Winter is right around the corner! It’s an exciting realization, to know that I will soon be completing the majority of my training hours on snow, and racing most weekends. But it also means that the long off-season is nearly over, the time for preparation is coming to a close. There is still around a month left, October and part of November, so I’ll be looking forward to the first snowflakes of the year, but also focusing on dialing in the details with quality fall training. As I look forward, I thought I’d also take a moment to look back on the summer and early fall, and which was particularly highlighted by my experiences on two glaciers that I visited this year.
Well it appears that I haven’t put up a blog since July… so this is about to turn into a massive photo update, with a bit of commentary! Most of the photos should speak for themselves, or if nothing else, look at all the pretty colors…
In mid July, after a week of dryland training in Anchorage, AK, I took a helicopter up to the Eagle Glacier for a week on snow. It was my first time on the glacier, and we were treated to astoundingly sunny weather. There’s nothing quite like skiing on a glacier, especially in shorts and t-shirts! I struggled with some minor food poisoning in the middle of the camp, but it was nonetheless an extremely valuable experience. Gallery below of AK skiing, lines of grooming in the snow, helicopter landing, smokey sunset on the mountains. (Photos mine except me skiing towards the camera taken by Scott, me skiing away from the camera taken by JCork.)
Next it was back to Vermont, where I enjoyed the flowers, berries, mushrooms and all natural beauties of the state. It’s a different place than Alaska for sure, but I love looking at the world up close like these photos below, and freezing moments and sights in photographic amber that might otherwise be missed.
In the East in August, enjoyed picturesque dinners with friends, helped celebrate the wedding of friends-and-teammates Alex Howe and Emily Dreissigacker, photographed kid’s bike club outings at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center:
Throughout everything else that’s happening, there is always training – more intensity and volume than ever, rollerski-run-bike-strength-alternate-rest-repeat. But I’ve also made an effort to take the time to explore a bit of the East and go on a few adventures, like run-hiking part of the Presidential Traverse in NH with friends Liz and Kait, below. (Rollerski group photo by coach Pepa)
And then, in September, my whole team headed further east to Europe for a 2.5 week training camp. Our first week was spent in Slovenia, using an indoor snow-tunnel for skiing sessions (see my blog on our team’s page here: http://greenracingproject.com/blog/?p=8001), and for the remainder of the camp we traveled to Austria and skied on the Dachstein glacier. (See my teammate Kait’s blog write up of it on our team blog here: http://greenracingproject.com/blog/?p=8054 and on her personal blog with even more pictures and details http://kaitlynnmiller.blogspot.com/2016/10/early-snow-above-and-below.html).
Based on my previous 2 years skiing in September on the Dachstein, I know that glaciers can get terrible weather, horrible fog and wind and cold. But somehow, in all 15 days I skied on the two different glaciers this year, there was a hint of fog 1 day, and every single day we saw the sun. I feel very lucky! I headed back to the US at the end of September very tired but feeling pleased with another productive training camp, so many snow sessions and intensity and technique refinements, I know all of my work will pay off this winter. Below (photos mine, except when I’m in them…group shots by Sam Dougherty, me posing standing by Kait, striding solo by Heather): enjoying the scenic Dachstein, skiing in our flashy new spandex with the full women’s GRP, cabin-style lodging in Schladming at sunset, fluttering prayer flags at a hut above the ski track.
And I nearly forgot to include it, but Pepa made a great video edit of our camp out of the many hours of footage she took! Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qle6Dil6lPo
It’s the time of year of the NNF Drive for 25 – NNF does great work to support the development of US cross-country ski racing through funding international race trips and development camps. Please visit my page at https://support.nationalnordicfoundation.org/fundraiser/811374 and consider a donation through my page or that of any other athlete you know – the money raised all goes to NNF, which will redistribute the funds to support US athletes in their racing trips this winter.
Thanks for reading, or at least skimming the pictures!