Monday, November 24, 2014

Hazel Says...

This is my strength coach's baby named Hazel Luna.  I never posted this picture, and it has been recently switched to be my desktop pic for the month, so I wanted to share it with you all.   It has reminded me the importance of smiling.  Whenever I open my computer now, I smile, because, who sees this adorable little girl sitting in a pumpkin with her chubby arms and cute outfit and doesn't, without even noticing or trying, smile?  

I read this interesting article the other morning and was reminded of the benefits a simple smile can have on your mood, but also the effect it can have on others as well.  While spending these last 10 days at home before I head to Europe for the season on Wednesday, I have noticed what a difference making myself smile in the morning before I get out of bed makes on the way I go about my day.  So, its become something I do. Try it tomorrow.  Wake up, take a breath and smile for no reason at all, just smile, whether you want to or not.  Feel that instant change in your attitude, demeanor?  I do.  So, I think it's the ticket, and Hazel Luna here, is helping me do it.

So, as I soak up my last day in Vermont tomorrow for 4 months, I feel ready to hit the road and join my teammates.  I have had a chance to recover, get my feet back under me and my injury has had time to heal so I am feeling almost 100% again!  It's exciting stuff!  So, I'm smiling, but I am sure had I frowned more last week, I would not have healed up as quickly:)

If you feel like reading more, here is the article I found the other day:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Long and Short of my Stick Season

Well, I finally go what I wished for and get to spend some extra time in Vermont!!  Unfortunately, it is not because the World Cup is coming to East Montpelier, but because of an injury I that needs some extra nursing before making the trip across the pond.  I got home with some tricep and peck tightness and was doing some stretching to try and relieve it, but continued to train through it, which may or may not have caused my first and second ribs to find their way out of place and create a fair amount of pain.  I have luckily had some amazing help here in Vermont from my PT Mom, my favorite massage therapist, Emily Gatewood, and an incredible Osteopath, John Peterson.  I have made massive recovery over the past week and skied for the first time yesterday, which went well, though today's first classic attempt did not provide the same result.  Baby steps.  

This has been an very educational opportunity for me, learning how to be smart, train creatively, and be tough through some times that are not as fun as the rest of my training year has been.  I have been very lucky in my career to not be put on the sidelines for injury or sickness too often.  I have watched some of my teammates and friends on other teams suffer with injury after injury and illness after illness and I have not had too many setbacks of those kind in my career.  So, it is good to be reminded, though I don't often find myself forgetting, how incredible it is to be healthy.  It is life's biggest happiness factor, I believe.  

I will head to Kuusamo, Finland on Wednesday and hope to race on Sunday, but we will see.  Patience, I hear, is a virtue:)

My Mom had a birthday on the 10th and she and Maisie blew out the candles together!

And Matt came over to make it a bit more of a party!  And, yes folks, those are overalls and they will be coming with me to Europe this winter!

Corinne Prevot, Skida Founder and Owner and the one who gets the props on this year's Friends Of Liz design! Super psyched on these! Get yours today on her website (along with her new cashmere line!!) at:

When I first got home it looked like this.

Then yesterday, I did some of this! Craftsbury is in amazing shape right now and it is only going to get better as they continue to blow snow and spread more of it out.  So if you are getting the itch, that' the place to scratch it.  Or the Notch road in Stowe is in great shape too!

First tracks on the 5k at Craftsbury yesterday.

HUGE thank you to ProBar, who sent me a box of their finest products the other day to get me to Europe and keep me fueled during the dark, cold winter months!

Photos from Canmore I never posted! Whoops!

Friday, October 31, 2014

NNF D25 Final Push!

We are getting into the last days of the NNF Drive for 25 fundraiser and I am overwhelmed by the support that has been shown in this small community of Cross Country Skiing.  We have almost met our overall fundraising goal of $150,000 but we aren't quite there yet.  This is the way we support our up and coming junior skiers, how we help our senior skiers make the jump from national to international competition, how we help sustain programs and athletes that would otherwise not be able to continue the fierce pursuit of their passion.  So if you haven't had a chance to donate to this cause, or are inspired to give again, please do so at the link below.  I am inspired by the hard work and dedication of our up and coming skiers and by the support of this community of nordics.  Thank you for everything you all do to support healthy lifestyles, chasing passion, and believing in all of us.

