I got to go home for almost a week over Christmas and really enjoying taking a breather from training to visit with my family and relax a bit. After my "break" I came back to Maine and started working out what I'm going to do with the rest of my winter. There is a chance that I get to race for the US in some IBU Cups in Canmore at the beginning of March so I haven't put my rifle down, but my more immediate focus has been less on racing and more on base training so that I can be fast at the end of winter. I did a club race in Madawaska last weekend that felt pretty crumby, but I expected that after 3+ weeks without much intensity. Next weekend I'm going to test my L3 capacity in the 30k skate race here in Fort Kent. Aside from that, I'm enjoying a more relaxed version of winter, sleeping in my own bed and training in one place for a while.
Some photos from my last 3-4 weeks:
Christmas at home in NH.
There's nothing quite like a relaxing evening with a real fireplace. Here in Fort Kent we have a fire, but it's gas so it's not quite the same as what I grew up with.
My brother's dog, Gunnar, enjoying the cold concrete by the door.
My parent's dog, Kaiya, on cloud nine in a bed or wrapping paper with a new squeaky toy.
My parents made Seth and I a new game for Christmas. We call it Marbles…it's a lot like Sorry but played with two decks of cards instead of dice. I grew up with Marbles so it's great to have a little piece of home to take back to Maine with me. I taught Mikaela and Sarah to play this past weekend.
My brother and his girlfriend, Emily, made my parents some adirondack chairs for Christmas. Pretty sure they've taken up permanent residence in our house and might replace the couch soon.
Yup, chocolate bullets in my stocking.
Gunnar getting some chill time….not relaxed at all.
Sunny day at home. My mom likes her plants. A lot.
Eggs from our chickens for breakfast.
And back in the County: a cold classic ski in near perfect conditions brings out a smile no matter how disappointing trials were.
10th Mountain: recently renamed to Fort Kent Outdoor Center.
Fresh tracks on a (VERY) cold morning at FKOC.
Last week we had a few days of crazy snow squalls. One morning I woke up and was psyched to see the sun so I snapped this shot from one of our windows. Shortly thereafter I looked outside again….
Morning view of the US-Canada border from our window.
My first weekend back Mikaela and I went to Madawaska to ski and stayed to help with their children's program. It was zero out but they still had 40-50 kids show up!
A cold classic adventure with friends...
Fresh corduroy at FKOC.
I found a channel that was showing the stages of the Tour de Ski but it quickly disappeared from our listings and now I can't find it! Heart break sets in.
Getting ready to snow blow the driveway in below zero weather with howling wind includes long underwear, a fleecy shirt, a fleece vest, two down jackets, neck warmer, buff, hat, glasses, mittens, boots (with the fur) and a very dorky (but very warm) Carhartt onesie.
Our kitties that love to cuddle but also seem to find places that they can't both easily fit. Eva doesn't seem too phased by hanging over the edge.
How to enjoy an afternoon after a morning of chilly training….hot chocolate while teaching Mikaela how to crochet. While knitting was a solid fail for her, she actually picked up crocheting quite fast!
We've had our share of cold mornings up here.
Another cold ski….somehow taking music along makes me feel a little warmer when it's below zero and windy! Although they look supremely dorky, wearing these headphones is like having surround sound on my head. The sound quality is great AND they keep my ears warm!
With the disappointment of IBU trials behind me, I'm glad to be in a place with good friends and great skiing to get my mind back in a happy place. There's nothing like a perfect classic distance ski with friends to help me remember why I ski. Stay tuned for more pictures of perfect ski conditions and training adventures from the frozen hinterlands of northern Maine!