Well, it’s that time of year again…spring break is over, folks! Last Monday marked the first day of the new training season for me and I’m pumped to say I was ready for it. I got a lot of great family time and adventure time and boyfriend-in-Boston time, so I entered the training season with my head in a good place. Which is important. Because while I love my job and I am so excited to work hard…it IS a lot of hard work. It’s going to be tough, and there will be days with some brutal intervals and days when I’m headed out to ski in the windy rainy cold weather and I’d really rather not. But then there will be long gorgeous skis on the backroads of Vermont with my SMS teammates, fun mountain runs and crust cruises with my USST teammates, and a lot of good company through the hundreds of hours of training.
My training season kicked off where most of my skiing life kicked off – in Minnesota. I love being at home with my family. We’re a tight knit unit and I keep in touch with my parents all winter from various parts of the world. I like that my Dad keeps me humble by reminding me jokingly that he “can kick your ass, any workout, any day!” and my Mom rolls her eyes and lets me know how many inches to thin the pea sprouts in the garden out to. And my sister Mackenzie saves me from my own horrible fashion ideas when I’m headed out the door to something important, like going out to a reunion dinner with a bunch of my friends that I graduated high school with.
The roller skiing around here is, in my own very biased opinion, pretty amazing. I can roll right out my door and go for a 4 hour ski without ever being bored, and get every type of terrain I need. Sure, there aren’t long mountain roads to climb up, but then again only one ski race per year goes up for more than 4 minutes without coming down.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself! First I should tell you about all the fun I had this April. I got to Boston in time to cheer on my boyfriend as he ran under 4 hours in the Boston Marathon. I was very, very proud and probably way too excited cheering on the side of the course. It’s definitely weird for me to be on the other side of the race tape – usually I’m the one covered in sweat, doing my thing on the race course! But it was an incredibly inspiring and moving experience, seeing how Boston rallies around this famous race. The entire course was lined with screaming fans. Some of the signs were hilarious, some inspiring, and other just used noisemakers to spur the runners on. I definitely want to run this race someday…and the list of things I’ve promised myself I’m going to do when I retire just keeps growing and growing!
Speaking of running, I then flew down South to the mountains in Asheville, North Carolina, for a photo shoot with L.L. Bean. Sophie and Simi, my USST and SMS teammates, were there too!
We had wanted to move the shoot somewhere else because of their recent legislation involving bathrooms, but there wasn’t time. Luckily, the whole shoot was out in the mountains so it’s not like I was anywhere near a bathroom to make a show out of boycotting it, anyways. When I feel something is so wrong like that I have a hard time not being upset about it, so I had shown up in North Carolina ready to be thoroughly unimpressed with the entire state. But as it turns out, bigoted laws have nothing to do with beautiful nature and the mountains themselves, with the winding twisting trails were totally awesome.
We also got to shoot in the forest park where they filmed the Hunger Games movies! So of course we were whistling the whole time and got that 4-note-melody stuck in our heads.
We woke up super early the first morning and we had hiked up to the top of the ridge right before the sun came up. Seeing the sun rise over all those layers of mountains was an amazing sight, and it would be really cool to come back for a hiking trip someday!
Now, hiking’s all fine and I can do that, but here’s the thing about running for a photo shoot…I am a slow runner. Simi is not a slow runner. I was supposed to be keeping up with Simi, while looking up, not down, over rugged trail. Do you see where this might pose a bit of a problem for an uncoordinated lady like myself? I fell once but no blood, scrapes or bruises, so I got off pretty well! LL Bean took amazing care of us, and we always had water and snacks at the shoot.
Then I flew back to Boston for another week and a half. Wandering around the city was a lot of fun for me. I did, however, feel the urge to walk around saying “park the car at Harvard yard” and really just NAIL the A’s and R’s every time. No H sounds for me, thanks. 🙂 I saw the aquarium, walked the freedom trail, visited the arboretum and took a few drop in dance classes at a studio and absolutely loved it. Wade and I went to the Science Museum and especially enjoyed the planetarium! I was so busy exploring and enjoying everything there that the time flew by, and soon I was headed back to Minnesota and done with my spring break.
When I got home again I had almost two weeks with my family to have fun, train hard, get organized for the summer and enjoy my Minnesota friends!
Now I’m off again on an airplane – to Bend, Oregon for our first US Ski Team camp of the year! We have gone there every spring except last year because of extremely low snow. But every year I’ve gone it’s been an excellent opportunity to get lots of long slow skiing on snow and technique sessions in. I’m really excited to see my teammates and get back on snow!