This fall has been a whirlwind of school, rain, wind, training, and some more wind. I have decided there are some true tradeoffs to living in Alaska and getting skiing year around. We have to put up with the rain and wind. On the same note, I guess it prepares us for those mornings when we wake up for the race, and the weather seems to be everything but nice. It will just seem normal for us Alaskan's from now on.
Doing some biking along the Turnagain Arm with Jo.

Becca truly prepared for the Alaskan Weather!
I started school a bit earlier than normal this year. I was trying to take most of my courses in the condensed form early on, so that I have less in the later half of the semester. This means that my month of August and September have been a balance between trying to get my homework and training in all at one time. All of my courses ended up being online, so lately I have been having to do the true college multi-tasking and biking on the inside trainer while plugged into my computer listening to class. I have to be sure to go easy when it comes time to turn the speaker on and talk... otherwise I think my classmates are going to be super confused why I am breathing so hard.
I have been turning Jo into a nordic skier this past month!!
The APU womans team sold two dinners this year at fundraisers where we put on a dinner party for a group of people; designing a menu, perfecting the meal, and getting all dressed up. We basically are your very own catering service for an evening. It has been very fun though, as we did two of them during the month of September. The first one was very fancy, where we perfected cooking duck, ratatouille, and some very classy soup and salad. The second one was for a group of ten ladies, with ten APU woman cooks, so it was a huge house full of woman! Both of these have been good for all of us though- because we have been working on cooking outside of our comfort zone. Nordic skiers generally get stuck in a rut, cooking the quickest meals that have the perfect amount of what we crave at the moment. Rarely do we spend the time to cook something that not only tastes good, but looks good. So I have to say, this has been good for all of us!
The APU Woman's Rainbow Cooks
Becca has been Master Cheff. I have discovered she has a true hidden talent
Erika and the Ratatouille
The dinner party of ten ladies. Thanks to both groups of dinner guests for supporting the APU team!
September is also a good month to try to do some community events. One of the neat things that Anchorage has are these events that Healthy Futures (a local nonprofit organization) puts on called Jamberees. These Jamberees are little running races that literally thousands of k-6 graders come out and participate in. Last week, some of the APU athletes went out and warmed up the kids for the races. It was fun to see how much energy all these young kids have. One little boy ran a mile on the muddy hilly trails in 5:30! He was ten years old, it was unbelievable!
Holly, Rosie and I warming up for the kids "warm-up". (Gagnum Style)
Training has been a collection of running, roller skiing, biking, and most recently skiing. Anchorage has been getting some wild windstorms recently, mixed with the rain... so sometimes you have to be creative in order to get your training in. One day I attempted to go running on the hillside while there was 90mph gusts... and I was terrified. At one point a gust of wind hit so hard, that I had to stop, and by the end of it, I had rocks in my mouth! It can be exciting, but sometimes just frustrating when you are trying to get good training in.
Spending some time in the Gym!
I recently found Kate Fitz in a book in a coffee shop... some old school Fitz!
Other days I just resort to staying indoors and doing aqua jogging, or biking on the stationary bike. At some point, you just get sick of getting soaked to the bone. Luckily we are leaving for the National Team Camp this coming week, so we will potentially be getting some vitamin D fix for two weeks in Park City, Utah. I have been checking the forecast, and it looks very promising.

It turns out the machine even wants to push you!
Yesterday was pretty exciting when I woke up and looked out the window and saw nothing but white!! Rosie and I went running up to the deep snow at flattop (6 inches), and then finishing our workout on skis. It wasn't great skiing, but it was enough snow to "ski". I was stoked regardless, because this meant that I have now skid every month of the year!! September has always been a challenge for me, but on September 29, I did it!!
Rosie extremely stoked!
Looking up snowy Powerline Pass
From here, I am off to Park City next week. After having missed most of the camps with my US teammates from being injured all summer, I am excited to meet back up with them!! It will be nice to get back with a massive group of motivated ladies while soaking in some vitamin D! Yehaaa.
One of the young girls on our team, Mary Roubinchaux was hit by a car on her bike and has been staying super tough! Her Caringbridge site is: . Wishing her all the luck in getting better!