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.