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…

The New(ell) Blog

Just over a month ago, I had my first real identity crisis. I've always been a Flowers. In high school, my cross-country teammates referred to me as Snapdragon or Daisy and even as I grew older, most of my coaches called me Miss Flowers (somehow the nickname Ruka also crept in along with Freaka...but another story for another time). However, one month ago  all of that was about to change. I was less than a week away from one of…

Speed Dating a Skier

I apologize for the mid-season radio silence but I have some exciting news to share...my blog is now being featured on Cross Country Skier Magazine!!! Check out their site for my most recent blog posts and weekly musings on everything from racing and training to the real life challenges of peeing in a onesie ski suit. I will no longer be posting here as I am in the process of re-doing my website but will be posting regularly to the…

5,000 Push-Ups

About this time last year I was lying face down on the shag carpet of the upstairs hallway in our West Yellowstone rental having been knocked out by an aggressive fever-inducing head cold. Below me I could hear the chatter of my teammates and family preparing a Thanksgiving Feast/birthday dinner to celebrate the holiday and my 26th year of life. Although I couldn't smell a thing, I imagined the aromas of turkey and apple pie wafting up the staircase while…

The Fall Freight Train

 (Matt Whitcomb photo) And then it was November. Fall for a skier seems to speed by like a freight train, barreling its way towards the start of the season and mocking the longer, slow days of summer left handily in the distance. Short, fast intervals largely replace the lengthy distance sessions of July and August and the gym looks like a field of bunnies, athletes literally hopping through workouts to build explosiveness and quickness. Fall came and went and in…

Bonking the Noggin’

Mind-blowingly beautifulAbout halfway through a set of thrusters in the gym last week, I bonked myself on the noggin. Somewhere between a deep squat and an explosive overhead press, my head got in the way of the bar. I managed to throw the full strength of my body plus about 75 pounds of moving deadweight squarely into the bottom of my chin. After the initial shock of slamming a bar into my face wore off and the subsequent tears had…

On Trying

If you've ever watched my teammate Jessie Diggins race, then you know that she has this incredible ability to push herself to her absolute limit, ride the line of pain and maximal physical exertion and then just blow right by it. She finishes nearly every race with nothing left to give, leaving every ounce of energy, strength and sweat on the race course. I've always admired this about her and fantasized about what it would be like to race like…