Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Wild West

I apologize for my lack of blogging in the last month. I will be better about it starting NOW! Last time I blogged, we were halfway through our camp in New Zealand and the second half of camp was just as good as the first. I really love it down there and can't wait to return next summer. It's also on my list of places to explore when I've retired from skiing. After camp ended, I flew back to Colorado for Simi's sister's beautiful wedding in southern Colorado. It was a fun week of recovering, spending time with friends and family, celebrating, and going on some mountain adventures. We hit Colorado at peak foliage and the scenery was hard to beat.
Wedding day!

Molly overlooking the golden CO foliage

Celebrating Jenny and James with Kelsey and Sim
After a week in Colorado, I headed back to Vermont for nine days. It was a quick trip home, but it was just what I needed to fully recover from our big camp in New Zealand, get in an intensity week with my SMS Elite teammates, and unpack from one trip and pack up for the next one. There is nothing like my own bed and some home-cooked meals with my parents to help me reset for the next month of camps and adventures. While I was home, our SMS Elite Team also put on a clinic in Hanover, NH and we had a great turnout. I don't know if I've ever seen such a group of motivated kids who are just as excited to hill bound as they are to do an obstacle course.
Relaxing by the fire with Leroy

Post ski walking intervals up Stratton

Peru Fair with my Grandma, Twinkle!

Long run on the AT with my cousins Alexa and Paddy

Visiting one of my best friends, Mae, in her new home

Clinic in Hanover

Fall in Vermont
After my quick trip home, I repacked my bags for a month in the West. The first event on my schedule was the wedding of my best friend from high school, Parker, and her beautiful bride, Hannah, in Park City. I was looking forward to this wedding for many reasons, but one of them was because my whole family was going to be reunited for the first time since spring! My sister and brother live in Flagstaff and Bozeman now, so it's rare that the five of us get to be in the same place at the same time anymore. The wedding was perfect and I was so happy to spend the weekend with my family and some of my best friends.
Family run in Park City

Parker practicing her vows the morning of the wedding


Family at the wedding

Wedding morning bike ride to sweat out the nerves

Running in Park City
The beautiful brides
After wedding number two, we drove to Aspen to spend a few days with Simi's family and then went to Fruita and Moab to do some mountain biking before coming back to Park City for our final USST camp before the season begins. We've been taking a short trip to the desert for the last few falls and it is one of my favorite places in the world. Growing up in the East, I had never seen anything like the desert before and even though I've been several times now, I'm still in shock every time I go back. It's always a nice little break from roller skiing, and a good chance to reset before the final push of the training season.
Rollerskiing in Aspen

Desert campsite

Mtn Biking in Fruita with Sim

Snow in Aspen

Mud freckles

Biking under the golden Aspens

Survived wedding season!

Slick Rock lunch break with our friends Megan and Dylan

View from our campsite
Now I'm back in Park City and our camp kicks off on Monday. I'm ready to be reunited with everyone on our team and to put in a couple solid weeks of training to gear up for the season. Thanks for following!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Winter in New Zealand

Last summer was my first time to New Zealand and it quickly became one of my favorite places in the world. I was excited to find out that NZ camp was on the schedule again this year and the Snow Farm has lived up to expectations in every way! It's a long trip to travel over here. The time change is 16 hours ahead of the east coast, or 8 hours behind tomorrow, if that makes sense. So right now it's Thursday morning here and Wednesday evening in Vermont. Even though it takes a long time to get here, adjusting to the time change is relatively easy. I get tired early at night and wake up ready to go in the morning. The sleeping accommodations are dark, cool, and cozy, and I'm always shocked by how easily we adapt to life down under. In addition to the good sleeping, New Zealand has a ton of other things going for it. There is natural beauty everywhere and with only 4.5 million people in the entire country, it never seems over populated or crowded, especially where we are...sitting on top of a mountain above 15kms of switchbacking dirt road to get here. The food is also delicious. It's kind of a mix of asian fusion, lamb, and the occasional American or Mexican meal. What else is good about this place? The skiing! We're here a month and a half later than we were last year, so we're experiencing more early March conditions, but it's still not full blown spring skiing. We actually got a pretty big snow storm over the last couple days and are planning on doing some hard wax skiing this afternoon.
Back on snow with Matt and Liz our first afternoon in New Zealand

Morning view on our walk to breakfast...not bad!

Liz taking in the view on a drink break

Simi, Liz, and me at Bob Lee Hut
Chasing Liz down "The Loop"
We've done a couple intensity sessions, a couple speed sessions, and mostly easy distance training since being here. This weekend we are hopping in some FIS races that are being held at the Snow Farm, so that will be a good way to end the camp with a little intensity. The Snow Farm has basically everything we need up here. We can ski from the door, eat in the same building, and there's even a little gym we can use. Every once in awhile it's nice to drive off the mountain and go to the town of Wanaka, which is about 45 minutes away. Sometimes we go to a bigger gym in town to do strength and we will also go down and walk around town if we have an off day or afternoon. It's a beautiful little town sitting right on Lake Wanaka with a bunch of shops and good places to eat. There are also a ton of good running and mountain biking trails around town that I hope I can come back and explore one summer!
Interval day on a ribbon of snow (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Afternoon ski with Liz 

Bloody hand after getting my lactate taken on interval day

Liz and Jessie racing the Merino Muster

Sim and Hoff showing off their medals

Sunset cruise

Give an american a day off in town and...

