569 kilometers…. let’s do this!

It’s been great having a rare couple of weeks at home in the middle of the winter. But, I’m getting the itch to get out of here and put a bib on! I’m inspired but all the amazing results my teammates are turning in all over the world. The USST is racing day in and day out in the Tour de Ski (yes, I too am loosing sleep watching at ungodly hours in the middle of the night) My APU teammates are skiing in blizzards and standing on podiums in Houghton, Michigan and recently retired APU skier Pete Kling just got a sprint race in the Tour of China.

Turnagain Arm from Main Street, Hope (Alaska’s not so bad in January!!)
The sole reason I’m not going completely crazy is because I know I will have my day, my turn! The other day I calculated that if I do all the races I want to in the remainder of the season I have FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE kilometers of racing left!  
569k, 11 ski marathons, in ten different countries!  The thought alone makes me simultaneously excited and exhausted. 
So, while its hard to watch racing, wanting to be there, it’s important to be patient.

Dragging Nat on a super duper tough training ski at Hatcher’s Pass. Cold, punchy & altitude. Theme of the workout: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….. 
This weekend is my “old November” meaning that when I take off this weekend I won’t return home until April.  I’ll be back just in time for the snow to fall 🙂 Before departure there is all kinds of business to take care of including getting lined out to continue my graduate studies with APU. Last semester I was a full time (in person!) graduate student and while it’s going to hard to study on the road I need to continue my academic momentum.  Last semester I took three classes for a total of 12 credit. This semester I will take two including “senior seminar” for a total of 10 graduate credits. Wish me luck writing papers from Italy, Austria & Poland! 
In addition I’m also trying to figure out logistics for the next three months of my life. Where will I sleep? What will I eat? Who will wax my skis? How will I get from point A to point B? Despite the stress and anxiety my last trip went so well that I’m feeling much more relaxed about my upcoming travels. I hope that I’m not getting too over confident and/or too relaxed about it!  Last trip I was lucky enough to have Max and Markus – my dream team of friends to help out. This trip is different in that I’ll be renting a car and my fate will be in my own hands…… 

Quality time with friends
The good news is that Rob is going to join me for the first two weeks in Europe!  This is huge in that being gone for months at a time while married is really, really tough. He’ll serve as my wing-man and I’m happy that I won’t be lost in Europe alone driving through Zurich. I’ll have someone to share the frustration with 🙂 
SNOW MAKING AT KINCAID!!!! Photo: Jim Falconer
Photo from adn.com

That’s it for now! Off to pack, train & enjoy my last couple of days in town! 
Cheers & Happy New Years to you, 
Holly