Thursday, December 4, 2014

Kuusamo and Lillehammer

After a week of training in Muonio, we packed up our bags and drove to Kuusamo, Finland. Unfortunately, I came down with a little cold, so I didn't get to do very much skiing in Kuusamo. I was giving my elbow another week of rest before racing anyway, so it didn't change my racing schedule at all. Similar to Muonio, Kuusamo is another winter wonderland. The sun never really hits the ski trails, but every once in awhile you catch a glimpse of it and it's quite beautiful.
Travel day packed in the van!

Kuusamo ski jump

Kuusamo's favorite colors - black and white

With some distant sunshine!
We packed our bags and traveled to Lillehammer on Monday evening. I love coming to Norway to ski because EVERYONE in Norway loves cross-country skiing. You're in the minority if you don't cross-country ski or at least follow it here. We went up to Sjuesjon to train our first couple days here. They have a little more snow and the terrain isn't as difficult as the hilly courses at Lillehammer venue. Our first day was so foggy you could barely see the trail in front of you, but on our second day we were greeted with clear skies, a beautiful sunrise, and plenty of snow.
Next stop, Lillehammer!

Andy taking a ride on the baggage claim

Skiing at Sjuesjon

Liz skiing into the sunrise
Group ski (Jessie photo)

Down town Lillehammer
I'm feeling healthier each day and it's felt really good to get back on skis this week. My elbow is also doing great. I've done some speeds, some intensity, and even a little upper body strength. Our PT, Pete Dickinson, has been amazing to have on the road with us and he's been documenting my strength and recovery nicely.
Bicep curls are Gus' favorite exercise, so Pete and I took this photo for him

My first pull-up!
 Pete has cleared me to race this weekend, so I'm getting back in the race routine beginning with a skate sprint tomorrow! There are two distance races over the weekend and I'm planning on seeing how my health and elbow are feeling each day before deciding if I will do those races. I have zero expectations going into these first races because it's been a bit of a crazy summer and fall, but I'm looking forward to putting on a race bib again and am happy to be back on the trails with my team. Thanks for following!
Also psyched to announce that Jessie, Liz, and I will be skiing with Johaug gloves this winter!

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