Achilles back on track again but continuing with the PT to be safe. Afternoon ride on my road bike.

Sept. 11     + Strength – Woke up to pouring rain. Had to get psyched up to get out there. Went out for a solo bounding session. Hard to follow up on the same times last week but had a solid workout. Changed out of all my wet clothes and then headed over to Costco to restock the fridge for the week. Afternoon nap. Woke up to the sun shining in the window, go figure! PM spin and gym session. Jeff joined me for the last few tough core exercises.

Sept. 10         – Slept in and then took off for a run from the house. Love the smell of fall in the air. Reminds me of cross-country running season. Headed straight to the PT clinic for some ultrasound and work on my Achilles and then a full body massage right after. Saved the longer workout for the afternoon, a skate distance roller ski. Rocked out to my iPod to pass the time. Cooked frozen halibut for dinner.

Sept 9     – Full day of appearances and travel for one of my new sponsors so no time for training. I’m proud to be a part of the 2014 BP Team USA program. Got to visit the BP campuses in Naperville and Chicago. Headed back to Alaska in the evening via Minneapolis. Arrived back at home a little late.

Sept. 5             – Classic intervals. Mix of uphill striding and flat dp repeats. Pretty fierce headwind in spots made it plenty challenging. Did most on the intervals on my own. Afternoon elementary school visit to kick off the 2013 Healthy Futures Challenge and then onto my road bike. Finally got a respite from the rain and had a lovely ride!

Aug. 29         – Headed out in the rain for a double pole. Another day feeling pretty good. Busy afternoon with some interviews and photo shoots. Poured rain most of the day so decided to do workout #2 indoors. Rode the spin bike while watching HGTV. Cooked turkey burgers on the grill for dinner.

Aug. 28         + Strength – Enjoyed a couple cups of my favorite Silver Bean Coffee on my Lady Gaga espresso machine and then headed out for a skate distance ski on my fast wheels. Felt surprisingly good. Found myself really enjoying the skate movements and gliding along on my skis! Met up with my Mom for lunch and a few more errands. Started to get an afternoon crash so gobbled up a healthy snack and went to the gym before I could talk myself out of it. Ran on the treadmill to warm up and then did a strength session. Was pretty mentally tapped by the time I was done.

Aug. 27         – Up early to drive to a sponsor appearance. Got to meet some really nice people, recruit some new fans for cross country skiing and tour a food processing facility. Always pretty cool to see the magic behind something you’ve been eating for years! Caught a flight back to Anchorage. Snuck out for a run in the muggy air with Jeff. Nice to be home!

Aug. 26 Rest – Took the morning chill to pack up and say good bye to Park City. It’s been a great two week altitude camp. Took a flight to Seattle and spent the night in Tacoma working on some computer work. Decided just to take the day off and not stress.

Aug 22         – Fun long roller ski up the Mirror Lake Highway. Took turns changing leads with the girls. Greeted by the biggest bear claw doughnuts you’ve ever seen after, nice reward! Afternoon mountain bike ride just as a big thunderstorm let loose. Turned around because the lightning was getting too close, spun the rest of the workout indoors.

Aug 21         – Another bounding workout up Canyons Resort, really starting to find my groove. Totally sunburned my left side during lunch with friend and former coach Pete Vordenberg. Kind of a busy afternoon running some errands and then PT at the COE, some balance work and then a solo dp around a nice big loop. The air was soft and warm and I had a great time. King Salmon fillet (wild Alaskan of course) for a yummy dinner!

Aug 20         + Strength – Skate roll with two athletes and two coaches on bikes. Used to bikes to descend downhills that would have been too fast without brakes! Felt good cruising through this decadent neighborhood! Nice chill time between workouts. Ran on the trails just with my music for a strength warmup. Hammered out a challenging strength session. Sometimes you have to break yourself down before you build back up!

Aug 19             – Another solid bounding workout up The Canyons Resort. Sweating hard but feeling fitter with each step. Took the Gondola down. Did some more balance practice at the COE. Afternoon classic roll. Followed the boys for a while. A serious thunderstorm in progress during our ski!

Aug 18         – Gorgeous morning. Had a little visit from the USADA folks so got a little extra hydration. Nice easy cruise up the mountain on the bike again and fun riding the turns on the way back down. Chill afternoon hanging with friends.

