So after my explanation of the Fast and Female portion of the US Ski Team Camp in Park City, I will tell you a bit more about what I did for the rest of the 10 days in town.

US ladies... in the pink. Tom Kelly photo

I am actually taking full time school at the moment, so due to some finals and schoolwork, I had to arrive to the camp a week late, which means I missed the "testing" portion of the camp unfortunately. I am taking four classes during the fall term, two of which were condensed 7 week classes that ended the day before I left for Park City Camp. This works awesome for me, because now I will only be taking two classes until middle of December for my "racing" portion of the fall. So, my camp was only ten days, but it was surely 10 days of greatness!!

APU ladies enjoying the sunshine of the West!

When I first arrived in Park City, I was a bit bummed because it was snowing and raining... and appeared the same as it was in Alaska. After watching all these videos, and hearing stories of all the skiers in the 80 degree weather the few days before I arrived... I was expecting summer in PC.!! The good news is we only had about 3 days of cold before summer again arrived. By the end of the camp I was skiing around in a tank top and getting a sun burn! I have to admit though, I was ready to come back to the reality of October in Alaska, seeing as ski season is less than a month away!

Pete photo

My ten day camp consisted of a mixture of races, bounding up the resorts, roller-skiing out to the nearby passes, some hammer-fest in the workout gym, running, and some speedy rollerskiing on the 2002 Olympic courses at Soldier Hollow. It was a great time, and there was a HUGE group of racers, so I had some good company during my workouts.

Breakfast with Matt Whitcomb, who just had back surgery. Coming back stronger than ever :)

I love this time of year, because the racing season is just around the corner, and I just can't keep myself from constantly getting excited every time I go out to train. Likewise, this is also the time of year I keep analyzing in my head if I am fast enough, or trained well enough. The way I find a balance between this storm of feelings and emotions is through bringing my mind back into racing mode, as I try to relax and build confidence. It was great to surround myself with energy and excitement at this camp, because the motivation and enthusiasm is viral in a group of so many fired up girls!

A large train of ladies during the distance workout.

Every day there was a group of at least 25 girls starting the workout together, building towards a time trial, or some intervals, or just some good, focused distance skiing. It was sweet, because everyone is out there, working together, and making it happen. It's an exciting time for US Skiing I think. At least for me!

Ready... GO!

The second to last day of the camp we had the opportunity to do a sprint time trial on the Olympic Course at Soldier Hollow. It was sweet to go out there, work the heart a bit, and feel some speed. It was also fun to play around with tactics and tricks when it doesn't count. Practice races have such a benefit, especially when you are surrounded by the girls you are competing with all winter!

Sprint Racing- Thanks to Elizabeth Simak for many of these race photos!

Jessie and I sprinting for the finish

It was fun, because I also got the opportunity to meet up with some of my old teammates who have moved on to new things. It's crazy, it feels as if they were just on the team yesterday. Somehow this summer has sneaked away so fast!!

APU Group in Utah

After a ten day camp at altitude, I went for a ski up in the hills this afternoon and felt like I could hop skate up everything. It's amazing what 10 days of little air can do for you when you return back to the sea!! It is the greatest feeling, I love it!

Found a zebra, a donkey, and a buffalo, all in the same cage in a coral on the side of the highway while I was rollerskiing.... interesting!

Its back to 2.5 more weeks of Anchorage life before the racing season starts. This is always a busy time filled with wrapping up everything in town before the travel begins, as well as keeping caught up with homework. This is also the time of year that we start pulling out the rock skis for some skiing. Word has it that there is grooming on Hatchers Pass, so day after tomorrow we will be hitting the snow, yehooo! Thanks to the Strabels for the grooming and getting it ready for us!