Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Park City Update

Park City camp has come to a close for most of my teammates, but I'm sticking around for another week to do some more dryland and hammer the physical therapy while I have access to the US Team support. Most of the team headed north to Canmore to do some skiing at Frozen Thunder. The skiing looks good and the skiers look fast, so be sure to follow their updates! In the last two weeks, my training has consisted of hiking and a little leg and core strength training. I'm pretty lucky to have coaches that hop on the treadmill next to me to do hiking intervals. Matt did my first hiking intervals with me and Gus did my second day of intervals with me, all while making it look pretty easy.
I also have a set of wonderful teammates who showed up to my treadmill intervals as cheerleaders

Matt helping me sweat it out on the treadmill 
While the team was still here, I was able to go cheer them on during a couple of their time trials at Soldier Hollow. I planted my self on Hermode's Hill because that is by far the most brutal part of the race and did a few speed walks up next to them to make sure they made it over the top.
All smiles (except for Ben) after the time trial
Helping push Sadie up the hill (figuratively) 

Me, Jessie, and Sades

Canadian Thanksgiving! The SMS T2 team celebrates Canadian Thanksgiving each year we are in Park City and this year's meal didn't disappoint. Pat cooked up a delicious turkey that was supplemented with gravy, stuffing, brussel sprouts, salad, homemade bread, and every kind of pie. 
Sadie, Kikkan, Grover, and Rosie are in town until tomorrow, so I've had some nordorks to play with the past couple days. I've also met up with some old friends who live here, which has been really fun because they can show me around the town they're much more familiar with.

Morgan Smyth took me on an adventure and we bagged some new peaks I had never been on

Morgan and her dog Sam way above Park City

Sadie, Rosie, and me on top of Bald Mountain. It looks like it's snowy for some reason. It is not. We did have a three minute hail storm yesterday, but that quickly passed and we woke up to blue skies again this morning. 

A pile of buddies
I had a followup doctor's appointment with my surgeon today and he said everything looks great. I even got a new cast that I got to pick the colors for. I can take it off to shower and stretch and it's a little smaller, so I might be able to stuff it into a few of my shirts. He also cleared me to run and do some one pole rollerskiing, so I'm looking forward to switching training up from here on out.
Blue and beautiful!

I head back east a week from today and go to NYC for a few days to attend the US Ski Team Ski Ball before heading back to Vermont. In other exciting news, my club team, SMS T2, just received a challenge grant. If we can raise $25K, we will get a matching donation! This means our program can continue running for another year. For more information and a link to donate, please visit HERE.
SMS T2 at summer training
I miss being with my teammates in Canada, but I will see them soon and am looking forward to spending another week in the Park City mountains and sunshine.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sharpen Your Elbows

Up until this summer, I had never broken a bone, but in the last six months, I've managed to break both of my elbows. I wish the injuries had cooler stories to go with them, but I won't sugar coat it. I broke one trying to unclip out of my bike pedals in May and I broke the other while walking across a parking lot on Monday. I don't usually take too many falls on skis and I think of myself as a pretty coordinated person, but I realize flukes like this happen and that there are always ways to come out stronger.  Gus and I were heading out for a run Monday afternoon and about twenty feet from the car, we were walking and a low-hanging cable clotheslined me at the ankles so I went elbow to pavement hard. It was pretty apparent that something wasn't right very quickly, so Gus drove me to the ER. They checked me out Monday afternoon and Dr. Olson and his team brought me in for surgery Tuesday afternoon at the Park City Hospital. I'm extremely grateful for how quickly they got me in and how kind everyone I interacted with was.
Post-tumble trip to the hospital. Matt was intent on documenting it. Gus, Matt, and Simi put in their fair share of hospital hours and thanks to them, I think I spent most of my time in there laughing.

The hardware

By Tuesday evening, I had some new hardware and between the anesthesia and pain meds was feeling pretty great about life. The few days following were a little more painful, but my teammates and friends have been incredible. When I came home from the hospital, my room had been transformed into a candy shop complete with cards, flowers, and the most candy I've ever had sole possession of in my life. The last couple days the pain has subsided and I've been able to go for some hikes of my own and watch some of my teammates' training sessions. My followup appointment is in ten days and hopefully at that point I will be put in a movable and removable cast that will make activities like running, one-armed skiing, showering, and wearing shirts with sleeves a little easier. The doctors predict six weeks recovery. That's a long time, but it was a pleasant surprise since that's the same time frame as my other elbow that didn't need surgery. I haven't made any concrete plans about going to Canmore or Europe yet, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to recover as quickly as possible by mid-November.

