Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Training

Happy summer, solstice, and strawberry moon! Even though summer only officially began the other day, the last two weeks in Vermont have felt like the perfect summer weather. With the exception of a few bugs, it's been pretty close to perfect with warm (but not too hot) temperatures, low humidity, and plenty of sunshine. As a team, SMS has been able to take advantage of these ideal training conditions with a lot of volume training. We've trained on our usual rollerski and running loops around the Stratton area, but have also gotten out for some new routes on skis, feet, and bikes.

One of our OD runs out to Stratton Pond (erika photo)

Doing some distance skating with Goob (Pat photo)

Mtn biking on some new trails in Dorset with Izzy and Kate

Skiing out to the town of Stratton with the girls and Cork on the bike (Pat photo)
We're incredibly lucky to have such a strong training group with so much support in Stratton. Almost every day of the week we have at least one group workout that is supported by our coach Pat and U.S. Ski Team coach, Jason Cork. Matt and his girlfriend, Steffi, came to visit last weekend and we had Matt and Jason on the bikes supporting us and Pat driving the van and hiking up the mountain with extra water. To say we are well taken care of is an understatement. Not everyone's plan is exactly the same, so we still are able to get in some alone time training, which is also nice every once in awhile, but I find it much easier to motivate myself for training when I get to do it with a group of friends and teammates. It's nice to be part of this team that is so open and willing to help each other turn our weaknesses into strengths by learning from each other. I never hesitate to ask Annie for lifting technique or striding advice, to double pole behind Jessie as she breaks the headwind so we can keep up, or ask Erika to lead me in an uphill skate interval and I know they feel comfortable doing the same with me because that's how we're going to get better as a team.
Dirt road rollerskiing (pat photo)

Finishing our OD on top of Stratton with KO (Pat photo)

This tree fell to the ground ten meters in front of us when we were skiing one day. Had we been three seconds faster, we would have been a big SMS pancake breakfast! Instead, we decided to do some tree work and move it out of the road (Jason photo)

My sister and brother have both now officially made the move out west, but it was nice to have my sister home for a week before she headed out. Here we sport our matching t-shirts that were given to us separately in the same week!

We have been doing quite a bit of training with the SMS high school and Devo crew as well. We lead agility sessions before strength 2-3 times a week and also get in an interval session or distance run with them when it fits and we're in a place safe enough for a large group. Several times a summer we hop in our 2 mile uphill run test and one mile uphill double pole test with the SMS kids to see how our strength and fitness are progressing. I've done two running races this summer and have been lucky enough to have a bunch of the SMS junior boys to try to hang on to until I blow up. I was psyched to set a PR in the uphill run test and I probably owe a lot of that to the junior boys I was chasing!
Jessie and I led some foot agility and showed the juniors some of the exercises we've learned with the U.S. team (Pat photo)

Simi lining up with our Devo crew to do some hurdles (Pat photo)

Fin practicing his slalom (Pat photo)

Hurdles (Pat photo)

Cheering Jessie on as she does the uphill run test again (Sver photo)

Start of the uphill run test (Sver photo)
 In addition to a lot of training, we've been able to do some fun non-training summer activities like summertime grilling, swimming, and venturing out of southern Vermont. We're only two weeks away from our camp in Alaska and my two weeks will be a mix of some more volume training and plenty of recovery before camp. I'm looking forward to being reunited with my U.S. Ski Team teammates in Alaska, but first I'm crossing my fingers for two more weeks of summer days like these in Vermont.

Enjoying a sunny afternoon at my parents' house

Pat making sure he gets enough protein

Adventure up to Burke to do some mountain biking and hang out with Matt, Steffi, and Sim at Matt's cabin 

Jessie taking a dip in Hamilton Falls

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Back to VT

The final week of Bend camp flew by and now most of the SMS T2 crew is back in VT gearing up for a summer of solid training. Our last week in Bend consisted of a Fast and Female clinic, more hours on snow, and some fun afternoon dry land adventures including a trip out to Tumalo falls, which is one of my favorite places to visit in Bend!
Tumalo Falls (Erika photo)

Making our way under (Erika photo)

USST gals in our matching LL Bean gear

Classic speeds (flying point road photo)

Afternoon by the river

Fast and Female
After two big weeks in Bend, I was looking forward to a recovery week back home in Vermont. The first few days in VT were HOT and HUMID, which was a bit of a shock to the system after being in cool, dry Bend, but I quickly got used to it. Sweating more just means you're working hard, right? The Saturday after I got home, I went to Rutland, VT to be the speaker for the Girls on the Run VT 5k event that was being held at the fairgrounds. I hopped in the 5k with the girls and had a blast getting to know some young Vermonters who love to run. I'm a huge fan of the Girls on the Run Program and have had the pleasure of being a coach for a couple years at the elementary school I attended.
Heading towards the finish!

