Monday, January 19, 2015

TOUR DE SKI!!!!!

The Tour was an incredible rush and I have so much to tell, but I really want to get these pictures up before they become irrelevant and the words are slowly working themselves onto paper, but not ready for the blog yet.  Thank you for all the emails, messages, and positive vibes that everyone sent.  I was overwhelmed by the incredible support from all of my communities, again.  Thank you.

The US women's alpine team was 20 minutes up the road from Val di Fiemme, training and preparing for the Flachau night slalom that was last night and they took the time to come down and watch Saturday's race.  They were by far the best cheering squad on the whole course.  I think they yelled louder than Dario's fan club with the huge swiss bells!  Thanks girls, and Carl!

Paula and Resi holding me up after my best ever classic result in 5th on Saturday! Must have been the cheering!

Racing.  Photo courtesy of Marcel Hilger.

Racing.  Photo courtesy of Marcel Hilger.

Me and Aino-Kaiso Saarinen. Aikku gave me a necklace that is meant to be passed on to strong, inspiring, happy women around the world.  The idea is to keep the necklace for a week or two and then pass it on to another women who you find embodies these attributes.  I was very honored that she gave it to me and I think it brought me some luck this week!

Oleg, me, Peter, Matt, Gus. Most of the crew.

The last 2 stages of the Tour I was the only athlete racing, so I had my own personal wax crew and coaches, as well as masseuse!  I don't think there was a better staff to athlete ratio in any other team, not even Norway or Russia! From left to right: My wax tech, Oleg. Our new wax tech this year from France, JP.  Our steadfast Swedish tech, Peter.  My coach, Matt and another newish tech for us this year from the US, and Worchester, VT, Gus.  Jason Cork was taking a sick day this day, so was not in the photo, and our masseuse, Meg was also not in this photo.  Quite a staff.

The whole crew. Back Row: Gus, Matt. Middle Row: Peter, JP and Jason. Me and Oleg and Meg.


So....that looks like a big hill....

When you have to ski up an alpine mountain, you need the help of lightning bolt socks to get you to the top in a speedy fashion.  Glad I had mine with me, and they were even clean!

Driving in the cargo van with Matt and Gus on our way to get a birthday italian pizza! It was so good, even though mine was gluten free!  For sure it was the best gluten free pizza crust I have had.  It was chewy and everything.  YUM!

Gus got the calzone....

....and cleaned his plate no problem.

Me in my B-Day striped outfit and a delicious dessert!

Birthday panna cotta, my all-time favorite European dessert.  

Ahhh! I got to alpine ski!!!!

In this scenery too.  Doesn't get much more gorgeous than Seiser Alm, even on a low snow year.

And the sunsets here will blow your mind.
As will the Hotel Panorama dinners!! Each one is more gorgeous and delicious than the last.

And then the snow finally fell! 20cm later and 2 days of massive wind and white out conditions and we woke up to this on interval day! How convenient, eh?!

I am fueled constantly by ProBar.  If you haven't tried them, they are delicious, all made out of real food, are gluten free and made in Park City!


On my long skate ski this morning.  It really could not have been any nicer.

Heading to cold, cold Russia Wednesday morning, so one last interval session here tomorrow and then hitting the road for Munich.  Stay tuned for a Russia update as well as some thoughts on the Tour that are taking a while to get down on paper.  Happy MLK day. Today's inspiration came from this article and the kindness of these people in today's world.
Get well soon, Nick!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mid Tour Quick Update

After a great Christmas break and prep period for the Tour de Ski, it is finally on.  We are currently in Val Mustair, Switzerland for a skate sprint for stage 3 of the 7 stage tour.  I am actually done for the day, as I did not make the top 30, but Sophie, Sadie, Kikkan, Jessie and Sim are all about to fire off some heats as I write this.  The day is perfect, a bit of wind, but mid 20s and sunny, so besides wishing there was a little white stuff outside of the 0.6k course, it couldn't be better.  We are now off to Toblach for a 5/10K Classic tomorrow followed by a 15/25k pursuit start skate on Thursday.  It is exciting, as always to be doing the Tour, so I'm pretty pumped these days.  Onto the next stage!

Sophie, Sereina Boner, and me posing with our Johaug gloves after training together over Christmas.

Kikkan had a birthday on the 31st, so we made her a unicorn card.  After all, she is our shining Unicorn.

Celebrating in true mustache style with our friend Markus from Davos, who takes great care of us when we are there.

We showed up to a beautiful winter scene in Oberstdorf, but it quickly changed after two days of hard rain.  But this day was a beauty.  The snow was so white!

Our Winter Wonderland for that one day in Oberstdorf. It was amazing,

Opening Ceremonies in Oberstdorf!

