After a successful end to my season at the Tour of Canada and spring series in Craftsbury, I jumped straight into a busy spring full of studying, working, crust skiing, and power-hour runs (also known as Kenya runs). I was fueled by delicious coffee (quite fittingly, often Kenyan coffee), and somehow spring transitioned to summer, big-volume summer training began, and summer turned into rainy, late-summer. Soon it will be fall, which means racing season is right around the corner! Here is a little update on what I’ve been up to, along with a few reflections from the end of the racing season 🙂
Tour of Canada
The most awesome experience of my athletic career to date. With 8 races in 12 days and a whole lot of travel in between, it was by far the most physically and mentally taxing period of racing I’ve ever done. But I loved every minute of it- even when my hair tie fell out and I medusa-ed the classic sprint. I had an incredible support crew that made finishing the tour possible, which was one of my main goals at the beginning of the season. Racing in Canada got me totally inspired for next season- particularly for racing World Cup. Even though its the toughest field I race against, I am excited to see the gains I can make as the hard work pays off!
For me, the highlight of spring series was this tag:
Followed by this finish:
…skipping over the pain cave in between. Its fun getting to experience more of a “team” atmosphere on relay day; the extra pressure from teammates is stressful, but it can also foster extraordinary performances (& face painting, as shown below)- like our awesome APU podium takeover :).
We actually competed in a 5th race, the cheering marathon, after our 30k. In the sunny slop the boys had to race in, they certainly needed it!
In May, I officially graduated with my second undergraduate degree in counseling psychology (yay!). I am done studying for the next couple years, but still have plans to pursue physical therapy in the future. If that doesn’t work out, I might become a bar tender; I had my first gig at our annual spring fundraiser & had a blast!
We had tons of crust skiing, which served as awesome base training. Once the snow melted, we started more structured training. I have been loving the mountain running this summer- the APU women’s team embarks on a new over distance mountain run almost every weekend. I have also done a couple mountain races- Bird Ridge, Knoya, & Alyeska mountain run. The coolest mountain moment of my summer was watching David make Alaskan history with his Mount Marathon win. Not only did he win, he broke Kilian Journet’s (one of the best mountain runners in the world if ya didn’t already know) course record from last year..and he did it all wearing nothing but Hawaiian lululemon board shorts. If you’re interested in a pair, which after watching this recap & this cute interview you probably will be, you can get some here. Don’t miss out, they’re on sale!
I have also been to three camps on Eagle Glacier, where I have done some of the most valuable training of my life to date. APU has an amazing set up on the glacier- we fly up in a helicopter (thanks to the amazing pilots at Alpine Air) and spend a week skiing on a perfectly groomed 5k loop for a week. It is the quintessential Nordie lifestyle- eat, train, nap, eat, train, sleep- repeat. I was particularly blessed to be able to spend two of the camps rooming in the loveshack with Becca, where we reached new levels of napping, training hours, and even took home the gold in the banana bread competition (sorry Banana Boy).
The team is currently getting a bit of R&R after our completing our last glacier camp of the summer. David and I are working on filling the freezer with juicy blueberries as we roll into fall and our next training block (because you can never have too many blueberry muffdogs and sconers for fuel). I have also been lucky to spend the summer hanging out with my wonderful parents, who are in AK for the summer. They share my deep love for Moose’s Tooth pizza, espresso, and hipster cocktail party radio with me- so we have been having a splendid time together.
Meanwhile, I have been getting pretty inspired watching the Olympics. Especially this girl, who I think we could all learn a less or two from. I think she might also come from the same lineage as Frankie; as you can see, they share a lot of commonalities:
V is for Victory!!!!!!!!!!!!