Aug 17     + Strength – First bounding session in over a year. Did some zone 3 up Canyons resort and then took the gondola down. Went inside for the PM session just in time as a thunderstorm kicked up. Solid strength session and then some recovery in the hot and cold tubs.

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

Aug 16         – Awesome mountain bike ride with Sadie and Rosie all around Park City Mountain Resort. 16 miles and 4,000ft of climbing and some fun GoPro footage (coming soon)! Rode to and from the house to make it even better and grabbed some lunch at Subway on the way home! Afternoon skate roll and run combo with coach Erik. Feeling better and better as this cold clears up. Joined the National Training Group (NTG) for dinner at the COE and had a fun Q&A session with them.

Aug 15         – Great dp workout with my APU teammates today. Jumped on my fast skis midway through and had fun following the boys. Got a nice milkshake treat to cool off after. PM run and ski walk up Canyons resort. Sweet to take the Gondola down. Loving this heat!

Aug 14         – Skate distance around the town loop with the group. Found some sweet fresh new pavement, what a treat! Still trying to clear this cold so ended on the early side. Got some PT treatment for my Achilles and worked on some balance stuff. Afternoon Skype call with the FIS Athlete Commission. PM road bike ride on my own. Hot!

A nice day for a hike up Canyons Resort © Kikkan Randall

A nice day for a hike up Canyons Resort. © Kikkan Randall

Aug. 13     + Strength – Met up with my APU team for some running and ski walking up Canyons Resort. Nice and hot already when we started. Wound our way up the trail. Nose cleared a bit as we went and feelings were good. Not feeling the altitude quite yet, but I know it’s coming. Felt great after an hour and was tempted to keep running but staying committed to my progression to make sure this achilles thing is permanently done! Rode the gondola down and headed to the COE for PT and balance work. Got a short afternoon break and then went back to the COE for a strength session. So motivating to be in that gym! Hot/cold tubs after. Nice chill evening on my own. To bed early again!

A fun summer style with my APU teammate Peter Kling © Kikkan Randall

A fun summer style with my APU teammate Peter Kling © Kikkan Randall

Aug 12     – Up early again to head from NYC to SLC. Got a nice nap on the plane and headed straight to the USSA COE (Center of Excellence) for some meetings and training. It was a beautiful day outside but decided to do an indoor workout because of the nagging cold I’m still fighting. Just did a super easy spin and run on the treadmill. So fun to be back at the COE, what an awesome resource! Did a quick hot/cold dip for my feet, grabbed a snack and then headed to a friend’s house to get settled down for the night. In bed by 8:30pm!

Sadie getting after it on the pull-up bar! © Kikkan Randall

Sadie getting after it on the pull-up bar! © Kikkan Randall

Aug 1         + Strength – Liz and I jumped on the road bikes and accompanied Jeff on his ride to work. Then turned around and rode home. Said goodbye to Liz and ran some afternoon errands. Had a great session at the gym with a treadmill run and some solid strength. Evening sushi date with my hubby!

July 31     – Slept in another morning and enjoyed a nice breakfast with the girls. Headed out for a trail run along the water. Really hard to get myself to turn around early, as I gradually build up my running again after the glacier week. Sung to myself to keep the bears alerted of my presence as I ran back and then stretched in the sun. Packed up and drove back to Anchorage. Got Astrid all packed up and sent off to the airport after a great 3 week training camp. Sorry to see my new friend go! Evening BBQ with the fresh caught salmon and my former coach and his family.

July 22-30 – Team training camp on the Glacier. Details to follow.

July 21        – Combo run/skate roller ski up at Hatcher’s Pass. Really nice high mountain meadows. So great to run, makes me miss all the running I would normally do without the sore Achilles. Had lunch with the best Alaska jr skiers and shared some stories and advice. Came home and enjoyed a nice evening of leftovers from last night’s Alaska Seafood feast!

July 19        + Speed – Skate roll speed session. With 18 athletes, it’s quite the blur of neon!! Worked on acceleration and overspeed. Picked up some fresh Alaska Seafood for a team dinner the next night and headed home for a quick lunch and then a rolfing session. Afternoon short recovery run after a quick session with our local PT. Evening team dinner at Holly’s place.

July 18         – 50km roller ski dp tour around Anchorage. Fun to try out different technique ideas and see the sights. Short afternoon rest and then a team run out on the bluff trail at Kincaid Park. Great scenery, a little over grown but a good time! Evening mexican bbq at home and some deck time in the sun.

