Thursday, March 12, 2015

Photos and some words

I know you are all saying a hearty, ‘Welcome back to the blogosphere land, Liz” to me, as it has been some time since I last updated this page I used to type on every Monday.  There has been a lot going on, it turns out, and sometimes while I am in the moment, I find it hard to reflect and write about it all.  But now, I have had sufficient enough time to digest it all, so I am out of excuses and owe you all an update.  You have, after all, waited very patiently.

10k podium from Worlds: Jessie, Charlotte and Caitlin!  It was an incredible day with two US girls on the podium and 4 in the top 15, what a day!  Making history!

Soph and me after the relay.

Our 4x5k relay team: Jessie, Me, Sadie and Rosie

Falun sunset

Celebratory champagne toasts after the 10k!

Andy, Kikkan and Peter, our beloved wax tech who has been with us for 9 years and will be moving on from the ski world for a new job that will keep him closer to home and breathing far fewer wax fumes.  But, Peter, you will be incredibly missed.

Rosie and Eli Brown, one of our volunteer wax techs for the week of World Champs.

We have had an awesome crew of people with us for Worlds.  Here is one of them, Dakota Blackhorse-Von-Jess who brings an incredible amount of energy and love wherever he goes.  It's been a joy to have him on the road with us for the last month.  And of course Sadie and Ida too!

Matt Gelso is another who always has a nice word to share and a laugh to be heard.

Kyle Bratrud joined us for the week also and was so into it all. His calm presence, but psyched personality was fun to have with us.

Sim and Soph

Me, Oleg, Soph and Toque (one of our long time volunteer techs). Oleg is Soph and my tech and he is one of the more uniquely special dudes you will ever meet with a heart the size of a mountain.

Team photo from Ostersund, going back in time a bit.

Me and my Pops. 

Audi had some cars that they were giving rides to athletes on the ice track, so a bunch of us jumped in for a ride around the track.  Pretty fun.

Smiley Andy.

A dinner out of the hotel in the farmhouse Andy, Soph and my parents rented together at World Champs.

After the championships my parents and I went to Stockholm for two nights and got to check out the city on foot.  We walked a lot and my favorite part of the city was for sure the Vasa museum.  It was an old viking ship built in 1628 that sailed 1500 meters out of the Stockholm harbor and sunk.  It sat under water for 300 years until it was discovered and salvaged and now is housed in a museum in the city.

It was incredible to see such an incredible work of art that is so well intact after being underwater for so long.  It was really incredible to see and read about the story of her voyage.

My parents on the palace steps.

The last week has been spent in Lahti and a small town called Runni, Finland, where Jessie and I did a show race, which was really fun, before traveling to Oslo two days ago.  It was nice to race a non World Cup for the first time this season and it felt like a mini vacation for the two nights we were gone.

The track went around the hotel and was 1.2k long.  Double poling was the name of the game, so we competed in a 4.6k double pole race that night.  It was super fun.

Me, Jessie and Maurice Magnificat with long time skiing legend Juha Mieto.  He is a giant, and super friendly.  Really cool to meet him.

Now we are in Oslo getting ready for our last World Cup race of the season, the 30k Holmenkollen.  It turns out some of the biggest crowds all year and the weather this year looks to be spectacular spring conditions.  It's sunny and warm, and the Vitamin D is just feeling so good.  Happy times here in Norway, for sure.

Lina and John Farra met up with us for a visit.  John used to be our nordic director and Lina is his 13 year old daughter who is attending the Winter School this year in Park City, which means she will go to school in the summer and have the winters off to adventure and ski!  She is a really impressive skier, and a super self motivated and wonderful individual.  It was a joy to have them both around the last few days.

Our skiing group yesterday.  Rosie, me, Lina and Jessie.

Peter and Gus both have decided to move on to other parts of life after this season and they will be sorely missed.  Gus is off to attend BU for his MBA and Peter has a new job as a Project Manager for ABB, a multinational corporation.  Really cool opportunity, but we will miss him dearly.

Peter and I

Oslo's roller ski generation wall is always incredible to me.  I think our skis are hard to maneuver now?  Whew.  Good thing I didn't ski back then!

Me, our volunteer doc for the week, Heather Chichanowski and Sadie.

Yesterday was quite warm and so what did we do?  Yeah, we took a swim and soaked in the rays on the beach outside our hotel.

I feel like a new person.  The sun is an incredible happy drug and the cold water is such a shock.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Russia to Davos to Ostersund

My first World Cup Podium!  Me, Astrid Jacobsen and Steffi Böhler.  It was quite a day for me, special in a lot of ways, but to know that it is possible is quite a feeling that I hope to be able to share with others.  Dream, Dream, Dream people, because I can promise you that I am just a human that likes to work hard, to be in the outdoors and be doing it with friends.  Pursue what you love to do.  Do it with as much vigor and passion and effort as you can muster and you will be amazed with what you find you can achieve.

After our short, but taxing trip to Russia, we headed back to Davos for two weeks of training, as there were two weekends off from World Cup racing, which is not something that happens very often.  Sophie, me and Andy on a sunny ski in Davos. We didn't get too many sunny days, but we did have really good snow to train on, cold temps and fresh snow almost every day.

Andy and me at the top of Dischma, one of the valleys you can ski here.

Sophie, Matt and I skied Sertig, one of my absolute favorite places to ski in the world.  It is a bit of a trek to get to it, as it is the furthest valley away from our hotel, but luckily I had a few longer sessions which let me ski it twice in the two weeks I was there.  It is a classic only valley and it is 10k from the bottom to the top, basically perfect striding terrain the whole time.  It is really a unique ski.

Krys, one of our awesome volunteer doctors and his wife, Kate, joined us for the camp.  It's always great to have a doc on the road, and it's always great to have new faces join us.  It always brings new energy and new stories that are very welcomed at this point in the year.

Yesterday we arrived in Ostersund, Sweden where our final World Cups before the World Champs will be this weekend.  I have only ever been here in the summer and it is awesome to be back.  It's a great city, with great ski tracks and I am just so happy to be back in Sweden again.  It is like I took a happy pill when I step back into this country.  Olivia Bouffard Nesbitt, a Canadian U-23 skier who is fresh of U-23 Worlds in Kazakstan joined Soph and I for this pink picture!

Like I said, we are happy and ready to rock at Worlds next week.
Also, in case you have not heard or seen, the US Ski Team website will be airing all of the races for World's!!!

Monday, January 19, 2015


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!