October 22, 2008

Utah Camp Update

Beautiful Heber Valley

Greetings from the Beehive State!

I've been in Midway, Utah for the past couple weeks training with the National A, B and Development Teams. This is our big fall camp, and we also had three trial races for the December World Cup Team. The training has been great, and it's been fun to see everyone and train together. The races were a good way to see how things are shaping up for the season. Overall, I had a good races, and was happy with my performance considering it is still only October. Unfortunately, I ended up fifth in the overall points from the three races, and only the top four are being taken to the World Cups in December. However, my results were very encouraging as I head into the season.

On a bike ride above the Soldier Hollow venue

We have one more week of training here, and then I'll be home for a couple days before heading back to Lake Placid. At the end of November, we'll be off to West Yellowstone, MT and then Grand Rapids, MN for the first North American Cup races (NorAms). The NorAms will be qualification races for Europa Cup races and the World Championship trials in January.

For now, I'm focusing on making the most out of these last couple days of camp and then getting some much needed rest heading into the last period of training before the season really gets started. Think Snow!!

A great hike in the snow! Unfortunately it all melted by that afternoon...

Snow makes all workouts more fun!

September 19, 2008

Motivation and Dedication

It's been a little while since I've written, and I'm now up in Alaska visiting Zach's family and getting some final training in before our big October camp and races in Utah. It's been nice to be away from the sometimes-chaotic OTC and have some relaxing but quality training leading up to the beginning of our season. It has been a good lesson in motivation and dedication, which, as anyone who's ever been an athlete knows, are quite possibly the two most important attributes one can have in order to be successful.


When Zach and I arrived in Alaska, we were heading into a medium week followed by two more intense training weeks. We had just finished two tough weeks of training, with lots of intervals, two time trials, and a lot of training at our new (completely uphill) rollerski range. They were great weeks of training, but very draining on us. So, we decided that while training was very important, our minds needed a bit of a rest if the next two weeks were to be successful. We did one good interval session, and a bunch of distance, and then headed out for the weekend to go hunting. We were unsuccessful (minus 6 rabbits that made delicious paella when we returned), but it was a great get-away from thinking about training. We hiked a lot, but didn't worry about time and just enjoyed being outside looking. When we returned, we were ready to tackle the next two weeks with renewed motivation. And one day into our interval week, we realized what it is to be truly dedicated.

Unfortunately, he wasn't legal.

Bear Tracks!

Our beautiful escape.

The new range being built in Anchorage at Kincaid Park is pretty much complete. It's a great 30-point range within the great mass of ski trails Kincaid has to offer, and is going to be a fantastic venue. The remaining project is the paving of the firing line, which began nearly two weeks ago. Why it takes so long to pave a 100-meter stretch is beyond me, and beside the point. The point is, we have not been able to use this wonderful range. Instead, we used the Rabbit Creek Rifle Range on Wednesday to do our running combo and shooting workout. For $9, we could wheel a biathlon target they had out on a private "instructor's range" and run out and back on the nearby wildlife refuge trails. I felt like I was back in high school when we would go out to the desert outside Boise and shoot at a little gun club. We would run out and back up this dirt road and return to shoot five quick shots, much to the amazement of the hunters sighting-in their rifles. Wednesday was much like this, but add a much more dilapidated target (we had to rig one paddle with a rock so it would work). It was true dedication, and I'd like to thank my coach Eric for preparing me to deal with this adversity. :)

Making due with what we've got.

Shooting clean on our fantastic target (it's supposed to be all white).

Anyway, we have two more interval sets left in this week (one more where we'll likely be returning to Rabbit Creek), and then a volume week before resting up and heading to Utah. It's important to be able to re-group and realize when you need a little break, whether mental or physical. And being able to do that is going to help me be able to be in the best place possible for the Utah camp and trial races.

August 24, 2008


It's been a busy last few weeks between camp and races in Jericho, a short camp in New Hampshire and then a few days with my relatives in Maine. Let's start back in Jericho.