July 16     + Strength – Our annual skate intervals at Kincaid park. Took turns leading and carried good speeds. Great time to really play with technique and learn! Short afternoon nap and then back out the door for strength. Really nice to be able to work in-person with my strength coach. Evening salmon BBQ with “Alaskan” games after. Full day!

We could see Mt. McKinley off in the distance on this beautiful clear day © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

We could see Mt. McKinley off in the distance on this beautiful clear day © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

July 15     – The 3rd annual NAWTA camp officially kicks off with a classic distance roller ski session including a bunch of climbing. Spirits are high in the group and we’re psyched to have some new faces with us this year. Short turnaround for the afternoon workout. Distance run for some, mountain bike ride for me. Dinner of Alaskan Moose Burgers!

Took Astrid down to the “Alaskan Beach” at Kincaid Park © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

July 14     – Mostly a rest day and a chance to do some sight seeing with Astrid. Took her down to the “Alaskan Beach” at Kincaid Park and then hit up the downtown area. Lots of good people watching and some fun at the local market. Grabbed lunch at a favorite spot and then headed over to the big warehouse retail outlet, “COSTCO” for some real American viewing. Loaded up on a nice array of healthy and delicious food and then spent the rest of the day hanging out on the deck in the sun. A nice rest day!

COSTCO © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

July 13         – Long distance day. Started with some running and ski walking around the Hillside trails. Swapped gear after an hour and headed out on a big roller ski loop. Got a good mix of terrain, some good climbing and a final fast descent. We could see Mt. McKinley off in the distance on this beautiful clear day. Went to see ‘Despicable Me 2’ with my cousins and enjoyed a nice relaxed evening.

July 9         + Strength – Skate roll intervals up a newly paved road. Almost makes you giddy inside when the pavement is so nice. Teamed up with Holly Brooks and Swiss guest Bettina Grueber. Felt good to get up to race pace. Came home and helped get the house ready for our guest’s arrival. Fit in a quick strength session and then headed to the airport. Pumped to have Norwegian World Champion Astrid Jacobsen staying with us for the next 2 weeks!

July 8         + Speed – Double pole speed session with the team, great to be back in the group environment. Did my first interview on skype just after lunch. Then headed out for a run/bike combo. Evening meeting with the Alaska Winter Olympians Foundation.

July 6         – Talked Jeff into going for a trail run with me. Body felt good. Switched to my classic roller skis and took off for a Hillside tour while Jeff drove the car home. Made it a solid over distance workout and still felt strong in the end. Did some foam rolling and stretching and icing and then chilled on the couch with the cats for some rest time. Energy came back around for a little housework in the afternoon.

July 5     + Strength – Got out the door a little late after watching the conclusion of the day’s Tour de France stage but it always gets me so pumped up. Repeated a Z3 skate roll workout from the week before. Body is feeling pretty sleepy after a few days of resting. Went for a short trail run in the afternoon to warmup before strength. Hosted my family for a BBQ with some fresh Alaskan wild caught fish in the evening. Quite the whirlwind day.

July 4         – Biked over to the local playground to help babysit the son of a good friend of mine. Gotta love the terrible twos!! Had so much fun riding on my new FATBACK bike that I just had to go for a little longer! Rode my FATBACK around the ski trails for a while for a nice easy distance session. Came back to the house and worked on house projects for a while. A nice easy-going day to celebrate America’s birthday!

July 3         – Morning run around the trails I used to train on in high school. Brought back some good memories. Working my running time back up slowly and enjoying each improvement. Picked up some awesome fresh Alaskan fish from my new sponsor, Alaska Seafood for the holiday long weekend! Excited to try out some new recipes! Afternoon bike with a friend, who also has a pink road bike!! Evening totally chilled out on the couch with my hubby and the cats.

July 2     – Went for a nice easy skate roll from home. Already after two days off, my body was slipped into zombie repair mode. Got my hair repinked in the afternoon and then hit the gym for a short strength sesh. Finished up the evening watching Jeff mountain bike race and then ran the course with him to pick up flags.

July 1 Rest Day – Took the first real rest day in a while and just enjoyed working on a few projects around the house. Did stop briefly late morning for a quick recovery massage and then a little walk in the evening. You can actually get quite a lot done when you’re not training twice!

