A lot of training happened this fall. After I came home from Australia, I pretty much jumped right back into the swing of things with the team, putting in a lot of quality hours and the time really flew by. September and October were some of my biggest months in terms of training hours, about 140 hours combined. It rained a lot in September, and one day I actually did a 2-hour workout on a bike trainer in my living room because it was pretty much a hurricane outside. I watched almost the entire Hobbit movie.
With rain come rainbows
The whole APU elite team flew down to Park City, Utah for the first two weeks of October for an altitude training camp with the US Ski Team. The sun and warmer temperatures were a welcome vacation from the cold rain in Anchorage. It was the first time I had ever done a dryland training camp outside Alaska (apart from college) and it was really fun to check out new rollerski loops and running trails. We did a couple killer bounding workouts up Canyons alpine resort that were so hard they made me want to hurl and crap my pants at the same time. Afterwards, though, I felt like a rockstar because I’d done a great workout. There are hundreds of miles of single-track trails in and around Park City, and I had such a blast running on them.
We had some awesome workouts with the USST and on our own. Doing speed workouts at Soldier Hollow was a great chance to really break the course down into sections and figure out how and where to make up time and push the pace. It will be really beneficial and advantageous to know the course and how to ski it better come January when US Nationals will be there again.
We also had some fun lifting sessions at the local public gym, and even got to watch a bunch of the US Bobsled Team men lift some incredible weights. They were incredible athletes and could probably throw me across the gym as easy as a softball given the hundreds of pounds of weights they were squatting and pressing.
Getting my heavy lift on… One-legged rotation squats with weight.
For me, being the trail-running junkie that I am, the highlights were the two long runs we did. The first was part of a classic rollerski-run combo workout with the USST. We skied up Emigration Canyon from Salt Lake City to the top of a pass, then changed footwear and ran along a ridge for 90 minutes back over to Parley’s Summit. It was a beautiful day and the views were spectacular. The other amazing run was the last day of camp. Kikkan, Fitz, Becca and I did a 3-hour run from Canyons Resort along the Mid-Mountain Trail all the way to Park City Resort. I think it was roughly 18 miles. The Mid-Mountain Trail is this awesome single-track trail that is about 26 miles long from Canyons all the way to Deer Valley, and the cool thing is that once you get up to it from the base of either resort, it runs at roughly the same elevation across the whole length, so you get these incredible views because you are halfway up the mountain, but you aren’t going up and over peaks.
Girls on the run!
Fitz, me, and Becca overlooking PC on the Mid-Mountain Trail
While I was in Utah, Alaska got some snow and by mid-October there was groomed skiing at Hatcher Pass. After a few rest days post-camp, we transitioned right into skiing and never looked back. The skiing was amazing and thanks to Ed Strabel and the Mat-Su Ski Club for the wonderful grooming! It was a couple more weeks before we got enough snow in Anchorage to ski the trails and though it was still rock skiing and too little to groom, it saved a lot of time and energy not driving to Hatcher. PK also arrived in Alaska at the end of October and trained with APU for a month before we headed down to Montana for the season-opening races in West Yellowstone at Thanksgiving. We had a lot of fun doing trails runs in the dark, skiing at Hatcher and Hillside, chasing moose around, playing pond hockey, and just chilling. I think he liked Alaska enough to want to come back again!
Panorama of Cook Inlet
Incredible. Westchester Lagoon. Taken with my iPhone!
Running in the tunnel was brighter than outside of it.
Excited for my new Rossi boots!
Being the usual ham for the camera. With Rosie at Hatcher Pass on a snowy day.
We had a brief cold spell that necesitated this attractive contraption. Keeps the lungs nice and warm and healthy!
This was taken in 2011 after a time trial…look familiar?
PK pretending he can ice skate and play pond hockey (because lakes don’t freeze over in Oz)
“Can I help you?”
Anchorage also hosted another Fast & Female event in October and most of us participated as ambassadors, showing girls how to use the Ski Erg machine, doing balance drills, talking about what motivates us and why we love what do, and just having fun and being active with some hard aerobics!
Little girl having fun at the photo station.
Me and Ryann
Having fun with my favorite Dorris girls, Ryann and Lauren!Super Sadie
Abby working the SkiErg!
The girl has balance! She worked the ball for at least 45 minutes!
APU junior girls!
Fitz showing how to rollerski!
The season started with West Yellowstone Super Tours last weekend, and Bozeman Super Tours this weekend. More on those races in the next update after this weekend!!