Hike up to the top of Deer Valley

Mary, Jessie, Annie, and Zuzana joined me for a hike the other day and Annie even brought her own sympathy spongebob
Sadzarue skating her way up Hermode's at SoHo yesterday

Snow outside of our condos this morning!

Sadie psyched to do some treadmill testing

It's been so nice having Parker close by 

Catching some fresh air while watching the training session yesterday (Matt Whitcomb photo)
Grateful to have our awesome PT and friend, Zuzana, here with us
Before the elbow incident happened, I was able to enjoy a fun week out west. Simi and I went to the desert for a few days before camp started. It was my first time to the desert, and I had never seen anything like it. When we returned to Park City, the USST girls hosted a Fast and Female. We had a huge turnout with a lot of little smiling girls running around.

I was in charge of the red group (9 year olds)

Fast and Female stamps ( Sarah Brunson photo)

Huge turnout ( Sarah Brunson photo)

Sarah Brunson photo

Mtn Bike station!

My red group girls practicing their speed skating
Canyoneering through Moab

Welcome to the desert!

Simi's mom, Ruthie, joined us for a day of canyoneering and showed me the ropes (literally)

The prettiest campsite in  Utah and my trusty Injinji toe socks 

Running up the porcupine trail

And wading through a lot of freezing cold water
Thank you so much for all the wonderful notes of support I've received. Breaking my elbow was tough, but it could always be worse, and being surrounded by so many loving people makes it a lot easier.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last Week in VT Photos

I'm currently on my way out to Utah for our next USST camp. I won't be back in Vermont for a month! It's always sad leaving home, but I love being in Park City and I'm also looking forward to getting on snow in Canmore after Park City. This will also be the first time I've seen a handful of my Alaskan USST teammates since our July camp in Alaska! Park City camp goes until October 19th and then we head to Canmore until the 29th. Here are a few photos from the last week at home. More to come from the west!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Hanover to do a clinic with the Ford Sayer program. We had a great turnout of about 60 kids plus a bunch of parents and coaches. We split into groups and spent the first hour and a half working on ski walking technique, agility, and bounding. After the workout, we headed inside for some short talks and a Q&A. Thanks for having us Ford Sayer! (Annie H photo)
The crew! (Annie H photo)

Simi and I were in charge of the youngest kids a.k.a the snow leopards. (Annie H photo)

I went for my first bike ride since May and it was actually quite enjoyable. Luckily I was biking with Matt Boobar and Simi, who are both very good bikers, and they let me draft behind them the entire way. The loop we did in Manchester is one of my favorite road rides because of the endless amount of cornfields we bike by. 

It was fun, but I was tired after.

Apple picking in Dorset!

After our OD out to Little Rock Pond on Saturday, we ran into a couple going for a hike with their two pet goats. What are the chances?!? (Erika photo)

Annie, me, and Erika resting on the rocks at the pond (sver photo)

Jessie taking the plunge (Sver photo)

On Sunday morning I woke up early to do the Vermont 50 mile running race as a relay with two of my cousins. My cousin Heidi was a cross-country runner at Brown and my cousin Alexa was a lacrosse player at Brown who claimed she never understood why anyone would choose to do an endurance sport. We rubbed off on her and now she's the one dragging us all into 50 mile races. We ended up winning the race for women AND for men! I did the first leg, Alexa did the second, and Heidi was our anchor. Here is a photo of Alexa tagging off to Heidi and Heidi taking off with her perfect running technique and a smile!

Hanging out with Alexa after her leg

Getting some food while we wait for Heidi to finish

And of course some beer from our biggest fan, Grandpa

Photo collage from the day. It was fun to have my parents, Izzy, Dave, Uncle Tim, and Grandpa out as cheerleaders!
Leroy the cat showing off the world's fluffiest tail to my grandma, Twinkle.