Monday, September 22, 2014

Two weeks in the Life of Team Gregg!

It's been a busy two weeks filled with all kinds of travel and events but I wouldn't want it any other way! Here is a "short" recap of what life as Team Gregg is like!

Manhattan from Queens! It's amazing how big the "Big Apple" really is! Still think it's crazy I decided to become a winter athlete from here :) 

The first of many doctor's offices with my dad for his cancer treatments and appointments. 

Hanging with my dad in the waiting area.

The Freedom Tower built to remember the 911 disaster. I still remember walking through the area as a kid (one of my grandmother's lived in Battery Park) and seeing the Twin Towers. It's weird to not see them now.

Manhattan from Brooklyn. 
Testing new beans and roasting.
The next day Brian and I were at practice with the Loppet Nordic Racing Comp Team. It's been great to see how well these athletes are all doing this year! They are so dedicated and work super hard! I know they are going to have great results again this winter!
Back home to Minneapolis and straight to practice with LNR!

The girls I train with most!

They are FAST!!!
After a short few days at home, I packed up again and headed up to Duluth, MN for the North Shore Inline Marathon. At the last minute I decided to rollerski the event instead of inline skate it. Brian however, has been practicing and was excited for the challenge!
Never too old to share a tasty treat!

Working the Expo in Duluth!

Hanging out with Carmi our Madshus/ K2 marketing director from Seattle.

Hanging out with Herb from Toronto who is part of the Hoigaard's inline team.

Bus ride to the start!

My Birkie Buddy Henry Reich from Marine, MN

Brian, never afraid to try something new!
An awesome XC Skiing gang representing up in Duluth!
The course was awesome and the weather perfect! I can't believe more Rollerskiers do not participate in the event. I am definitely going back to do it next year if I am in town and I hope to bring even more skiers with me!
So much fun to run into so many familiar faces!
It was great to run into Racheal again at the North Shore Inline Marathon. She was a grad-student at St. Cloud State two years ago and helped Brian and I with our VO2Max and Sub-Max tests! She was fired up to see how well our season's went last winter too!

Awards ceremony
After the awards ceremony and a quick run Brian and I had Henry, Andre, Jana and Greta over for a delicious dinner on the grill. Andre Watt was part of the CXC Team with Brian and I the first couple of years and it is always fun to get together and reminisce about the memories we shared training and racing together.

Great dinner with friends!
On Sunday Brian, Henry and I joined up with the Saint Scholastica Ski Team for their annual 5K and 10K time trails. The course had a little construction on it (100 meter double pole through dirt) and a serious head wind, but Brian and I were able to set new course records for the college kids to chase down! Chad Salmela invited us over for a pancake breakfast after the Time Trial at Josh and Kate Tesch's house. We had a blast hanging out with the group and talking about Skijoring, training and snow predictions! Chad is the voice of Nordic Skiing for NBC at the Olympics so he knows quite a bit about all the World Cup competitors Brian and I will race again this season.

Lincoln Benedict from LLBean came to town on Monday to film and take photos of our community work at the Boys and Girls Club and our involvement with the Loppet Foundation. We had a blast showing him the neighborhood by bike and immersing him in Run Club. The kids were psyched to have another person to cheer them on.

Ready to train for Warrior Dash on the playground

Chilling in front of the Run Club board with photos from the previous week's race!
 This weekend we ran the City of Lakes Trail Loppet event. We usually both run the 1/2 Marathon but I am training for shorter races this year so Brian was the only Team Gregg member in the long race. I stuck to the short and fast 5K. Both of us ran well but felt like we were missing that last gear in our running legs. Needless to say the event is always a blast and to have a quick 5 minute run or 2 minute bike to the start is the Best!!!!
Tons of bike commuting to the Trail Loppet start! So awesome. 

