An elite athlete competing in the sport of bi

An elite athlete competing in the sport of biathlon: nordic ski racing combined with marksmanship

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August is always so busy!

August has been a really busy month so far and it's still not over. Right now I'm resting between sessions at camp with the USBA development and B teams in Craftsbury VT. We're here for a couple more days before returning to Jericho later this week for some intensity on the roller loop. Sunday I get to head home to NH for a few days before making the haul back to the County with Seth in time for the end of the month. 

I discovered a lot of photos saved up on my new camera so here are the best ones from the last few weeks, hopefully in some kind of chronological order! 

A collage from late July (clockwise from upper left) when we got our first zucchini and squash from our garden, participated in the Trail Festival at the Nordic Heritage Center in Preqsue Isle, celebrated Kelsey's 21st birthday with a highly contested game of ultimate spoons and a fruit (and brownie) cake. 

Photo collage from the Trail Festival. Kelsey, Mikaela and I ran the six hour relay race with Sarah (a jr MWSC teammate and aspiring biathlete). We finished with nine laps around the 5+k course for the win in the team category, claiming bragging rights, some sweet Mt. Borah ski hats, and a box of donuts that were shared and devoured quickly. This event usually falls closer to our August races in Jericho so it fun to be able to participate this year instead of sitting by and watching as a volunteer. 

The week after the Trail Fest was the second Maine Team Camp of the summer, this time in Presque Isle based at UMPI. With our race trip to Vermont approaching I stayed home in Fort Kent for most of the week but we did venture down for a single day that featured some running/shooting combos and rock climbing in the afternoon. Here's Omar wowing us all by attempting to rock climb right right after completing a treadmill VOmax test. For those that don't know or can't tell from this photo, our teammate Omar only has one arm!

Right before leaving for Vermont Mikaela and I explored the start of the World Acadian Congress in Fort Kent. The first weekend featured the International Muskie Fishing Derby and someone pulled a huge fish on the very first day, as seen with Mikaela above. It was 43 inches long and weighed a little over 19 pounds. You can read more about the derby here

For those who don't know what a muskie is or haven't seen one up close, they have TEETH! I'm pretty sure I'll think twice before venturing into the deeper parts of any local rivers in the near future….

There was also a craft/vendor fair in the Lions Pavillion where Mikaela and I found some of the local Jalbert Youth Program participants! (The Jalbert Program is our starter program for young kids interested in nordic skiing and/or biathlon)

Mikaela and a fancied-up older tractor. 

We got to witness the Bouchard Family making their huge ploye which they then sliced up (with GIANT spatulas) and shared with the crowd. Ployes are an Acadian tradition and arguably more popular than pancakes or crepes around here. 

The same weekend (I told you it was busy) we also helped a local family start their big move to Vermont by packing up their truck with them. Here's Casey puzzle-piecing everything into the truck. 

My two kitties napping together shortly before I left. 

Seth and I are also moving (the house we've been renting sold in July) so I spent a bunch of time packing boxes. Here's Eva trying to figure out why she can no longer get to my spider plants (in the far corner of the porch) to chew on them! 

I think packing up all your belongings leads you to discover things you didn't know you had….here are some random discoveries from the last few weeks: 

Yet another delaminating Marwe roller ski….right now it's taped together with Gorilla Tape and I'm waiting on a replacement shaft. 

Three, yes 3, partially consumer containers of lemonade-flavored Accelerade. We now have just one. 

A heart rate monitor that didn't like having it's battery changed….it works perfectly now that it's all dried out but the chest piece no longer seems to think I have a heart rate. 

Oh so many writing implements. 

Why isn't there a universal cord for everything? 

One last road ride before fall comes. A perfect day with no wind, sun, and very little traffic. 

On our drive to Vermont (we actually go through Canada because it's shorter) we saw a few of these windmill blades making their way west toward Montreal. They're HUGE! This trail was a stretch version that was probably longer than two normal semi trailers! 

A very green view during a road bike ride before the Jericho roller ski races. 

We've had our first chilly weather recently which has made training much more enjoyable again. Here you can't really tell in the photo but my hands got so cold that my fingers were purple under my nails!

Seth did the club running biathlon race last week, taking home 2nd place honors with 80% shooting. 

I didn't know you could take a picture through a scope! Learning new things every day….

My view during the club event…I helped keep track of the shooting scores for the novice category. 

Our roller ski races went alright for me. I had hoped to ski faster than I did but for whatever reason I just struggle when I have to carry my rifle on roller skis. Luckily it's still a winter sport! 

The second day featured a mass start event, making for exciting racing despite the VERY rainy weather we had. Only the top left photo is from Sunday's event. Both days I shot 80% so I was pretty happy with that but will continue to focus on ski speed, specifically V1, as I work towards our next races in the end of October. 

Now we're in Craftsbury and have been using their 8 point range for some focused shooting work. This morning we took to the trails for a run after our shooting work. They have some pretty cool single track mountain bike trails that we're going to explore tomorrow morning, although I'm not yet entirely sure about the narrow, raised-up bridges that are all over the place! 

