Former biathlete, current coach….all round nordic enthusiast!

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

Friday, July 22, 2011

And I’m Old. Well, older anyways.

These last three weeks have been really busy, highlighted by the first annual Ride Aroostook, my 25th (yes folks, I am a quarter of a century old) birthday, a trip to Edmundston, New Brunswick, seven sets of intervals in four days, new neon shirts (three to be exact…pink, green, and yellow), and our discovery of some awesome connectable curly straws at Marden’s.
Seth modeling the bows from the two boxes he had given me for my birthday.....they fit perfectly on his glasses! 
Seth testing out the connectable straws....once we had too many together it was too hard to suck the chocolate milk all the way to your mouth! Guess they have to be used in pairs. Oh well....they were still fun!
The weather up here in Fort Kent (and the rest of the county for that matter) has been pretty amazing for quite a few days in a row, until today of course. Today it rained most of the day but we didn’t get any of the “Strong to Severe” storms that were forecast. What makes a storm “strong” instead of “severe” anyways? Of course as I write this I glance out the window next to me that faces west and the sky is very dark. Of course.

Our tomato plants are sprouting lots of little tomatoes that will probably all be ripe when I’m gone in Jericho, VT or at home in NH the week after. Oh well….at least I’ve established the fact that I can grow them, right? My flower bed that I planted with two bags of mystery mixed seeds is really starting to look pretty, with some yellow, white, periwinkle-blue, and pink flowers opening up. It’s also full of morning glories that I’ve rigged up on sticks pulled out of the woods….they have yet to flower but when they do, my mornings will be pretty.

The first of the last two weeks was my capacity block: four days of intensity work, seven workouts, all interval sessions. PAIN! But it was good! I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me I’d say that when it was over, but it was. I felt like I skied faster and stronger with each progressive workout and was able to finish on a high note after day four. Of course doing those four days early in the week meant I had to sit out of the time trial on the weekend and just watch. Anyone who’s competitive will tell you that being sidelined for a race or game has got to be one of the hardest things for an athlete. All you want is to get out there and beat up on yourself (sounds fun, right?) but you can’t because, in my case, you’re recovering and resting up.

The following week was a low week. More recovery, lots of fun cooking, “Harry Pottering” as we geared up for the big finale, and Ride Aroostook. Ride Aroostook is a fundraising-bike ride to raise money for Camp Adventure, a summer camp for children with diabetes, sponsored by Cary Medical Center (one of the big sponsors for MWSC as well). A bunch of my teammates and I raised money and biked planned routes based out of the Presque Isle area for two days alongside 60+ other riders. It was quite the event, raising over $18,000 for Camp Adventure. Many thanks to everyone who helped put on the event and those of you reading who donated to the cause. It was AWESOME. And of course, the weekend would not have been complete without a viewing of the latest, and last Harry Potter.
Lauren Jacobs and I riding through farm fields somewhere outside Presque Isle (photo credit: Fred Bailey)
Gabby Naranja and Welly Ramsay riding....Gabby was hardcore and did the whole weekend on her mountain bike! (photo credit: Fred Bailey)
Gabby, Missy, myself and Fred post ride(photo credit: Fred Bailey)

Seth was a mechanic at one of the rest stops the second day. Here he's helping another mechanic try to lube up my was dirty and needed to be cleaned. (photo credit: Fred Bailey) 

This week has brought a return to more “normal” training, if there is such a thing. Some intervals, some shooting. Yesterday was my birthday so Seth and I went to New Brunswick in the afternoon to pay a visit to the New Brunswick Botanical Gardens. The place is really gorgeous and for those of you from the county, I’d strongly suggest a visit. Seth and I didn’t actually get to see everything as we were caught out in the first thunderstorm in a while. We tried to sit it out in their gazebo that overlooks a beautiful pond, but it wasn’t passing through so we bailed. I kind of felt like I was in The Sound of Music for a bit though….sitting with my boyfriend in a gazebo while hiding out a thunderstorm…okay, I’m a bit romantic, what can I say? He hasn’t seen the movie so he can’t relate.