The start of the 13.1K
 We also helped out at the Hoigaard's Annual Tent Sale this weekend. Hoigaard's has been a great sponsor of Team Gregg for the past two years and we love helping them get more people out the door ready to take on winter! It's always fun to set people up with equipment after such a good snow year the year before. Excitement for Nordic Skiing is high and I can't wait for the snow to fly.
Great friends from Washburn High School at the Hoigaard's Sale Tent!

Our favorite socks Fits Socks! (A very important part of our wardrobe!!!)

Sharing our love of skiing with happy customers.

Continuing the great tradition of skiers and representatives (Madshus) of the sport! 
 On Sunday Brian and I went out to Afton to join the Vakava Team for their weekly OD. I have been joining up with this group for the past 9 years!!! Although I have never been on the official team roster, they have also welcomed me with open arms and taken me in as one of their own! In 2009 the Vakava crew were behind my fundraiser that helped me get to the races I needed to qualify for the 2010 Olympics! They are all awesome and I regard them as family! I am so lucky to have such great friends in skiing!
Getting to spend a Sunday OD with one of my greatest friends and supporters Cheryl Dubois!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Heading to New York City and a training update!

I am currently on a train leaving Albany, NY heading to NYC. I just got a ride down from Lake Placid, NY and the amazing Olympic Training Center from my former coach Bryan Fish. I am happily exhausted and full after finishing off a great two weeks of high intensity training with some of the fastest ladies in the country and eating the rest of my "to-go" box from the all you can eat cafeteria!

The camp was a huge success and came right on the heals of a 2.5 week high altitude block in Crested Butte, CO and Truckee, CA. The end of my time in Truckee was fantastic and I finished the block off with a solid 10K run at 8,000ft. I felt strong and snappy the whole way and was very pleased with my adaptation throughout my time in the thinner air.

Just after the run I came down with either the silliest cold I have ever experienced or a terrible day and a half of severe allergies. Luckily my training had been spot on for the previous two weeks so I relaxed and let myself recover a bit before I headed out to Lake Placid. I have always felt great training and racing at altitude and I know spending time there has a positive effect on my performance but... I seem to struggle coming back down to sea level afterwards. This time was no different. I am not sure if it was the long day of travel, a lingering cold (or allergies) or the return to sea level but I was not quite myself for the first intensity session of the camp. We hit the ground running (rollerskiing) performing 6 x 4 minutes of HARD uphill skating intervals. Usually these are my favorite but on this particular day I struggled to find my rhythm. The intervals went well but just not as amazing as I had been looking forward to.

The strong group of women.
Fortunately the rest of camp kept getting better and better. Each workout was a huge learning opportunity and chance to ski with some incredible athletes with fantastic technique. I am leaving the camp with an entire sheet of technique cues to work on over the next 3 months before my first World Cups at the end of November. Another positive note was my energy throughout the camp, with the exception of the first day and the Friday before the big Climb to the Castle I felt strong as ever in all of my workouts no matter the technique or intensity! I have often felt this was one of my strong suits but it has been a while since I have been to a true two week dry-land camp like this.
Grouping up to start an adventure.

Heading out for a great long run in the mountains.
Bryan Fish and Colin Rogers.
Back in the van heading to training.
So great to catch up with friends from the past!
Recovery with the space legs was a huge benefit of staying at the OTC.
As mentioned before the final intensity workout was the Climb to the Castle. Although I skied the exact same time as last year I am happy to report that I am feeling better than ever and I know there are a lot of places I still have to make gains!

Myself, Liz and Sophie with our matching LLBean rain jackets! They were perfect for the top of Whiteface Mountain!

The amazing Barbara Beall who acts as my Mom away from home! She brought Liz and I muffins to share at the top of the Climb to the Castle.
So that brings me to my current seat on an Amtrak train heading to NYC to see my Dad who is struggling with cancer. I look forward to a few days to spend with him and getting back to where I was born. I also look forward to some interesting recovery runs and alternative training for a few days. For the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to train and visit with family while Brian has been home hanging out with the kids at the Boys and Girls Club, LNR and taking care of our home! Be sure to check in on his blog too!