Jericho Races

I had great races in Jericho. It was a great opportunity to get some hard racing in and see how my training is progressing to this point. Despite being away from biathlon-specific training while I was home in Boise, I shot very well and also skied well. I was third in the sprint, only 36 second from first and 6 seconds from second. I missed only 1 prone shot, so I was very happy with my whole race. The pursuit style race was the next day and I had a great race, missing only 2 shots over 4 shooting stages and won the race with a big margin. It was a great boost for me to see that my training has been on point.

Clean shooting in the pursuit race

Getting interviewed by the local news after the sprint race

A few days later I raced in the NENSA rollerski race. It was fun to do a cross-country race, but very different. Race strategy is completely different when you add shooting to the mix. I ended up 4th, but was very happy with my race considering it was my 3rd race in five days, and my 4th hard workout of the week. All in all, our time in Jericho was very well spent.

Chasing down racers in the NENSA rollerski race

New Hampshire Camp

After the Jericho races, the "B" team headed over the Jackson, NH in the shadow of Mt. Washington. Jackson is a somewhat special place for me. Not only was it the site of my first cross country skiing Junior Nationals, it was also the site of the 2007 NCAA Skiing Championships where Dartmouth won it's first NCAA title in over 30 years. It was great to be in Jackson in a completely different capacity. The focus of our camp was volume, so we did some great bike rides, hikes and rollerskis. It was a great break from the shooting and biathlon-specific training of Jericho.

Just below the summit of Mt. Washington

One of our long bike rides...beautiful!

Off-week: Maine!

After the long week of training in New Hampshire, Zach and I headed to Maine to hang out with my aunt, uncle and cousins. We had a great time sleeping in, cooking, berry picking and kayaking. We went sea kayaking with my aunt and uncle, which was really fun, despite some harrowing water on the way back. It was definitely a fun few days.

Huge hail stones during a thunderstorm in Maine

What's a trip to Maine without lobster?!!

Kayaking off the coast in Maine

Hanging out on the beach we kayaked to.

Now we're back to Lake Placid and gearing up for a couple more weeks of training here before heading off to Alaska. After a couple of good camps and some great races, I'm feeling very confident going into this next block of training. As the summer comes to a close, I'm getting ramped up for the fall and feeling like I'll be ready for the fast approaching competition season.

August 3, 2008

Home Sweet Home, and Rain, Rain, Rain

I'm a little behind in things...ok, a lot behind. I have not uploaded any pictures from the last couple weeks, so the visual side of the story will have to be in the next post. However, a quick update is definitely in order.

I spent the last couple weeks at home in Boise. The first week I was home I spent a lot of time getting in one last big week of training. It had been a while since I'd trained hard during a Boise summer, so I was enjoying early mornings and bone dry heat. A nice break from the humidity of the East! At the end of the week, my family went backpacking in the Sawtooth Mountains with some family friends. It was great to get into the mountains again and even better to be with such great company!

The second week I spent at home was an off week from training. While that doesn't mean that I don't train at all, it does mean very low hours and much more time for seeing friends and hanging out with family. We enjoyed a couple of late night, backyard dinners, and some good catching up.

I returned to Lake Placid refreshed and ready for a new training block. On Wednesday, we headed over to Jericho, Vermont for a week and a half of training and racing on the roller loops there. This coming Tuesday and Wednesday are biathlon races, and Saturday is a NENSA series Nordic rollerski race. The last couple days have been so rainy that I can't imagine there will be any rain left for the race days, but in New England, you never know. Hopefully we stay dry, and hopefully I'll remember my camera so I can get some pictures to you soon!

July 17, 2008


Last week was a big volume week, and boy did I feel it! The last few volume weeks we've done I haven't felt too bad at the end, but during this one, all I could think about was Saturday afternoon and our rest day! It's been hot, which definitely takes a lot out of you, and starting this week after a long travel weekend (involving some car trouble) for the 4th of July did not help either. But, I made it through, putting in a lot of quality hours. It's weeks like this one that make me feel really good about my training. I know I'm pushing my limits and thus improving my capacity. It's a good feeling, no matter how tired I am at the end!

