December 17, 2007


It's been a little while since I've written, so let me do a quick update. The races at West Yellowstone went well. All of us were tired, but the skiing was great and we were all motivated to finish the first series of races off on a high note. For me, the sprint race went well but the pursuit format race was tough. My shooting was not great and skiing was pretty flat. Despite that one tough race, I was named to the Europa Cup team and will be traveling to Europe (Germany and Slovakia) in January to race. I'm really excited to have the chance to race in Europe, and feel like it's a great opportunity to take the next step in my biathlon career.

For now, though, I'm enjoying the holiday season and being home in Boise with my family. After an easy week last week, I'm back to normal training. Luckily, the snow has only been getting better at Bogus Basin, and I've been able to travel to Sun Valley and McCall to get some great skiing in. I return to Lake Placid on the 28th and shortly after we will leave for Europe. Until then, lots of training and gearing up to race again.

The Development Team on a ski near Lake Louise in Canada. L-R: BethAnn Chamberlain, Me, Caitlin Compton, Zach Hall, Haley Johnson, Jason Ray

The women's team on the deck of our place in Canmore. L-R: Me, Caitlin Compton, BethAnn Chamberlain, Haley Johnson (front)

Shooting prone in West Yellowstone.

Leaving the range in West Yellowstone.

December 4, 2007


Shoot Clean: Hitting all five targets during one shooting stage.

The first races are over, and now the season has really begun. Saturday was the 7.5K sprint race (2 shooting stages) for the women (10K for the men), followed on Sunday by a Canadian style pursuit (4 shooting stages). Both days were brutally cold, claiming more than a couple frost nipped fingers and toes. Races were delayed one hour each day, but temperatures were still near -17ÂșC.

Saturday’s race went well for me. My prone shooting was good with only 1 penalty, but standing was rough, with 4. I felt that I skied well and ended up in fifth position (which would have been 6th except for an unfortunate mistake by one of my teammates which we were all able to learn a good lesson from). I was very pleased with my result given that it was my first real biathlon race in a long while.

Sunday’s race was 10K for the women and 12.5K for the men, and Saturday’s place determined your start. The winner started first, followed by second place 5 seconds later, third place at 10 seconds, and so on down the list. The first person to cross the finish line is the winner, regardless of actual ski time (so it’s an advantage to have a better finish the day before). It was a fun race since there were so many racers so close together. I started between two teammates at 20 seconds back. My skiing was less than stellar; my cough had come back, and though I did my best to ignore it, it was definitely taking a toll. Luckily, my shooting saved me. I shot clean, not just on one stage, but for the entire 4 stage race. It was a pretty amazing feeling and a very exciting experience. Something many biathletes go their entire career without ever doing. I ended up second to my teammate, Haley Johnson, and another American from the National Guard, Denise Teela, was third. It was a great end to the weekend.

We arrived in West Yellowstone last night in a big snowstorm. Today, there is about two feet of snow covering the trails, a major improvement from just a week and a half ago. It’s going to be another great weekend of races to decide the Europa Cup team. All I’ve got to do is keep my momentum and confidence rolling and things should work out well.

November 23, 2007

Turkey Day

Despite being in Canada, we were able to pull off a successful Thanksgiving feast yesterday. It was an off day for us, so the majority of the day was taken up by cooking turkey, potatoes, yams, stuffing, bread and pie. It was a great day of eating and hanging out with the team.

The day before we had a great classic ski up near Lake Louise. We skied out to Moraine Lake, and though we had been on the trail before, this time we finally made it all the way to the lake. It was a beautiful spot, and the lake was frozen over so we were able to ski out onto the ice, which was very fun. After our ski, we went up to Lake Louise to check out the hotel and the lake. That lake had frozen as well, but it had frozen clear, so we could look down onto the logs and rocks on the bottom. It was a very cool, but very odd sensation.

