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

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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Skiing!

Last night we got 15'' (yes, that's fifteen inches!) of snow at my house in Gilford, NH. I was going to head back up to Maine yesterday but decided to stay a couple of extra days and get in my first ski! 


My mom came with me on her snowshoes and packed trail....lucky for me because the snow was super sticky and would have been really deep if I'd been all  on my own! Plus I had company! 


View from the top of the hill I love on....that's Lake Winnipesaukee in the background.


The wet snow was sticking to my fish-scale waxless skis....bombproof kick! 

The woods were really pretty because so many of the trees still had their fall foliage. The bright colors create quite the contrast against the fresh white snow. 


Heading up through the fields in my mom's snowshoes tracks.


The adirondack chairs at the top of the hill. 


With my mom and our dog Kaiya in the very colorful woods. 




I head back to Maine tomorrow....it will be really hard to leave behind all this snow but I know it'll be gone soon. It's supposed to be 60 degrees here on Thursday! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Success!

I have successfully completed my first hat! I learned to knit just under a year ago (last November) in Canmore....since then I've made a lot of scarves, headbands, and round neck warmer-type things, but not yet a hat. I'm hooked! And I have more yarn ready to go so I can knit all the way home on the plane! 


Seth modeling...I don't think he's too happy...it's not black or manly at all which means he won't be keeping it. Although he may get to wear it while I race tomorrow morning....



Success! Time for round two!

Twice in ONE DAY!

Yep, I'm posting again. Twice in one day.

There are some really different plants around here....some swamp-dwellers and thistle that gets really pretty (and HUGE)! This purple thistle was probably about the size of my palm. 

Seth and I went on an amazing hike into some aspens above Park City this morning and I wanted to share the photos. Enjoy! 

An old outhouse from mining days? It didn't have a hole though so who knows what it used to be. 

Seth standing next to a lift trestle from the old ore transport system from Park City's days as a mining town. 

Aspens. Really pretty. 

More aspens. 

Single track trail through the aspens....the ground was covered with leaves everywhere. 



Lots of funky trees up there.....

A wrinkled one....

One with moose tracks on it....

More pretty leaves....

And more funky trees....


There's still snow on top of Guardsman Pass despite all the amazing sun we've had this past week. 


On our way back down via an alpine ski trail....Seth taking the lead. 


It's getting colder out here...lots of little plants covered with frost this morning. 


And another aspen. They were pretty...I couldn't help it. 


Some grasses catching the sunlight on our hike back down.

Tomorrow we race again and then Friday we head east. Hopefully we can bring some sun and nice weather with us when we go. 

One more day then HOME!

The last few days of our Utah trip have been sunny and very nice, although a bit cold in the morning. It's definitely a challenge getting dressed for a rollerski when you head out and it's 30 degrees but you know it'll end up being close to 70! I am becoming a "layering queen"!

We had our first of two time trials yesterday at Soldier Hollow. My race was tough but had some good points to be pulled out. I shot clean (missed none) in prone and did it quickly. In the standing stage my shots were all placed similarly, just not quite on the target (I missed 3). My skiing was not as fast as I would have liked but in looking at the course and how I skied it, I can make some changes for our race tomorrow and hopefully improve my performance. So I'm looking toward tomorrow and improving on everything....except maybe my prone shooting: that can stay the same and I'll be pretty happy!

Some photos from Fast and Female (sorry....little late in coming):

Fast and Female ambassadors: an impressive group of ladies including Olympic and World Cup medalists in several different winter-related sports. 

Some of my 11-year olds decorating our group poster at the start of the afternoon. Surprisingly enough, of the eight girls with me, only one was actually born here in Utah. We had representation from Washington DC, Oregon, California, Ohio, New Hampshire (2 including myself), and North Carolina. 

BethAnn and Andrea selecting sparkles and stickers to help their groups decorate posters (and in BethAnn's case, her face - her group spilled a glitter container, which lead to her coming home absolutely covered in sparkles)

The whole group....lots of pink shirts and smiling faces

My group playing a game at the start of the afternoon.....


Decorating our poster...lots of color, lots of sparkles. 

In other news....Park City has a great farmer's markets every Wednesday that BethAnn and I have been to twice. I won't go today, as we are leaving tomorrow to fly east again, but I am looking forward to spending a few days at home and eating my fill of farm-fresh foods from my family's farmstand for the next week! Can't wait! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

And then it was WINTER!