Happy Halloween!

Thank you!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Park City Camp!

I am currently on a plane to San Francisco for a night with my good friend and teammate Jessie Diggins to attend the annual Snow Ball that is held there every year as a fundraiser for the US Ski Team.  Unlike the other Ski Balls, this one is themed and this year's theme is retro ski getups.  So, Jessie and I have embraced the theme as best we can and with the help of friends put together these outfits to dress the part as best we can.

Jessie dressing and living the part!  She should have been an 80's baby!

Here we are!

The crew.

I had to get a picture with this lady in the cow suit as this was the suit I had when I was an alpine racer. I wish I could figure out how to import the photo I have of me in mine when I was racing, but no go, so you will have to just imagine it!

Jessie and I getting our dance on!

Meanwhile, the Park City training camp carries on without us for another day before we take the party north to Canmore, Alberta where the ground will be laden with snow saved from the 2014 ski season on a 2 or 3K loop, depending how much they were able to save.  It is a pretty cool loop that they are able to put together with a few hills, corners, a fast downhill and conditions that mimic a lot of what we have been seeing the past few winters.  Though I can't deny that the loop can get boring after a few too many loops, the beauty of Canmore, the feeling of snow beneath your skis again, and catching up with friends who we haven't seen in many months keeps it enjoyable.

Fast and Female was a huge success last week with an all-time record number of 181 girls!  Thanks to all the ambassadors for being inspiring leaders to our young women and all the support from the volunteers and community.  See you next year!

A huge thanks to our awesome volunteer PT, Zuzana Rodgers.  She travels for long periods during the season with us, donating her time, expertise and has never once said no to helping any of us out.  Thanks Zuzana! See you this winter!

Doing some training in the beautiful fall weather of Park City.  I think this will be my last day of shirtless training in a few months, so I took advantage!

I want to say a huge thank you to Mike Engel for hosting me all summer and being my Utah "Dad" and good friend.  Here is the team at a recent flank steak dinner that Mike grilled up for us last week.  Thanks for all of your support, Mike, from me and the US XC Team.  We love you!

My best friend Alex Shaffer is due to have a baby in early December and last week we had a baby shower for her at Sundance.  It was a beautiful day and a wonderful evening of girl time with some close friends.

It's been a great camp filled with the normal mix of hard sessions and long sessions, time trials and speed work, getting buff in the gym and spending time with the whole team for the first time since our Bend camp in May!  We have had almost every elite club team in the US here joining most of our sessions, which has been great to connect with everyone one last time before the long winter of travel begins.

Ok, until next time....

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fast and Female October 5th!

It has once again been two months since my last update, and again I have no excuses other than I just have not done it.  So, here is a mini update to get me back in the swing of weekly updates.  I have been busy organizing our annual Fast and Female Champ Camp at the USST Center for Excellence.  Last year we had a record number of girls at 130 and this year we hope to have 150.

Here is our poster and the link to the sign up!  Pass the word on!

Lake Placid Camp Pictures, all courtesy of Patrick O'Brian and USST Coaching staff.

Jessie and I getting our sprint on.

The training crew

Just another day on the roads.

I'm back in Park City now for the rest of the training year, except for when our team will jet up to take advantage of Frozen Thunder in Canmore at the end of October for 9 days.

My strength coach and good friend, T and I went on a hike last weekend with her baby girl Hazel Luna.  It was a beautiful day and her husband Matt was out chopping trees down for our lumberjack party tomorrow where we will all split and stack the wood, fueled by chili and cornbread!

T and Hazel

Fall training.

Matt and I went on an adventure loop run in the Uintas 2 days ago that took us by a bunch of lakes and up a mountain at the end.  All of it was between 9500 feet and 11950!  Super fun!  This is me at the top of Bald Mountain.

