Sunday, December 15, 2013

An Enormous Thank You!!!

There is something about adversity that seems to cause a surge in drive, willpower and success for me. Brian and I were faced with the devastating news that we would be without the coach and wax tech we had planned on for the season, just two weeks before it started.

We rallied, and our family and friends rallied even harder! We suddenly found ourselves surrounded by the greatest support system an athlete could think of. We had uniforms, travel logistics, race support and warm meals to carry us through. But most of all we had the unyielding support from those who were closest to use to keep chasing our dreams!

With a lot of hard work, late nights and even more generosity, Brian and I are now the US Continental Cup leaders, TOGETHER!!! We are both beyond excited and grateful for all of the support we received and are continuing to receive.

I just want to send a HUGE THANK YOU out to the numerous individuals, teams, sponsors, companies, family and friends who have made this possible. There have even been a few strangers who have helped with rides and logistics when needed! This has been a major community effort and I cannot believe how wonderful the journey has been and the successes have been, when they are shared with so many!

Brian and I are off to Utah tomorrow to begin our preparation for the US National Championships. After Nationals I will be heading straight over to Europe to begin my World Cup campaign before the 2014 Sochi Olympic Team is chosen. As I mentioned before this is a fantastic opportunity and the fact that I get to share all of these "adventures" with the man I love is even more special! The Gregg Family is sooo incredible and they have been at every race weekend so far! We would be nothing without the relentless effort they put into each event for us!

I am looking forward to some quiet time with Brian in our little studio rental in Midway, but also looking forward to getting out and training well before the races start in early January! Here are some photos from the past two weeks of racing and traveling!

Getting help at Bohart Ranch with some wax tools and a warm place to hangout!

Loving the process and grateful for the support!

A Thank you message to one of our fantastic donors Ski and Tea out of Hayward, WI!!!

Ready to Race with my awesome new sponsor Madshus beneath me :)

Jean, the owner at Bohart with the Team Gregg Crew (Matt Liebsch is an honorary member!)

Sprint finals start line! 

Skiing with Friends. Zoe is one of the most multi-talented people I have ever met!

Cheering for the sprint heat ahead of mine.

Sharing the moments with Team Ninja! These girls know what they need to do and how to do it!!!
The best part of the whole process! Keeping things FUN in the Gregg house :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A great start to the 2013/2014 Season

Our new Team Gregg Logo (Thanks to Tara Gregg) and Helly Hansen Jackets complete with sponsor patches (Thanks to Jan and Alieta Gregg!) True Team Gregg Effort all around!
This past weekend was one of the most successful weekends I have ever had in my ski racing career! I am currently in West Yellowstone, MT where many of the country's XC Ski enthusiasts gather to get their first tracks of the season. For athletes who are not in Europe it is the first series of Super Tour weekends where we can earn start rights and funding for World Cups in the second period. I am so excited to report that I skied very well and won both events!!!

I am loving my new Madshus Gear! Photo by Ian Harvey of Toko
Happy Family at the Finish!
Podium Ceremony

 This was the first sprint race I have ever won on the Super Tour circuit. I have won the qualifier in the past but have never finished above 2nd in a final. It was a great feeling and a huge confidence boost before my distance race the next day.

I am much stronger in the distance events (aka the American Birkebeiner) than the sprints which made the sprint victory so awesome. The 10K skate was incredible for me and my wax techs nailed the wax (which is a huge factor in ski racing). The BEST part of the day was Brian getting 2nd! He raced so well and his result was a huge step towards the Olympics for him :) Team Gregg is in good spirits as we go separate ways for this next weekend!

Racing in the Distance Skate Race
Unfortunately I came down with the beginning of a cold on Saturday morning and by the end of the weekend I am now suffering from a full blown head cold :( I cannot really complain because I have a few days very easy to absorb last week and I only seem to get sick once or twice a year.

The truth is I am not very good at being sick. I still try to take care of everything I usually do (minus the training) when I should be sleeping in bed. So with this last sentence I will sign off and add some fun photos from the week here in West Yellowstone.
Super Fans from MN
Hanging with Grace in the starting pen before her race. She was so grateful she handed me my award at the podium ceremony!
Dedicated fans from Loppet Nordic Racing!!! Their cheering was incredible!

A great way to spend a little post race excitement! More local Minneapolis kids who came out to ski for the week and watched us race!
More soon...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Focus Time!!!

Throughout my life I have found it difficult to stay on task and remain focused. I tend to have a lot going on in my head even when there is not much happening around me. Things get really complicated when there is a Lou happening around me. 

