Monday, November 11, 2013

The Final Countdown

4 more days and counting down... it is coming to the last bit. For the past three weeks I have been in Alaska, doing my final preparation for the season. As usual, we were lucky enough to come home from Park City Camp to snow and skiing up at Hatchers Pass. While it may be dark and cold in Alaska- we always have skiing up here!!! Ed Strabel has been doing an incredible job of grooming, with a new addition to the course this year called, "Sochi Hill".
A cold morning after a time trial- Becca Photo
Kikkan staying warm in some early morning cold winds!!
Reese and Peter
Lauren-- ready for a good season!!
Our first few weeks in town were recovering from Park City Camp, so we spent long hours up on the snow getting used to the feelings of snow and long skis again. With nearly 5km of groomed trails, it made for some awesome mornings of catching the sun rise and enjoying the snow!
Erik and I with our Wax Ring Prize after our win in one of the time trails.
The combination of snow in the mountains, and dry grounds in Anchorage made it awesome for the transition of training. This meant we could spend afternoons roller skiing or running combined with a morning of skiing. NOT TOO BAD!!!
Rosie soaking in some "happy light" and studying at the same time.
I have been staying busier than usual with school and last minute things before I leave for winter. The new block of 7 week classes started right when I got back from Park City, so I entered into a high level accounting class and another course, Seminar in Taxation. Reading 100 pages a day of Accounting and dry tax codes has become my daily routine. With these long days of driving out to Hatchers and back, I have been forced to travel with the head lamp text book for the long van rides. I have to say, it is an interesting switch to spend 2 hours thinking about technique and fitness; and then shift over to thinking about itemized deductions, inventory valuation, and fun stuff like that! I just keep telling myself; just like it is my final push of training before the season... it is my final push on my education (hopefully done next summer). At the same time, it is this incredibly entertaining challenge to understand tax codes!! Those are some fun facts to name off to your ski buddies, hehehehe.
My weirdo Halloween Pumpkin
A couple weekends ago, during Halloween week, our team put on a "Fund Run" to raise funds for the Alaska Winter Olympians Foundation and the National Nordic Foundation; both huge supporters of my ski racing. It was so fun to see everyone get dressed up and come out and run! Thanks to everyone who came and participated.
Johnna the superwoman! 
Fitz, the Viking!
Jo ran his first 5k in a fur jacket!! Hilarious!! Charlie Photo
In honor of my spirit animal, and my very favorite animal- I was the Frog! Charlie Photo

That same week we had a Fast and Female in Anchorage- here I am teaching a young girl how to DP
One of my favorite little girls, Maya!
On that same note, it is the final five days of the Drive for 25. I haven't come near my goal for the year of fundraising. If you are reading this, please consider donating $25. It makes a huge difference for all of us involved today. We all benefit from the support of this organization. They are the ones that are fronting the bills of getting the coaches and support crew over there; they are paying for several weekends of my racing, they are getting the juniors overseas so the parents aren't having to pay it all; they are the ones making it possible. The cool thing is they operate solely on the support of the community. What that means is that our community gets our racers THERE! Everyone signing up to donate $25 is making our job possible!! So thank you if you have already participated, and please consider if you haven't. Here is the easy link to my page:
It is my goal to get three more donations by thursday when I leave!
I had an appointment with Zuzana on Halloween. For the day I was getting worked on by "Kikkan Randall". It wasn't as scary as I expected ;)
Last night it snowed a whole ton, maybe close to a foot, so the skiing has finally come to us in Anchorage just in time!!

Thanks to everyone who has sent notes wishing me luck lately. It is going to be a very exciting season! A lot of fun stuff is happening this year. For the first time, I will be spending my entire winter in Europe, so I won't be coming back for Christmas. So keep the emails coming; it keeps me going. I really appreciate all the cheers and words!
Saying goodbye to my favorite little babysitting buddy, Molly!! I am going to miss these little guys!
4 more days and I am on a plane for Beitestolen Norway, first stop on our tour!
Erik and I at the BP Sponsored Sochi Send Off- Rob Whitney Photo


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