The past 9 days I have been training and hanging out in Park City, Utah for the National Training Group Camp. Earlier this spring 25 promising top U23 and Junior athletes were named to this group. This is a new addition to the US Ski Teams "Pipeline", and so far it has been super fun and beneficial. 6 girls and 9 boys traveled up, down, or across the US to join the ten days of training with the US Ski Team coaches. It has been tons of fun but super hard work. Many of these athletes I have never gotten a chance to train with during the summer, I just meet head to head with them on the race trails, so it has been fun training along side them. The coaching has been great as well. We have gotten lots of feedback on technique, training, and just simply our goals in the sport.

Me, Sophie and Kate working on Double Pole

It has been great to train along with Andy Newell and Liz Stephen. Just raises the bar a bit during training. Not only have I been training alongside top nordy athletes, but also other big shots. Yesterday I was walking backwards on the treadmill (an activity that seems to have no stress on my knee) while watching Ted Ligety speed squat what looked like three times his body weight. I also got to watch Lindsey Vonn, an incredible alpine skier, bust out various weight training exercises. It's funny how you make out these ski heroes to be these supernatural people- but then you train alongside or with them and they are normal humans. It sure has a way of firing you up!

Me, Sophie Caldwell and Kate Dolan on an OD workout.

The goal for this camp has been to "Improve our STRIKE rate", so it has remained very focused the entire time. Most days we have hit the pavement or the trails at 8:30, training for a couple hours before returning home for some down time, and then heading out again for an afternoon workout. After getting some dinner in, we return to the "Center of Excellence" for a meeting focused on various aspects of being a ski racer. These meetings have included talks from top athletes like Andy Newell, US Ski team nutritionists, Video Review, Relaxation and Visualization, World Cup Video Reviews, and Pipeline talks. 

Working on striding with the coaches.

In the ten days we have hit almost all angles of training. The camp started out with an uphill running time trail and then was followed four days later with a sprint race simulation. I have been struggling with knee issues so I had to replace all the running workouts with swimming. I used to be a racer during my younger years... but the long break has made me realize how hard of work it is. It is a great way to increase your upper body strength for sure! The rest of the workouts have either been distance, speed, strength or interval work. This morning I finally felt the fatigue catching up to me when we did a level three interval workout, 3x14mins around a loop in town. One more strength workout and then a distance workout in the morning before I head home to Washington for a couple of days.

Sophie and I

The weather has greatly improved over the course of the camp. The first couple of days were rainy and cold, so we have gotten overly excited about the sun coming out these past couple of days. Yesterday, on our afternoon off, we decided to lie by the pool for no more than an hour and came home a little more sunburnt than expected. Turns out you get burned, even when its cold out :) I am trying to soak up every last bit of sun and heat before I move up to Alaska next week.

Sophie, me and Alexa resembling tomatoes.

Another update will come as I get everything together for my drive up to AK next week. Until then.... keep the sun shining!