Saturday, May 28, 2011

US Ski Team Camp- Bend, Oregon

Today marked Day 7 of Bend Camp, so exactly one week of training with the new group of coaches and athletes. It has been tons of fun, and more importantly, tons of fun to erase all the scary stories and assumptions about this group of people! It has been a joy getting to know some of the older athletes, training alongside them in a non racing situation where stress levels are much lower, and energy is much more accessible. To top it off, team Canada has been training along with us for all the workouts... and you know what they say about Canadians... so how could it not be amazing!

Little Canada blood with the Americans

A little "Rookie Joy"

We have been getting lots of group training sessions together for intervals, technique work, speed workouts, DP intervals, running, strength, and just distance skiing. It is amazing the energy and excitement that comes out of simply training in a line with 5 other US girls and 3 Canadian chicks that are just as pumped and stoked as you. Then you add in some matching pink shirts... and it begins feeling like training with my APU team! Bottom line, it's only one month into the start of a new training year and we are all fired up to do something big. Between all the hard working and fired up Canadian and US ladies, we have the hopes of becoming the new Scandinavians... minus the "Carl Gustav, can you hear me?" comments.

US Ladies in our pink Bjorn Daehlie shirts

Enjoying the sunshine!

The weather has been a little crazy since we got here. Not the typical west spring weather I have experienced for my entire life growing up... but then again not a disaster. For the first couple days we had a mixture of sun and clouds, followed by a few days of pouring rain and cold wind that managed to make you feel pretty hard core when you finished the workout. Nothing compared to an extreme day on Eagle Glacier... but pretty good for the west. We have had some frustrating and tricky waxing days- but every day we have finished the workout accomplishing something. Luckily ever interval day and speed day has been nice weather, so I really can't complain. When I hear all the stories and news about the other parts of the country right now, I consider myself VERY fortunate!

US Woman's Team getting a little silly in our team picture

One of the sunny days looking up at the alpine resort as we finish our ski... there have been a couple days I am wondering why I am not skiing down the hill instead of up :)

As with every training camp, the days have been packed full. Between training twice a day, trying to fit in a short power nap, meetings with various resources the US Team has, homework, and eating... there is not much time to spare. We have been packing it full! We alternate dinner duty between coaches, girls and boys, so tonight the girls got excited and put together some Shish Kabobs, something I have never managed to attack on a ski trip, but they turned out awesome. It's always nice to find new things to make for a large group, as we travel in huge bunches all winter and summer. It makes me appreciate those mothers that are cooking for large families every night. That would be hard!

Ladies Dinner

From here I have 4 more days of camp, hopefully one huge crust ski, a couple more intervals sessions, some gym work, some sports psychology talk, nutrition talks, hopefully a BBQ if the weather clears up, and an extremely important tournament of baseball against Team Canada.

A little concentration in my OD today.

Following that I have about 4 days of rest at home before heading up to the Eagle Glacier for my first glacier camp with APU. Hope the weather stays nice up there in AK. I guess if the weather is going to be crazy everywhere else in the lower 48, someone should be experiencing the normal weather and sunshine.

Thanks to Pete Vordenberg for many of these pictures!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May- start of the training year

E'Klaar and Greta Anderson enjoying the crust and the sun!

For the past month I have been working my way back into training gradually after my little month break in April. This year I made it a goal to stay active during my off period, so it was not nearly as painful as normal to jump back into the full swing of training. I still managed to get rocked by the end of the "annual start up camp", but I think that is impossible to avoid when you are part of the APU team.

My Claim to Fame- making the Deans List

Watching Reese throw down at a local bike race. Turns out, Reese Hanneman is a GOOD bike racer!

Last weekend we went on our final "spring AK crust cruise". This spring has been beautiful, lots of sun and awesome conditions for ripping around in the mountains. This means the snow is disappearing fast though. But my final spring AK ski went in the books for the best crust cruise ever. With the first 5k a groomed uphill track, once you pass the gate you are in full blow crust cruising mode. What this means is that you can go anywhere as you glide along the top of the un-groomed crust. Spending a lot of time on backcountry gear this spring, I was kicking myself for not nordic skiing up with my skis on my backpack and then jumping on the medal edges for the way down. Its amazing how fast you can get places on your nordic skis.

mmmmm.... AK!

Where the crust cruising begins- beyond the groomed tracks.

My final day of skiing I decided I was going to do something different, so I headed up the side of some mountain and decided to ski as far as I could, and see how high I could get. Along with Holly and Dillion, we managed to climb up the side of a peak and get pretty dang high. It was awesome, not to mention the ski down in the soft snow was amazing. For once it felt like I could make some turns on nordic skis, even without metal edges!!! Oh, and the sun was A-shining, so the whole time I was skiing, I couldn't stop thinking about how sweet my sport is, and how lucky I am to be able to do it in AK!

