This period of the season is my favorite part of the entire year of training. With the combination of the cold weather, the snow in the mountains, and the building anticipation for the racing season quickly approaching us- there is no way to show up or leave training without unusually high levels of energy. I am beginning to get the feeling that every single workout I am putting in is directly effecting how hard I will be able to push over the steepest hills throughout the season.

Things are shifting here in Alaska. Starting a couple weeks ago- we drive to training in the dark and do our warm-up in the dark, but we are lucky enough to be doing the true "work" just as the sun rises over the mountains! It sure makes for some awesome views as we speed through the icy streets and trails of Anchorage.

The past month and a half I have been able to shift back into lots of foot workouts. It has been great to do some exploring on foot over the weekends, and to mix up the rollerskiing throughout the week. Last week I decided to put one of my "alpine" friends through some pain and brought him on an OD over the weekend up to Symphony Lakes and the surrounding peaks in Eagle River. It turned into quite the adventure :)

 Symphony Lakes Below.. and lots of white mountains that I wish I knew the names of!

I am screaming because the ice just dropped and broke right under my feet!

We also had TT's last week just to test the body and get it used to "racing". Though maybe a bit rustic, I was happy with where I am right now. The first day consisted of a sprint day simulation. With a team of 6 or 7 of the top skiers in the US, this simulation is quite accurate... it truly resembles a race! The next day we did a 35 min Hill Climb skating from the ocean to one of the highest access roads in Anchorage. In the past, I would have normally despised a race like this, as who wants to put your head down and climb to the peaks, but I actually enjoyed it.!! I have a video posted below that Erik took near the top of the climb. Check out the sweet houses and view in the background!

It's hard to tell because everyone is wearing pink and blue. But I am wearing blue tights, pink shirt, white helmet and white boots. 

3 more weeks until departure for the season..... YEAHHH!
Until then.... topping 'er off!