This morning we woke up to a fresh coating of sticky white stuff outside with more coming down....SNOW! Since Deer Valley (where we're staying) sits at roughly 7,200 feet above sea level, it tends to get early season snowfall, even in October. Our morning workout today was down at Soldier Hollow (the 2002 Olympic venue for nordic ski events) in the Heber Valley, a valley just south of here that is at about 5,500 feet above sea level. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it, the water that was snow in Deer Valley was falling as rain at SoHo. I got really wet, and since it was only 36 degrees out, I also got really cold, but the workout was productive and I shot really, really well.



Here are some photos from the last week here in Utah:


BethAnn and I went to the Park City Farmers Market yesterday. Usually it's huge, even bigger than in the picture above that I found online. Yesterday however, it was pouring rain and really windy so there weren't very many people there. We bought two huge boxes of fresh, local peaches for only $18 and they are delicious. 

Earlier in the week we did a hike along the ridge that runs above the Canyons and Park City resorts. It was 16 miles long and spent a lot of time up around 10,000 feet. Let me tell you, the air up there is thin!


We started down near Kimball Junction and hiked up a whole bunch of single track mountain biking trails till we hit the ridge trail (the single black trail that goes across the top of the map), then we hiked along the ridge until we hit the Guardsman Pass road, where Will was waiting for us with chips, salsa, fresh water, and yogurt covered pretzels. Mmmmmm, good. 


The aspens in the mountains were in full fall color during our hike...we'll have to see what they look like after the snow melts later this week! 
This view is looking east off the ridge down toward the Canyons with Deer Valley and Park City in the background. 

Looking down an enticing trail at an intersection on our way up to the ridge. 

Looking out over the valley during a water/snack break on our way up. 

Hiking the ridge behind BethAnn and Seth. I didn't think about how sunny and warm it would be up there and forgot to bring sunglasses or wear a hat! My face was tired from squinting when we were done...so much sun!

 

Looking west toward Salt Lake and the mountains between me and the city. 

Kind of thought this dead tree was cool looking so I took a picture of it.....

Snack time after a long (and very high) hike and run. 4.5 hours in the sun. There are no complainers in this photo!

A few nights ago my dinner crew, team "Wrangler", made fish, baked carrots and potatoes, salad, and peach crisp. Here Welly is trying to figure out what to do with the huge, whole, frozen fish that Will brought us. We asked for "fish" on the grocery list. Apparently we should have specified "none-whole fish". Welly and Mike ended up finding a youtube video on how to deal with this monster. It was very good when we finished grilling it with butter and garlic, although it certainly wasn't the prettiest looking fish we've ever eaten! 

This is the  main living room in our not-so-humble abode here in Deer Valley. Today, with the snow falling outside, we finally figured out how to work the gas-online fireplace. 

The second living room. In the far corner, under that skylight, is one of the two hot tubs that we have. The other is outside on the back porch. 

BethAnn warming her feet by the fireplace after our cold ski this morning in Heber. 

We are learning lots of different languages in this house: pink is french, orange is spanish, and green is german. If you were to look around you'd find stickies on lots of the items in our condo: pictures on the wall, fireplace, window, door, stairs, coffeemaker, tv, stool, table, refrigerator, microwave, etc. 
***Note*** The green sticky in the above photo has since been corrected 
(should read "der" instead of "das") and no, I did not write it!

Here is a map of the whole area where we are. 
For reference on where we've done some things: 
-The biathlon range and roller loop are at Soldier Hollow (yellow writing on the left side)
-We're living near Deer Valley Resort
-We hiked all around Deer Valley, Park City and the Canyons
-We flew into Salt Lake City
-Some of our group hiked Mt. Timpanogos yesterday...I opted for a classic ski instead (it was windy, raining and cold...not fun on a mountain) but I hiked part of it last year. 

video
A quick video of me skiing some easy uphill intervals before we left Maine. The commentary is from my coaches, Seth and Will, who were following alongside in a van to give me feedback. You can't hear my responses to their questions because I'm too far away from the camera, but I promise I wasn't ignoring them. Video analysis is a very helpful tool for nordic skiing because we can get an idea what we actually look like as opposed to what we think we look like. 

What's next? Saturday I'll be helping some of the US Ski Team women put on a Fast and Female event here in Park City. The mission of the program is empowerment for young girls through sport and health. I've done two of these same events in the past (one in Bethel, ME and the other in Madawaska, ME) and both were great so I'm really looking forward to it! 

Check back soon for more pictures and stories from Utah!