I think this trait of mine is both a curse and a blessing. Although I seem to struggle with writing, staying organized and sitting still, I thrive when I have single task and I never seem to get bored or burnt out.

Fast forward to this month and I have found myself flying solo up in Canmore, AB skiing laps on the snow of Frozen Thunder!  Brian and I were both here but when it came time to leave I had an epiphany...what if I stayed and really focused for the next month on training and recovery! No distractions and no other obstacles. Canmore offers the perfect environment for Elite athletes to thrive, there is the 3k of skiing on snow!, the rollerski loops, the running trails, first class fitness facilities as well as countless other high level athletes and ski enthusiast everywhere you look. Talk about staying motivated!!! 

When my plans changed from heading to Europe early I decided that I could use the huge savings in travel costs to invest in other areas. Brian and I have been able to get great food, rental cars, gym passes and massages, all which make a huge difference on our recovery and overall performance. I feel like royalty right now! Living a dream life. I get to ski everyday, do yoga, wake up to snowy beautiful mountains and I can tell that it is making a difference in my preparations.

Before I get too soft though...I still have a very driven attitude and operate with extreme intention while I am working (training). This has never been a challenge for me, it's always the little things that I have to do when I am home or traveling to an event that seem to take away from my most important area. REST! 

In a strange way, as the season quickly approaches, I am finding that I am training my hardest yet feeling my best. I am sure it is any number of the above reasons about just being in Canmore, but I also can't ignore the 10+ hours of sleep I am now getting and the extremely low level of stress!

Brian and I have worked hard throughout the spring, summer and fall to get    to this point where we can solely focus on skiing. We miss our home in Minneapolis, our husky Lahti, our great friends and supporters in the Midwest and of course the kids at the Boys and Girls Club. 

I can honestly say that none of this time "staying focused" would be as special without all of the wonderful memories from this previous training season. My life was full of distractions and I am grateful for that! Now that it is Go Time I am ready and excited!

I had my first victory of the season in a time trial this past Friday. Makes me happy to be feeling good and know that my equipment is dialed :)

Frozen Thunder Distance TT

Friday, November 1, 2013 9:30 AM (GMT-6)

Race info
Sport:Skiing - cross-country
Start type:Interval start
Timed on:iPad
Timed with:Webscorer PRO
Location:Canmore, AB
Updated:Fri, November 1, 2013
 11:38 AM (GMT-6)
Race notes
All lap times not 100 % accurate.
PlaceBib #Racer nameCategoryGenderLap times
Show all race timer laps
Finish time
126Caitlin GreggOpen WomenF18:30.3-
223Rosanna CrawfordOpen WomenF18:37.6+0:07.3
327Katerina SmutnaOpen WomenF18:39.3+0:09.0
425Chelsea HolmesOpen WomenF19:00.9+0:30.6
524Megan ImrieOpen WomenF19:28.5+0:58.2
617Chisa ObayashiOpen WomenF19:32.4+1:02.1
77Rose KempOpen WomenF19:42.2+1:11.9
89Olivia Bouffard-NesbittOpen WomenF19:59.5+1:29.2
93Emma LunderOpen WomenF20:04.6+1:34.3
1021Zoe RoyOpen WomenF20:08.4+1:38.1
1112Andrea DupontOpen WomenF20:09.2+1:38.9
1219Anne-Marie ComeauOpen WomenF20:13.9+1:43.6
1313Audrey VaillancourtOpen WomenF20:19.3+1:49.0
1428Chandra CrawfordOpen WomenF20:21.5+1:51.2
1518Cendrine BrowneOpen WomenF20:25.2+1:54.9
168Mary RoseOpen WomenF20:37.1+2:06.8
1720Alana ThomasOpen WomenF20:40.1+2:09.8
1822Amanda AmmarOpen WomenF20:44.6+2:14.3
194Lauren BrooksOpen WomenF20:47.8+2:17.5
2011Maya MacIsaac-JonesOpen WomenF20:58.1+2:27.8
211Bella HowdenOpen WomenF21:14.4+2:44.1
2216Alannah MacLeanOpen WomenF21:15.2+2:44.9
2310Jenn JacksonOpen WomenF21:34.9+3:04.6
2414Erin TribeOpen WomenF21:39.4+3:09.1
255Maja ZimmermanOpen WomenF24:07.3+5:37.0
-6Betsy MawdsleyOpen WomenFDNF-