Birkie-Fever-Birkie-Fever-BIRKIE FEVER!

The Fever is running high, eventhough the temperatures are running low!  Despite the cold temps it’s great to be back in the “homeland” eventhough Hayward, Wisconsin is still thousands of miles away from my true home in Anchorage, Alaska.  It’s a great reminder of just how big the US is compared to Europe. 

Birkie greeting recorded for the Local Paper, the Sawyer Country Record. Check back often with their website for future Birkie coverage. 
Last fall I sat down with the calendar, pen & paper and mapped out my race season. Having never focused on marathons before I had no idea how many I could do in a row. What kind of recovery would I need in between? How much training could I fit in between back to back to back 50ks…..?  That said, the American Birkie is one of my “focus events” and I have a long stint coming up after this. Thus, I chose to skip the Tartu Marathon in Estonia (63k Classic) last weekend.  Unfortunately it meant giving up the red leader’s bib.  My goal will be to get it back this weekend on US soil! 
My wonderful hosts, the Swees! 
The awesome thing about coming “home” is that I know people….. people that can help me…. people who let me stay in their homes, cook in their kitchen, borrow their cars, and do my laundry. I  know it sound trivial but after life on the road it makes all the difference in the world. 
Right now I’m staying with my great friends, the Swee Family. I went to Whitman college with Hannah  and I’m nestled down at her family’s lake cabin. In 2012 Rob and I stayed here as well (although without Hannah.)  Marge and Ron, Hannah’s parents are awesome hosts & friends. It’s really fun to come back 3 years later to find their interest in skiing has grown immensely. Ron even has a snow machine and a track setters to groom the lake in the front yard! 
So much fun cooking delicious food with the Swees!  In salad heaven with Hannah…. 
In Hannah’s left hand, (viewer’s right) is a Brussels sprout recipe from Heidi Drygas!  Check it out on her amazing website Chena Girl Cooks! 
Speaking of people that can help, I am eternally grateful to Larry Foss at the Fix who saw me TWICE in twelve hours (on short notice) to help with my elbows.  If you’re ever in Minneapolis and want to see a cool, cutting edge bike shop & workout studio or want a great sports massage, check it out HERE.  A big thanks to Caitlin and Brian Gregg who let me spend the night at their house and drive their car for a day in the cities… eventhough they weren’t there! 
The Birkie tracks are just about perfect and waiting on thousands upon thousands of Birkie skiers! 
Last Friday I got to ski with these Amazing ladies.  Their group is called “Ski and Tea” and I essentially equate it to the adult version of Fast and Female. With a theme of “no women left behind” these ladies work out together every week, 11 months a year. They hold clinics, train for races, support each other through illness…. the list goes on and on. To me, they seem like the epitome of a successful social support network with an active twist. They currently have over 350 women on their list serve, many whom live far away and simply like to be connected to this amazing group of ladies. 
It should also be mentioned that these women play a large role in the community. For example, many of them will be the volunteers for Sunday’s post-Birkie Fast and Female. They have also provided scholarships for the event. (I told you they are amazing!) 
Check out some of their Custom Birkie Snaz…. 
These skis have seen a couple of trips down the Birkie trail! 
Nancy Bauer (mother of John Bauer US Olympian) lead the team sprint workout for the morning. She also made her ENTIRE outfit including the custom Birkie bib skirt! 
In addition to rest, east living, and good Internet (yes!) another benefit of being here is the ability to connect with old friends.  Here I am with Per and Sandy Johnson, members of the Kongsberger ski Club near Seattle. Growing up there were very few kids my age that skied and I ended up skiing (and racing against) adults including Per and Sandy! It was fun to reunite with my training partners from 15 years ago! 
Last but not least, please help spread the word about Sunday’s Fast and Female event here in Hayward! Registration link is below…. 
More from Birkie land soon. 
See you here? 
Sincerely, 
Holly