Sunday, February 7, 2016

Boulder Mountain Tour

After the Tour de Ski I knew I wasn't racing to my potential and that I needed to adjust how I was training, recovering and racing. I decided the best way to do this was hit a bit of a re-set button. I had the option to stay in Europe for a couple of more weeks and race the 10K Skate in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic or return home and get back into my groove. I chose to come home to Minneapolis where I had the opportunity to train with my LNR teammates, visit my Boys and Girls Run Club kids and race in a local 20K race with amazingly inspirational people. I spent the two weeks absorbing the load from the tour and sleeping in my own bed. I did get the chance to travel to Hayward, WI and participate in the Birkie Tour over the weekend which also helped me find my motivation again. As I have said many times before... I am forever grateful for the incredible ski community I am a part of.

Once recovered it was time to start training again and preparing for the Tour de Canada. With a higher number of skate races I am psyched to try my hand at "tour" racing again. I traveled to Breckenridge, CO and lived at 10,000 ft while training at the awesome Nordic Centers in Summit County. I owe a huge Thank You to Emila Wint and her family for letting Brian and I stay at their condo which is directly across the street from one of the centers.

After 10 days of very high altitude I boarded a plane to Sun Valley, ID. I missed out on racing the Boulder Mountain Tour last year when it was canceled last minute but I had a fantastic time and couldn't miss the opportunity to try it this year. Since the race is also at altitude the previous 10 days allowed me to acclimate and although I put in some very high hours and intense workouts I was able to arrive in Sun Valley feeling great! It helped that I actually dropped 4,000 ft in elevation too!

Halfway and having a blast.
Longtime Sponsor and friend Ian Harvey
Coming back home also allowed me to catch up with and help promote all of Team Gregg's fantastic sponsors. Without their support we couldn't do what we do and we wouldn't be able to be as fast either! 
Signing posters at the BMT expo with Madshus.
One of my favorite Ketchum residents and skier Berkeley!!!
Excited to race!
As with all events the volunteers are the people who are the real stars of the weekend. A huge thank you to the entire BMT volunteer and organizing crew. A special shout-out to the VAMPS who make the whole experience even better!
Still rocking her signed VAMPs jersey from last spring when I was in town :)
 In addition to the BMT and the half BMT the Sun Valley Nordic Festival also has a Team Sprint Event in downtown. Last year Brian and I were partners but this year Brian was at the Eastern Super Tours so coach Tom jumped in and rocked it.
My warm-up buddies for the evening sprints!
My new favorite pair of skis! This does seem to change depending on the weather ;)

A successful week in Sun Valley and fun to see such strong performances from the college skiers. I am a huge fan of college skiing as it was such an important part of my development and success as a skier and person.
Celebrating with Berkeley.
Training has continued to go great. 
Even Tom has been getting in some solid altitude training. Two races worth and a 3 hour classic OD!
I love meeting Olympians who were so inspirational in my dream of making the Olympics. I was psyched to meet up with Besty Youngman for a portion of my workout today.
 Tomorrow I head back "UP" to Colorado and will meet Brian at the Denver airport for our final 10 days at altitude. My heart-rates and lactates are back to normal and I am re-energized to finish the season off strong! Thanks to everyone for their support and I look forward to seeing 10,000 of my friends at the 2016 American Birkebeiner in less than 2 weeks!!!