Sunday, July 28, 2013

Family at Altitude

Enjoying the climbing out West!
The past two weeks have flown by! Brian and I have been training like crazy and I can tell it is making a HUGE difference in our fitness this summer...last summer I was in school full-time and working so I didn't even start training until August! I can't wait to race this season with a full off-season of preparation. It won't make the racing hurt any less but it should help me be more consistent! I put in another solid block of 3 weeks at 25+ hours of training (the most I have ever done in a month), and I am enjoying the last day of my recovery week. I am already chomping at the bit to get after my next block of training so things are going well and I am absorbing the load which feels great!

Beautiful evening wedding in the Sierra's! Congrats Kelly and Fran!!!
Party favors for adults! My Aunt Marcie blowing bubbles with me!
A beautiful hike with most of the family! It was nice to have a recovery week so I could spend a lot of time with everyone :)
This next phase of my training has me hitting big hours again but this time at altitude. Brian and I are in Truckee, CA for a family wedding and family reunion and we decided to stay an extra couple of weeks to maximize our adaptation. We will be heading up to Eagle Glacier afterwards to continue our altitude block as well as get some time on our new equipment.

Straight from NYC and a busy life as a coffee shop and restaurant owner yet still pumped to climb some peaks!
Speaking of new equipment...the press release came out that Brian and I will be switching to Madshus Skis, boots, bindings and poles this season. I could not be more excited about the decision to work with Madshus. They are one of the top ski brands internationally, and that is where we need to be competitive, and working with their staff has been one of the greatest experiences in my ski racing career. Brian and I are dialed in this season and Madshus is putting a huge amount of effort into making sure our switch in an Olympic Year is seamless! We have all of our skis selected and we will get to test them on the glacier months before the season even starts! YES!!! I had the opportunity to race on a pair in May at Mt. Baker and they were incredible!
The best feeling in a race is knowing you have a VERY fast pair of skis on your feet!
The wedding and family reunion are now over but one of my brothers and my sister are staying an extra day to hang out. It's great be with my with family again, although I don't get to see them very often, I am always amazed how quickly we re-connect and love being together. My siblings are all very different and very independent. Each of us has our own passion and each of us are on our own to pursue our passions. I am excited to go to the gym tomorrow with them and introduce them to my world of training for the Olympics!
My "little" brother Calan curling me after dinner.
Somehow all of my younger siblings are much taller than me!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back in Hayward

This past week I packed up the car and drove up to Hayward, WI. I have been traveling up to Hayward almost every summer for the past 8 years as part of the CXC Team. Hayward has become a bit of a second home, with so many familiar faces and training locations. Brian decided not to join me for this trip, although he LOVES returning to the Wisconsin Northwoods, because he was working and finishing up a pretty big week of training. I planned my trip to coincide with the CXC REG Camp which brings together the top juniors from the Central Region every year around the 4th of July. I had a lot to do before I left and didn't end up leaving the Twin Cities until about 7:30PM on the 4th of July which meant that I was driving through Siren, Spooner and Hayward at just the right time to see a part of each of their fireworks!!! So much fun :)

The next morning I woke up and joined the Ski and Tea Ladies for a workout on Boedecker Rd. The workout was a "personal time-trial" and since I was racing the following day in the Arts Fest 5K Run I decided to be a cheer leader and helped motivate the ladies to push their comfort zones! It was a beautiful day and I had a great time with wonderful conversation and inspiring performances to witness! I can't wait to visit the girls again!
The Ski and Tea Ladies (Minus their Leader Linda Cook who is taking the photo)
The next day I competed in the Namakagon Arts Fest 5K and ran a PR and set a new course record. The past two years I have been struggling with a torn hamstring and have not been able to run at full capacity. Running is one of my favorite things to do, so I have been psyched to be able to push myself and see the running fitness returning this summer. The course is super hilly and the grass was a bit longer this year making the footing a bit uneven but the adventure all the better! Thanks to all the volunteers and spectators for the great support and cheering out there!
Finishing stretch of the 5k Race. I ran a PR and set a new course record!!!
 The week was filled with Time-Trials and hard efforts! Later in the evening the REG, CXC, XC United athletes and myself competed in a sprint rollerski race in downtown Cable. It was a lot of fun to jump in for a heat with the boys but my legs were pretty toast from the morning and I could only hang on for one lap of two. I had a great time racing with the ladies too! I was impressed with some of the starting speed the ladies had, especially Kelley Jackson! Yikes!!! She could be a seriously good sprinter someday!
Lining up with the boys for a sprint heat later in the day!
Hammering as hard as I could in the OO Skate Time-Trial.
 After an OD, specific strength and a long run the following days we had a OO time-trial. I hadn't "tested" on the OO course for over two years and it was fun to go into the uncomfortable zone once again. The course is mostly uphill and although the pavement has been re-done, I can't say it felt much faster. Once again I set a PR and a new Course Record for the Skate. I was so tired at the top I had to lie down for a bit (I love that feeling!). Everyone else skied really well too and there were a lot of improvements from earlier in the season as well as a Course Record for Matt Liebsch.

Goofing off while we waited for the REG Kids to Arrive.
 After another day of 4.5 hours of distance training on Wednesday we hit the intensity hard again with L-4 double pole intervals on Thursday. I have been working a ton on my double pole this summer and I can tell that I am much much stronger than in the previous couple of years. I had a blast skiing with Nichole Bathe, one of my teammates from last season for the workout! She is such a strong double pole skier it was all I could do to stay in the right zone behind her! I am super excited for her to be racing and studying at UAF next season with Scott Jerome! She is going to kick butt!
New Strength Record!!!
 After the intervals I jumped into the car and headed back down to the Cities. I was sad to leave Hayward and the beautiful scenery but I had to get back for a family wedding and STRENGTH!!! I love heading to Horsepower Strength a couple days a week and I am already seeing huge gains in my quickness and power. I had a hard session of 1 REP Max lifts but I managed to hit new loads on every lift we did. Matt, my strength coach, put up a new record board with different high marks for the gym! I actually got on the board for my double broad jump, never thought my name would be near something that had to do with jumping...but I am happy with the trajectory! We will see if the mark lasted the weekend :)
Busy Sunday
This past weekend was filled with more skiing intensity on the Coulee a PR for Brian in a 5K road race (I was cheering him on with Lahti) and a 22 mile trail run in Afton! I am maintaining very big hours through this time of year and I am very happy to see that despite the load I am setting PR's and making big improvements in my strength training.
Back to Work!
 Tomorrow is a much needed rest day from training which means a full day of work with the Kids! I have gathered Muesli, yogurt and bananas from the past couple of races (we always ask for the leftovers after the event) and I am excited to bring them in for the kids. We will be back ticking off the miles in Run Club and we now have a goal race we will be training for this fall!