Rollerskiing near the OTC

I'm now home in Boise for a couple of weeks. It's hot here, but I've been getting in some good training this week before we head off on a backpacking trip and then a much deserved rest week. I'll come back to Lake Placid just before our camp and rollerski races in Jericho. It's nice having some time away from the OTC and the training group to just hang out with my family. I think it's going to help me be even more ready for Jericho. But for now, I'm only going to think about the immediate future: getting through one more week with high quality training, and then enjoying my rest week here with my family!

June 29, 2008

Camp Re-cap and Rest Week

Now that the national team camp is over, and we're finishing up a busy rest week, I finally have time to catch up on things.

The camp ended well. The second week started with the duathlon I wrote about in my previous post, and ended with a trip to a good friend's wedding in New Hampshire. In between, we had VO2 Max testing on the big treadmill at the OTC. Overall, it was a great camp, with some really high quality training. It was great to get to train with such a big group of girls and I'm definitely looking forward to the next camp when we're all together again.

VO2 Max testing.

Though the camp was great, I was more than ready for the rest week that followed. After a quick trip to New Hampshire over the weekend for my friend's wedding, Zach and I spent the next couple days house and dog sitting for a friend in Lake Placid. It was great to get out of the OTC for a few days and get to cook and enjoy having a whole house to relax in. We began some light training at the end of the week, and are gearing up for an interval week next week. After heading to Jericho, VT for some combo training (rollerskiing and shooting) on the roller loop there for Monday and Tuesday, Zach and I will go down to Rhode Island to spend the Forth of July with my family at the beach. While training won't stop for the holiday, it will be nice to hang out on the beach a bit and see my family.

Dartmouth Nordi girls reunion! Post-wedding hike up Mount Moosilauke.

A beautiful rainbow while house sitting.

June 17, 2008

Week 1

We are just beginning the second week of our first training camp. Everyone is here-the National A and B teams and the Development team along with some potential recruits for next year. It was a big week in terms of hours and intensity, but I feel like I handled it well. Some highlights include a couple fun shooting competitions, a 7 hour day that included a long hike/run and a bike ride, and of course lots of long rollerskis with good conversation.

Melinda, Wynn and Zach on our long hike/run at Avalanche Lake.

Shooting work on the Scat machine.

This week is another big week-the last week of camp. We began with a swim-bike race yesterday that was really fun, and quite entertaining seeing a bunch of biathletes attempt to swim fast-a difficult feat when you don't float too well. Later this week we're going to be doing some VO2 Max testing. The testing will make for a bit lower hours this week, but it will be interesting to get to see how we do in testing. Then, at the end of the week, Zach and I head to Dartmouth's Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for a friend's wedding. It should be a great week, with a much deserved break waiting at the end.

Pre-swim-a little wary

Biathletes swimming...not too bad actually...

Heading off on the bike portion.

June 6, 2008

Back to School

It's been a while since I last wrote, so what better time to catch up than sitting in a coffee shop across the street from my alma mater?

This weekend is Dartmouth graduation, and an easy training week for us before the national team camp begins on Monday. It seemed like a perfect time for Zach and me to get away for a little break from the OTC and to catch up with a few people here on campus. So far, it's been a nice visit. Today's rain is definitely putting a damper on things, but the weather looks much better for Sunday's commencement exercises: it's going to be 90˚F! I suppose summer really has arrived, despite the recent dreary weather.

It has been a busy last few weeks as training has ramped up and things have gotten back into full swing. Last week was a volume week with 25 hours of training for me. It was my biggest week ever, and though I did miss an interval session because I was feeling a sore throat coming on, I felt great about the training I put in. Making the decision to take the day off is tough, but you have to know when to rest. Training through sickness can just make you more sick and then you end up missing even more training. It was a good lesson for me: with a lot of rest and forgoing the intervals, I was able to stave off my cold and finish the training week. Knowing when to train is important, but knowing when to rest is perhaps even more important, and certainly more difficult.

