Monday, November 26, 2012

Gobble Gobble

And the race season is underway! Before bragging about our delicious Thanksgiving feast or talking about the races in West Yellowstone, I think it's important to congratulate the US women on their first world cup weekend. THAT WAS CRAZY! I know we were all super excited to wake up and check the results each morning. Each one of them is an impressive and talented woman and when you put them together, they're quite the force.

US women relay team (Holly Brooks' photo)
We also had our first races of the season in West Yellowstone this past weekend. There wasn't snow down below so the races were moved to the plateau where they held a 9k individual skate race and a skate prelim. The prelim did not count as a Supertour race and the skate sprint will be held on Thursday in Bozeman, the classic sprint will be on Saturday, and the classic mass start race on Sunday. Before our first race, we prepared a delicious Thanksgiving feast on Thursday night. Here are some photos from our evening of preparation.

the final product

Annie's apple pie - before and after

The bread master

Erika's special cranberry sauce

Annie whisked whipping cream for an hour by hand to make whipped cream

a pretty sunset with our secret wax tech

Sophie, Val Hart, Erika
By the end of Thursday night, we were well fueled and ready for our first race. Individual 10k skate races have always been and struggle for me. I'm not sure why it is but I think I tend to begin skiing them like I would race a 5k and then naturally get a littttle tired by the end. I won't say Friday's 10k felt easy and I definitely still have some pacing to figure out but I was very happy with my result. As a team we had some solid performances but I think a lot of people were left wanting a little more. Results can be found HERE. One of the most exciting things about the day for me was seeing my former teammate, Rosie Brennan, take the win! That girl has had some unfortunate strokes of bad luck the past few years and it's awesome to see things coming together for her. Rosie was my captain during my junior year of college and my teammate for three years and I don't think I've met anyone who is as much of a team player and great leader as she is so Annie, Erika, and I were really excited to see her name up top. Speaking of teammates who are killing it, it was awesome to see Ida do so well in the sprints in Finland the other weekend and to watch Jessie anchor the relay today. I have some pretty impressive friends!
Erika in the finishing stretch (fasterskier photo)

Annie (fasterskier photo)

Sophie (fasterskier photo)

Rosie (fasterskier photo)
We had a sprint prelim on Saturday that was quick and fun! It was a very flat course that finished with a long gradual uphill. I felt great on the flat sections and then tried to hold on and have a strong finish on the gradual uphill. I ended up winning the prelim, Annie was 8th, Erika was 9th (not bad for someone who thinks they can't sprint ;) ), Skyler was 5th, and Eric was 12th so we had a great day as a team! Results can be found HERE.   HERE is a nice little video Annie's mom, Holly Hart, put together with some footage she took over the weekend. It was great to have Holly join us for the week and we also have to credit her with the success of our Thanksgiving turkey. Annie is famous for doing a great job warming up. She usually plugs her ipod in and dances around and by the time she's at the start line, she is well warmed up and psyched to race. I've always been very impressed and recently found the following video that reveals her aggressive side and secret to success. Click Here!
Eric (fasterskier photo)

Skyler (fasterskier photo)

Isabel (fasterskier photo)

Annie (fasterskier photo)

Sophie (fasterskier photo)
Yesterday we drove to Bozeman and had a birthday dinner for Erika because today is her 23rd birthday! This morning we had a delicious waffle breakfast at her friend's house and then had a girls' day in town. Don't worry, we came back in time to cook the guys dinner. We have a couple of easy days before our next race on Thursday and we hear the skiing is beautiful at Bohart right now so we're excited to go check it out tomorrow!

snowy ski on the plateau

coaches! gus and sver (Holly Hart photo)
Sophie, Annie, Erika (Holly Hart photo)


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