June 30 Rest Day – Went for a hike with some of my relatives in town from out of state. Mosquitos were insane, made me really appreciate that I move fast enough during most of my workouts that they can’t get me! Enjoyed a nice brunch with the family afterward and then headed home to get some computer work done. Jeff and his band were playing a small outdoor concert in the evening. I really enjoy getting to be the band groupie!

June 29         – Made one more long road bike OD on my own. Rode from home out towards the town of Eagle River. Managed to rack up 3,100ft of total climb during my 52-mile ride. Legs were a bit heavy but enjoyed a fun ride. Came back and was SO hungry!! Ate a bunch of canned salmon salad on wheat crackers and then crashed for a big nap on the couch with the cats. Took me a while to work out of my stupor to get out for a run. Nice chill evening at home.

My bike desk © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

June 28         StrengthSkate interval workout. Skied my workout from home over to the usual course. The mist started halfway over. Jumped right into my interval pace workout. Ran into a few of my younger teammates out there. Climbed up to the high point and then got to use a gradual descent as my cool down. Hit the gym in the afternoon for a strength session. Definitely feeling the burn from the a solid training cycle but still have good snap and power and improving on the max strength. Was invited to give a keynote speech at the Alaska Family Medical Residency program graduation. Had fun relating how becoming a physician is a little like the career of an elite athlete.

June 27    Double pole roller ski out-and-back through town from home. Almost had some big trouble when I kicked my own pole tip and broke it 45 min out. Luckily I happened to be 5-min away from my local ski shop so I skied with one pole over there, got a new tip and continued on my workout. In the afternoon went for a nice road bike cruise. Legs are definitely feeling a little tired and I’m looking forward to finishing this training block. Finished up with an easy run.

June 26                 – Dropped some big time on my standard interval today for the same feel and heart rate. Always amazes me how you can’t always feel the improvement when you’re with yourself everyday and then suddenly it seems, you get stronger. Had to include some extra salt in my diet to offset the sweat today! Afternoon run/bike combo. Feeling the fatigue setting in on week 3… three more days to go!!

June 25         – Skate roll from home. Tried out some different boot/insole combinations to find a really cozy fit. Hit the gym in the afternoon. Jeff came along and critiqued me on my technique. Not always easy to hear critical feedback but helps me get better! Especially important with lifting technique!!

June 24         – Third week repeat of some double-pole specific strength work. Getting stronger every week. Put in some good distance training after. Afternoon road bike ride. Met up with my hubby for part of it. Beautiful day again so lots of people out and about. Leftover salmon for dinner, yum!!

June 23     – Mostly a rest day but went out for a short and easy run just to keep it rolling. Enjoyed doing a few chores around the house. A good friend’s wedding in the afternoon. Got my dance on but had to keep a lid on it to protect my Achilles.

June 22         – Morning classic ski from home followed by a 30 min trail run. Building the running up a little bit each day. Took a short break to have lunch and nap and then headed out on my road bike. Did a 48 mile perimeter loop around town. Ran into some relatives out there. Nice chill evening at home grilling some of the neighbor’s fresh caught salmon and a movie.

June 21         + Strength – Skate threshold session with the team on one of our standard interval loops. We worked together today to work on changing pace and skiing in a train. I haven’t skated much this summer so far but today felt great!! Worked on some fast finishes like we’ll see in Sochi. Clouds finally moved in after two straight weeks of sun, it was a little chilly. Afternoon session at the gym after an elliptical warmup. Going to need some bumper plates pretty soon for my Olympic lifts.

June 20     – A nice easy double-pole roll while my Mom cruised beside me on her bike. The time really flew by having someone to chat with. Made a quick changeover and went for my allotted 30 min run. Another good day to finish the run without any pain in my achilles. Got in an extra workout today taking some promo shots with one of my new sponsors. My massage therapist had an opening in his schedule at the last minute so rode over on my road bike, got some calf work and then rode back home. More photo shooting in the evening with the nice sunlight on Summer Solstice.

June 18         – Already hot by the time I headed out for my morning skate distance roll. So nice to be able to ski right from home. Got nice and sweaty out there but had a good time just cruising to my own rhythm. Went for a short and easy run after to keep moving my achilles in the right direction. Did some stretching on the front porch after. It was so hot out there my iPhone over heated! Met with a local nutritionist in the afternoon to work on dialing in my nutrient timing and recovery. Always good to learn more! PM strength session in a hot hot gym. Anchorage buildings aren’t made it air conditioning! Evening errands and then a hastily made chicken fajita salad. Hoping it’s not too warm to sleep tonight!

