The past two days APU has been making the 1 hr drive up to Hatchers Pass for some amazing skiing! Tracks have been great, the temperatures low, and spirits high. Both skate and classic tracks are exceptional considering the couple of inches of snow pack on the road. Surprisingly enough, no rocks or pavement are showing (with exception to one corner). 

Perfect tracks!

Dark and cold- Gretta Anderson is still pumped to get started!

Lots of car and people traffic on the trails- have to watch out :)

Our first day up there, all the town teams were out there, so I got to ski some laps with my brother who is now skiing for University of Alaska- fun, fun!!

Nothing like early season skiing in Alaska. Hopefully the snow hits town soon so we can be skiing here.!

Morgan and I high on Alaskan Life

Gretta Anderson and I at the start of the cold morning

Yesterday was Halloween, so a couple of us got dressed up for our OD... FUN FUN!

2.5 hr. Halloween Ski- ladies working hard but still having fun!

Below: Morgan, Holly, me, Kikkan and Katie getting after it :)

Topping 'er off

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!


Hiking above Anchorage
For the past couple of weeks we have been in our transition stage here in Anchorage, where its cold enough to snow, but it just isn't quite ready yet. We have made bets on our team when there is going to be enough snow to ski up at Hatchers Pass, and I have my money on Saturday. The precipitation is coming, and the temperatures are low enough... so its on its way! 

I suffered from a knee injury all summer that stuck around and continued to cause problems throughout the early part of the fall. Skate skiing is finally back to 100%, so I have been putting in some hard uphill skate intervals, trying to get the legs back in the grove of skating. I haven't felt the skating butt burn in a while, so I have been loving every minute of the intervals lately.! Running was also causing lots of issues, so one day when I was super excited I started mindlessly skipping down the road. After a couple of minutes, I started thinking and realized it wasn't hurting my knee. So the past month and a half I have taken up skipping... which gets lots of funny reactions when I am passing people.! Especially when I am out on the trails, because not only am I skipping, but I am also singing to warn the bears I am coming. Let me tell you, it is a sight to see. Fortunately, I have been able to shift back to running- so I am not making such a scene trekking through the woods.

Sweet view of Anchorage- Ky Eiben has MAD hops!

APU has this weekly workout that we run/ski-bound 1 hour uphill from a ski area down in town up to the mountains. The gas line trail cuts right through "bear country" central, so every 1 hr. pass up this trail I am counting my blessings for making it up without being chomped. As I get over my bear fears, this has become one of my favorite training workouts of the year. You just turn you engine on, and brain off- similar to racing.

Making it to snow yesterday!

Powerline Pass snowed in!!
School has been consuming all of my hours that I am not out training. I have managed to make friends with the library again- I did actually miss that last year! The schooling here at APU is great, I now understand what "active" learning really is. Each of my classes has between 4-8 people in it, so there is lots of focus on the students as well as real world application, rather than just learning the text book. There is no lack of challenge, but a much different focus then UAA for example. I much prefer this over public, state universities!

6 more weeks until we take off for our first racing series in West Yellowstone, the focus is on! Let it snow, let it snow, let it SNOW!

Skate Speed in the Pit

Here is some video from yesterdays speed workout. It is hard to tell because all the girls are wearing pink and black. I have on white boots and 2xu pants if that makes it easier.


Yes, this is Morgan and I sun bathing after training in AK! We may have missed our summer but it sure is showing the potential for a nice fall. The ten day forecast shows sun every single day for the next ten days. Now don't let this fool you, temperatures aren't normally breaking 65 ever- but it makes for incredible training.

APU just finished recover week, so we are back to business now for a three week block. Hard to believe we may be skiing in close to a month! Days are getting shorter and mornings are starting to remind me of winter- cold and clear. This is the time when everyone starts shifting gears and begins spending more and more time thinking about the the fun part approaching soon!

I will be starting school next week, so things will start picking up pretty quickly. Time to learn again!

