Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Week on the Glacier

Two Saturdays ago, we flew up to Eagle Glacier to spend a week training on snow. I had been on the the glacier once before, but that was three years ago. While we were up there, we put in a ton of hours, kilometers, calories, and ZzzzZzzzs. There is a lot of work that goes into a successful glacier camp and it wouldn't have been possible without our staff of USST coaches Matt Whitcomb and Jason Cork, APU coach Erik Flora, glacier workers Don Haering and Andre Lovett, and always smiling PT Zuzanna Rogers. We have a lot of photos from the week, so I'll mostly let the pictures do the talking, but I'll highlight some of the main themes of the camp.

1. Food

We were all training about 20-26 hours in our six days up on the glacier. Even though training four hours a day feels like you're training all day every day, it turns out there are still 20 hours left in the day. Let's say about 11 of those hours are spent sleeping between napping and night time, so that basically leaves about 9 hours left for eating! We would wake up at 7 and eat breakfast, come in from our morning ski and eat a snack, get changed and eat lunch, take a nap and eat another snack, go for an afternoon ski and have a snack, get changed and eat dinner, clean up and hang out and then have another snack before bed. It was awesome. The amount of food that gets flown up there is more food than I've ever seen in a kitchen before and every cooking group did an amazing job of making some delicious meals.

One of Celine's many Norwegian treats she made us, bula!
We made big salads to go with dinner each night, but Rosie B. isn't a huge salad fan, so Sadie made her a special Rosie salad on the final night

My favorite snack - toast, jam, Norwegian brown cheese, and eggs

Celine posing with her burger
Caitlin brought a basil plant up to the glacier and made us a caprese appetizer for dinner one night
2. Skiing
Most of our workouts on the glacier were easy distance. We were skiing twice a day, so doing too much intensity wouldn't have been sustainable. We did throw in a speed workout, a classic intensity workout, and a skate intensity workout. Each girl on the glacier has different strengths and weaknesses and there were always days where someone felt good and someone felt bad. Everyone was happy to follow or be followed, so we were constantly learning from each other. The days you didn't feel great made you tougher and the days you did feel great made someone else tougher.
A group ski on our final day
A train of us led by Celine on the team sprint day
Erika skating into the sun on one of our first days up there
Kikkan and me on the final day (she was much more appropriately dressed)
Following Kikkan on team sprint day
Kikkan and Liz showing off our Bjorn Daehlie summer uniforms
3. Sleep ZzzzZZzzz

When we weren't training or eating, we were usually sleeping. We slept in bunk rooms and hung blankets on the windows to keep the light out at night. Sometimes it was difficult to wrap my head around going to sleep when it was still so light out, but when we were training as much as we were, it wasn't too difficult.
Matt taking a little snooze on our first day up there

Looks like I caught him again!
4. Special guest
For the past four years, the girls have had a special guest from another country come to the glacier camp. This year Celine Brun-Lie was our guest. Celine is on the Norwegian National Team and she is a very good sprinter and I really enjoyed having her at our camp. She has a very relaxed personality and was eager to learn from us and happy to teach us a lesson or two. I hadn't really noticed it before this camp, but apparently Celine and I have very similar styles of skiing. At one point it was really freaking Matt out how similarly we skied, especially when we were wearing matching clothing. Celine brought a lot to our camp and we were all happy to leave Alaska with a new friend. I hope she will be back soon!
Maybe we are more similar than I realized!
Celine, Jessie, Sadie, and me after a rollerski workout while we were still down in Anchorage
Celine and Erika pushing each other
Celine and Sadie during our skate sprint time trial
Celine and me on the helicopter ride up to the glacier
5. Weather
The weather wasn't perfect (despite all the beautiful pictures), but it really wasn't terrible until the last day. We had a couple days of sun, a few days of clouds, and one day of rain. It was warm enough to ski in sports bras one day and warm enough to ski without a raincoat every day except for one. The last day it was cold and rainy and I didn't wear enough clothes, so I just about froze and had to come in early. It wasn't the best way to finish of the camp, but I learned my lesson and (hopefully) saved myself from getting the flu. Whether it was cloudy or sunny, there was almost always some kind of incredible view. My favorite thing to do was to walk up to the heli pad in the evening around the time the clouds usually cleared to rest and take in the surroundings. I've never been anywhere like Eagle Glacier and on a good day, it's hard to beat.
View from the heli pad on a beautiful evening
Our helicopter up
One of our first days skiing

6. Good Company

This was the most important part of our camp. It would be easy for a group of 14 girls to be sick of each other after spending 6 days straight in a small building on top of a glacier, but instead, we were all sad to say goodbye. I don't know what the secret is, but we know how to read each other and we know how to be bearable at worst and enjoyable at best. There were 1,000 times more smiles than there were tears and we all came away fitter and better skiers. I'd call that a success!
Getting ready for a group picture with Zuzanna, Don, and Andre
Many different clubs coming together
The girls with Matt and Jason (missing Erik Flora)
A snake of sorts?
Erika and me
Sadie and me
and a final Sodie pic!