Ready to start
 My recovery week also consisted of attending my friend Gordon's wedding, getting out for a couple mountain bikes, hopping in the West River Trail race, and unpacking from Bend and repacking to move into our condo up at Stratton. Now that everyone is back in town, we're ramping up the training and the group is looking good and motivated for the summer ahead of us. Thanks for following!
Skiing with KO, Annie, and Erika (Pat photo)

Chasing KO in some skate threshold intervals (Pat photo)


Biking with my sister in Rutland


Cookie medal for the West River Trail run

Chasing Kam and Will through South Londonderry

Pre race with Isabel

Having fun at Gordon's wedding with Erika, Sam, and Sam

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bend Camp

We're one week into our annual Bend spring camp and we've had some of the best skiing I've had in the three years I've been here. Our first day was a little wet, but for the most part we've had our fair share of sunny skies and spring skiing. Bend is one of my favorite camps of the year. It's the beginning of the training season and our main focus is logging a lot of easy volume. Each morning we usually ski for two or three hours and then in the afternoon we do some kind of dryland training. Bend is an activity paradise. You can ski (downhill or uphill), mountain bike, run, paddle, swim, climb, or really do any other kind of activity your heart desires. As much as I love skiing on snow, it's nice to break up our training with running, biking, or strength in the afternoons.
Annie, Ida, Erika, and me 

One of our newest rookies, Ian Torchia (Torch) posing with his new teammates
Practicing some classic striding drills

Erika, Annie, and me with Mt. Bachelor in the background (Paddy photo)

If there's ever a day where it looks like it could be a good day for crust skiing up at the mountain, we throw in a pair of our rock skis just in case. The other day the boys headed out for an adventure while the girls did classic threshold intervals. When we got back home, they were all stoked about their ski and showing off all the pictures they took, so we made it our mission to go crust skiing the following day. We lucked out with the weather and had a beautiful sunny day to ski up into the Broken Top Bowl. I've been to Bend three times now, but this was the first time I ever did this ski and it did not disappoint. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
Me, Sadie, Jennie, and Ida heading down from the Bowl (Bryan Fish photo)

Heading towards Broken Top with Annie

Snack breaks with Sades on top! (Erika photo)

Sodie is PSYCHED


Goobie enjoying her first ever ski off trails
Yesterday afternoon we had a meeting with our U.S. Ski Team sponsors, Craft and L.L. Bean, where they unveiled our summer training uniforms. We are incredibly lucky to have such supportive companies providing us with training and competition gear and we're looking forward to sporting our new goods the rest of camp. We had a photo shoot with L.L. Bean on our ski this morning and we're about to head out for our Fast and Female event this afternoon. Thanks for following!

Back to winter this morning (flyingpointroad photo)

Dynamic warm up with our strength coach, T! (flyingpointroad photo)

New L.L. Bean and Craft gear (flyingpointroad photo)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April Activities

During the month of April, my friend Liz Stephen calls herself, "Fun Liz". Not to say she and the rest of us aren't fun the remainder of the year, but during the month of April, we can experience a different kind of fun that doesn't involve worrying about the little everyday stresses of being a ski racer. Some April activities that fall into my fun category are: not roller skiing until May, back country skiing as much as possible, crust skiing ever once in awhile, going to the beach, spending time with friends and family, and generally focusing on mentally and physically recovering from a long season without worrying about training hours. After spending about a week at home after Spring Series, I headed out to Colorado to spend a few weeks with Simi and his family in Aspen.
Beautiful (and bumpy) flight from Denver to Aspen
Simi took it easy on me my first few days in Colorado and we did some shorter skis while I adjusted to altitude and keeping up with him. My first weekend out there, we had a bunch of friends come to Sim's cabin for the weekend. These were some of my favorite kinds of April days consisting of waking up, skiing all day, coming home and having a cold beer on the deck, making a big dinner, going to bed, and doing it all over again.  It was a full cabin and we had some incredible skiing!
The crew!

First day of skiing in CO

Snack break

Liz and Al
Happy happy happy

Celine and Liz came to visit for the weekend!

Gus flew out for his first back country experience and was a champ

Sim checking Sylv's beacon

Ben, Hannah, and Liz scoping out a route for the day

On top of the world with Liz, Ben, Nils, and Hannah

Me, Liz, and Celine on top of Highlands Bowl

Liz and me skiing some pow pow

Tour guide Al and me
After a few days of recovering from our big weekend at the cabin, my cousin Anya and our friend and wax tech Tim came to Aspen for a few days. We toured around Aspen for a day before heading back into the cabin for a couple more days of skiing. We timed this perfectly with a big snow storm and I got to ski the most powder I've ever skied in my life (which isn't saying much, but it was a lot!!).

Uncle Howie in Aspen!

Tim and Anya

Anya and me

XC ski out to Maroon Bells



Sim, Anya, me, and Tim
After a ton of skiing in Colorado, we packed up for a photo shoot with L.L. Bean in Asheville, North Carolina. I had been to Asheville once before to visit my cousin Alexa who was living there and it's a really incredible place. It has a huge outdoor community, and a culture that is rich in art, music, good food, and good beer. It is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains and we got to do most of our shoot up in the mountains. Jessie, Simi, and I were the models for the shoot and we had a blast with the company. Look for some of the photos to appear this fall!
behind the scenes

Heading to the waterfall

sunrise shots

Sunset shots

Blue ridge mtns

Jess and Sim in downtown Asheville
After our L.L. Bean shoot, Sim and I flew back to Colorado for a day before out final adventure of the month! For the last week of April, we went down to Sayulita, Mexico for a week of beach time. Our friend MJ met us down there and we had a lovely week of surfing, paddle boarding, mexican food, margaritas, and relaxing. It was the perfect week to finish off Fun April and now I'm excited to being the new training year! I'll be back in Vermont for the next two weeks before our start up camp in Bend Oregon the last two weeks of May. Thanks for following!

Sayulita Sunset

Beach time

MJ and Sim on the roof top deck overlooking town and the ocean

Lunch spot

MJ sunset surfing