This guy was at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens...kind of funky
Huge Butterflies....a little hidden and startling when you discover them right next to you!
Another big one next to Seth's hand so you can tell how big he is!
This pretty blue one was sitting on a dish of oranges that are left out for them to eat.
Seth on our way into the gardens....this pond was FILLED with lily pads. 
Roses....they had over 800 rose bushes in the rose gardens. If it hadn't been so rainy they probably would have been much prettier. Maybe when we go back..... 
More roses...
View back on the lily pad pond and welcome center from the top of the waterfall hill. 
Just a pretty garden....

The shade gardens....very shaded at this point but the thunderstorm that was bearing down on us!
Pretty flowers, even in the rain!
Waiting out the thunderstorm in the gazebo by another pond....
Flowers on the gazebo in the rain....can't wait to go back on a nice day!

This weekend is the Tour of Stockholm, my first. For those who haven’t been or heard, it’s a MWSC summer tradition. An adventure OD workout comprised of running, mountain biking, rollerskiing, and canoeing. The course is whatever Will (the Nordic coach) says it is and the goal: try not to get lost. Should be fun, will be sweaty, will be muddy, will probably be wet. Will be fun. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


It’s finally here….the weather is awesome here in The County and training couldn’t be better. The last couple of weeks have been very busy so here’s the short of it, but first:

This bike ride is a fundraiser for a children’s diabetes camp where kids can learn to lead healthy, happy lives while taking care for their diabetes. Please help me help kids from across the country to become healthier, more active individuals.

Now, on to the adventures of my last few weeks in Maine….

The last full week in June we had our Maine Winter Sports team orientation: five days in Caribou packed full with training, physical testing, educational sessions, team building, goal setting, meetings, and planning. We are a much more united team than ever before and it’s going to be a great year of training and racing in Aroostook County. Oh...did I mention that we (MWSC) have a sweet new deal with Mt. Borah, a custom training/racing apparel company. They set us up with some really fun training clothes (bike kits, running wear, and rollerski stuff) for the summer.....all of which is available for purchase to MWSC fans and fellow skiers if you're interested, just ask!

Last week we had our first bigger volume block here in Fort Kent, coupled with a short shooting camp to help us hone in on things we can improve and things we’re doing well. At the end of the week Seth and I took a mini vacation and went downstate to help celebrate his brother’s 30th birthday and pay a trip to Mt. Katahdin. Although a lifelong resident of Maine, it was Seth’s first trip up Katahdin….although I can’t make fun of him, as I’ve never summated Mt. Washington. It will happen some day. It must.
As always, I know a blog is much more interesting to follow if it’s filled with pictures, so here you are: 
Lupines abound in Stockholm, ME

Flowers and sun in Farmington, ME while visiting Seth's parents.

Sunset over Lake Ambajejus at the southern entrance to Baxter the night before we climbed Katahdin. It was a very buggy evening....less than pleasant. I did however, get to experience my first spud launcher, complete with sparklers so we could track the flying spud until it hit the water. 

Earlier in the evening on Lake Ambajejus....that's Katahdin in the distance over the lake. 

A baby woodpecker who was spying on us as we set out onto Abol Slide trail up Katahdin. 

Peak of Katahdin...just clear enough to see everything.

Happy Fourth of July! 

Seth and I taking a break from rock hopping to enjoy the views from the peak. 

Sarah and Andy, some of Seth's friends (and now mine too!) from Farmington joined us for our Katahdin adventure. 

This week promises lots of excitement: IMBA mountain bike trail building here in Fort Kent, the Maine Team camp for high school Nordic skiers (also in Fort Kent), our first 10th Mountain rollerski time trial of the summer, and for me: 7 interval sessions in 4 days….it’s time to get fast!