Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rest Week Over and Ready to GO!

After an enormous week of 30 hours and lots of intensity I was still feeling good but after so many years in this sport I have learned that you get stronger and faster during the rest and recovery time. It was hard to chill out and sit back, but Brian and I always manage to fill our time with tons of "to do" items.

An "easy" week can still mean doing a local triathlon! Happy  and Dirty  together!

I took two days completely off and then jumped into training with Loppet Nordic Racing on Tuesday Morning. We had a great group of guys (the girls were lactate testing) and coach Sara to bike along side us. I am super lucky that I always have tons of great training partners when I need them. The workout was solid and my technique felt good! 4 years ago I was blessed to have an amazing group pf girls training here in the Twin Cities with me. They all worked and did tons of other things but we got together multiple times a week to get in some quality sessions. I am sad to say that although everyone is still active we have all moved onto new adventures...well everyone but me ;) I had a great time catching up with the ladies for breakfast one morning this week and missed all of their company even more during my ski afterwards.

First day of summer practice! I have been working with Coach Piotr for the past 9 years! He is an incredible guy and  LNR is super lucky to have them lead the group!
The Competition Team Ladies and I during our run! They helped motivate me to  finish my 3 hour morning workout!  I still had another 2.5 hour workout in the afternoon!
The "teammates" I would have never made the Olympics without these wonderful ladies. They are a huge inspiration to me! So fun to share a 3 hour breakfast with them :)
Later that afternoon I went to Horsepower strength to work with my new strength coach! Matt Miller is a genius when it comes to strength! I am so happy I found him and I know that working with him is going to raise my level of fitness immensely. Matt coaches all kinds of athletes, many at a very high level, but he has a huge following of Ultimate Fighters! I have been in awe watching them workout and extremely impressed with how friendly and humble they all are! Surrounding myself with motivated hard working athletes has always been a major ingredient to my own success!
Work is the word here! You can't accomplish your goals without good old fashioned work. There are no shortcuts!

Serious amounts of weight to be lifted.
Box jumping at 54"
Brian and I went into the Boys and Girls Club and started rallying the kids about the Tri-Loppet Festival. The Tri-Loppet festival was a huge success this year and included the famous off-road triathlon, paddle races, orienteering, kubb tournaments, slack-lining, mountain biking and running, Brian and I both participated in the Triathlon and finished 4th and 3rd respectively. Brian and I don't paddle ever so the 8 mile
Huge group of kids at the Club for summer.
Getting excited about the Loppet Festival and hoping they can make it!
canoe was the biggest challenge for us. Knowing our weakness, we decided to ask some "pros" to help us out. I paddles with Andy from Hoigaards and Brian paddled with Erik who used to work at Hoigaards. We held our own in the canoe and made up some major time in the run and biking sections. Well I did...Brian ended up loosing his bike chain and running in almost 2 miles with his bike to the finish line! I was very impressed!
Andy Turnball and I looking focused in the Tei-Loppet.

Brian and I are also getting ready to announce our new Sponsors and Supporters for this upcoming Olympic Year! We are so grateful and excited about the products, companies and most importantly the people behind us! Stay tuned for some new uniforms and logos :)

Finished up the rest week with an OD run by Karl Nygren's house. It's been fun to watch Brian train with the solid group of guys training here in the Twin Cities! It's cute when they all show up in the same shirt!
After a visit to the Boys and Girls Club tomorrow we are back to putting in the BIG hours of summer on Tuesday! I am very excited to get after it again!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Life is Crazy sometimes...

Pittsburgh, PA
The past couple of weeks have been filled with lots and lots of action. Sometimes action can be good and sometimes action can be bad. After my last post I skied for one more day in Bend, OR under the bright sun and cloudless skies.Meanwhile My mom was at the hospital in Pittsburgh, PA undergoing surgery for a very rare type of appendix cancer she has had for the past 10 years. It was her initial surgery and chemo that brought me to Minneapolis over 9 years ago and I  am grateful that everything worked out and that I was able to continue my athletic career, start my married life, work closely with the community and spend time with my mom as she only lived about 15 minutes away in St.Paul!

