Every year on the last weekend of February in Cable, WI the largest cross country ski race in North America is held every year. The race is the American Birkebeiner and it is a really big deal in the Nordic Ski comunnity especially in the Mid-west.
This year will be the first time in six years that I will have the opportunity to get my taste of what is a amazing event and a wonderful milestone for many to achieve. I am racing this year for the win and therefore everything since learning I was not going to be competing at the World Championships in Oslo, Norway has been focused on the Birkie. I qualified to race in Oslo but realized that there were women in the country who were racing faster then me and deserved the opportunity to represent our country as I had for the previous 4 years at an international championship. Staying back in the US has meant that I have visited many different cities throughout the US and work with kids from all walks of life.
Last weekend I was at the City of Lakes Loppet in my hometown of Minneapolis, and skied with the inner-city kids in the mini Loppet and this week I was training with the Aspen Valley Ski Club here in Aspen, CO. I have learned that no matter where the kids or from or what their situation is when the are out on skis they are all the same.
I am in Aspen this week, staying with the Hoffman family for my high altitude training before the Birkie. I have been putting in a lot of volume training and race two races at 9,000 ft this weekend. Needless to say the combination of altitude and volume training left me off the podium in a very competitive field of women. I was disappointed but also know that this week and this weekend's races will leave me fitter and faster for the Birkie in two weeks!
Tomorrow I will be going through my photos from the past few weeks and uploading some of the best.
I am tired and ready for a day off! Here's to the final two weeks until the Birkie!!!