Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I had a moment yesterday where I realized I had just more than a month left of my calm time at home before I launch into the blur and exciting fury of fall training camps and winter travel and racing. I chose this year to spend a long time at home in one place and it will be about three months in total which is eons for the life of a Nordic ski racer. I'm thoroughly enjoying being settled in one place, finding almost a sense of consistency and routine in my life. But don't worry, I haven't become too much of a homebody and have been very busy with lots of summertime training, adventures, and fun. Here's a much overdo recap of the past month or so.
At the beginning of the month my sister Elsa got married near our childhood home. It was a really fun weekend of celebrations including jeep rides, swimming, maple creemees, fire works shows, dancing, bonfires, toasts and roasts, and more dancing
|Congrats to this beautiful couple|
|It was a beautiful but windy day and I was very happy to stand by Elsa's side|
|Eben and I after the ceremony|
|We had pie for dessert instead of wedding cake and I made my first ever pies to contribute to this lovely spread.|
|We danced for six or seven hours but took a break to watch this amazing sunset over Jay Peak|
|It was really fun to see so many friends and family. Here's the Dartmouth Ski Team at the wedding (just missing Kristina Trygstad-Saari)|
Last week was the first of our two Craftsbury Bill Koch League day camps which I organize every summer. The Craftsbury GRP athletes coach twenty local kids for a week of mountain biking, rollerskiing, orienteering, soccer, swimming, adventure racing and much more.
|Mountain Bike games|
|Swimming to capture watermelons in the middle of the lake during the adventure race|
|Rollerskiing with only a few scraped knees despite many newbie rollerskiers|
|Ropeswinging and pizza to end the week!|
And finally we have been training hard logging long hours of rollerskiing, running, biking, and hiking. Last week part of the SMS T2 team traveled north to train with us for a few days. It was awesome to show the Annie Hart and Annie Pokorny our training grounds and have some new training partners. Thanks for visiting and we are looking forward to making a trip to Stratton soon!
|Classic speeds with the #annies on a rainy day|
Thursday, July 3, 2014
|Swimming in the river in Stowe after a long run|
|Looking out at Camel's Hump from Smugglers Notch|
|A viewpoint during a recent OD run on the Long Trail|
|The view from my cottage|
|A peaceful evening at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center waterfront|
|Pete Graves, Susan Dunklee, and I leading an Olympic Day event last week|
|Almost 90 kids participated in an afternoon of sports, fun, dancing, and stories at Hosmer Point.|
Friday, May 30, 2014
Phew.. I'm tired! It's Friday night and I have my feet up with a cup of tea, enjoying a relaxing evening after a relaxing day where morning yoga was the main event of the day. We just finished our first training camp of the new season and the heaviness of my tired legs has settled in inspiring new motivations and excitement through fatigue and sore muscles. It's funny how that irony plays out in the body and mind of an endurance athlete. As in years past, the first training camp for myself and my teammates on the US Ski Team took place in Bend, Oregon. The variety of workouts in such a cool location make this camp one of my favorites. We took advantage of the late season snow on Mt. Bachelor with long skiing sessions in the morning and then enjoyed the warm weather in town in the afternoon for running, mountain biking, rollerskiing, and strength training. Mother Nature spoiled us with incredible ski conditions and sunny summery weather. And after a break for the spring, it was great to get the band back together. We hit the ground running, fired up and training hard for another season.
A typical day at Bend camp starts early as we race the warming temperatures for fast firm conditions on the mountain before the snow turns to slush. All of the ladies shared a house and the alarms started ringing around 6:30am. The first ones up started the coffee and a big pot of oatmeal. Then a flurry of scraping skis, applying klister, drinking coffee, checking the webcam to see how to dress as the conditions on Mt Bachelor can vary significantly from our houses in town, eating breakfast, and more coffee drinking ensued before we loaded the cars and headed up the mountain. About 30 minutes later we met in the ski lodge to discuss the workout for the day as well as look at video footage from World Cup races, cuing in on technique visions for the session. Every morning we skied for two or three hours and thanks to Mt. Bachelor for awesome grooming and trail preparation for us. After the ski we headed back to town for lunch and had a few hours off to put our feet up before the afternoon session which was usually also a couple hours long. Then we took turns cooking dinners and each year the bar seems to be raised and from homemade pizza to gourmet burgers to delicious pesto chicken everyone did a great job cooking. After dinner we had team meetings to discuss goals and the winter schedule among other things and then its off to bed and ready for another day. Usually we have an off day during camp but this year we powered through ten full days of training in a row, maximizing our time on snow. So I'm rightfully tired and while my body is ready for some well deserved recovery time my mind is excited about technique changes I made, goals we made as a team, and fun times exploring the trails around Bend. Here are some pictures from the week
|I traveled to Bend a few days before the camp started to visit with my aunt Laurie and uncle Bruce who live in town. They were incredible hosts who spoiled me with a fun weekend filled with hiking, biking, kayaking, yoga, dancing, and great food.|
|Exploring the headwaters of the McKenzie River on a lava rock filled bike ride.|
|The biathlon team was in town and Hannah and I went for a ride with Bruce. The mountain biking is phenomenal in Bend with fast and smooth flowing trails and a nice change from eastern roots and mud.|
|The Oregon edition of Hosmer Lake|
|There was a lot more snow than last year and the conditions were great for the entire camp. We even got a few inches of fresh snow on the second to last day of camp.|
|But what goes down must go up and here I am working on my V1 technique|
|Big smiles after training one day|
|Frozen yogurt after a team meeting one night. This is one happy family!|
|And I got to see my actual family too! Elsa and Linden drove down from Seattle for Memorial Day weekemd and stayed with Laurie and Bruce. They spent their days mountain biking and alpine skiing but we met up in the evenings.|
|The crew heading out with Bachelor behind us|
|Sparks Lake in the distance|
|Taking some turns on the way down|
Saturday, May 3, 2014
It's May and I'm switching gears from recovery mode to training mode but I'm excited to have a couple more weeks at home before hitting the road again for the first training camp of the year. I just returned from a long dirt road cruise on my bike, riding through Craftsbury, Albany, Glover, and Barton. Yesterday we took a different tour of Craftsbury, Greensboro, and Hardwick and I'm having fun getting my legs back into shape riding up many of the hills in the Northeast Kingdom! We found some leg burners, explored some new Class IV roads, and came home spotted with dirt after hitting mud season head on. It's pretty amazing to live in a place where one can do quite a few different 2-3 hour bike loops leaving from home, without retracing our steps, hitting pavement, or seeing more than a handful of cars. A couple days ago I got my feet dirty slogging through some new sections of the VAST trail on a muddy run. Its a nice reminder of the rugid rural beauty of the Vermont.