Back to the present, today we had a time trial with some of the Canadian Development team and a few juniors. I have been a little under the weather, so took the time trial as a chance to get the feel for racing, but backed off the intensity. I was very happy with my "race," as it was a great experience and good to do something a little hard since I haven't been able to yet on snow. I'm even feeling a little better now, so I think that little intensity might have been just what I needed to kick this sickness.

The next week will be a lot less volume and more intensity so that we will be in top form for the NorAm next weekend. It's going to be great to really get things rolling.

November 19, 2007

Canmore Update

The end of the weekend brought with it a drop in the temperature. While that made for more chilly training, we arrived at the range to the full roar of snow making. Since we've been skiing on a short out and back trail, hopefully the snow made today will allow for more open trails tomorrow.

Despite the lack of open trails, we've been getting some great training in. Tomorrow calls for intervals, and since racing is literally just around the corner, intervals are becoming more and more important. I'm definitely looking forward to our first set of on snow intervals, so it's off to bed in order to make the most of tomorrow's session!

November 16, 2007

At Last!

We arrived in Canada yesterday after a ridiculously long trip. We left the OTC at 2am Eastern time and arrived in Calgary at 2pm Mountain time. We finally pulled into our (very posh) condo in Canmore at 5pm and proceeded directly to dinner and then to bed. 10 hours of sleep, and we were all new people this morning!

It is beautiful here, and though the snow is a bit lacking, it's worlds better than rollerskiing. The ski area is situated right at the base of the mountains and is one of the most inspiring places I've ever skied. We're all looking forward to the next few weeks here. I hope to have some pictures from the range and skiing in the next few days, but for now, the view from our condo will have to do.

November 13, 2007


Below is an article I wrote recently for the Bogus Basin Junior Nordic Team newsletter. I wanted to talk about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, in hopes of inspiring some of the Juniors from my junior team to realize they can also get to where I am. Hopefully it will at the very least explain what has motivated me to get to where I am.

When you go away to ski camp, you spend the time training, eating, sleeping and relaxing. It is an enjoyable time, but also some of the most focused and intense training of your season. Now, imagine that you never leave ski camp. That’s my life now. After my graduation from Dartmouth College in June, I moved to the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY as a member of the US Biathlon Development Team.

I always knew I wanted to continue my ski career after college, however, I was not always sure that would be in the cards for me. As a junior racer, I had a lot of success, but in college, I had a couple of tough seasons. I kept at it, though: training hard and staying confident in my abilities. My senior year, after a summer of training and assistant coaching with BBNT, I made my goal to finish in the top ten of every Eastern Collegiate Circuit race (commonly referred to as carnival races). But after early season successes, I began to realize I could do more than finish in the top ten. I decided I wanted to make the NCAA Championship Team, and to my excitement, I did. The season ended with an invitation to apply for, and eventual acceptance to, the US Biathlon Development Team. Acceptance meant free room and board at the OTC, coaching, partial funding for summer and fall training camps, and nearly full funding for winter competitions domestically and internationally. All of this made skiing full time possible, since holding down a job during a 20-hour training week can be a difficult task.

Now, training and nearly beginning to race full time, I am realizing that hanging onto my goals, even through the tough times, was important. I plan on training hard and staying focused on my goals for as long as I have this opportunity. I am glad that I went to college and had that experience. I know now that I can always fall back on my education and other passions when I am done racing. This opportunity fell into my lap in part because of timing and luck, but mostly it was because of years of hard work and never giving up on my goals.

November 11, 2007

Side Trip

First, in my last post I erroneously failed to mention how pleased our team was with the Soldier Hollow venue in Heber, Utah. The owners were incredibly generous in their allowing us to train every day on their world-class facilities. We owe them a huge thanks, and if you are ever in Utah, you must go ski at Soldier Hollow. It is inspiring to be on the same trails where Becky Scott won her Olympic medal and Ole Einar Bjorndalen won his many in 2002. It is an experience not to be missed.

