Monday, June 24, 2013


Dark chocolate and pink grapefruit sorbetto at my favorite restaurant in Park City, Vinto!  YUM!!!

I’m not sure if you have noticed the super moon the last few nights, but it has been amazing.  Check it out tonight if you get a chance and haven’t seen it, as last night once the sun went down I couldn’t believe how bright my living room was with moonshine!  As I was looking at it, I was actually thinking about my brother, Andy, who for the last month has been in Alaska guiding trips for the American Alpine Institute (AAI) up Mt. Denali!  I realized last night, as I was admiring the moon from 8200 feet, where I live, how much more amazing it must be to see it at 14,000 feet, which is where he and his team currently are on his second trip up the mountain in a month.  The last trip he led his team summited, but he was not able to, as one of the clients fell ill with altitude sickness and he stayed with her at 17,200 feet.  He is hoping to summit this time up, though he has assured me that, while summiting would of course be incredible, just being on the mountain, doing what he loves, is cool enough.  If you are interested in following his progress, you can do so here: . He is Denali Team 6 and they are currently waiting out some weather at 14,000 feet, but hoping to move to 17,200 in the next day or so.

As for me, I have settled into my life here in Utah again very smoothly.  I arrived home to the condo I have lived in for the last 2 summers, that had already been made very homelike by my teammates who had been training in Park City the last couple weeks while I was in Sweden.  It is so nice to come home to a clean, cozy, homey place, and even nicer to have two of my teammates still here!  I had 6 days of training with Sophie and Jessie and it was awesome to have them out here!  The week was busy with moving in to the condo for the first time this year, blood tests and strength tests, catching up with friends, and the highlight of the week, the Sunday Sundance Sufferfest!  This is an event that is in it’s second year, but I missed last year’s kickoff, so it was a first time for me.  It is a road bike race that Alex Moore, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at USSA, and my friend and strength coach, puts on.  It involves all sports and staff who sign up at USSA, and is handicapped by your projected fitness level after doing a bike test in the gym (or just guessed if you forego the bike test or are an endurance athlete!).  So, the first girl headed up the 9 mile climb from the base of the Sundance Canyon to the top of the pass, 34 minutes in front of the last starters who were Noah Hoffman and Taylor Fletcher (Nordic Combined Skier and road biker).  The idea is that everyone will arrive at the top about the same time, if the handicaps are done right.  The first athlete to cross the line, regaurdless of where you start, wins.  It was a really fun event, as you have no idea how you are doing overall, you are just riding as hard as you can and trying to catch people the whole way up.  The handicaps were done quite well, as most of the field of 47 people finished within 8 minutes of each other.  The event is a great way to get everyone at the USSA together and compete in a fun event together, which otherwise never happens.  It is concluded at Sundance, with the best brunch you have ever tasted!  Thanks to Sundance resort for the discount on such delicious food and hosting us all for the second year in a row!  I am already looking forward to next year!

On my way home a good friend, Carina Hamel, who taught me how to ski and was my inspiration and idol (and continues to be in new ways) when I was first getting into the sport and until she retired after college, picked me up and took me to lunch in Portland during my 6 hour layover.  It was so nice to get to see her again, and she is still such a positive part of my life and incredibly driven and kind person.

An interval session this week at Soldier Hollow with Jessie was supported by two of our awesome coaches, Jason Cork and Matt Whitcomb.
Jessie and me riding the post interval high in the sun!

My good friend Alex Shaffer enjoying her sorbetto!

Noah also psyched after his 2 appetizers, 2 entrees and dessert in front of him.  You train as hard as this boy does and you will also need to double up on your food order.

My strength coach, Alex Moore is also my good friend, and I consider his kids partially mine as well! Here is Charlie, the oldest girl trying out my road bike.

Gemma, one of the twin girls who was born premature and weight 3.7 lbs when she was born, but is now a tank, weighing more than Charlie who is 2 years older than her!  She is always game for a challenge, and as this bike is big enough for me, it is a bit too big for her!  Though not for long....

We had a Midsommer dinner on the solstice and we had a Swedish feast! Here is Jason Cork making my favorite Swedish treat, Kanelbulle!!


The following photos are all from yesterday's bike race!

Making final race day adjustments! Cork may or may not be shortening my seat post....

Alex unveiling the Sufferfest revolving trophy!

Alex makes a pretty big deal of this event and the start list is revealed right before the start of the race, along with pretty hilarious introductions to all the competitors.

Noah, the new record holder who blazed by me with 2 miles to go, almost so fast I didn't see him!

The finish

This year's champion, Will Brandenburg!

Not a bad place to ride

Support crew, Ruth Flannagen and timer, Jason Cork

Pumped to be finished and cheering on the final competitors.

Some of the crew on the way down.  Beautiful scenery.

Will and his trophy!

The event was also complete with the National Anthem, sang by one of the Alpine Strength Coaches and I have tried to post the video but it doesn't seem to want to post, so I will try and get it on Facebook.  Stay tuned.

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