I know it is Monday and I know that means it is blog day, however, I am asking for an extension this week until tomorrow. I have some thoughts that I would like to put down on paper and have just not had time yet today to do so. I will say that we had a long, but again, easy day of travel from Kuusamo to Lillehammer. I had plenty of time to write, but unfortunately, car rides are a recipe for car sickness if I try and read or write, so those hours were out, and the plane rides were bumpier than usual today too. So, not to make excuses, but I am going to need a day extension, but I promise it will be worth the wait, as I will have time to get some pictures together too. Until then....be well.
Oh, and wish happy Birthday to Andy Newell today too, if you happen to have a sec.
View from our hotel here in Gallivare. It is a really beautiful scene here, with the trees covered in snow and the trails in perfect condition. Plus, with such short daylight hours you are pretty sure to catch either the pinks of a sunrise or the reds of a sunset!
Monday today consists mostly of a long drive from Gallivare, Sweden to Ruka,
Finland, where the start of the World Cup season begins!We had our opening FIS races this weekend in
Gallivare and had some really good success, with Jessie sweeping both races (a
classic sprint and a skate distance, so about as opposite as you can get which
bodes well for all the Tour racing this year!) and Sophie and Caitlin on the podium as well in the sprint and distance respectively.
As for me, I dove into some classic sprinting, and due to the small fields on the day, every woman qualified, so I was able to get some practice racing both the quarters and the semis, which was pretty fun. The following day was the 10k skate, which is one of my favorite races, so it was good to get one of those under my belt before the first one on the World Cup. I have some things to take away from it, things I want to improve, but the goal of remembering what it feels like to put a race bib on in the winter was one of the accomplishments of the day. This ski racing thing on snow is actually pretty different from the summer training modes of running and rollerskiing, so the transition is always a bit of a learning curve it seems.
Kuusamo hosts the Ruka Triple as the World Cup season opener each year. We start on Friday with a classic sprint, Saturday's race is a 5k skate and Sunday is a 10k pursuit start classic, which is based off the other two days results. Pursuit starts are some of my favorites because you get entered in a huge game of tag on skis.
Our first day on snow. Sophie, Sadie and me.
Jessie putting in some striding work.
So much snow. It is really nice to be engulfed in winter here.
Our new incredibly warm puffy coats from L.L. Bean. Wow. I have never owned a nicer coat. Thank you L.L. Bean!
Jessie, Sadie, and Noah on a night walk.
Ida and Jessie (who is feeling pretty pumped it seems!)
Me on a night ski with Sophie.
Thanks for all who took these pictures and shared them with me, as I have not taken a single picture so far. Oops. Remedies for that are on the way.
Happy Thanksgiving! I am really thankful for a lot of things, but this team is really high up on my list.
We made it, after a LONG but easy travel day to Gallivare, Sweden, which is located about 100 kilometers north of the arctic circle. Though it takes a while to get all the way up here, it is worth it, as the skiing has been great, with 5k of skiing on real snow (like the kind that fell from the sky!) I am hoping that we get some more to make the tracks even more white, but I cannot complain, as not only is this more winter than I have seen in close to two years, but the volunteers are also shoveling and making already good tracks, great. Plus, it is snowing now, and I have heard rumors of 6 inches over the next couple of days which would be incredible. Regardless, it is wonderful to be on real snow, not just a manmade strip, and with it hanging from the trees it is really beautiful here.
I have not taken any pictures, as my phone does not take great ones anymore, and the battery tends to die right after I take one, or if I let the cold air grace its presence, so I have stolen a few from Ida and Sophie, but would recommend checking out Noah's blog here: http://noahhoffman.com/skiing-in-gallivare/ for some really good shots. Happy Monday, as always, and next Monday's blog will be come after our first races of the season! They are not World Cups, but good FIS races which will help us get in the groove again before jumping right into the Kuusamo, Finland mini tour the following weekend.
I hope wherever you are, you are happy and healthy.
Sophie, Sadie and me after our first ski in Gallivare yesterday.
Well, HAPPIEST OF MONDAYS to you all. Welcome to my newly enacted Monday blog! I have bet myself that I can't do it again, so, here's to proving me and all of you doubters out there wrong! I am home in Vermont for another 4 days before I take off for Gallivare, Sweden and the season beyond. Here are a few photos from my time in Vermont!
One of the last skis in Utah at our team training camp last month.
Skida's new shop!
Check it out if you haven't yet! Located at: 16 Kilburn St in Burlington.
Some of their collection.
Some of their cashmere collection! SO SOFT!
Big thanks to Fresh Tracks Farm for hosting such a fun send off event for me and for all in the community who came out to join.
My good friend and supporter Pheobe Stone who is currently in fashion design school in Boston. Pheobe owns a company that makes custom clothing, though for now she is a bit too busy to be cranking much out at this point. So look her up in a few years when she is a full time designer. GO PHEOBE!
Corinne and me sporting this year's Friends of Liz print, which has been a huge hit already. Get one of your own on their website: www.skidasport.com or visit them in their shop in Burlington.
My whole family came over for dinner last night to hang with me before I take off on Friday. It is incredible how many people I have in my life and all the support and love they give me.
I was able to fit in a visit to my old Elementary School here in East Montpelier today.
Me giving a few words of "wisdom" to the youth of our generation!
Lunch room chats are the best.
Yeah, the weather has been pretty ideal while I have been here.
My nephew, Pete getting a lick of frosting from my Mom who's birthday we celebrated last night.
And my niece, Liza getting her turn!
It has been great to be home and take some much needed rest with some much needed family time. I take off on Friday for Gallivare, Sweden to get on snow! T minus 2.5 weeks until the season starts!
I grew up in Vermont and attended Burke Mountain Academy in high school. I am now a member of the US Cross Country Ski Team and get to travel around the world to race in the sport that I love....pretty lucky.