It is hard to believe it is June 12, and I am already back at it, training for a new season with new goals, and new aspirations. Last season was the toughest, the longest, and the most racing I have ever done in my life, so it took a little longer to mentally and physically recover from. I managed to burry myself in a "different life" this spring, taking my mind away from being a professional athlete. I finished the second semester of my Masters Degree in Business, I planned a team wide spring fundraiser event, and I spent some time catching up with all the important people in my life that I never have time for when I am training and racing. In the meantime, I managed to fit in some spring adventuring as well. Without Jo around to take me into the backcountry, I was forced to stick to my skinny skis this spring. With a dangerous snow pack this spring in Alaska, it was probably for the better.
It always seems funny to explain to everyone around me that even though I am a winter athlete, I only get three weeks off during a year. Come May 1, I am already in the swing of things, even hitting the pavement with my rollerskis despite the snow still sitting on the mountains around town. Even I had trouble wrapping my brain around this idea when I came to Alaska and started training as an elite athlete. But, that is how it works. May 1 comes around and I have already formulated my new goals for the season, and started chipping away towards the jumps I will work to make through the training season. I was lucky this spring in that I got to spend the majority of my "start up" training on snow up on Hatchers Pass coupled with dryland training in town.
Shortly after "start-up", I headed down to my "neck of the woods" in Bend, Oregon for our first National Team Camp of the season. We spent twelve days skiing at Mt. Bachelor in the morning combined with dryland training in the afternoon down in town. This has always been one of my favorite training camps because it makes the transfer from "snow training" to "dryland training" really nice. Getting used to running, rollerskiing and biking can be a challenge after spending five months sliding on the soft snow.
I especially enjoyed this years camp, because we had some new young ones that just got named to the US Ski Team. Not only is it new blood, and new energy in the group, but these guys are awesome. They have so much excitement, and are training really well as juniors, which makes me excited to see the change in US Skiing! Not only that, it forces us to step up, and be the leaders, even though it can sometimes feel like we are still the "young ones". It has already been five years since I was part of the "rookie group"!
Shortly after Bend Camp, I had a quick week in town to unpack, re-pack and gather my life before heading up onto Eagle Glacier for my first glacier camp of the summer. One of the perks of living in Alaska is the easy access to "skiing". Every month of the summer we spend three weeks running, rollerskiing and biking, and then we drive 45 minutes to Girdwood, jump on a ten minute helicopter ride, and arrive in winter for the last week of the month. This allows us to never get too far from our "skiing technique", but also allows us to do a huge week of training every month in the true sport we are competing in. Every summer I do my first week on the Glacier, I am reminded how lucky I am to live in Alaska and have something like this available to me!
I have just arrived home from our first week on Eagle Glacier, and I am pretty excited to get a little "home" time. Even though I am back in the US for the training season, there is not a whole lot of "home". I am constantly zipping in and out, packing and repacking, cramming in life around our training and traveling schedule. I am pretty excited to get a good three weeks in town now, doing some consistent dryland training, and sleeping in my own bed.
Thanks to everyone for all the cheers this past season, and all the encouragement! I have just transferred over to my new website, and am back on the regular blogging schedule. Check back in every few weeks this summer to follow along.