Thursday, August 4, 2016

August already? Mid-summer update!!

The summer is flying by and I can't believe it is already August.  Long and hot training hours on the roads and trails could become monotonous, but when you feel good both mentally and physically they can zoom by, leaving a happily tired body that feels excited for the next session.   And since I'm gone so much in the winter time, I feel very grateful for any time that I have at home, with my feet underneath me and settled into a routine.  Consistent hard work in a place where you feel comfortable, is the environment necessary to push your comfort zone and make big training gains which is exactly what I'm doing.

That said, I did leave home for Alaska and a week of skiing on the Eagle glacier with my US Ski Team teammates.  We had an amazing week of hot and sunny weather so lots of sunscreen, new tanlines, sore muscles, and slushy skiing!  Alaska Pacific University runs the XC ski operation on the Eagle Glacier.  We stayed on the edge of the glacier in a hut run by the Alaska Pacific University and had a distraction free week of eating, sleeping, and skiing, surrounded by some of the most amazing scenery and lots of hard working athletes!  There is about 7km of skiing which they groomed twice a day for us providing excellent conditions that stayed surprisingly firm considering the beautiful sunny weather.

Mountain run outside of Anchorage on my first day in Alaska

Great day for a helicopter ride! Glacier bound and thanks Alpine Air for the safe flights!

The trail from the air.  We had beautiful weather all week and thanks to Dylan and Erik from APU for hosting the team and providing awesome skiing every day!

Virginia, our guest athlete from Italy, was an awesome training partner and great addition to the camp.  She also taught us how to make gnocchi and gave us a delicious taste of Italy on the glacier!

Skiing with Sophie on the last day!  We were both pretty tired by the end of the week but good company and this amazing backdrop helped us push through for a long skate OD.
From Alaska, I made a layover in Seattle for a few days where my siblings, Eben and Elsa, live.  It was a great layover with my only regret being not having more time!  While I was there I also visited the Madshus USA headquarters to meet the staff working there and also to do some boot fitting.  Everyone was very friendly and helpful, making me grateful to be part of such a small and supportive team.  The new boots are also very comfortable so I'm looking forward to skiing with them in New Zealand next month!
Seattle! I had a busy and fun few days which was just long enough to see the city, smell the ocean air, meet the crew at Madshus/K2, and spend some much needed sibling time.

Seattle bike tour with Elsa

A spontaneous long run with Eben, Elsa, and Natalie to Snow Lake

Trying to do some artsy photography at the glass museum.  Can you spot Elsa and I and the space needle?
While my trip to Alaska and Seattle was great, the travel home was not and after spending almost seven hours on the runway in Chicago for a variety of weather and air traffic control issues, I was very ready to finally make it home.  I'm settling into a big block of summer training now in Craftsbury but loving every minute of it!  
Ahh home!  It's wonderful to be back in VT.  I absolutely love summertime here and feel solidly in my happy place every time I end a day with the sunset over Mansfield 

Muddy smiles on a mountain bike ride!  I've done a lot of mountain biking this summer following this guy
Swimming time to beat the heat and humidity!


August= harvest time with blueberries, raspberries, and veggies galore!

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