Tea pot sweater!

Beach time in Wanaka

Intervals with the girls (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Jess and me at Bob Lee Hut (erika photo)

crust cruising! (Erika photo)
For the most part, we've had incredible skiing since we've been here. We've had the occasional day of wind, rain, or snow, but we have had a lot of sunny days. My favorite ski of the camp so far had to be yesterday morning. A big snow storm was predicted for the entire day, but just as we were getting ready to ski, the clouds parted and we had full blown sunshine and no wind. Plenty of snow had dumped the night before and everything was covered in powder. It had been a few hours since the groomer had been through, so we were making our own tracks for the morning. We explored a trail I had never been on before and had an awesome morning of waddling through the backcountry and making some powder turns. The snow was beginning to get a little thin here, so the storm was just what we needed and it looks like we got even more snow last night!
KO and Grove climbing up the hillside

Erika shredding the downs

Made it to the Kirtle Burn Hut!

Skiing out of the fog

We have five more days at the Snow Farm and I'm sure they will fly by. It has been an awesome camp and I'm hoping we will be able to return again next summer. Huge thanks to everyone at the Snow Farm who helps make this happen!
Happy girls post intervals (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Go With the Flow

If June in Vermont was beautiful and July in Alaska was sunny, August in Vermont has been sweaty. I had almost convinced myself that the sunny, dry weather was just going to follow me around the world this summer, but no, no, no. Regardless of whether it's been sunny, cloudy, or rainy, it has been HUMID in Vermont. But really what better way to feel like you're working hard than sweating out two gallons every morning? Sweating aside, it's been great to be back in Vermont with my SMS teammates and I'm looking forward to a couple more weeks here before heading to New Zealand for the first two weeks of September.

We had the Swedish club team that Kevin Cutts coaches join us for ten days. It was fun to have some international flavor at the workouts! Here I am with the Swedish girls after hammering out some double pole intervals

Showing off the new SMS Elite Team podium wear shorts with Erika

Catching some air during strength (Julia Kern photo)

Helping out at the annual SMS camps

Downhills are FUN!
Running with my cousins Alexa and Anya
Following Jessie during threshold skate intervals (Julia Kern photo)

Taking a turn pulling during skate intervals (Lillyphoto)

There are two feelings I love during the training season. One feeling is getting into a routine back with my club team in Stratton and the other is going with the flow and taking advantage of the opportunity for some adventures. These adventures are often in the form of climbing mountains and they might not always be the perfect training on paper, but I think the mental benefits that I get from them are what make them worth it. Over the weekend, we were supposed to do a running time trial on Thursday and then we were going to head to the White Mountains for a long run the day before my friend, Steph Crocker, was getting married at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. After taking a peek at the weather and seeing that the day we were planning on doing the running time trial was supposed to be the only nice day of the weekend, we called up coach Matt and proposed the idea of putting off the running time trial to do the Presidential Traverse that day. Two miles of running uphill hard and 24 miles of running in the mountains easy are pretty much the same thing, right? I'm lucky to have a coach who believes in opportunities for adventure, a boyfriend who is addicted to opportunities for adventure, and a cousin who is one tough cookie, so it was settled. After a 3:30 am wake up, Simi, my cousin Alexa, and I drove up to the Whites for a 7 am start time on the Presidential Traverse. It was a hot and sticky day down low, so it turned out to be the perfect day to be running across ridges up high. Eight hours, 24 miles, a lot of PB&Js, and three pairs of tired legs later, we had completed the traverse and were still smiling!

Experiencing a range of emotions across the traverse

Mt. Washington. Psyched!

Drink break
Lunch Break eating up some VT Peanut Butter!
Cool features on the AT

Almost there!
According to my Polar watch, I went a little above and beyond my recommended daily activity
After the traverse, we spent a couple relaxing days at Simi's aunt and uncle's home on Silver Lake in NH. It was the perfect way to recover and they have some pretty sweet mountain bike trails and water sports we were able to indulge in. Thanks Tots and Lol! By the time the wedding came on Saturday, we weren't walking around like we were 90 years old anymore and were ready for some dancing! The following morning, Andy, Erika, Simi, and I decided to go for a run just north of Hanover on our way back down south. Erika and I had done this run a handful of times while skiing for Dartmouth, but we somehow still managed to get lost and the run ended with a hitch hike back to the trucks. Luckily, we were all in good spirits about it. Like I said before...sometimes you have to go with the flow!

Before the wrong turn, on top of Mt. Cube with Erika

Lake time

Dartmouth '12 Ski Team girls with the beautiful bride, Steph!

Nothing like a little dancing to help flush the legs out (Gretchen Powers photo)
I have a medium block of training coming up and then an easy week before heading to New Zealand. I've been checking the New Zealand webcam daily and cannot wait to get back on snow, but first, it's time to do some more sweating. Thanks for following!
Warming up for specific strength at BMD this morning (SMS Nordic photo)