The past week, the US team has been up in Seiser Alm for our pre-camp leading into the Olympics…along with many other National teams! It’s like one huge training camp. It’s a little tough because when the sun is out, the tracks are perfect and there’s so much snow everywhere you just want to ski forever, but this is the time of year to start tapering, not go big on volume. Darn it! But that’s the irony of being a professional skier…sometimes, that means you don’t actually get to ski that much. It’s still worth it. 🙂
If you want to see some sweet scenery and video of the skiing around here, this is the link to an awesome GoPro video Newell made! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_PDZHCvMv8
The coaches worked to align our training plans as much as possible, and I’ve gotten to do a lot of beautiful fun skis with the rest of the girls! We drive down for intensity sessions to Monte Pana, which is about 45 minutes away and significantly lower in altitude so we can get some harder efforts in. Yesterday we did a 5km time trial, which I’m happy about because it’s been a while since I’ve done a 5km skate and I needed the pacing practice!
To get down from our hotel to the vans, we strap on our backpacks with warm clothes and jet down the alpine run. It’s really fun, although tricky on cross country skis without the edges to get sharp turns!
Since our hotel is right at the top of an alpine lift, there’s a nice little mix zone where the snowboarders try and figure out just what cross country is.
The Italian team was in the same hotel as us for a while, and Debbie joined the US girls for a couple ski sessions as well as our time trial. It was so great to have her with us! I have been having so much fun making new friends from other countries. My first year on the World Cup I was too shy and intimidated to branch out, but now that we’ve done training camps with other nations and gotten to know other girls better, it’s easy to see how similar we all are. Everyone has a passion for skiing and has similar goals, and even when we don’t speak the same language a smile looks the same all over.
I’m rooming with Sophie for this camp, and by this time of year we both have a big collection of cards and pictures from friends and family. It’s fun to hang them up and be reminded of home!
If you’re looking for a fun video to watch, I highly recommend this one! Although I’m sponsored by Rudy Project, not Blitz, it’s a funny video made by the Swedish team’s Robin Bryntesson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lJuNPD-bOw
On Tuesday morning, Cork and I will head down to Val di Fiemme for the World Junior/U-23 Championships. As part of my tune-up plan going into the Olympics, I’m planning to race the skate sprint on Wednesday, then head to Toblach for the World Cup skate sprint race that weekend. Most of all, I’m looking forward to seeing the Junior and U-23 team – I haven’t seen those guys, especially my SMST2 teammates, in months! It’s going to be so nice to hang out with everyone!