June 17             – Back to training with the team and another hot and sunny day. Met up to repeat the double pole specific strength workout from the previous week. Already feeling stronger and getting the technique dialed in. Pretty fun to sprint it out with my teammates. After some recovery snacks in the parking lot (it’s APU team snack day), I did a little stretching and then headed off to my weekly over-haul massage. Had to make a quick turnaround after to grab lunch and meet with a new sponsor. Fit in a little grocery shopping at Costco (more on that later) and then went for a mountain bike ride with my roommate. Hottest day we’ve had yet and totally loving it!!

Father’s Day © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

June 16    – Took a leisurely day to celebrate Father’s Day with my Dad. Met up with my sister to prepare a little picnic lunch and then let my Dad, who is a Nordic Walking instructor lead us on a little hike. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was fantastic. Along the trail we found a nice little spot with a view to share our picnic. After several hours in the sun, I was totally wiped out. Had to take a little cat nap with my cats on the couch. It’s the 7th consecutive day in Anchorage above 70F/21C, which for us is a big deal!! Had freshly caught Copper River King Salmon for dinner.

Copper River King Salmon for dinner © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

June 15         – Went for a long solo road bike ride. Nice to make up my route as I went and ride as I felt like. Ended up covering 65 miles in 4hrs with 4,000ft+ of vertical. Beautiful day. Then had a cappuccino and cleaned up the house for my husband’s return. Evening BBQ with friends.

June 14         + Strength – Joined the team for a skate roller ski session. Did some boot testing early in the workout and reconfirmed that my boots from this winter provide the best fit and ski technique. Did some threshold intervals with varied terrain. Finished with some climbing. Was feeling really good, feet and all, but decided to keep it on the shorter side just to be sure. Enjoyed some stretching and recovery in the parking lot with my teammates after. Lunch on the deck at home with my Mom and then a nap on the couch with the cats. Hard to go indoors for strength when it’s so nice outside. Worked through a strengths session, can tell the fatigue from the week of training is building.

June 13     – My easy day. Took a dp cruise on my Marwe “0” wheels on the bike path through town. Kept playing with technique until I found the sweet spot. Made my favorite waffle recipe for lunch. Out the door again to test out my Achilles on a run but only made it 20min this time before I felt it, finished the rest on my bike. Got a third workout in after dinner by mowing the lawn. Still sunny and amazing out!!

June 12                 – Met up with Erik for some classic and double pole intervals. Did a couple 3km uphill repeats striding at threshold pace and followed with two hard 1km repeats on the flats. Feels good to be breathing hard again! Took a big nap in the afternoon and then got out for a mountain bike ride which feels more like playing than training! Made myself a nice dinner and watched some ski racing clips on my computer.

June 11         + Strength – Team was doing bounding intervals but I haven’t quite graduated up to that intensity for my Achilles yet so went for a distance run instead. Psyched to have run for one hour without any pain!! Did a bunch of mobility and stretching in the sun after, then lunch, massage and nap. Woke up, had a snack and an espresso shot and headed to the gym. Lifts are getting heavier but feeling myself getting stronger!!

June 10             – Another brilliant, sunny and warm Alaska summer day! Such a treat to kick off this next training phase! Met up with my APU team for some double-pole intervals out on the new roller ski loop at Kincaid Park. Really focused on technique and made some good progress. DP muscles were tired by the end! Grabbed some groceries and then settled in at home for a restful mid day. Joined Sadie and Becca for a nice road bike loop around the Hillside. Got in a few good climbs and hit a max speed of 45mph on one of the downhills. Evening grill and chill on my own. Really enjoying being home!!

June 9         + Strength – Slept in and enjoyed a nice morning with the cats. Made a healthy breakfast and then got out on my road bike. Super nice weather, warm and sunny. Had a great 2hr+ ride on a big loop around the outskirts of the city. Finished and made a awesome smoothie to enjoy on the back deck. Did some organizing around the house and then headed over to the gym for a strength session. Kind of a pity to do anything inside on such a nice day but got pumped!! Evening BBQ with my parents and some delicious Alaskan Salmon on the grill!

