Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Summer Favorites

As our final week of summer comes to an end, here's a quick look back on some summer favorites:

New bests - As we get older and do the same time trials and tests year after year, our times tend to improve, but it gets harder and harder to set personal bests as our times get faster. Our team has some people who are double poling machines, others who can crush the uphill run test, and some who can cruise to new records in a 10k skate time trial. It's healthy to get competitive sometimes, but we've found a good way to celebrate individual victories, whether we were the fastest time of the day or not, it's always worth celebrating a new personal best.

Getting ready (and serious) for the two mile uphill run test with Annie

Eating from the garden. One of my favorite parts about summer is planting myself (no pun intended) in my parents' garden for an afternoon snack or an hour of harvesting berries and fresh vegetables. Farmer's markets are overflowing with produce and it's a nice time of year to be able to cook our own meals.
Summer colors

Blueberries from my parents' garden

Water. Honestly, I don't really like water. Well, I don't really like cold water, BUT when it's a triple H Vermont summer (hot, hazy, and humid), jumping in a swimming hole after training is hard to beat.
Mid workout plunge at Little Rocky Pond

Zzzzzs. Big training hours lead to big sleeping hours and nothing feels better than a good night of sleep after a hard day of training.
Sleep when you can..

...where you can

Elevation. My favorite workouts in the summer are long runs in the mountains. Whether I'm in the green mountains, white mountains, or rocky mountains, I love our running adventures that leave us feeling like we accomplished something #baggingpeaks
Climbing mountains in Montana with Jessie

Back in VT
And the White in NH!

Achy muscles. The actual pain of being sore isn't that pleasant, but knowing that you're getting stronger is a good feeling. Whether it's a new strength plan that makes it hard to lift my arms, sore quads and calves from running up and down Franconia Ridge, or a tired core from double pole intervals, it all means we're getting stronger at something and getting stronger is always good.


Lazy days. I love training hard and I also love lazy days. That's probably because they each make you appreciate the other even more. We generally take one day a week off and then one week every month is a recovery week where the training load is reduced dramatically. I couldn't even tell you what I do during a lazy day, but I guess that's the magic of doesn't matter! My lazy days aren't usually very structured and it's nice to take a day that doesn't revolve around training, but just revolves around what you feel like doing each hour.
Two breakfasts at once? Sure!

Ahah feelings. This year is a big year with the olympics coming up and everyone wants to perform well. When I sat down with my coaches at the beginning of the summer, we decided that we weren't going to try to reinvent the wheel, we were going to do what we know works and focus on feeling good. I was going to drop my hours a little, rest if I was tired, and not push it if I was feeling good. It doesn't seem like rocket science because it's not, but that plan has left me feeling pretty good this summer! I don't feel like I'm overreaching and I've experienced a fair amount of that, "Ahah" feeling where you remember what it feels like to feel good.
Running the Jim Bridger run in Bozeman

Classic ski with Erika

When sister time counts as training time, life is good.

New experiences. As much as I love summer and getting into a routine, I also recognize the importance of new experiences. Whether it's climbing the highest mountain in Vermont for the first time with a couple of my best friends from childhood, rock climbing in Oregon for Sim's birthday, or discovering a new place to mountain bike with KO, these are all things that make me really happy and as simple as they are, they're new and different, and keep me feeling happy and balanced.
Climbing Mansfield with Mae and Maddie

Girls' camp in Washington

Developing together. You've heard it before, but we wouldn't be at the level we're at without our support system. Getting up to train every day is easy when I know my SMS teammates will be there with me, running workouts with the junior and devo kids puts smiles on our faces when we see them eager to learn and make progress, and watching each other get faster and grow as people is a pretty neat part of this job.

Happier together

Future generation

So there you have it! Those are a few of my favorite things about summer, and if you put them all together, they spell...NEW ZEALAND. On Sunday we'll be heading down under for three weeks of on snow training in one of my favorite places in the world. Thanks for following!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Training

May and June were fun packed and busy months for me. We were doing a lot of hopping back and forth between the east and west for camps and weddings, but now I'm back in Vermont for the next six weeks! After Bend camp, I was back in Stratton for a few weeks. It was nice to move into our condo for the summer and get in some solid training at home. My sister was back for the month of June, so I had a personal training buddy to keep me company!
Sister Iz!

Quality time with Bernie

Dragging Parker out on a run on our old stomping grounds

Family time (Gretchen Powers photo)

5 year college reunion!

Classic speeds with the girls
Running up in Lincoln, VT on a foggy day with Sim

Celebrating Megan and Dylan with some best friends (Gretchen Powers photo)

After a few weeks in Vermont, I flew west for Andy and Erika's Montana wedding and the U.S. Ski Team women's camp in Washington that followed. It was a beautiful wedding and a lot of fun to celebrate with so many friends and family. I love spending time in Bozeman because it's pretty much a playground of new mountains to climb. Between wedding activities and adventuring, the week flew by and before I knew it I was headed to the Methow Valley for the next U.S. Ski Team camp.

Hiking out to Emerald Lake in Bozeman

Dartmouth Ski Team buddies at the wedding!

