Winter in Brief: National Title, Olympics, and the Near Future

This winter was a bit wild. It had some serious highs, winning the 10k classic race at nationals was the big one, but there were also some pretty visceral lows.  Hearing the Olympic team named, even though I knew I had no reason to expect a spot, was a tough day.  I didn’t expect to feel it so strongly, I thought I had already come to terms with the impossibility of my making it, but I guess I had never really stopped hoping.  I suppose that’s what comes from six years of throwing everything at my sport, since I moved to Anchorage and began focused training with APUNSC.  Nonetheless this winter was a definite improvement on last season, with my nationals performance and my super consistent health.  It was my first winter that illness didn’t substantially disrupt my season.  I did have a small cold that knocked me off my groove a little bit in late January, but I think this winter my challenge was to learn how to train and improve throughout the racing season.  It’s a different game to try and hold a consistent level of fitness than to survive through each cold in time to race the next weekend.  

One thing has been true all along though:  I want to go to the Olympics.  I want it so bad it hurts, as I definitely learned this winter.  All the inevitable questioning that can go on in an athlete’s mind is a pretty big hurdle; committing so many years of your life to one uncertain goal seems like a big risk, but this winter’s Olympics were more of a confirmation of my mission than a reason to doubt it.  I will continue skiing at least until I make that team, so don’t worry about me going anywhere.  Currently I am in that purgatory of bubble-riding, not quite a world cup skier, but pretty close.  This summer I am going to train with more focus than I ever have, and I am going to get off that stinking bubble!  At least that’s the short term goal; get onto the world cup and stay there.  In the long term, I hope you get to see me on TV at the next Olympics.  Thanks to everyone that has believed in me this far, I hope to make you proud in the next four years.

Here are some photos to sum up this winter, thanks for visiting my blog!


Early Season skiing with Reese at Hatcher Pass

Early Season skiing with Reese at Hatcher Pass


Preliminary design drawing for the Besh Cup T-shirts

Preliminary design drawing for the Besh Cup T-shirts


APU ladies ready to rock West Yellowstone

APU ladies ready to rock West Yellowstone


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This is how chilly it was in Bozeman- ice crystals in the air make sun dogs

This is how chilly it was in Bozeman- ice crystals in the air make sun dogs


Lauren Fritz and I were stoked on the new course in Rossland BC

Lauren Fritz and I were stoked on the new course in Rossland BC


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Fitz and I met Tatyana McFadden at Nationals, she is so inspiring!

Fitz and I met Tatyana McFadden at Nationals, she is so inspiring!


On my way to my first national title!

On my way to my first national title!


My parents and I on our afternoon jog after I won the classic race at Nationals!

My parents and I on our afternoon jog after I won the classic race at Nationals!


Reese and I- both 1st time national champs!

Reese and I- both 1st time national champs!


Denali from the plane on my way to Fairbanks

Denali from the plane on my way to Fairbanks


Beautiful Fairbanks light during my brief trip home

Beautiful Fairbanks light during my brief trip home


Fancy toes for the Olympics!

Fancy toes for the Olympics!


Reese and I spent a day in Hanover at my grandparents before we went to craftsbury

Reese and I spent a day in Hanover at my grandparents before we went to craftsbury


Craftsbury podium

Craftsbury podium


Beautiful spring-like run in Zurich, on my first day in Europe

Beautiful spring-like run in Zurich, on my first day in Europe


The swiss really know how to live the life!

The swiss really know how to live the life!


This was happening next to our hotel in Davos; sunshine, alps, and of course some alphorns!

This was happening next to our hotel in Davos; sunshine, alps, and of course some alphorns!


Enjoying my first time skating in Davos

Enjoying my first time skating in Davos


Bettina on our way up Sertig Valley in Davos

Bettina on our way up Sertig Valley in Davos


Skiing in Davos with Bettina Gruber

Skiing in Davos with Bettina Gruber


Just a bit of tourist business; scaling mountains and drinking Rivella, just like the swiss do.

Just a bit of tourist business; scaling mountains and drinking Rivella, just like the swiss do.


Absolutely the best chocolate I have ever eaten. No wonder it costs so much!

Absolutely the best chocolate I have ever eaten. No wonder it costs so much!


Exploring Zurich- this park was such a nice place for locals to hang out!

Exploring Zurich- this park was such a nice place for locals to hang out!


Exquisite dining in Switzerland with Bryan Fish and the OPA crew

Exquisite dining in Switzerland with Bryan Fish and the OPA crew


The dessert buffet- irresistible.

The dessert buffet- irresistible.


I was going to do pull ups on a playground- but the snow was too high to hang off anything

I was going to do pull ups on a playground- but the snow was too high to hang off anything


Engadine race trail- such a beautiful place

Engadine race trail- such a beautiful place


Silvaplana had plenty of snow!

Silvaplana had plenty of snow!


Tyler Kornfield rocking his distance skiing in Silvaplana

Tyler Kornfield rocking his distance skiing in Silvaplana


Erika Flowers won the Swiss Cup in Silvaplana!

Erika Flowers won the Swiss Cup in Silvaplana!


Beautiful light in Rogla, Slovenia.  Even though I have been there 4 years, I still find cool new places on my runs.

Beautiful light in Rogla, Slovenia. Even though I have been there 4 years, I still find cool new places on my runs.


Enjoying the Slovenian sun!

Enjoying the Slovenian sun!


The view from castle Bled

The view from castle Bled


Jenny Bender enjoying the sunshine!

Jenny Bender enjoying the sunshine!


OPA Finals venue in Valdidentro, Italy

OPA Finals venue in Valdidentro, Italy


I LOVE Italian pasta.  I just could not get enough.

I LOVE Italian pasta. I just could not get enough.


Beautiful mountain pass as we left Valdidentro

Beautiful mountain pass as we left Valdidentro


My last run in Europe; Munich Airport Hotel

My last run in Europe; Munich Airport Hotel


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Beautiful hardwax skiing in Anchorage for spring series!

Beautiful hardwax skiing in Anchorage for spring series!


Kikkan!

Kikkan!


Reese's somewhat contentious podium at Spring series.

Reese’s somewhat contentious podium at Spring series.


My parents and I enjoying an awesome afternoon at Glen Alps in the sun!

My parents and I enjoying an awesome afternoon at Glen Alps in the sun!


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  Check back for updates this spring and summer, I’ll be sharing training adventures and more!