Friday, May 14, 2010

Training with the team

Yesterday we did a speed workout as a team out on Sand Lake. It was fun to work as a group and really notice the varying speeds throughout the terrain. Below is a video of us just finishing up a speed and then skiing easy up the hill. Kikkan, Katie, Holly, Fitz, Sadie and Taz.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Here are some photos from recent skis. Powerline Pass, Hill Top and Ship Creek Pass.

Getting some classic technique help from new coach Erik Flora.

top of ship creek pass- amazing views

Hand stand gone wrong. You can't quite tell but that is a steep hill and after a bit of a tumble and a fling over the rock I actually ended on my feet.

On top of the world!

Kate Fitz, Becca Rorabaugh and I.

Ski up powerline pass with the boys.

Exhausted.... 14 days in.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

APU Startup Camp

The past month since I finished my racing season has been a whirlwind of events. The original plan was to spend the summer in Bozeman with my sister and train and work there before heading up to AK at the beginning of August to start school and training with APU. I spent three weeks in Bozeman starting a new job, moving into a new house, making new friends and training buddies, setting up a bank account, and finding the best training areas and gyms in town. I figured I was getting myself set up for a great summer. Turns out I was getting a bit ahead of myself. 

After talking to my new coach Erik Flora, we decided it was best I spent the majority of my summer in AK getting to know the team, the new coach, and the new training. May, June, and July are the most important months to do some really valuable training. So, after all was said and done I decided to spontaneously hop on a plane and come up to AK for three weeks of training. After these three weeks I plan to head back down to the lower 48 for about a month of "real summer" before I drive back up to AK at the end of June for good.

Last week was my first week of training with APU, which happened to be their annual "Startup Camp" Let me tell you, it was a true "start-up". Erik, my new coach, is a firm believer of getting back into the training right away. The least amount of fitness lost in this short resting period is the best. What this means is we started with a bang. After taking nearly a month of relaxing and "fun exercise" we got back into the grove of things. The first workout included a 90 second uphill test skate rollerskiing.  I happened to set a record high on my lactate level, and got a warm welcoming back into anaerobic training. 

The rest of the week we spent rollerskiing, crust cruising, snow skiing, swimming, running, strength training and biking. Workouts varied from sprint relays to level four intervals up "Wall Street" (a massive climb that goes up for about 10 minutes) to distance training to just general pain. I found myself hanging on to the group for dear life in several occasions but for the most part enjoyed the new team. The best quote of the week was Erik Flora standing on the top of the interval hill describing our workout as simply as "go like-a-hell". And that is exactly what we did. 

It is a great group of athletes on the APU team that are all doing the same as me- committing themselves to this sport. On the trails these guys are all business, but off the snow it is a fun bunch. Everyone is incredibly nice and helpful which makes it really easy to get along with them all. I am super excited for this new change. 

While skiing for the APU team, I will also be taking full time classes at the school. I signed up for fall courses a couple days ago- so its official! I was lucky enough to receive a full ride for tuition so I am super stoked about that. Back to the books for me.

I spend the next two weeks training here in AK before I head back down to Washington for a few weeks. I will then be attending a "National Elite Group" camp in Park City with the US team coaches for 10 days. Shortly after that I start the long drive up to Alaska- thats an adventure in itself.

Here are some pictures from our crust ski up Glen Alps above Anchorage. The first trip definitely was the best ski of my life. Unbelievable crust,  beautiful sunny day, a bunch of people ripping around. Couldn't ask for better!

Looking up the valley we skied up. 

Fitz and I on top of a massive hill- you can't quite tell that.

View down to Anchorage from above.

Girls team doing intervals.  Becca and I bringing up the rear.

Change of Plans- Alaska Pacific University

I have recently finished the most exciting year of my ski career and what a year it was! Thanks to everyone for the tremendous amount of support you all have contributed that made this possible. Besides traveling and living in Europe for nearly 2 months, I made some leaps and bounds as a ski racer. Starting early November, I was on the road racing constantly throughout the US, Canada and Europe. I am guessing from November 1st to March 29th, I slept in my own bed maybe 10 times. But this is not what truly defined my year. The steps that I made as a racer is the best way to describe what seems like a five-month leave of absence from the Methow Valley.

The first couple of months of racing were a bit of a struggle for me leaving me dismayed and with little confidence. Fortunately, I was able to get back on my feet and rebuild my strength throughout January allowing me to start feeling good. When things started rolling again I managed to post some of my best race results ever, and gain an incredible amount of international race experience with top skiers from around the world. The Methow and MOD was a great place for me to start this experience providing me with the coaching and support I needed to see the big picture of what it takes to be a world class racer. Taking my sophomore year of school off to train in the hopes of making the US Olympic ski team was my original idea but after moderating this plan I was able to focus my attention towards getting the experience I could to prepare me for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

While racing in Maine for the final races of the season, I was approached by the ski coach at Alaska Pacific University (APU).  He asked me to consider continuing my undergraduate education at APU while representing its world-class ski team. I was honored by being asked to join a team of world class competitors and after much thought and deliberation with my family and MOD, I have decided to accept this offer and continue to accomplish my dream of being one of the top skiers in the world. APU has one of the top ski development teams in the country and sent three athletes to the 2010 Olympics, one of whom is Kikkan Randall.  APU’s unique class schedule allows skiers to race during the winter and take large class loads during the spring and fall terms to meet their academic requirements.

Team APU crust cruising.

The next few years will be exciting, tough and rewarding for me.  It’s a challenge I look forward to meeting.  I appreciate all the support everyone has provided over the past years and hope you will continue to follow my racing.  It has been great to have so many people behind my goals and aspirations, cheering and helping along the way.

APU selling point ;)

School starts in mid-August and racing begins Mid-November.  I will be heading up to Alaska for good near the end of June to join the team. Stay tuned for more skiing.

Typical day of training with APU.