It's not been all training these last few weeks, though. During our last low volume week (3 weeks ago), Zach and I went to Rhode Island to paint my Grandpa's house for him. We were lucky with the weather and were able to get a lot done. It was also great to spend some time with my Grandpa and my aunts, uncles and cousins. As an added bonus, we got to get all dressed up and go to the Providence Opera. It was amazing, and definitely not something we have the opportunity to do very often!

Safety first!

Just like new!

Off to the Opera. We clean up pretty nicely...

So, that's the cliff notes version of the last month. I'm really looking forward to the national team camp over the next two weeks. It's going to be great to get to work with the "A" team coaches and train with everyone for a while. This is a real "kick off" for the season, and I am more than ready to put in the work.

April 24, 2008


With a wave of unseasonably warm weather, spring has arrived in more ways than one. This week is the first week of training in the 08-09 season. It seems strange that we've already come full circle back to the beginning. There's one big difference, though. Whereas last year at this time I was finishing up school with a whole month of classes left, this year I am beginning to train full time. It's going to be a huge advantage to have a whole month more than last year. And after a nice break from biathlon, I'm really looking forward to training again and kicking this season off right!

April 9, 2008

End of the Season


The 07-08 competition season is done, and it ended with a bang for me! Canadian Nationals was a huge success, as I finished 3rd overall and top US athlete (again!) in the Sprint race. I was really happy with my race. I skied hard and shot well, with only 2 penalties for the day. It was a great end to the individual race season.

Women's Sprint Podium

The relay was the last competition for the year and it was a great race. Though my legs were tired from 2 weeks of racing, I felt pretty good and had a lot of fun in my first relay competition. The way the teams worked was that there was 2 men and 1 woman (although some teams had 2 women and 1 man-our setup was the faster choice), and as with all relay competitions, you had three extra rounds to hit the five targets at both shooting stages. My teammate tagged off to me in 2nd place, but I was quickly passed by a team who had chosen to send their men in the first and second positions rather than first and third as our team had elected. I skied well though, and used 2 extra rounds to clean my target both in prone and standing and tagged off in 4th place to our last leg. Although he had some trouble in the first shooting stage, he skied well and moved us up to 3rd place. It was pretty neat. Getting to stand on the podium three days in a row was definitely a great experience, and a great end to the season.

Getting into position in the relay.

After the races, my parents, who had come to see me race, and my boyfriend Zach and I drove down to Seattle where my parents flew back to Boise to work and Zach and I continued down the Oregon coast for a little vacation. It was a bit rainy and cold, but very nice to have a break from skiing. We had nowhere to be and nothing to do; it was great.

Zach and me on the Oregon Coast.

Now I'm home in Boise for a week and then back to Lake Placid to get going on next season...

March 28, 2008

Canadian Nationals Day 1

Wow! It's been an amazing week here at Canadian Nationals so far. In addition to being able to ski at an absolutely breathtaking venue that will host the 2010 Olympic Games, I had a fantastic race on Thursday. The Individual race (15K with 4 shootings and 1 minute penalty for each miss instead of the usual 150m penalty loop) went very well. I was able to ski each loop a little faster than the previous and had only 3 penalties for the day, putting me into third place overall! It was definitely a great result for only having 1 year of focused biathlon training.

Leaving the range

Tomorrow is the sprint race, followed by a mixed relay on Sunday. Both should be great races, and I'm especially looking forward to the relay since I have never raced one before. We are all taking advantage of being able to train and race at this venue, but I must admit, I am looking forward to after the race on Sunday when the season will be over and vacation will start!

Close-up of prone shooting.

Women's Individual Podium!

Photos courtesy of Max Cobb. Check out more photos of US Biathletes in action at http://gallery.mac.com/maxkcobb#100148&view=mosaic&sel=0

March 25, 2008

Nationals Summary

Mass Start 2nd and 3rd place

US Nationals/NorAm Championships ended Saturday with the mass start competition. I had a good race with good shooting and skiing, despite a long week of racing. It was an exciting race, since it came down to the last lap.