H. Brooks climbing the wall

Things got a little steep at the end....

Reaching the top of the pass.

But, now I am headed to Bend, Oregon for my first US Ski Team camp on snow up at Mt. Bachelor. I hear there is lots of snow, so hopefully the weather will behave and bring the sunshine out. From what I hear, the Canadian National Team will also be joining us, so it will be some fun times!

At this point my summer schedule is looking quite busy. Shortly after returning from my 10 day camp in Bend, I head up for my first camp on Eagle Glacier. Following that I take a quick 5 day trip to Park City, Utah for some testing as well as Rookie Camp (where you learn what it means to be on the US team along with all the other new US athletes). The following day after returning from Park City, I head up to the Glacier for the second June Camp. Meanwhile I will also be taking a summer class, so I will have my hands full. This pattern will continue for the following two months of the summer and then into the fall, so I have a feeling the training portion of this season is going to FLY!

From here it's 10 days of training with the US and Canadian ladies- I will try to take pictures and give some updates throughout the week.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


mmmm, springtime in Alaska!!!! It's just too good. Not many places can you nordic ski all the way into middle of May. This spring I decided I was going to live a little more of a "true alaskan winter" and spend some more time doing the kind of skiing where gravity is doing most the work. I am super lucky though, many of my friends are really into backcountry skiing, so I was having to hold myself back from going and playing every single day. Trying to stay caught up in school, and fit in some work here and there.... I got a bit behind playing that much. The good news is, for the first time I had a pretty active spring, which means I am not nearly as out of shape as I normally am May 1st. That was my first goal for this year. In staying in shape through the resting period, I don't loose the first two months just trying to build my fitness back up.

Doing some skiing at Alyeska

Crust Cruising with the UAA crew

Beer Relay Fundraiser Champions- The Incredibles (Pete and I)

Skinning in the sun... too good!

A lot has unfolded and happened in the last month since I have started phasing into my new season. For one, it has now been exactly a year since I joined the "Big Blue APU". I couldn't be happier that I joined this squad, and now I managed to convince my brother to jump onto the wagon and ski for APU as well.- so its going to be fun! For the past week we have been training hard in our annual "start up camp" Start up camp normally consists of two-a-days with lots of intervals, lots of skiing hard, and lots of soreness and stiffness. Last year I was nearly in a wheel chair by the end of the week of training with the new team, so this year I knew what to expect going into it... which is why I tried to bridge my seasons together more by keeping my fitness up during my rest period. But, of course, I still managed to put myself in a world of hurt all week. You know you are doing the right thing when showing up to training is more than just another day of work. It's amazing, every day, regardless of how wrecked everyone is, everyone is always smiling and ready to throw down when they show up for training. I think thats what makes this training group so successful. The energy within it is always positive, so it's hard not love it.

ADN Photo- nice article Beth wrote here:

The second big thing of my spring is being named to the National Team. I am super pumped about it. I think the National team has something great going on now. With lots of focus on young development, I think they are determine to build from the ground up and make something really happen in the future. It's also awesome because we have our little rabbit, Kikkan Randall to watch and aim for. Being named to this team means joining in with some of the fastest girls in the country periodically throughout the summer and fall and getting in some good training. This year, the woman's National Team, the Canadian woman's National Team, and some of the top APU ladies are all going to join up for a week of training up at Eagle Glacier. I don't think those girls know what they are getting in to. I have this feeling they are going to fall in love, and before we know it, everyone is going to want to be moving to Alaska. Anyways, I am super stoked and honored to be representing not only APU now, but also the US. Unfortunately, as always in this sport, there is not much funding out there, so being on the B-Team means covering most of our own costs. So I am still always looking for support.

Which brings me to my last point. For the past month we have been working our butts off planning and putting together an awesome fundraiser for the APU team to cover racing costs for the season. We will be putting on an auction with lots of sweet items including trips to hawaii as well as bikes, skis, artwork and much more. If you are in the Anchorage area, come out and check out what we are about! More than just a fundraiser, this is also a celebration of all the great successes we have had this year including USSA club of the year, coach of the year and athlete of the year. We are always looking for people to join the family of support and help us reach great levels. So, if you are around Anchorage, the event is May 10th starting at 6:30.

From here until May 20th, I will be training in town and starting up summer school before I take off for Bend, Oregon for my first US Ski Team Camp for 10 days. I think this year I am going to see if I can ski every month of the year. September might get a little tricky, but I am determine to make it happen.

Eagle Glacier.... better believe it!!