And when I haven't been exploring the natural landscape of the area, I've been busy sharing stories of ski racing and Sochi with many different members of the community. The support that I received this winter was unbelievable. I received encouragement from close friends and family as well distant acquaintances and people I didn't know. I couldn't be thankful enough for the outpouring of excitement I received from home which came in the form of letters, emails, cards, Facebook messages, artwork from kids, banners around town, and much more. It was very inspiring and so I have been very grateful to be able to connect with this community this spring and share some stories and experiences.
|Hannah Dreissigacker describing the benefits of a carbon tax.|
|Susan and I both grew up in Barton, VT. It's very exciting for the two of us from a little town in the NEK to compete together in the Olympics and this community has been very supportive of both of us.|
For me one of the most rewarding parts of the last couple weeks has been visiting schools and joining kids athletic programs, connecting with young students and athletes in the area. I grew up here and had role models of my own who mentored me and hopefully I can share my love of skiing, the outdoors, and an active lifestyle with some of the next generation. I visited quite a few schools in the area, ran with the local Girls on the Run program, and have been coaching this spring at Kids on the Move in Hardwick, VT. The captive audiences and excited kids inspired and fueled me with all their energy!
|West Hill Shop Thunderbolts in Putney, Vermont. The mountain bike trails were a lot drier in southern VT so it was fun to ride some singletrack with these kids|
And finally, Happy Green Up Day everyone! I got a out with a few Craftsbury Outdoor Center athletes this morning to clean up the roads and keep our community looking good. Hopefully one day there will not be enough littler to need this day but until then it was great to see everyone filling up green bags.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
For the first time this year I didn't come home at all during the World Cup season. I stayed in Europe from the beginning of November through World Cup Finals. It was a long winter with lots of excitement, plenty of highs and new experiences, and some disappointments too so by the end of March I was tired both physically and mentally. The Olympic season was incredible but the energy and focus preparing for the Games was exhausting and I needed a break. Time for April vacation! I was happy to leave my skis behind and Elsa and I headed south to Arizona for some desert time. It was a classic Sargent sisters vacation which means lots of activity, nonstop action and adventuring and not much relaxing but still exactly what I needed. The change of scenery and quality time with Elsa was refreshing and despite packing in two or three different hikes and bike rides every day, I felt more energized and recovered with each time.
|Sisters trip! Thanks Els for a a great trip!|
|The red rocks of Sedona were incredible!|
|Sedona is famous for vortexes or places where energy connects from the Earth. I dragged Elsa out on a couple different hikes to vortex locations and was eager to feel the blast of energy but unfortunately it was a little less intense than I imagined.|
|Fun to get back on the bike and my butt was pretty sore after over four hours of riding our first day|
|Can you spot me on the slick rock?|
|Our next stop was a two day backpacking trip down the Havasu canyon which is on the edge of the Grand Canyon|
|We hiked 10 miles into the town of Supai, a Native American village which is the most remote village in the lower 48.|
|Then we continued down the trail to a series of incredible waterfalls. Havasupai means blue green waters and that was exactly what we found|
|No thanks! Hiking to the last waterfall involved a scary ladder down a rock face and my fear of heights got to me and I chickened out.|
|It was fun to look down below and see the trail ahead.|
|We quickly made it down to the Colorado River on the steep South Kaibab trail|
|My favorite cactus|
|Elsa set a fast pace hiking out and including snack and lunch breaks and countless photo opps, we were back up to the rim of the Canyon in under 6 hours. I guess we didn't need to pack the headlamps.|
|April 12th skiing at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center!|
|Look at those tracks|
|The field at the top of Ruthie's Run|
|I'm sure there will be a few more dirt spots after this recent wave of warm spring weather but there will still be skiing in Craftsbury for a long time to come!|
|I ditched the skinny skis for some metal edges one day and went on a backcountry tour with my parents. We had a really fun tour skiing on the crust and then through the spring corn as the spring sun warmed the snow.|
|My dad has skied almost 70 days this year and he's still going. He led the pace and charged up the hills.|