Now for the update. This weekend, Zach and I headed over to Dartmouth for a quick visit. We had been hoping to find a time this fall to come over and join the team for a Sunday OD (over-distance) run, and we finally settled on this weekend. It worked out nicely since Dartmouth was celebrating 35 years of coeducation and consequently Dartmouth Skiing was hosting a kick-off event for the Women of Dartmouth Skiing to help us continue to stay connected and begin a campaign to raise $100,000 for the 100th Anniversary of Skiing at Dartmouth in 2009. It was great to get to talk with some of the alums, many of whom graduated in the late 70's and early 80's, making their stories of Dartmouth and the ski team much different from mine. However, it was also good to see that many things have stayed very much the same: from OD runs to bikini skiing and Moosilauke, our experiences have many things in common.

Sunday morning we each headed off with our respective teams for an early morning run in the woods. The women's team headed up Smarts Mountain, which offered us great views thanks to the sunny (though very windy) morning. The way down was slippery with ice and snow, which made us all excited for impending winter and ski season. It was so good to see the team and catch up on what everyone has been doing. While I'm glad to be out of school and extremely happy doing what I'm doing, I do miss my team and all our fun times. Luckily, Hanover is a mere 3 hours from Lake Placid, so I imagine we will be back again soon.

November 8, 2007

A Quick Break

I'm now back in Lake Placid for a brief interlude between camps. With a successful October camp behind us, the Development Team will be heading to Canmore, Alberta (near Calgary) in a week. There, we will train for a couple weeks before the first NorAm (North American Cup) races. After Canmore, we'll be off to West Yellowstone, Montana for the second set of NorAm's. Then home for Christmas break. The two sets of races will determine who will go to Europe in January to compete on the Europa Cup circuit. So until then, we'll all be working extra hard.

Being home the last week was great. It was fun to see some friends and spend time with my family. I'm looking forward to being home again for Christmas, but before then, there's still work to do!

Soldier Hollow course and range from the hills above.

The stray cat that adopted us for the day while we were raking leaves. He was so sweet that he must have belonged to someone, so the neighbors took him in until he's claimed.

Halloween! A Greek goddess and a Trojan warrior...or something like that. We had a great night giving out candy and checking out the cool costumes.

October 19, 2007

Three Seasons in Two Weeks

A lot has happened since I last wrote: I visited my brother at Yale, had my 23rd birthday, and flew to Utah to begin our October camp outside Park City. It has been jam packed for the past two weeks, and while it has flown by, Yale and my birthday seem worlds away.

October 7, my birthday, was spent hanging out with my parents, boyfriend Zach and my brother Luke in New Haven, CT. It was a perfect summer day…in October. We had breakfast on the beach, and could have ventured into the water had we wanted since the temperature was already near 80F. After leaving my brother to get back to work, we drove to my aunt and uncle’s house in Rhode Island for birthday dinner and pumpkin pie (which was actually squash pie, but just as delicious).

The next day, Zach and I left for Utah to join the rest of the US Biathlon Development Team and the National Team for our October camp. We arrived to perfect western fall weather: cool mornings and warm afternoons with lots of sun all day. There was snow in the mountains surrounding the Heber Valley, which made for inspiring views from our rental house each morning. We have all been adjusting well to altitude training and taking advantage of the great rollerski trails and shooting range at the 2002 Olympic venue, Soldier Hollow.

We moved houses on Sunday, trading majestic mountain views for pastures, deer, and one curious, apple-core-loving horse. Yesterday, some weather rolled in, and we awoke this morning to an inch and a half of wet SNOW. Despite the white stuff, we were still able to pull off a time trial with some juniors who are also here training. I shot amazingly until my forth and final stage, when I missed 3 of my standing targets. Until then, I had only missed one shot. I still ended up forth, hitting 16 of 20 shots. It was a great experience for me, as is every race at this stage in my training. I skied hard and, for the most part, shot well, so I was very happy with my result.

We have another time trail with the national team on Saturday, and finish the camp with one more week of training. So far this has been a very productive camp and great preparation for our early races, which are also at altitude in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, and West Yellowstone, Montana. The recent snow has done nothing but make me look forward to when there’s actually enough for us to ditch the rollerskis and grab the real things. Think Snow!!