June 8
        – Up early to catch my flight out of Dubrovnik. Got to Frankfurt with six hours to spare. Googled ‘frankfurt airport gym’ and got a tip to check out the gym at the Sheraton attached to the main terminal. Turns out they had a great gym and I got in a great spin bike/run combo workout and then did some of my mobility exercises. Hit the sauna and relax room afterwards and then a shower. Headed to my plane refreshed and ready. Only 9 hours direct to Anchorage. Arrived in time to enjoy a nice cold one on the deck overlooking the busiest float plane lake in the world! Psyched to be home!

May 31     – Took the leisure of sleeping in all the way until 7:30am! Went for a short and easy jog on a cool but beautiful morning. Managed to get quite productive on my computer for a couple hours before hoping on the shuttle to the Redmond airport. A quick and easy direct flight brought us to Park City and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening getting settled in. Stopping by the US Ski Team COE felt a little like coming home.

May 30         – Final day of Bend camp. Headed up to the mountain under sunny skies for the first time since the camp began. An easy distance skate for me with a few stops for video analysis. Snow was getting pretty suctiony by the end. One more massage and a busy afternoon getting skis packed. Did a short run to the pool and then aqua jogged the rest. Finished the evening with the premier of ‘FIRST: a story of the London 2012 Olympics.’ Got me super fired up for Sochi!

May 28         – Started off in the sun when we left the house but it quickly turned to sleet by the time we got out on the trails. Super slow skate conditions. Skied together with my teammates and made it around the loop a few times for a good distance ski. Got a full massage in the afternoon which totally helped a sore spot in my back, like magic! Afternoon double pole. Decided to skip the prescribed intervals and just do distance instead to give my elbows a chance to get ready for the pounding. Shishcabobs for dinner!

May 27         – Classic team sprint in some sloppy conditions. Paired up with some club skiers joining us at the camp and did a full semi final and final round. Haven’t gone that hard in a while! We had to start our afternoon strength session early to finish before the gym closed so it seemed like a quick turnaround. Got to work with my strength coach in person, he made sure my form was correct.

May 26         – Gave skating a try again with some slightly altered boots. Snow was soft and slow. Worked on technique with video analysis to find just the right impulse and keep the legs from loading up. Had a hurried shower and lunch after skiing and headed right over to our 2nd annual Bend Fast and Female event. Jumped, danced and inspired for 5 hrs alongside my awesome Ambassador friends. Jumped in the pool right after that for a pool running and swim session. Super cool for this AK kid to swim in an outdoor pool! Evening team meeting and mock press conference. First full week of Bend camp complete!

May 25     – Most of the team took the morning off while I headed out for a double pole roller ski with Erik. A great time to talk training and technique and get the arms reacquainted with the feeling of poling into hard asphalt. Hit another great yoga class right after at Namaspa, although this time just a gentle flow. Took a big nap in the afternoon and enjoyed a nice outdoor barbecue with local friends. To bed early!

May 24         – Took the am off to let the bruise on my heel chill out a bit. Hammered on some computer work. Got an awesome post-lunch massage to work out my super tight calves. Finally made it outside in the afternoon for a short jog, spin and a strength session. Evening gathering of many of the US Ambassadors for Fast and Female!

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!

The crew getting ready for a group run. © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!

The start was a bit dirty but it cleaned up quite good down lower! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

Great to be skiing in sports bras! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

groceries… these should last a few days. © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!

Welcome home Kikkan… © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

(l-r) Chandra, Unknown, Kikkan, Liz © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!

Randall (l) and Stephen ham it up © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!

Noah looking pretty tired after a tough 30km skiathlon! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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)!

The view from the Laura XC venue is pretty epic on a clear day! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!

Holly and I with the Sochi banner, hard to believe the Olympics are just one year away already! © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

La Clusaz Women’s Relay © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

la clusaz at sunrise © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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!!

© courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

Birthday girl © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

Moustache girls: Randall, Stephen, Diggins, Brooks © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

The tower near Malles, Italy © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

Having a soak © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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.

Cowgirls…Falla (l) and Kikkan © courtesy of Kikkan Randall

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 3     – Full travel day. Left Rovaniemi at 9am and took four flights and 22 hours to get to Quebec City. Met up with a bunch of our nations group teammates on the way into town. In bed late.

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.