Mass Starts are always exciting since you always know where you are and can often tell how other racers are doing. The first lap of the Nationals mass start was cool because the whole group of women pretty much stayed together, meaning we all entered the range at the same time. I had one penalty and left for the second loop with a small group of skiers, around 5th place. After clean shooting in the second prone stage I was just behind a couple skiers, and moving up in the standings. Standing shooting went well, as I had two penalties in the first stage and one in the second. By the last lap I had moved into 4th position, just behind third and within sight of second. I battled hard over the last 2.5K lap and took over 3rd position, and if the course had been another half kilometer I would have been able to catch 2nd place as well. It was a great race though, and very exciting to do well in the last domestic race of the season. Also, due to my races in Minnesota, I was able to take the NorAm Overall title for the 2008 season. It was a great first season as a full-time biathlete.

And it's not quite over! We are now just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada for Canadian National Championships at the 2010 Olympic venue. The area is amazingly beautiful, and the venue is fantastic. It's a great and inspiring opportunity to get to ski and race here now. It is the first large-scale biathlon events to be held at the Olympic venue, and so far everyone seems to really like the courses and the set-up. Some nationals team members are here, so I'm looking forward to spending time with some people I haven't seen all season. It's going to be fun to race here and end the season with such an exciting experience!

Range at the Olympic venue

March 22, 2008

US Nationals-2 down, 1 to go

The races at US Nationals are almost over. Today's Mass Start will finish off the competition and then we'll be off to Vancouver for Canadian Nationals. Overall I've been happy with my races so far. The courses here at Mt. Itasca, MN are in great condition and challenging, but very fun to ski. It's been fun to get to see some people who I haven't seen since the beginning of the season and get to race against a couple of World Championship team members.

Thursday was the 7.5K sprint race. I was pretty nervous going into the race and it took me the first lap to ski into the race. Clean shooting in prone and good skiing in laps two and three helped me to a 4th place finish (3rd American) despite three misses in standing.

Friday was the 10K pursuit format (a pursuit style start-based on our sprint results-but an individual result). I was in a much better place mentally for this race. I was very relaxed and ready going into the race so was able to ski well right from the beginning. I had only 1 prone penalty (in my first stage) and three standing (1 and 2) penalties. I ended up 3rd (2nd American), lossing out only to one World Championship team member and a former Belarusian world cup athlete. I also had the best shooting of the day, which I was very pleased with.

Today's Mass Start will wrap up competition here. I think my races thus far have been good, and hopefully I can end on a high note with the last race today!


US Women's Sprint Podium

March 10, 2008

NorAm 7 and Nationals Run-Up

It's been a while since I last wrote, so lets catch up. The last "regular season" NorAm in Valcartier, Quebec went well. Although the sprint race was difficult due to lots of new snow and some wind, it was a good experience. I missed quite a few shots, but learned a lot about how to better tell wind values so I can better adjust my sights for wind in the future. The pursuit race went much better. Despite arriving only an hour before the race (the organizers had moved the race up an hour without making sure every team knew) and having a rushed zero, I hit 17 of 20 and won by 2 minutes. Overall is was a good weekend, but I was definitely looking forward to a bit of a break afterwards.

A break was exactly what we got last week. With three days off and then some easy training and one interval session, I'm feeling much more rested this week. We're now gearing up for US Nationals/NorAm Championships and Canadian Nationals. We leave Lake Placid on Monday for Minnesota where we will race Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Then we head to Vancouver and race Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. All together, I'll race 6 races (58.5 kilometers) in 11 days. It's going to be a whirlwind, so getting some good training in and then some rest leading up to the races is important.

After Vancouver, we'll be done for the season and I'll be heading home to Boise for a little relaxation before heading back to Lake Placid and getting ready to start things all over again.

February 28, 2008

Snow Day

Although our main focus right now is training, resting and racing fast, we do occasionally get out to enjoy winter in other ways. Today, Zach, Jason and I went to the ski jumps and rode the chairlift and then the elevator to the top. It was a beautiful sunny day so the views were amazing. Here are some pictures from the ski jumps and the trails yesterday after a big snow storm. Enjoy winter!

View from the chairlift to the top of the landing hill.

Looking down jump.

Biathlon Stadium

Fresh tracks in 6 inches of powder!