Her surgery was long but the doctors felt they had extended her life another 10 years or so, which I am very happy about! It was during her recovery in the ICU that she suddenly suffered a stroke and my attention was immeadiately diverted from ski brands, racing teams and snow conditions, to my mom in and family in Pittsburgh. Within 6 hours Brian helped me book a flight for first thing the next morning and I was off to Pittsburgh to be with them.

The Steel City with lots of Culture and Places to explore
Travel went smooth and I was able to see my mom that evening. She was sleeping, upwards of 23 and 3/4 hours a day, but opened her eyes a bit to see me. I went to the hotel too exhausted for dinner and fell asleep instantly. I awoke the next morning at 5 AM (2 AM Oregon time) and got on the treadmill for an hour and a half workout before heading over to the hospital for a full day with my mom. The doctors filled me in with details and I sat with her and my grandmother for a long time.

My mom and grandmother in the ICU...this was a good moment!
The next week was filled with ups and downs in her health. I was able to connect with the local Cross Country Ski Community in the Pittsburgh area and the time I spent training was a good release from the stress of the situation. I am forever thankful to the wonderful people who made my trip so comforting.

Pittsburgh XC Skiers are great! A huge thanks to Richard for helping me with intervals on the hilly Pittsburgh terrain!
My new friend and musician Erin.
Some of Erin's friends we found Nordic Walking in the park.
Naomi and James were a huge support network for me teaching me where to ski and watching  me do intervals!!!
My mother's status continues to improve and I saw an opportunity to return home to Minneapolis to take care of some needed items, mowed the lawn, ran in a sponsor event, train with the local ski clubs and get back to the youth here in North Minneapolis! I miss the kids a ton and while walking Lahti yesterday a kid in the neighborhood said they recognized me from Run Club! Awesome!

Training has been going well and I am getting even more excited about the upcoming Olympic Season! Brian and I have had a busy spring of Team Selection and Sponsor talks. We are excited to release the names and organizations that we will represent in this important year! We have had the opportunity to work with some incredible people and companies over the past couple of months while making this decision and the final call will not be easy. It feels amazing to have so many people behind Team Gregg now and we can certainly feel the excitement and encouragement!

Staying motivated and getting after it! Training is going well and I am very excited for the season!
Brian and I look forward to sharing some more great adventures through our training and mentoring and of course keep people updated on the status of my mom.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Training Camp in The Pacific Northwest

The past couple of weeks have been a lot of fun...but incredibly busy too. Brian and I headed out to Washington to compete in the Ski to Ski race and get a chance to ski on snow in Bend, OR.  We stopped by in the Methow Valley so we could work with Scott Johnston and move our second home, the fawn hut.

The very first day we arrived we started training hard. We met up early with Scott for technique and while Brian went to the gym...I got a run in before my race the next day.
The next morning I ran the Sun Mountain 25K trail race. I hadn't run very far yet this year so the 15 miles felt like eternity but on a brighter note, my injured hamstring is almost completely healed. It has taken two years of incredibly patience and diligence to get back to running full speed. The course was challenging but I loved it and felt great while earning my first victory in a trail race this season :)
After the running race I still had more racing to do. This time it was skiing though. Brian and I headed to Bellingham, WA to compete in the Ski to Sea race for our respective relay teams. I had a great race there too and came in 3rd overall with men. I got to meet up with another NMU alumni Kelly Ahern and we tested skis together and got ready for the event the day before!

After the race Brian and I raced back to the Methow Valley so we could attend a friend's wedding later that day. It was fun to be back in the sunshine and all dressed up after racing in the pouring rain and feeling like a drowned rat earlier in the day.

Once back in the Methow it was back to work the next day power washing the Fawn Hut we are soon to call home :) The hut was free because MVSTA no longer felt it was being used on the Rendezvous trail system, all we had to do was move it! After the move we have been busy cleaning and sorting all of the walls getting it ready for the re-build in a few weeks.

Brian and I are once again on the road. This time we are in Bend, OR looking forward to our biggest week of training coming up. I can't wait to start getting into a rhythm before we head back to Minneapolis and visiting with the kids at Run Club again.