Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Final Countdown

It's finally (almost) here! The World Cup kicks off in 13 days and I'm excited to get back on snow and head to Europe for a winter of racing. In the meantime, I've been enjoying some much needed home time before heading overseas for the long haul. I had a busy month out west and by the end of October, I was ready to head back to Vermont and breathe some thicker air. Park City camp was the first time our entire women's team was together this year. Having the crew in one place was a good reminder of what a special thing we have going on. We want to be the fastest in the world, but being the best team in the world is so much bigger than good results, and being the best team in the world is exactly what we want to do. It's been so much fun having "the guppies", also known as the D teamers, also known as KO, Julia, and Hannah on our team. They bring a lot of young new energy to our team and we can't wait to follow them this winter.
Dinner with Tiger Shaw and family in Park City!

Fast and Female Park City (Reese Brown photo)

Fast and Female (Reese Brown photo)

OD run with Liz and Jess

Gangs all here!

Rolling up East Canyon with the crew (Liz Arky photo)

TEAM! (U.S. Ski Team photo)
Lizard! (Liz Arky photo)

The morning after I flew back from Utah, I was greeted to Vermont with 6 inches of fresh snow! It has since melted, but it's stayed nice and cold, reminding me that winter is just around the corner. I secretly love this time of year (as long as it's not raining). I can wear long sleeves training, sit by the fire in the evening, and the cold nights are perfect for sleeping. The pavement is slow, which can make rollerskiing frustrating, but at least it makes it so the downhills aren't scary. I completely missed peak foliage in Vermont this year and apparently it was the best one in 20 years, but there was still a little color on the trees when I flew home. Now the trees are bare and the trails are covered in leaves, which can be a little treacherous, but long runs have been doubling as agility workouts!
Rollerskiing at BMD with KO and Annie

Exploring the Catamount Trail


Running out to Baker Peak

New warmups! (Sarah Brunson photo)

Suits! (Sarah Brunson photo)
We also had our annual send off dinner for our SMS Elite team up at SMS the other night. This is always my favorite way to head off to Europe. It reminds me of how lucky we are to be in such a supportive community. Thank you to everyone who came to the dinner and an extra thank you to the BKL kids who gave us a send off gift of their very own athlete cards. I will for sure be bringing those with me to hang on the walls of my hotel rooms!
Sim and I went to one of the West River BKL practices for some running and games. Those kids must sleep well after practice!

Athlete cards from the BKL kids


So with less than a week until we head over to Europe, I've finally finished unpacking from the fall just in time to repack for the winter. We received our awesome new uniforms from L.L. Bean and Craft while we were in Park City, so be on the lookout for some flashy new blue U.S.A. suits and warmups. Having three weeks at home was exactly what I needed to relax and recharge before a long winter and I can't wait to be reunited with the team on the World Cup. Now it's time to soak up a little more sunshine before heading to northern Finland, the land of darkness!

(Reese Brown photo)