Thursday, July 28, 2016

Glacier Camp and Recovery Week

After a big week of dry land training in Anchorage, we loaded up the helicopters and flew up to Eagle Glacier for a week of training on snow. This was the third time I've been to a training camp on Eagle Glacier and it was by far the best camp I've had up there. In the past, I've gotten overly excited about being on snow and have tried to ski as much as possible from the start, leaving myself so tired I can barely get out the door to ski by the end of the camp. This year I tried to pace myself a little more, and when I felt myself getting tired mid week, I took an afternoon off from skiing to bounce back. I left the camp feeling tired, but not buried in a hole, and I was able to ski more than I ever have before!
The excitement of riding in a helicopter will never get old

Huge thanks to Alpine Air for transporting us to and from Eagle Glacier safe and sound!
One of the reasons this camp was the best one yet was because of the weather we had on the glacier. Similar to our week in town, we didn't have a single day of rain and saw the sun every day. This made for some slow and slushy skiing, but it was good practice for some of the toughest conditions we see on the World Cup. Our main focus of the camp was to put in a lot of volume and take a step back from intensity. In order to put in a lot of hours, my pace had to be slow, but we had a beautifully groomed 7k loop and plenty of teammates to help make the hours pass quickly.
Jumping for joy 
Speed day (Andre Horton photo)

Sim skiing out of the fog early in the morning

Above the clouds

Kiks is BACK!
Final ski of the camp made possible (and enjoyable) by my teammate Ida :)

A week on a glacier can do crazy things...

Another one of my favorite parts of our Alaska camp was having our guest skier Virgina from Italy join us. She always showed up with a smile and is one of the most kind and positive people I've met. It was a pleasure having her at our camp and I hope she will join us again sometime. She even cooked us gnocchi one night, which is not an easy task when you're cooking for 20 hungry athletes. Putting in a lot of hours on snow also means putting in a lot of hours of sleeping and a lot of hours at the dining room table. The amount of food that is stored and eaten up on the glacier is hard to fathom.
Did I mention we ate a lot?? Huge thanks to our bakers Jessie and the Patterson siblings!

Virginia laboring over her Gnocchi

A lot!

We finished camp, so let's strike a pose. (Matt photo)

Smiling with Liz and Virginia after our final ski. Thankful to have these two at camp. (Matt photo)
We put in a lot of hard work as athletes, but the coaches and glacier staff work just as hard, if not harder, to make the camp run smoothly. We owe a huge thanks to Zuzana Rogers, who joined us as a PT for the camp, keeping us all healthy and injury free. U.S. Ski Team coaches, Matt, Chris, and Jason, APU coach Erik, and glacier worker Dylan worked their butts off to make this camp successful and we are incredibly grateful for their efforts.
Glacier time with Zuz

Matt doing some recovering of his own

Trails this perfect take a lot of grooming and planning

Our home for the week (Andre Horton photo)

Zuzana and Matt helping support our speed session (Andre Horton photo)
After two big weeks in Alaska, I was ready for some recovery time. My sister, Isabel, just moved to Flagstaff, Arizona for her new middle school science teaching job, so I took the opportunity to visit her and help move her in on my way back from Alaska. On my recover weeks, I enjoy not following a strict training plan, getting a lot of recovery, but also doing a lot of hiking adventures that get me to some beautiful places at a slow pace. Northern Arizona turned out to be the perfect place to do this with the best company I could ask for!
Found her!

She got her name on the door! So proud of this girl.

Hiking down into the Grand Canyon

Sunset hike in Sedona our last night. One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on minus the rattlesnake and tarantula we saw. 

Iz climbing up Bear Mtn with Sedona in the background

First time to the Grand Canyon!

Sister, sister

Since Izzy is a rock nerd, she talked me through all there is to know about rocks. Check out that geologic contact!

Highest peak in Arizona with our Vermont buddy Nora
Now I am back in Vermont for the month of August before heading to New Zealand for our next USST camp the first two weeks of September. I'm looking forward to being in one place for a month and getting in some solid training at home. HERE is a link from the U.S. Ski Team about my story growing up skiing and my thoughts about what makes a champion. Thanks for following!
(Andre Horton photo)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Alaska Camp!

We're halfway through our camp in Alaska and tomorrow we will be taking a helicopter up to Eagle Glacier for a week of snow skiing! After a few big weeks of training back in Vermont, I had an easy week before flying up to Alaska. I was able to enjoy some Vermont 4th of July activities and get a good dose of friends and family before heading west for a few weeks.

SMS T2 team photo!

Ski walking intervals with Andy (Caldwell Sport photo)

Run on the AT with Andy, Liz, Erika, and Annie

Double pole train (Reese Brown photo)

Rollerskiing in the 4th of July Parade

4th of July with cousin Alexa

Rollerski agility (Reese Brown photo)

5th of July with cousin Lilly!

We found Megan and her mom on the AT! They've been hiking since March and it was so nice to finally see them and greet them at the VT border
Dinner with our AT buddies

Exploring the Southern VT Art Center with Sim

Date at Hildene with Twink
So back to Alaska! We've been extremely lucky with the weather since we arrived in Anchorage. As a result, I feel like we've chosen a mountain to run up almost every day. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but we've done a lot of running and hiking up high and we've seen some pretty incredible places. It's also been fun to rollerski some new routes whether it's intervals in and out of Kincaid Park or an easy afternoon double pole through the city neighborhoods. I've loved seeing my USST teammates who I usually go most of the summer without seeing. It's always refreshing to have some new faces and energy at training camps. It's also been really special to see Kikkan and her new baby, Breck! He has a lot of USST aunties who have been passing him around any chance we get. We put in a solid block of volume this week with a couple speed and intensity sessions on top of that. Next week we will hold back on the intensity and really focus on volume to take advantage of putting some hours in on snow. Our international guest of this camp is Virgina DeMartin of Italy and it's been awesome to have her join us here. Follow us on social media to see some (hopefully sunny) pictures from Eagle Glacier this week!
On top of Wolverine Peak with the girls (Matt photo)

Hidden Lake (Grover photo)
Sodie Special! Matching day.
Hiking up Wolverine Peak (Jessie photo)
Baby Breck with Auntie Sadie
Chasing Sadie and Rose across the ridge today
Ida taking in the view
Matt and Ides above Symphony Lake
Having fun with Sadie and Rosie

Running back from Hidden Lake (sadie photo)