Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Own Approach to Training and Racing.

This past week I was able to race in 5 Super Tour races while sleeping in my own bed! It was awesome. Not only had it been a few months since I had spent a whole week at home, but 3 of the races were less then 5 minutes away from my bed! Glorious!!! Although this was a wonderful experience I will say that I struggled to stay focused on the races as my first priority.

When first get home after a couple months of racing and traveling on the road, I usually hit a wall of relaxation when suddenly everything comes to a halt, and I can take a deep breath. This time was no different except for the fact that I decided to assist in finding housing for 10 athletes from out of town, host three dinners at my new house, attend 3 others, coach the City of Lakes Loppet Skate group, host two athletes at my own house, and hang out with the kids in the neighborhood. Phew I was busy and I loved every minute of it.

After a brief 24 hours after my last race and another dinner to say farewell to one of my friends (she is heading to Antarctica for 8 months!) I will be heading off on the road again! This time for Sun Valley where I will participate in the Boulder Mountain Tour before heading back to Minneapolis that night so that I can race the City of Lakes Loppet in the morning! Should be crazy and fun!

With all the craziness going on I had little time to think about my racing, and I liked it. This summer and fall I put way more into "focusing" on my training and preparation and I am not sure that I flourish in that kind of environment. Instead I have realized that the more I have going on the more excited and relaxed I am about racing. Last night I spent an hour with Lahti looking for a buried hockey puck in a Treasure Hunt, not ideal preparation for my race the next day and certainly not necessary. I had fun and today I was able to win by 2 minutes!!! I felt like myself again and I loved it.

The podium after today's 15K Skate Race

Lahti and the kids inspecting the frozen coyote after the race. He was respectful and almost showed sympathy for  the little guy.
I try really hard to conform to way others live...but I now realize that I live my life a little different and I need to embrace that. What makes me "tick" can be quite silly but I shouldn't worry about that and I should just carry on.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Seeley Hills Classic 42K

This weekend was the Seeley Hills Classic race was this weekend and I was thrilled to have the chance to race this year. In the past I have been at the World Cup or preparing for the Olympics and this is certainly an event I was hoping to do someday. With my schedule this year I was in town and prepared to take on the Classic Championship of the Midwest!

Brian and I traveled up to Seeley, WI after only 3 days back at home, which looked just like we had left it two months before. We stayed with at a friend's cabin above their garage and enjoyed the weekend together with our dog.

When we arrived on Friday afternoon we took Lahti over to the dog friendly ski trails and went for one of the best skis of the season. Fresh tracks and my husband and dog along with me :) Lahti had a blast and ran himself silly beside us as we cruised up and down the narrow trails. I am so glad we have such a great dog for skiing and  running!

The race was a ton of fun and a great way to catch up with the ski community since we were gone for so long. Brian and I both won the 42K events and had a great time socializing at the soup feed afterwards.

 From now on I will be racing almost every weekend here in the US. I was unable to secure World Cup start rights this season (I was 2nd overall on the list!) but I am still hoping to grab enough points to earn them for next fall in Canada. These particular start rights I am trying to secure are completely covered financially by FIS, which is huge! Our US women are skiing fantastic over in Europe right now and I am psyched that last week at US Nationals I was right there with them finishing 2nd, 3rd and 6th!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Last Day out West - Cow Beach

 We departed the Methow on Thursday with a final easy morning ski out in Mazama.  It was a beautiful sunny morning and we had first tracks on the freshly groomed trails out to Cow Beach.  Yeah, that's right, the name of our destination was actually 'Cow Beach'!

What most people think of when they hear "Cow Beach".
The glorious "Cow Beach" warming hut!
The first race of the US National Championships is this Monday January 2nd and after 3 weeks of training in the Methow I am feeling great and ready to race.