End of Season

What a great end to the 2014/2015 season these past two weeks in Sun Valley, Idaho! Spring Series/Spring Nationals has always been a love-hate relationship for me. Coming back from World Cup, I often feel blown out and just ready to be done! Racing four more times can sound so terrible. On the other hand…. spring series is a time to almost “celebrate” the season during racing. We often refer to it as “letting our hair down”. We try to focus a little less, smile a little more, and keep things a little bit lighter.

It may not be the beach… but it is sand! Finding some sunshine in the middle of the golf course.
Fun to meet up with some of the kids from back home that I grew up babysitting. Walker Hall was crushing it all week!
“letting your hair down” or “letting your sleeves down”. (Reese Brown photo)
Feed…. yes please! (Reese Brown photo).

This year was a unique one. The US Ski Team as a group was more blown out than ever at the completion of the World Cup Season. I think we all raced far more this year than we have in the past. Also, we ended with a challenging 30k skate race at Holmenkollen that left us all exhausted! Traveling overseas the following morning delivered everyone back to the US simply BLOWN OUT! Sadly, this left a bunch of the US Team sick, tired, or injured for these final few days of racing.

Sprinting in the sun. (Fasterskier photo)
Some challenging relay racing in the snow… with my klister skis. I wasn’t imaging winter conditions when I packed my ski bag in Europe… so bringing only klister skis home proved to be a mistake! (Fasterskier photo).
Sun Valley, living up the the “sunny” piece!
Doing some racing with one of my favorite training buddies! (Reese Brown photo)

Somehow, I got really lucky, and my immune system jumped into overdrive trying to help me recover from this challenging and long World Cup Season. The amazing Sun Valley Vitamin D sure seemed to help, Not only that, some family time cured me right up!

Pretty fun to be wearing some Craft with the APU team this week! (Noah Hoffman photo)

Having family around this past week was the highlight of the week. My Grandma and Mom, as well as my dear family friends from Seattle all came out and cheered on my brother and I. We even got a visit from my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins for the 30k Skate! It was so nice to be able to have some family time after a long season where homesick seemed to visit me all to often throughout the past four months! I also especially enjoyed getting to join back up with my home team, Alaska Pacific University. I love this team, and have so much fun training and racing with these guys. It has been great to join back up with everyone, catch up on winter racing stories, and go to the line wearing my blue APU uniform!

As you can see… my mom has been in a bit of a different climate than me these past few months!
Hanging out with my Mom and Granny in SV.
Our wonderful Family Friends and Hosts, Peter and Kristiann.
That’s a happy Granny!

Throughout the four races this past week in Sun Valley, I experienced every different emotional feeling. Exhaustion, excitement, nervousness, but finally, I finished with a great feeling of accomplishment! As I crossed the line the final day, the 30k Skate National Championship, I flopped across the finish line falling into the snow knowing I had given every last bit of energy towards this season! I finished happy, accomplished, and proud of what I have done this year. What a fun 2014/2015 racing season. Ending it with four podiums just put some fun icing on the cake.

Exhaustion (Reese Brown photo).
Excitement! (Fasterskier photo)
Nervous. Doing the Super Woman pose is proven to help you do better. It gives you a rush of testosterone and  confidence before the start.
Accomplishment. (Reese Brown photo)
Proud of APU for going 1 and 2 on the relay day! (Fasterskier photo)

After the final races, I stayed a few extra days in Sun valley for a US Ski Team event. This consisted of a day full of teaching ski clinics, meeting some wonderful people of Sun Valley, and finally wrapping up an amazing year with a cheers and celebration with my team! I am so lucky to have such great support from teammates, coaches, family, the people that believe in US Skiing and my largest sponsor, Saltchuk, making this financially possible! I want to thank everyone for making this an incredible and memorable year! I am lucky to be part of this team, and this time of cross country ski racing in the US!

The agility group. (Reese Brown photo)
Showing the younger generation some of our favorite drills. (Reese Brown photo)
Jessie Diggins telling the group of supporters about how lucky we are to have such an awesome team! (Reese Brown photo)
Thanks to Steve and Diana Strandberg for hosting us and hosting the Fundraiser! (Reese Brown photo).
Ready, BREAK! Rest time! (Reese Brown photo).

For now I am headed back to Anchorage to enjoy some much needed rest and recovery. I can’t wait to have a few weeks of waking up with as little focus as possible. I sure will enjoy a mental and physical break before starting a new year of new and higher levels of focus and training!

Happy Spring from the USST!