Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Swedish February

A travel day to or from Davos wouldn't be complete without a snowstorm, so on the day of our departure, the snow started to dump and we were were on our way. Luckily, we finally found some chains that fit our vans perfectly and have a few people on the team who have mastered putting on and removing the chains, so it didn't slow us down too much.
Simi and Erik supervising the chain application before leaving the snowy Hotel Kulm

Car snacks!

Some beautiful lighting on my last evening in Davos
We drove to Munich, Germany, where we dropped off our rental vans and spent a night at the the Hotel Movenpick. We woke up early the following morning to make two quick flights that would would land us in Ostersund, Sweden. When we arrived in Ostersund, we were greeted by fairly warm temperatures, and close to zero snow at our hotel. It was quite the contrast after being in cold snowy Davos. Apparently they had had a bunch of snow the week before, but had experienced several days of pouring rain before we arrived. Luckily, the organizers did a great job of keeping the race courses in good condition. Since we arrived on Monday, we had a few days of training on the race courses before the weekend races.

Liz and me after one of our morning workouts in Ostersund. We're attempting to send strong legs to my cousin, Anya, who just broke her tib and fib.
Photo with Canadian, Olivia, fresh off of U23s!

On our day off, Jessie and I decided to walk home from the venue. With some vague directions and no maps, we quickly got lost, but made the best of it!

Siri, where am I?!
There were two races in Ostersund over the weekend. On Saturday there was a classic sprint and on Sunday there was a 10k skate. I was only racing the classic sprint. The course was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was a two lap course that winded in and out of the stadium and through the grand stands. There were two big hills on each lap that were so steep you had to herringbone them both. So it definitely wasn't a double pole course, but it also wasn't a striding course. I remember one of my first ski practices at Dartmouth where Cami made us dedicate an entire practice to herringboning. I was thinking she was a little crazy at the time, but it finally paid off! I was happy to qualify for my first classic sprint of the year in 24th. Sadie also qualified for the heats and we ended up being in the same heat. That was a little unlucky, but we had fun with it and although neither of us moved on, we gave it our best and ended up 20th and 22nd for the day. Our boys had a really strong day with Simi moving into the semifinals and Andy just narrowly missing the semis.
Racing our quarter final heat

Sadie and me sporting our Valentine's Day colors after finishing our heat

Happy Valentines Day!

Cooling down above the stadium and crowd

Sodie selfie with Coach Matt
It was really awesome to have my friends Morgen Newman and Kayti Sullivan, who are living in Hamburg, come to cheer me on this weekend. It's always nice to see familiar faces and to hear an American accent in the crowd! 

After a busy Valentine's race day, we had a relaxing morning on Sunday and packed up and made the long bus ride to Falun for World Champs. World Champs is exciting for many reasons. The first being, well, it's World Champs! Even though we're racing the same people we race every weekend, everything is more built up, so there is a lot of extra excitement surrounding the event. We also have a huge team this year and it's nice to see some of the athletes and staff who join us for the next couple weeks and haven't been on the regular World Cup circuit. And finally, my parents are arriving this afternoon and I don't think I've been able to wipe the smile off my face all day because of it! Racing starts Tuesday with the classic sprint. Make sure to download the Falun 2015 apps and tune into the US Ski team website to watch the races live. Thanks for following!
Team USA in Ostersund

All packed up and ready for World Champs

Thursday, February 5, 2015


We've already been in Davos for a week and a half and even though I'm very excited to head to Sweden, it's going to be a little tough to leave this winter wonderland. We've had significant snowfall almost every day we've been in Davos, but despite the snowstorms, the sun still usually manages to peek out for an hour or two each day. After a couple big weeks of training, it's time to focus on recovering and fine tuning the little things to prepare for World Champs. Sometimes it's hard to focus on the little things when we're traveling all over the place, so it's been nice to be in one place for an extended period of time. The staff at Hotel Kulm makes us feel at home and it's the perfect place to recover and finally fully unpack our suitcases for a couple weeks.
Hotel Kulm
I've had a lot of favorite training days since arriving in Davos. Between adventuring up the alpine hill on nordic skis with Jessie, easy skis chatting my head off and touring up all the valleys with Liz, runs around the lake, and some quality speed and interval sessions with Matt, it's hard to go wrong here. Our techs all have a couple weeks off and Matt and Jason are here as coaches, but they are also getting some much deserved down time. As a result, we are in charge of prepping our skis each day and taking care of them in between sessions. Believe it or not, it's actually (almost) a little fun to wax my own skis for a couple weeks in the winter. Oleg, our tech for Liz and me, always takes care of my skis 100% while we are on the road. I show up to training each day and my skis are waxed and ready to go and as soon as I'm done training or racing, I hand them back to him and he waxes them and puts them away. We are well taken care of and a little spoiled, so it's good to be held responsible for our own skis every once in awhile!
For my first ski in Davos, Liz, Andy, and I skied up the sunny valley, Dischma. Perfection!

Happy selfie

The view from Hotel Kulm is...not bad at all

Jessie and I hiked part way up the alpine hill on our classic skis and then made our way back down in the fresh powder. This picture captures the common theme of the ski :)

Sadie's boyfriend, Jo, is here for our break and while that means I don't get to see as much of my buddy, I'm happy to share her with him. He's a big fan of skiing downhill, but she has convinced him to try the uphill skis a couple times and I think he looks like a natural!

Photo collage from our Sophie and Jessie adventure

Nice ski up Sertig the other day

Another selfie on top of Sertig
In addition to ski related activities, we've been keeping ourselves busy by working on another music video that will hopefully air in a couple weeks. Big thanks to Jessie for taking the lead on it, choreographing a dance, and organizing filming and group dance practice. Some friends in town also got tickets to one of the local hockey games. Davos LOVES hockey and it's always fun to check out another sport and get out of the hotel for an evening. Even though there is a little break from World Cup races, we're still addicted to being sports fans and religiously follow results from World Juniors, U23s, and the alpine World Championships. With the time change, we usually wake up to exciting results from Kazakhstan and can watch the alpine world champs each evening. I'm particularly invested in World Juniors and U23s because my teammates KO, Paddy, Annie H., Annie P, and Ben are kicking butt in Kazakhstan.
Liz and Rosie sporting the latest XC fashion on the deck of the Kulm.

Okay, maybe they're actually in costume for our music video

Hockey game!

Zuzana, Jess, and me at the hockey game

That's right! Teammate and buddy, Ben Saxton, making the A final at U23s!
We have a few more days in Davos before traveling to Sweden early next week. We have a weekend of pre World Champs World Cups in Oestersund, Sweden before heading to Falun for the big event. I'm psyched to reunite with the rest of my team and REALLY psyched to see my parents, who are coming to Falun for World Champs in a couple weeks!! Thanks for following and be sure to tune into the World Cup action that starts back up next weekend!
Davos Schnee