Monday, October 8, 2012

Park City and Fast and Female

We arrived in Park City on Friday after a very easy travel day. We had to wake up at 3 am but we had landed in Salt Lake City by 11 am Friday morning. Annie and I ended up wearing very similar travel outfits and we didn't even plan it - great minds think alike!

Erika's Aunt and Uncle are very generously letting us stay in their beautiful house outside of Park City. We have a beautiful view and often wake up to a nice view of elk roaming in the hills behind the house. The house has a huge kitchen so we've been having very tasty family dinners and baking yummy treats. Gus was in charge of our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner last night and made a great turkey despite the fact that he cooked it upside down and the skin was so tough you couldn't bite through it. There is one of those mini basketball hoop shooter games here and I'm currently undefeated in doubles. You can ask Skyler and Eric if you don't believe me.
If you look closely you might be able to see the elk!
The weather here has been perfect since we got here and it looks like it might stay that way for awhile. The key for training here is to wear a lot of layers. This morning when we woke up, my phone said it was 19 degrees but by the time we finish our skis it has usually warmed up into the 50s. We have only been doing easy distance skiing since we arrived while we're adjusting to the altitude. We also started a new strength program on Saturday and I'm still very sore from it. We are doing our strength at the Center of Excellence and it has just about everything we could ever need. We are sleeping at about 7,000 feet so I've been having some funny dreams but everything else seems fine so far. We are trying to keep very hydrated which is something that we should be doing all the time but probably don't do enough. As a result, we have to go to the bathroom a lot and this has proven to be difficult while training due to the lack of trees and very open landscape.
Group of boys training near Soldier Hollow (Gus photo)

Giant poster of Kikkan at the COE
Erik Bjornsen, Annie, and Jessie after our skate at Soldier Hollow

Yesterday was an off day for us and we spent the afternoon being ambassadors for Fast and Female. Fast and Female is an awesome organization run by Chandra Crawford and Kikkan Randall that motivates girls to try sports and lead a healthy lifestyle by exposing them to positive role models and world-class athletes through clinics that are held throughout North America. Thanks to Liz Stephen for organizing the event in Park City - I thought it was a huge success. Each of the ambassadors was assigned a job during the event that was either leading a station or leading a group of girls. I was in charge of the Blue group and that consisted of girls who were about 10 years old. My co-leader was Canadian biathlete Zina Kocher and our group was great and I was psyched because blue is my favorite color - BONUS! I was very impressed with Jessie and Annie because they were in charge of the dance station and danced for over an hour straight staying smiley and peppy the entire time. The only downside to the day was that I think I had an allergic reaction, or something of the sort, to the amount of sparkles I put on my face. I've prided myself on not being allergic to anything and it wasn't a bad allergic reaction but it wasn't comfortable. This means the two things that I could potentially be allergic to are sparkles and perfume. I'm not sure what that says about me but I'm glad it's impossible to be allergic to the color pink because that seems like it would fit in nicely. Here are some pictures from Fast and Female.
Annie, Sophie, Jessie, Sadie (USSA photo)

Fast and Female (USSA photo)

Ski Jumping station (USSA photo)

Dancing/ Nordic Station (USSA photo)

Alpine station (USSA photo)

Biathlon station (USSA photo)

Aerialist Station (USSA Photo)

SMS T2 Girls
There are a ton of athletes here now including skiers from the USST, Sun Valley, University of Utah, APU, and Canada so it's been fun to see a lot of old friends and meet some new people! Tomorrow we have a distance run and strength and then I think we start to do some intensity. You usually feel the worst around the 4th or 5th day at altitude so that could be coming any day now but hopefully we never feel too bad!
View from our deck 

Sunset over the same mountains