Our first night in the NEK (North East Kingdom) we took in the sights at the Orleans County Fair, including a highly contested demolition derby. It was pretty exciting! 

I actually went in this thing….what was I thinking? No, I didn't lose any dinner but it was definitely a stretch on what my stomach could handle. Think lots of spinning and a completely altered sense of gravity and you've pretty much got the idea. 

I'll try to bring my camera with me to the range and on some of our training adventures for the duration of the week. In the mean time, make yourself some energy bombs

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lots to little: Volume to Recovery

These last two weeks have been about as opposite as they could be. The first was a volume week that ended up being about 22 hours in total followed by this week, full-on recovery at it's best.

A group shot from the MWSC Maine Team Camp at Sugarloaf earlier in July. Great group that put together a great week of productive training sessions. 

Our volume week was pretty uneventful to start but we finished it out with a team trip to Kamouraska, Quebec for a little change of scenery. We camped two nights right on the St. Lawrence Seaway, ate sea weeds and smoked fish, wading along the shore while the tide was out, went for an exploratory run on some local trails, took a scenic 5 hour road bike ride, and (some of us) went rock climbing. I just watched due to almost total exhaustion but I'm hoping to go back at some point and give it a try. If you haven't already been and you're one for gorgeous country scenery and outdoor activity, Kamouraska is a place to add to your bucket list. The area is littered with monadnocks surrounded by farm land and quaint little French-Canadian villages over looking the Seaway. Aside from road biking, trail running/hiking, and rock climbing, there's also great kayaking to be had and the towns boast awesome little shops and art galleries.

Kamouraska is where the red drop is, north-east of Quebec City and about an hour and a half from Fort Kent (at right where the 161 highway marker sits on the Maine/Canada border). 

My recovery week was pretty low key, highlighted by a post-birthday massage (if you ever need a massage and live near or travel to the Presque Isle/Caribou area, go to Leslie Smith…she's awesome), and a trip to Edmunston for some single-track mountain biking. Unfortunately the single track trails don't lend themselves to photo taking while in the saddle (they're a little too technical for me to risk the one-handed maneuvering) so I have no pictures to share from that adventure. The folks in Edmunston have been adding new trails since I've last been there so it was a fun exercise in being lost and not really caring. Lots of raspberries trail side and a good workout to practice staying fairly focused for an extended period of time. 

In other news, I'm older again and got a sweet new camera for my birthday. It's the perfect replacement for my old one (which had spots on the lens that showed when I used any amount of zoom). This one is even smaller (think really small) and will be a perfect addition to my training from now on, not to mention that it has a million features, which I'm still exploring. Some of these photos were taken with my new toy:

On our first afternoon in Kamouraska we explored the shoreline while the tide was out. Unknowingly, we took the difficult route to the water's edge, dodging all these stinky little bogs on our way. 

Brian modeling the kelp scarf that Kelsey just gifted him. 

Toes in the….muck? Might look gross but it felt pretty cool. 

Birthday morning breakfast with my family, via travel mug. 

Saw this fancy rig in our campground. 

Riding along the river. Photo courtesy of my teammate Mikaela.

Our road riding crew at the end of an old ferry pier on the river. Yes, Nick was being a bit of a creeper. 

Seth during a break at the top of a ridge…I guess I still have a little learning to do as far as the panorama function goes on my camera. I think that block box at the right means I didn't move fast enough? Or far enough? 

Fields of canola right along the river in full bloom. 

The gang setting up to climb some rocks on our "off day". Mikaela and I spent much of the morning and early afternoon exploring easier terrain, perfecting our sports bra tan lines, and eating more than our fair share of wild blueberries. 

Kelsey making an attempt at a chosen route. 

Our campground right on the river's edge. 

Looking down toward Kamouraska from the monadnocks where the rock climbing was to be had. 

This monadnock was home to SEBKA, the campground we stayed at. Our site was on the far side right on the river. 

Looking north-east away from Kamouraska….more fields and river. 

Eva in her favorite window spot. Life as a cat does seem rough….eat, sleep and play (at 5 am when Seth and I are still trying to sleep). 

One of the 4-wheeling trails that I've been running on quite a bit this summer. The dry weather (until yesterday) was leaving the trails pretty dusty, especially when you're on foot getting passed by a whole group of ATVs. Hopefully the rain we're getting today will help with that in the coming week. 

One of my favorite view points to run to in Fort Kent. 

Another pretty trail in Fort Kent…so green and peaceful even though it's right in the middle of town. 

And raspberries….best trail-side snack there is. 

Big trucks along one of my running routes….

Love the fields up here…so green and pretty! 

 What's  next? This coming weekend Kelsey, Mikaela and I are hoping to gather a team of 6 for the Nordic Heritage Trail Festival so we can participate in the 6 hour trail running relay race. After that we have the second MWSC Maine Team Camp in Presque Isle before I head down to Vermont for trials and a camp with the National Team later in August. Oh, and LOTS of crocheting….I got an order for 26 hats! Time to get busy!

Stay tuned for photos and stories...