September 21, 2007

Enjoying it All

This past week has been another rest week for us, and being that fall is certainly in full swing here in Lake Placid, we took full advantage of the time off.

Zach and I started the week off by going apple picking, because what good upstate New York resident lets the fall pass without picking apples?? Since we went on a Monday, we had the orchard all to ourselves, which was fabulous. It couldn't have been a better day: sunny skies and pleasantly cool temperatures made for a beautiful drive over and a great time in the orchard. We picked two baskets full of Cortland, Macintosh, Golden Delicious, Gala and Honeycrisp varieties. Currently, the enormous pile is sitting in my room and quickly disappearing. Most people would be amazed at how Zach and I are able to go through apples! The best part, though, was sampling all the different apples. If you've never eaten an apple right off the tree, you are REALLY missing out. Supermarket apples just can't compare. My favorites? It's hard to choose since I like them all, but the best would probably be the Cortlands and Honeycrisps. We'll be back in the orchard before fall is over for sure.

On Wednesday afternoon, Zach and I hiked into a shelter on Copperas Pond, about 15minutes from Lake Placid and an easy 1.3 mile hike (or 0.5 miles if you take the short way that we didn't know about). It was absolutely beautiful in the mountains. The shelter is right on the pond, so waking to the first light hitting the pond in the morning was amazing. Perfect weather, of course, and a great one-night trip.

Then it was time to begin some easy training again. Today we took a run up a hill overlooking Lake Placid and Mirror Lake (the lake around which the town of Lake Placid is situated). It was beautiful (this is getting to be a welcome theme here...) and we had a great time exploring new trails and taking in the views. We had to stop and get our bearings as we looked over the town, I guess we're not quite locals yet!

Tomorrow we have some tough bounding intervals up Whiteface Mountain (the alpine ski area here), which marks the end of our easy week. There is really nothing that can compare to a Northeastern Autumn, and each day I am reminded but the beautiful foliage how lucky I am to be living my dream. September is more than half way over, which means snow and racing are quickly approaching. I can't wait!

September 11, 2007


It's been a little while since I've written, and all the sudden fall seems to have crept up. I can hardly believe that it's September already, but the wildly variant weather proves that another New England autumn is here.

Let's catch up on things. The end of my off week was spent taking my brother to his freshman orientation trip at Yale. Being a Dartmouth girl through and through, I spent much of the time deciding why Yale was clearly inferior to my alma mater. However, I must admit, it was pretty nice there and my brother seems to like it, so that's all that really matters.

Next, I headed off to Alaska to meet up with my boyfriend, Zach. We spent a great week training and helping his family get ready for his brother's wedding. The wedding was outside, with the beautiful Matanuska Valley and surrounding mountains making for a perfect backdrop. It was a great time for all, and well worth my short trip to Alaska.

I then flew back to Maine to spend a couple days with my parents and aunt and uncle before my parents headed back to Idaho. After a slight hiccup of car trouble on the way back to Lake Placid (luckily it happened in Hanover, with lots of friends to help and beds to crash in around), I finally arrived back at the OTC, only to leave the next morning with the rest of the Development Team for a weekend in Jericho, VT for training on the rollerski loops there. When we arrived on Friday, it was incredibly hot and humid. We had a tough couple of workouts on Friday due to the heat and humidity, and were so exhausted after the morning workout that the four of took naps on the hard picnic tables in the building near the range. The weather was no different on Saturday which made for tough conditions for the NENSA rollerski race. Thanks to great organizers, though, the race went off great and I think everyone had a good time.

Sunday was an off day, so we returned to Lake Placid to lounge. We were back in Jericho yesterday to significantly cooler temperatures. After an easier day Monday, this morning was spent with some level 3 rollerski interval combos (meaning after each interval we stop to shoot, making it more like an actual biathlon race). The temperatures have been cooperating nicely, but we'll be lucky if we can hold off the rain this afternoon for one last workout before heading back to Lake Placid.

