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

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

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Canmore to Minnesoooota

This past Sunday our team made the migration from Canmore to Minnesota, where we'll have IBU Cup trials starting this Saturday. Canmore was really cold when we left and Grand Rapids (MN) has been really cold since we got here. The've already delayed our race starts for trials in the hope that we won't have to delay further while waiting for temperatures to reach legal (safe) levels. 

Some pictures from the last week: (a bunch of the first shots are courtesy of our new team-friend Kristen Smith, of no relation to Casey, who was up with Casey's parents from the Methow Valley in Washington state).

Zeroing before the final race in Canmore.

Another shot from Zeroing before the race. Canmore can be tricky at this time of year because the sun comes up so late. You'll zero in the shade and then right before the race a huge bright sun comes over the distant mountains and almost completely changes the light on the targets. Luckily I don't usually move much relative to light changes, but some athletes definitely had issues with it. 

Watching the racers ahead of me leave the blocks. 

5, 4, 3, 2, 1….

Standing battle….the woman in the yellow bib (Emma Lunder) started two places ahead of me, and the girl two mats behind me in blue and black (Emma Lodge - started one place in front of me) were in a three way duel for the top step of the podium with me in this race (a sprint). I missed two here and they each missed one but I actually had a fast ski race and pulled off the win! 

Off the mat and around one more lap to the finish! 

We had a couple of really cold days where skiing twice was just too strenuous for one day. I bundled up and went for an afternoon walk with my camera down to the steaming Bow River. 

It was really pretty but my hand just about froze off every time I pulled it out of my glove to take a picture. 

Steam rising off the water...

Frosty grasses along the river bank...

More steam...

Russell had a video shoot with some folks from Yahoo Sports….unluckily, it came on a REALLY cold day. Videographers were from Calgary so they claimed they were used to cold temperatures but I'm still pretty sure there were a lot of cold fingers and toes when that workout was done! 

Russell's very frosty rifle after the chilly film shoot. 

On one of the coldest mornings we were sitting around our kitchen waiting for temperatures to rise and these guys paid our backyard a visit.

Cold tracks. 

Cold toes….yes, I realize I have funny-looking feet.

Key to warming up after a cold ski is a hot lunch. My go-to lately has been tomato soup, grilled cheese and tea. Yum! 

Seth celebrated his birthday during our cold spell in Canmore…he and I took a ski together even though it was super cold. 

Watching the sun pass behind the mountains (to our right when I took this shot) and the shadows race across this field. 

This morning that we left Canmore (at 5am) I pulled up the shade to discover this on the window next to my bed….yikes! 

The map for the drive from Minneapolis to Grand Rapids looks a lot like this for 3+ hours. Awesome. 

Been really cold here in Grand Rapids since we got here. Raleigh's facial hair collects the frost pretty quickly when there's any amount of moisture in this cold air. 

Seth and I ventured out the back door of our rental house one afternoon to ski on the lake. It was pretty but once the sun went down it got really cold really fast! 

Adventuring on the lake. 

Check back this weekend for results from our first IBU Cup races….wish me luck! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Week

This past week was a busy one with the addition of three more teammates and our coach here in Canmore. Here's the week (or the most exciting parts of it) in photos:

A collage of photos from last weekend and the first NorAm races of the season. 

If you enlarge this picture (by clicking on it) you can see Raleigh and Casey skiing on a trail that went along the top of the field I was in. They started making cat noises when they spotted me skiing down below them. Look just below the tree line about 1/3 of the way in from the right...

Happy to be in Canmore...

Perfect classic tracks here almost every day (as long as it doesn't blizzard like it is right now). 

More perfect tracks into the cross country stadium. 

Cool snow crystals on a morning distance classic ski. 
Love my SkinTecs for these workouts…perfect wax (almost) every time. 

Maddie and Mikaela cop a smile for the camera during our classic exploration. 

Thanksgiving dinner at the biathlon house with friends from the Methow Valley. 
Not sure why Raleigh and Russ are being so creepy here... 

The whole gang! Notice our lovely coloring work hanging on the wall in the background...

Mikaela, Maddie and I showing some end-of-the-month love for Movember during our pre-race workout on Friday. Why any biathlete (or cross country ski racer) would have a mustache is beyond me…it morphs into a really disgusting snot catcher pretty quickly! 

Team shot…minus Russ who missed the memo somehow. 

Me shooting standing during Saturday's Individual race. I shot (0,2,1,1) adding four minutes of shooting penalty time to my final ski time (in the Individual you don't ski penalty loops but garner one minute penalties for each missed shot). 

This past weekend we all raced in NorAm #2: an individual on Saturday followed by a sprint on Sunday. Individual races are rare in North America so this was good practice for our group. My race wasn't what I'd hoped for due to some really tired legs but decent shooting still earned me the final spot on the podium. 

Group shot while waiting for the results and awards ceremony. 

Podium from the Individual on Saturday…Emma, Emma and me! 

Podium from Sunday's sprint…
I had my best race yet, actually out-skiing my two podium mates for the win after shooting (0,2) and leaving the range behind both of them. Emma Lodge (second place on the left of me) started right in front of me and shot (0,1) and Emma Lunder (on the right in 3rd) started two places ahead of me but shot (2,1) so it was a duel on course when we left the stadium very close together after the standing stage. I only ended up ahead by 5 seconds so it was an exciting way to end the weekend of racing. 

Our MWSC teammates were all over the place during the holiday week for camps and racing. This collage features a little of everyone. Enlarge it to get a better glimpse. 

Race summary from the past week. Click to enlarge. 

My MWSC teammate Annelies is racing on the World Cup right now. Our group here in Canmore has really enjoyed the start of the World Cup season for both cross-country and biathlon….lots of results to peruse and video footage to watch during down time between workouts. 

We have five more days here before we head to Minnesota for IBU Cup trials. Not to leave us deceived about it's true winter nature, Canmore is going to get cold for our last few days.