Here is the GPS map of the run.

Fall riding.  Not many more of these left this season, so taking them where I can.

The team training camp starts in a week and will span the month of October.  It is so nice to be back in Park City, though my time in the East was awesome.  Lake Placid camp is always one of my favorite camps and then to spend 5 days at home with my family afterwards is always a major highlight.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Alaska glacier camp to....NORWAY!

Oh, my life is so tough:)  I flew to off Eagle Glacier in Alaska last Saturday night and was in Oslo by Wednesday evening.  It is amazing to be back in my happy place again, Scandinavia in the summer, and the training the last 4 weeks has been with all my best friends!  I am so lucky.  I will be here in Oslo through tomorrow and then I fly to Sandnes, Norway where I will compete in some rollerski competitions called the Blink Festival.  I competed in these races 2 years ago with Kikkan after another Scandinavian adventure together and it was a blast, so now I am heading back to fire it up again this weekend.  It's great practice to move fast on rollerskis, around corners, mass starting with 30-60 other women, and especially good practice for me, as I am very tentative on my skis.  

Here are some pictures from this week in Norway and from last week on the glacier, but all you really need to know is that I am training hard with all of my best friends, seeing new places, pushing new limits when I can and having the time of my life.  I hope all that read this feel the same way about your own lives!  

Explore, Dream, Discover. -Mark Twain

Team sprint workout.  Whew.  That was a hard one.  Left to right is me, Sadie, and Celine.

Kikkan and I in our Bjorn Daehlie summer training gear.  Can you say pink?

The whole crew skiing together on the last day.  It is pouring rain in this picture and Sophie's lips are actually blue too.  We were all jealous of Kik's rain suit.

Glaicier Women't Crew for NAWTA camp 2014.

I jetted to Hope, Alaska with Holly early on Sunday morning to make it in time to jog the Wagon Wheel 5k, an annual race in Hope that is really fun.  Here is the crew that joined.  It was so fun to see Holly's cabin again, 1 year after I saw it last time.  Rob has been working really hard and it is almost livable inside.  In fact 4 of us slept in it that evening and got a great night of sleep!

Katie and I in our boa's on the start line.

It was hard not to be this pumped with the beauty that surrounded us for 3 hours.  It was really a special trip.

Katie and I.


Astrid driving us to the mainland for training.  I spent the first 4 days at Astrid's parents summer house on an island off the south coast of Norway in a place called Sogne, near Kristiansand.  We drove a boat to the mainland twice a day for training which was a fun start to the session each time, as the temperatures were hot and the sun shining every day so being on the water was key to staying cool.

The summer house.  It is a beautiful place.

Our first day training with a former skier named, Marthe.  Now she is in medical school and was visiting her parents at their summer house in Sogne.  Super fun to go on a long run all together, and extremely nice of them to basically only speak english the whole way. 

Astrid was our nightly grill master!

Astrid, her Mom, Britt, and Britt's twin sister Ann.  Both Britt and Ann played on Norway's National team in Handball back in the day and Ann actually is a Handball World Champion!  Really fun for me to meet other people's families and hear their stories of growing up.  Ann owns a fruit farm in Denmark, where the girls grew up.

Astrid's grandparents and her Father, Frede.  Dinner on the water in the sunset every night followed by a delicious dessert and coffee was a wonderful way to spend the evenings in this weather.

Sometimes it was followed by a swim and a few pull-ups on the diving board!

Astrid and her parent's dog, Ekko, silhouetted by the setting sun.  I really like this picture.

A boat owned by some local guys that comes by every Friday night of the summer holidays with a huge boom box and speaker playing music.  Really fun.

We went fishing for Mackerel one day, but I was the only one that caught any and the one that I caught I let jump off the line right before I got it into the boat!  We had to call Britt and tell her to take out some backup food from the freezer for dinner. 

Frede and Britt on a cruise out on the ocean with us.

This morning's run with Marthe Kristoffersen and Astrid.