Isabel, Mae, Austin, and me

The beautiful bride :)

Running in the Jim Bridger trail run. Not too long after this I took a big tumble, maybe due to that untied shoelace!

Hiking Sacajawea with Mae and Anya

Rollerski up Hyalite with the SMS girls

SMS gals at Erika's bridal shower
The Monday after the wedding I flew to Seattle for our next camp. We drove a few hours to the Methow Valley and settled into our rustic cabins for the week. We were staying in the middle of the wilderness in a couple of beautiful cabins that were given to us for the camp. We had no internet or cell phone service, and it was really nice to be disconnected for awhile! The Methow Valley is a beautiful area, but it's hard to get to. That's probably one of the reasons it has remained so untouched and lovely! We had a hard camp schedule with intervals almost every other day and easy distance runs and skis in between. I felt great for the beginning of camp, but unfortunately came down with a cold about half way through and had to come home a couple days early. I was bummed not to be able to finish up the camp with my team, but I was happy to get in a few days of good training and be able to explore a new area of the country I had never been to.
Tim Baucom (wax tech, friend, and assistant coach for the week) manning the feed station on a long ski up Washington Pass

Group with some Methow juniors

Team behind the team. Thanks to everyone who helped make this camp possible!

Thanks Winthrop PT and Pete!

Cabin life (Matt Whitcomb photo)
Skate team sprint intervals

Team Sprint workout (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Long ski to the top of Washington Pass
Once I got home, I took a few days off to kick my cold and started to feel like myself again.  Everyone on the SMS Elite Team is back in Stratton and we're looking forward to putting in a solid six weeks of training before heading to New Zealand for our next USST camp at the end of August!
Fingers crossed for more VT days like this!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Back to it in Bend!

Spring always flies by. At the end of the winter, I run through all the different things I want to do in April and then try to fit them into a one month calendar. By the time April comes around, it's nearly as busy as the winter, but it's a lot less focused. It's a time to be active, but not following a training schedule and it's a time to visit family, friends, and places that I might not usually get to see. This year my April began in Fairbanks, Alaska at Spring Series. We had our final races of the season up in Fairbanks and they put on a great event. The highlight of Spring Series for me was taking the win in the club relay! Our team is always battling it out with APU and this year we snuck away with the big W. After Fairbanks, I flew down to Colorado Spring to do some altitude testing at the Olympic Training Center. I thought it was a very informative and helpful trip and owe a huge thank you to Susie Parker Simmons and Randy Wilber for taking the time to work with me. From Colorado Springs, I flew to Bozeman, Montana to visit my brother, cousin, and other friends for the week. We got in some back country adventures, a mountain bike, and some time to relax and catch up. After Bozeman, I was in Aspen for awhile visiting Sim and his family. I love my Colorado April time, so I was grateful to be able to spend some more time there this spring. At this point we were ready to trade the skis and snow for the desert and beach. We went on a road trip out to California and stopped in Fruita and Moab on the way to do some biking. We spent a few lovely days with Sim's aunt and uncle in Santa Barbara before I flew a little up the coast for Erika's bachelorette party in Santa Cruz. It was a busy spring, but it was the perfect mental and physical break and by the time I got back home to Vermont in early May, I was excited to start thinking about training again and really happy to be home in my own bed.
Skiing in Bozeman

Sunrise run with Linden and Sim in Santa Barbara

Desert time with Izzy and Molly

Wine tasting with the bride-to-be!

Club relay champs! Lace Parrish photo

Celebrating Liz's belated 30th in Fairbanks

Cooking with Susie in Colorado Springs

Brother time

Crust skiing with Sim and Pip

Sister time in the desert

The original SMS Elite team crew reunited at the beach

Sunset silhouettes 

Cousin cruise

Caleb, Anya, and me at Bridger

Biking with Jenny and Sim in Carbondale
I had about eight days at home before heading out to Oregon for a L.L. Bean photo shoot and our annual Bend camp. The weather while I was home was pretty rainy, but I hadn't seen the rain in a month and I hadn't seen my parents or been home for over a month, so I was pretty content. I started to work back into training to make sure I wasn't too sore when we ramped things up in Bend. I unpacked my bags from a month of traveling and then repacked them for Bend Camp. Before camp started, Andy, Simi, Annie, and I did a photo shoot with L.L. Bean for a few days in Hood River. I had never been to Hood River before and it was a pretty neat little town! Hopefully we "got the shot" and we had a blast working with the L.L. Bean crew. After the shoot, Sim and I spent a couple days climbing at Smith Rock before heading to Bend camp. We are just over halfway through camp and we have been very lucky with the weather this year. There has been no lack of sun shine and there is still plenty of snow from the big winter they had. There is more skiing here than there has been any other year I've been in Bend. We supplement the morning skis with afternoon strength sessions, runs, and mountain bikes. It's been great to be back with my teammates and I'm looking forward to our last few days on snow before heading back home for a nice long stretch!
Smith Rock

Crust cruising with Erika in Bend

Matching the boys for a run out at Smith

Posing with Annie for the L.L. Bean shoot

Hood River

Liz and Ides crust cruising

Working our way up!

Taking a break in Bend

Fake camping with Annie in Hood River

Climbing with Sim at Smith