On our drive to Val Mustair the other day we drove past a reservoir that flooded a town in order to bring water to another town and there is a church steeple sticking out of the water that you can walk out to when the reservoir is frozen.  It is a beautiful site.
 
Our view from our hotel here in Val Mustair.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Davos Week 1

This past week we have been in Davos, and actually it has been almost two weeks now, as, due to lack of snow, our races in France planned for this coming weekend were moved to Davos as well.  So, this weekend we will be racing here as well, tomorrow with a 10k skate and Sunday with another skate sprint.  Europe has been having a very tough snow year so far, and Davos is one of the few places in central Europe with any snow at all.  So, as as a result, we will not be spending the holiday break in Les Saisies, France,  but will stay in Davos for Christmas as well!  I am bummed not to be spending the time in France, as it is one of my favorite places to ski, but most of the team will be together this way, making it more festive at the holidays!

A photo from the 10k Classic last weekend.

Sadie, popping champagne to celebrate finishing her last college class! Impressive lady to be able to manage school and skiing while on the road.  Congrats Sades!


Holly was in Davos for a week preparing for the two marathon races she competed in this weekend in Livigno, Italy, so she stopped in for dinner one night and we got to catch up!  Plus, she then went and snagged a 2nd place in the 42k skate on Friday!  Congrats Holly!

Jessie found a bit of chocolate....just the small sized ones!

A few of us drove over the pass last week to get some different skiing terrain in Livigno, Italy and we followed this most of the way over the top.  A snowblower that was blowing the snow from the side of the road into the dump truck which was then taking it to the course.  Pretty incredible how much snow they had to move to make these races happen.  No job is too big here to put on a World Cup.

After our ski in Italy we stopped in for a pizza and at the end of our meal we were offered a taste of many different regional liquors, as well as this grappa.

Just a cobra and a scorpion marinating in there.  No big deal.

Nice shot of a perfect Davos day (minus all the snow that should be here!) from our deck at the Hotel Kulm.

Vitamin D. Erik and Sadie soacking it in.

Lullaby time.

Caitlin Gregg has been with us this last month as our continental cup leader from last season!  Its always so fun to have another face along with us.  She has been keeping close tabs on her husbands races and keeping us informed.  Here she is checking his results while pumping some heavy iron!


The Kaffee Klatsch is a common stop for us here in Davos, mostly because of their beautiful Cappuccinos!

Always good to get a little spa time when possible.  Tough life....

And on a completely different note; Meet Addison Wubbles!!!  Alex and Cory Wubbles, my very good friends (Cory is also one of our wax techs, though he is taking this year off) had a healthy baby boy on December 8th!  I am so excited to meet this guy! Lucky little man to get parents like these guys.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lillehammer Triple

We just arrived in Lillehammer, Norway for our second weekend of World Cup racing and our first mini tour of the season, which is usually held at the opening World Cups in Kuusamo, but this year it has been moved to Lillehammer, which is fun, as the venue is new last year and we will get an opportunity to really race all of the courses and loops.  Today was a skate sprint, tomorrow is a 5k skate individual start and Sunday will be a pursuit start 10k classic, based on the results from the sprint and the 5k.  It is a really fun format and I am hoping to be able to chase some people down in the coming days!  

It was a really fun day here, as Celine Brun-Lie who joined our women's team camp in Alaska this summer and hosted me at her house two summers ago in Oslo was second!  It is not an easy ladder to climb up in the Norwegian team or just in the World Cup field in general, so to be on one of those podium steps is a really special experience, and Celine has been really patient with a very tough battle, so to see her succeed today was so inspiring for me.  I am so happy for her.  Congrats Celine.  Thanks for reminding us all the importance of belief in yourself, belief in your process and your way and not to ever give up.

Celine, showing some emotion after securing second place in today's sprint.

Noah, still smiling with a broken fibula.  He actually just had surgery in Vail yesterday morning, so already on the road to recovery.  He is expecting to be back for World Champs in Falun, Sweden in February!  Send speedy recovery wishes his way!

Jessie and Soph just being great people.

Our team PT for the last 3 weeks has been Pete Dickinson from the Methow Valley in Washington.  He has been incredible to have on the tour with us, never too tired to work on whatever we need, even our boots! Thanks for all of your time and knowledge you have shared with us, Pete! We can't wait to have you back again in the future!

Some "dry needling" on my shoulder, which is a sort of acupuncture technique to get some muscles to relax.

Skiing in the heart of winter in Sjusjoen earlier this week.  So nice to be on real, white, beautiful snow.

And with the Norwegian tundra all around, on the Birkebeiner trail, ahhh, couldn't be better.

The views were beautiful.

Like I said, beautiful.

Reese Hanneman took this picture of me after our ski one day.  If you haven't checked out his photography, you should.  His website is: http://www.reesehanneman.com.