Two weeks of intense training on snow followed by two weeks at home; summer has arrived and I’m here for it! I kicked off the training year with my SMS teammates and new head coach, Perry Thomas, in Bend, OR to ski at Mt. Bachelor. I love heading to Bend every spring. I spent three summers in college training in Bend and have great memories from the town, people and adventures there, so it’s always special to be back.
Lina, Lauren and I stayed with a host family, the McColgan family. They were so generous to allow us to stay in the apartment above their garage and enjoy the peace and tranquility of life just outside of Bend. Although we had to drive a decent way to Mt. Bachelor each morning, it was nice to feel at home with their warm hospitality and fun to feel more like a local.
The training at Mt. Bachelor was incredible, although much colder than we’re used to for Spring skiing. Temps were getting down down to 20 degrees at night and we frequently found ourselves skiing in fresh snow. This was great for keeping consistent, high quality conditions for the camp, but also had us feeling a little bummed not to experience the spring skiing we were looking for.
Luckily, the Bend weather gods didn’t punish us too hard and treated us to a couple of sunny, warm days. We even made it out for a crust ski around Broken Top mountain. I’ve done a decent amount of crust skiing in my days, but this had to have been the best ski in terms of crust conditions, company, weather and views. I was on cloud nine!
Back on the groomed trails, we filled our training time with lots of volume, a few threshold sessions, speeds, and technique work. I also spent a good chunk of my energy toward testing my new Salomon skis. I’m very excited to be working with Salomon this year! I had been racing on Rossi skis for almost a decade, so I’m also feeling a bit nervous about the change, but overall believe it will be worth it in the long run. It’s extra fun to be able to ski around and test skis with my teammate Jessie. She’s already been so helpful with all of my questions as I learn the new skis.
The afternoons in Bend seemed to fly by with busy hours spent working on my computer. In the evenings we enjoyed the trails around town with lots of trail running, mountain biking and strength sessions. To top it all off, we were able to visit almost all of my favorite restaurants and breweries in Bend.
Mid-way through the camp I jumped into the Pole Pedal Paddle - a race that includes downhill skiing, nordic, road biking, running and kayaking. In 2019 I participated in the race as an individual. Although it was a fun experience I decided it could be fun to try it with partners. I raced in not one, but two different relay teams. On a coed team I raced the nordic event, then zipped down the mountain in time to race the running leg for a full female team. It was such a great way to be part of the Bend outdoor community and embrace the craziness of such a wild event.
By the end of the camp I was definitely feeling tired and ready to head home for a little down time. In theory, I always think that time at home is going to be relaxing but I seem to fill every minute of my days when in Minneapolis. I kicked off the weekend with Women Run the Cities 10 Mile running race with my sister, then went back to her house to help her with a big landscape project. Finally, I topped off my first day home with the wedding of my good friends Vivian Hett and KJ Johnson. The wedding was such a fun evening celebrating the couple that I introduced to each other 10 years ago and it was great to see so many friends from high school skiing.
We made our way down to Red Wing, MN for a beautiful weekend along the Mississippi River celebrating Jessie and Wade. Again, it was a perfect opportunity to see so many friends come together to celebrate the love of our two friends. The venue, flowers, dresses, food, drinks, dancing and company were all amazing!
I finished off my time at home with a few extra days around the house supporting my mom’s knee replacement surgery and squeezing in as many Minnesota things as possible. This included a very special evening at Gear West with my friend Abby Drach launching her women’s athletic clothing brand, Indura, in the shop. Abby designs and sews herself some really impressive products. Her cute, form-fitting sports bras and stay-put shorts can now be browsed on the racks at Gear West so you can try them on and pick your favorite pattern. I can’t speak highly enough of her Stay-Put shorts that have an elastic grip around the leg holes to prevent from riding up, pockets on the side, longer on the in-seam and mid or high rise options to make you feel comfortable, fashionable, and fast! Even Outside Magazine had praise for the shorts as they were included in their summer guide.
After all the time running around the city, I was feeling ready to get back to a slower pace of life in Vermont. Last week, I drove from Minnesota to Vermont and kicked off the first week of summer training with my team in Stratton. We hit intervals at Ball Mountain Dam, lots of biking, classic speeds, and more intervals bounding up Stratton Mountain. It feeIs good to feel back and I'm ready to keep the busy summer rolling. It should be a good one!
Professional skier, traveling the world, exploring the culture, racing my heart out.