Grinding that Grind

"I don’t know why these people are out there, devoting their lives to this particular form of self-torture, training for so many thousands of hours to gain glory in a sport that offers the equivalent worldwide fame of competitive whittling. But bless them, forever, for grinding that grind. And look at them go." -Sam Anderson, New York Times Magazine I'm biased. But competitive whittling? I'd like to think we are at least on par with  modern lumberjack competitions. The excerpt…

A Dream Endured

The most common way to leave Alaska is under the cover of total darkness. The large majority of flights leaving Anchorage depart around midnight (in order to make connections in the lower 48), an hour when most people are fast asleep. In the winter, this means your farewell can easily go unnoticed save for the flashing light of the plane that children sometimes confuse for a shooting star. As we departed Alaska last week, I was, for once, grateful for…

The Jelly Bean Chart

I think I was in the throngs of my gauche "tween" years when I decided that the flavors of jelly beans in a Jelly Belly bag needed to be sorted once and for all. I hauled the 4 lb Costco bag of Jelly Bellys from our cupboard and sat down for a half day affair tasting, sorting and classifying all 49 flavors. Never mind that the back of the bag professed pictures of each flavor. I mean, how many times…

When you just want to hear “Thank You”

Dear friends, family and blog readers... I write to you from West Yellowstone, Montana where the snowpack hovers around 2 inches and the temperature just above 2 degrees. An unfortunate collision of warm weather and rain forced the SuperTour organizers to cancel the West Yellowstone races. We are likely headed to Sun Valley, ID where the snow gods have blessed the high mountains with enough of that white fluffy stuff for a race and our first Olympic Qualifier of the…

Baggage: The Mistakes I Made

I have one important travel rule. I adopted it some 10 odd years ago from a sympathetic summer camp counselor who helped me shlep my sleepaway bag up a ladder to our treehouse-style lodging for the week…never bring more stuff than you can carry. Since then, I’ve taken extra pride not on my ability to pack lightly, but my ability to wield it all myself. [caption id="attachment_652" align="aligncenter" width="564"] My typical strategy[/caption] I’ll be the first to admit I’m a…

The Darkness Before the Dawn

At 5:45 AM in Norway it is 11:45 PM on the East Coast but the view out the window looks pretty much the same: dark. After a quick cup of coffee and a hearty serving of toast, jam and brown cheese, Annie Hart and I were out the door by 6:40 AM last Saturday still half asleep and questioning the thought process that brought us to this point. [caption id="attachment_601" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Nearly every hour here is golden hour due…

Picking Up the Pace

Somewhere between the end of August and the start of October, September blew through like an early season snowstorm. With the official start of fall, the pace of both intervals and time seem to pick up speed. Short, sparky L4 intensity replaces the long L3 intervals of summer and shorter, cooler days signal the approach of winter. Just as the hours of daylight start to decrease, the number of things to do each day seems to increase...there are skis to…

Two Truths and a Lie

G'day from down undah! After wrapping up a big block of summer training in Stratton, I pointed my compass south and traded my shorts for ski pants for 2.5 weeks of on-snow training in New Zealand. The trip was made possible through the support of the Women's Sports Foundation and I am incredibly grateful to this awesome organization for the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming race season on snow! My teammate Anne Hart and I joined the Sun Valley…

Making Honey

About a year ago, I watched a TED Talk by Shonda Rhimes called “My Year of Saying Yes to Everything” in which she talked on end about a phenomenon called the “hum” (4:25). According to Rhimes, the hum is when everything in your life is in sync, when you hit your stride and things are groovin’ (do people say groovin’ anymore?). The hum is that feeling when you are working hard, producing great results, meeting challenges head on, constantly moving,…

Vermontucky

I always thought I’d grown up in a small town…until I spent time in Vermont. Oh the Green Mountain State, home to oceans of foliage, rustic country stores, tiny towns and maple creamees. After a few weeks in Montana for the wedding I returned to Vermont for a six week block of training with the SMS team. About an hour into my first workout back on the East Coast the black flies noshing on my calves reminded me why Vermont…