Anchorage Training

Not a whole lot has changed in the past couple of weeks of training in Anchorage with APU. Summer has finally come at the perfect time to throw down lots of hard training.  Here is a video of APU boys and girls, distance skiers and sprinters, putting in some hard double pole intervals out at Kincaid. Last week we had testing series to find out where our training sits at this point- and what areas we need to work in for the next month of training. Time for some power training for most of us!

Training in Washington

I just recently spent the last week hanging out and training at home in the Methow. Every week after returning from the glacier APU has a recovery week where we get to do whatever type of non-specific training on our own, with no team training for the week. Erik likes to look at it as a mental and physical break throughout the periods of training. This week break is a good opportunity to either take a vacation or take advantage of getting in some good quality hours of work. After July glacier camp I opted to stay in Anchorage and work really hard for the week while enjoying doing other activities like swimming and rollerskiing with some UAA buddies. This August though, I decided to get the best of both worlds so I came home and did some work for my dad while getting in a little "vacationing" time as well. It was nice to spend some time with the family while soaking in a little heat and sun. Yesterday was record breaking for the most rain ever in Alaska.... so I think it is safe to say we don't get a whole lot of summer in AK. I am headed back to AK tonight, as we start testing week tomorrow. Time to test and asses our progress so far this summer!!

Rollerski up to the Lake- swim across the lake three times... typical methow training.

Glacier Camp 2

I just recently returned from my second trip up to the Eagle Glacier for a week. This trip was just as fun.... but I must say much more intense. Less snow, more pink algae, and lots more cracks running across the glacier. I came into this period with a lot more training under my belt from the previous three weeks so I got to tap the tank for the last couple of days. We were lucky enough to have two sunny days the first couple of days on the glacier- so I am proud to say I got to ski in a tank top and shorts one day! We had some non APU skiers with us this trip, one of which a fellow methow valley boy, Brian Gregg. It was fun to mix it up and do some workouts with some different athletes.
Lots of kilometer, lots of klister, lots of technique work, and lots of eating and sleeping pretty much sums up my my second Eagle Glacier week.
Thanks to Erik Flora and Casey Fagerquist for the hours of hard work!

Second workout of the camp was with Holly Brooks.... that woman is speedy!

Holly pumping out some squats- keeping the strength training up while we are at the glacier.

Morning ski in the sun... doesn't get much better.

Holly Brooks, myself, and Nicole Deyong (Sun Valley skier)

APU womans team post L4 interval session.

One of the juniors on the team putting in some kilometers.

Our trip across the glacier to meet the helicopter on our way out looked a little something like this... plus snow flying everywhere!

Thanks to Alpine Air- the group waiting for our ride up to the glacier

Cuddy Park Rollerski Race

Last weekend we had a classic team sprint race downtown Anchorage. We put together two pretty competitive APU woman's teams that battled head to head between the rounds. Becca and I were teamed up against team pink- Katie Ronsee and Greta Anderson. In the semi-finals Katie and Greta finished a strong 16 seconds ahead of us, so Becca and I were forced to readjust our strategy. We decided to just go like hell from the gun for the two laps each of the Final round and not worry about conserving energy. Fortunately our plan worked out, this time taking the win and crossing the finish line 44 seconds ahead of team pink. 

The boys race was fun to watch as well. National Champ, Tyler Kornfield, and David Norris went up against the Hanneman brothers who held their ground quite nicely. With a tight race up until the last lap where Reese Hanneman put down some quick pulling- the Hannemans pulled through ahead. 

It was fun to see the people putting it on get so into it. They even had an announcer for the finishing area.! Fun stuff. One of the mothers at the race caught some shots below.

One more week of training in town and then we head up to the glacier for our last on snow training camp.

Racing around the 1.3km loop

Tag off exchanges between partners

More Photos

More photos as promised. Erik took some pictures with a "good" camera.

Reese Hanneman and I enjoying a nice L1 ski