After we came down from the glacier, we went to Holly's cabin in Hope, Alaska for a night of hanging out in the sun and relaxing by the campfire. I flew home on Monday night and will be home for a few days before I head out west to visit some family and friends in Montana and Colorado. I'm looking forward to an easy week of training with the Annies and Erika followed by a good fix of western mountains and sunshine. Thanks for following!
Celine and Rosie peeking into Holly's beautiful cabin
s'mores by the fire at Holly's

Matt making his own instruments

Jessie, Erika and me on top of Hope Mtn.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Quick Alaska Update

Our week of dryland training in Anchorage has come to a close. The girls head up to Eagle Glacier for a week of snow skiing while the boys arrive in Anchorage today for their week of dryland training before heading up to the glacier when we come back down. We had a really solid week of training down below, but I'm looking forward to flying up to Eagle and getting above the rain, clouds, and mosquitos. The weather actually hasn't been terrible, but we did have a couple days of rain and haven't seen too much sun. I have seen three bears and some moose though! As we were heading to bed two nights ago, a mama bear and her two cubs were in our driveway, so we all scrambled to the window in our pjs and sleepmasks to take about 70 blurry iphone photos of the bears. I guess it's not such a novelty when you live here, but I don't have bears in my backyard everyday at home, so I was pretty excited. I didn't take many photos from the week, but hope to be a better photographer on the glacier this week! We will have limited internet access, but I'm sure we'll be able to send a few updates back down to earth.

The mosquitos have been pretty bad, so this was Liz's solution to keeping them off her back during our run

Our awesome PT Zuzanna had us over for dinner one night and allowed us into her kids' playroom...

post ski smiles on top of Hatcher Pass (Erika photo)

View on Hatcher Pass

Mama Bear and her two cubs outside our window

Erika and me skiing up Hatcher Pass (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Caitlin digging into our Huevos Rancheros

Mama moose and her two babies outside our window this morning

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Heading to Alaska!

I'm currently in the Chicago airport on my way to Alaska for our US Ski Team glacier camp! We will be doing a week of dryland training in Anchorage before heading up to Eagle Glacier for a week of training on snow. My phone is telling me Anchorage looks a little rainy this week, but I'm going to ignore that and keep my fingers crossed that the weather turns around for us. I chose not to go to Alaska the past two summers, but this year I felt I was ready and I'm looking forward to seeing the girls and getting in a lot of good hard training. The past few weeks of training in Vermont have been great, but we've definitely been experiencing the eastern heat and humidity. We're usually soaked by the end of each training session, but luckily we have a lot of swimming holes to cool down in right after working out.
Stratton snowmaking pond
I hopped into my first rollerski speeds last week after injuring my elbow in May. Even though they were only with one pole, I was so happy to be back doing one of my favorite workouts.

Annie H keeping me company by giving the one poled speeds a try

KO and Annie H practicing a start

Jessie and Annie P
I had another x-ray on Monday and was finally cleared to use two poles! It feels great to add my right pole and even though I still have some work to do to get my range of motion and strength back, it's good a start. This also means I can start lifting with my upper body again. It's nice to be back in the gym, but it's been a little discouraging not being able to do some of the basic exercises that used to feel easy. Time to even things out!
One pole skiing has made my left side a little bigger than my right side
It was Ben Saxton's 21st Birthday last weekend, so we had a birthday celebration for him consisting of some of his favorite foods: sloppy joes, maple bacon chips, slaw, corndog muffins, and a caramel corn cake.
Happy Birthday Ben!
Fourth of July weekend flew by, but I was happy to be able to spend it with my friends and family. Parker and Hannah are back east for a couple weeks, so I've been spending a lot of time with them, and we went to the Osgoods' 4th of July party on the evening of the 4th. They hosted a wonderful evening bringing a lot of close family and friends from the Putney area together.
Chris and Mary Osgood

Zach and my Grandma Hep
Always fun to see Parkey T!
My cousin Lucinda, brother Austin, cousin Paddy, and me with Peter Graves and Grandpa on the 4th
Time to go catch my flight, but the next update will be from Alaska!
Coach Patrick showing off our new summer tanks courtesy of the T2 Foundation

Leroy cooling off with some coconut gelato

That's the sign of a good back scratch

Posing with a beautiful pillow with a picture of me skiing in the Olympics made by Laura Megroz

One final beautiful Vermont morning