Car Concerts, Cash $$, and Salty Solutions

In honor of all the exciting things that have been happening lately, I am jumping back on the blog train. Or maybe just so I can have another avenue to express how AWESOME it is that DAVID WON THE BIRKIE!!!! No actually, I have been up to some pretty cool things too 🙂

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What a cutie!

But first, let me just say how great it is so see someone you have watched work so hard to achieve their goals- and then to have it actually happen. David pulled some pretty sweet moves the other day and I am totally inspired. I don’t think I have ever been so psyched to see someone win, even if I did accidentally hit snooze and miss the whole thing (the replay was pretty cool, too- you can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/156182805 (22:03, the sleeve pull up)

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Luckily this did not happen to David

Anyway, besides living vicariously through Birkie participants, I have been having a training camp in Anchorage in preparation for the world cups in Canada. I leave in just four short days ( yikes!) and will be representing Australia for the first time this year! There are eight races over the course of 12 days- starting in the East and finishing in Canmore. I am getting pretty excited, especially considering the momentum I have been picking up over the past couple months of racing.

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Snazzy new outfits from Salomon and Borah making us feel extra cool

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On the road to SV in the midst of a sing-a-thon

My results have gradually improved throughout the season, which started off with some Supertour races in West Yellowstone and Sun Valley. I came back to Anchorage to race the Besh cups, where I had my first back-wrenching, lat-crushing, but totally exhilarating experience with double poling a race. It was a classic sprint, during which I definitely stalled out once or twice… but my fear of rolling back down the hill didn’t come true- and now I look at every classic race with a new perspective. Arms, shut up!

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Besh Cup podium- followed shortly after by Mooses Tooth

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I got to spend xmas with the backstrums, the best 2nd family I could ever hope for!

I then headed to Houghton for US Nationals, which wasn’t quite as bright and shiny as last year, but definitely a step up in performance from the early season. I managed to pull of another speedy skate sprint qualifier- just half a second from the win. Oh yeah, and APU had about a whole bunch of podiums too, because, well, my teammates are awesome.

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The sun came out in Houghton!

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Tuck Credit: Rosie Frankowski

After Houghton I came back to Anchorage yet again before heading to the east cost for some more Supertour races. The first race was a skate sprint in Lake Placid, where I had another great qualifier and ended up 4th overall- my first time racing in the A final on the Supertour! It was also my first cash prize, and let me tell you- the $$ addiction is real. Now every time I race, all I see is Franklin. Just kidding.

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Reverse podium in the A final

The next day, I warmed up to classic distance racing (traditionally not my jam) with my best classic 10k result ever the next day. The following weekend we headed to Stowe and Frankie fulfilled her lifelong dream of visiting the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough snow to race at Trapps, so the races were moved to Crafsbury. That ended up being totally awesome though, because we got to play music on the 50 minute drive there everyday. Packer (guitar), Lex (mandalin), David (marimba), and I (vocals) really nailed Taylor Swift’s Blank Space by the end of the week.

The 5k skate in Crafstbury was super fast- less than 12 minutes. I had a great race, finishing just 0.1 seconds from the podium. The next day, I revisited the double pole, and was joined by the rest of my teammates. It was a 10k, and we were the only four girls in the race to try it. This time, I think I bit off a little more than I could chew- but it was totally wroth it for the experience.. and the bad ass points.

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LEG CRAMPS 101 (r. frankowitz): Always carry salt packets in case of emergency

Back in Anchorage I have been putting in some serious hours on the gerbil loop at Kincaid, and loving every minute of it. Even though it hasn’t snowed in almost a month, the NSAA has managed to make and groom 4k of perfect, race-ready trails. I would be ecstatic if Jonas 3.0 decided to make its way up to Anchorage before May, but if not- I’ll survive 🙂

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There have been some glorious days at Kincaid.. this was taken with an iphone, which almost never does the mountains justice. But it was just THAT gorgeous out.

In other news, since my last update, I have embarked upon some other non-nordic related pursuits. Since August I have been working at Steamdot Coffee, where I have been filling my head with coffee knowledge and learning how to pour Tulips, slowsettas, and other unidentified soy and non-fat objects. I absolutely love working there, and we seriously do have the best coffee in town. If you haven’t tried it, stop by and I will make you the best latte of your life- I promise! I also have been taking classes at APU towards a second undergraduate degree in Counseling Psychology. I always regretted not double majoring at MSU, and now I am getting the opportunity. I will graduate in April, but since I can’t seem to stay away from school- I will definitely be going back to learn some more (PT, PA, open to suggestions?) after I finish ski racing.

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Could be yours!

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Needless to say, I have been super busy- but one thing I realized since leaving the NCAA is that I thrive on business. With so much on my plate, I sometimes feel like I don’t have time to breathe- but I am totally loving it. When I leave on Friday for Canada, I will gone for a month. I will spend the first two weeks in Canada, and for the second two I will head back down to Crafsbury for Spring Nationals. I am really excited to join my Aussie teammates for some racing at the next level, and to bring it home at spring series with my favorite blue army. Most importantly, to put to use my years of quality high school French in Quebec- Salut tout le monde!!

-JJ