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The eleventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of four months with the length of 30 days. Also a time when:
Silly America changes clocks by one hour and suddenly it’s DARK at 4pm.
Intervals get shorter and faster and the race feeling starts revving
Race skis start getting waxed and prepped for the season
New gear starts arriving—skis, boots, uniforms, you name it, it’s a skier’s Christmastime
Winter starts to show—snowflakes start falling, rock skis come out and so do smiles
And a million photos start popping up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the first snow/skiing of the year from around the country in an anxious battle to show the world “we’ve got it best right now”.
….until Mother Nature sends a typhoon across the Pacific and suddenly our early start to winter vanishes in the blink of an eye. Saturday we’re skiing 3 hours covering every trail in the park, Monday we’re running on bare ground.
It’s also been 10.5 months since I last posted. Sorry about that. Life happens.
Excited to be on snow in Girdwood in late October. Thanks to the Girdwood Nordic Ski Club for grooming the trails! It was great skiing while the snow lasted!
In Alaska we like to brag about how we get the best early skiing and the most time on snow, yadda yadda, Alaska is best. But sometimes, we stick our feet in our mouths. We had almost 3 weeks of skiing—albeit rock skiing—and then it was just gone. In less than 48 hours we were back to virtually bare dry ground and running. And then even rollerskiing. In November. An Alaskan’s worst nightmare. But even when there is snow, it’s a big adjustment getting used to the quickly decreasing amount of daylight, and more often than not, November is freakin’ cold.
Back to dryland training after the snow melted…it helps when you have crazy fun teammates to enjoy it with.
There are some good things to look forward to in November though, as a skier. Training volumes decrease, energy levels start peaking, and the excitement (and anxiety) of racing soon starts to mount. It’s RACE SEASON.
As I write this, I am bound for Montana for two weeks for the first Super Tour races in West Yellowstone and Bozeman. I’m excited. I’m ready to race. For the first time in quite a few years, I truly feel ready and excited to race. My body has been energetic and “jumpy”, training feels easy and sometimes I have to really ease back because I just want to go harder. It’s a feeling I haven’t had in a long time going into the season. The past few years, I’ve looked forward to the race season, but almost more as a break from my roller coaster ride of a life in Alaska. I’m usually looking forward to being on the road because I get to sleep more, recover and relax more, I have more down time and I don’t have to rush around to training, work, errands, etc and just get to focus on training and racing. But that often means I’ve been stressed and tired beforehand and I haven’t raced well. Since this spring, my life has been much more stable and I’ve really focused on doing quality training over quantity. I had some really great weeks and months of training and I think (and hope) it has paid off finally. The next two weeks will tell.
The importance of TEAM
One of the most important things I believe has also contributed to my happiness and increased feeling of fitness is my amazing Alaska Pacific University teammates. We gained a few new girls this summer, and we have had an incredible summer and fall of training, adventures, and fun. I can’t imagine a more enjoyable and supportive group of girls to be with. Every single person has something to offer to the team, whether its in training, racing or everyday life, and it’s a heartwarming feeling to know that they are behind me through every trial, tribulation, celebration and success. I would not be able to get up every day and go to practice if it wasn’t for them. I know our team is going to have a great season because we have pushed each other through every interval set, every rainy rollerski and every bonk-worthy over-distance workout. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we know how to motivate one another when someone is lacking or struggling. I can’t wait to see what the season brings for us.
My amazing team (L-R): Rosie Brennan, myself, Sadie Bjornsen, Kinsey Loan, Jade Hajdukavich, Chelsea Holmes, Jess Yeaton, Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, (missing Becca Rorabaugh and Rosie Frankowski).
My last blog was January 1, 2014. Today is November 21, 2014. Whoops. I’ve gotten many questions about when I was going to update and start posting again, and I just got too busy this summer and it got harder to motivate when so much time had passed. Nonetheless, I am back at it and will do my best to post more regularly. It’s too much work to try and recall everything I’ve done since January, so I will just post some photos (as per my usual method of having a photo-heavy blog) showing what I got up to.