Next week is an easy/off week and then we'll have a 10 day block of training then more rest before heading to Utah for our October camp with the National Team. Things are really moving in high gear here as we all get ready for winter, which like fall, will no doubt close in fast!

August 22, 2007

August Camp

So, the August camp is over, and while training was incredibly productive, I have to admit I'm glad to have a rest week! The first week of the camp was my largest volume week all year. We were all pretty tired by the end, which was a good feeling. Last week, the Development Team headed over to Jericho, Vermont to take advantage of their range with rollerski loops. It was great training, especially for those of us who are newer to the sport. We got to practice range procedure and shoot a lot. Of course, sleeping in the Army barracks at the Ethan Allen training site was an experience, but definitely worth it considering the training.

Two races with the large group of junior biathletes from Minnesota, Maine and Alaska that were also training in Jericho toped off the training week. The races were another great opportunity for practice at high intensity, something we don't often get a lot of since we don't have rollerski loops at the range in Lake Placid. Overall, I was happy with my results, but I know there are still a lot of things to work on before we get on snow...which hopefully won't be too long from now!

Like I said, I'm now in the rest week phase of our cycle, and heading over to Maine to meet up with my parents and take my little brother down to college. Then I’m off to Maine for Zach's brother's wedding. And of course, after that we'll be full speed into the next camp in September here in Lake Placid. Stay tuned....

Checking my natural point of aim during practice in Jericho.

Lots of rifles...

First shooting stage. I'm the one furthest to the left.

August 5, 2007

Catching Up

I arrived at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) on June 21 after a whirlwind of graduation, meeting President Bush for NCAA Champions Day (Dartmouth Skiing won NCAAs this year, and I was lucky enough to not only have raced but to have been the women's nordic captain!), and a family vacation. Since then, we have been working in 4 week cycles: 3 hard weeks followed by an easy week. By hard week, I mean lots of hours; easy weeks thus being much less hours. It's been more training than I have ever done before, but I'm confident that my body can handle it. Without school or a job or anything to get in the way of recovery and focus, this is the best situation for me to excel in the sport of biathlon.

I recently spent a couple weeks at home in Idaho visiting my family and training in the time between camps (there's a camp with all Development Team members about once a month for 2-3 weeks. The next one starts tomorrow). My boyfriend, Zach, and I hung out with my family in Boise for a bit, and we all went backpacking in the beautiful (if a bit smoky) Sawtooth Mountains. We also spent some time at a friend's cabin in McCall, Idaho, on Payette Lake. It was a much needed and very fun break from the constant thoughts of training here in Lake Placid.

But now we are back, and into the full swing of training again. Camp starts tomorrow, but I feel like it has never really stopped. Training to get to the level I want to be at (World Cup and Olympic) is a full time job. You never stop going. You're always thinking about training and your goals. So, understandably, we all look forward to our one off day a week when we can sleep in, and lounge all day. Usually, however, it turns into the day you get all the errands and things done you didn't have time to do during the week.

This week, that errand was returning to Dartmouth for Zach and my last load of ski stuff. It was great to see the few people who are around for summer term and kick around Hanover for the evening. We drove over yesterday after an intense uphill bounding workout and did our afternoon classic ski in Hanover. After a fun, but uneventful evening (we were exhausted!) we saw the Dartmouth Ski Team off to Moosilauke for the famed Moosilauke Time Trial and packed up our ski stuff and headed back to Lake Placid. Along the way, we could not resist stopping for a while to pick berries at a pick-your-own farm in Rochester, Vermont. The berries were absolutely huge, and we almost made ourselves sick for eating so many! Well worth the stop.

So, now I'm more or less caught up. As the camp begins, there should be more training adventures to report. Stay tuned!!

August 2, 2007


I hope this blog will keep my family, friends and sponsors up to date on my new life as a member of the US Biathlon Development Team. Thanks for visting, and keep checking back!