Sometimes the Wind Blows

Sometimes it blows very hard.  I think on the east coast they refer to these events as a noreaster!  And boy did she try to mess things up!

After spending a few days at home for Christmas it was time to pack my life into a suitcase once again.  With the default rifle case and ski bag I’m always left pretending my backpack is magical and bottomless or… borrowing a wonderful duffle bag my rifle case fits in!!!  I mean I still look weird lugging my stuff around through airports, knocking posts over left and right, but a allure of my shiny gun case is now hidden away.

My favorite easy pleasant day of traveling I had planned to get me across the country feel apart Christmas night as the snow reports started to pile up.  And with out any thought of warning me my flight from JFK to Burlington seemed to no longer exist. canceled. gone.  The frantic pace of trying to get me to the east coast ensued, Delta stopped answering their phones due “to bad weather.” Really!?!?!

Finally, after a lot of fuss I had a flight to manchester.  It wasn’t Burlington…not even in the same state…but it was as close as I was going to get so I took it.  Aside from a hold up in Detriot with a missing copilot and the man at the ticket counter insisting I was an unaccompanied minor the trip went smoothly.  I made it.  finally.

After a very blustery cold training day yesterday the wind finally let up and the weather for the races today was sunny and nice.  tame you could say.  I was feeling nervous and a little tired from traveling and a lack of sleep but after a little coaxing from a team mate I was able to settle down and compose myself after nearly falling apart during zero.  (I was very distraught that the points werent even)

The race was pretty uneventful.  I shot better which was such a relief!  After shooting so horribly in Minnesota I had started to doubt my ability to hit a target.  Although my shooting has a long way to go I still shot 50% today which is just about average for me.  I felt good on my skis, not quite as good as I did in the last races but I’m sure I’ll get my legs back.

I’m currently sitting in second, which is exciting and pretty darn cool.  We race a longer race tomorrow (a pursuit) and then a shortened sprint on thursday!  You can follow the results at :
http://www.eabiathlon.org/

 

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The Magic of Honey.

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading a really interesting book called “Folk Medicine- A New England Almanac of Natural health care from a noted Vermont country doctor” by D.C. Jarvis, M.D.

call me folksy, a hippie, perhaps a little crunchy ?  anything you like, right now I’ll take it.  Its been an interesting read.  We all have our own old-fashioned remedies.  Some we believe in, some we chuckle at, some we wonder what were they thinking!  There are sections on our diet, our life styles, and the magical powers of different foods.  Ways to help you sleep better or soothe and treat your aches, pains, and discomforts.  I laugh when I read something and think back to my host mother, Inese, in Latvia who did alot of these things.  How she would make me drink hot tea with honey while soaking my feet in boiling hot water when I started to get under the weather.  I would protest, and drag my feet until she would plop me on the couch.  I never really understood it… but it always seemed to work.  She always seemed to make me better.

The book has a 25 page chapter on the wonders of honey and its ability to help us function!  It covers everything from using honey to help with Hay Fever to using honey to help with those sleepless nights.  But what I found most interesting was its section on Honey and Athletic Nutrition.

Honey seems to rank supreme among the popular energy foods and beverages…

“1. Honey, as far as can be measured, supplies in an ideal way all the necessary energy requirements of the athlete for pre-activity fueling up; for the sustaining of effort during activity; for quick energy recovery after effort.  2.Honey, with its high caloric content, can build up energy with smaller servings.  3.It is extremely popular (by far the most popular) with athletes, due to its taste appeal.  4.More honey can be tolerated by the average athlete than any other of the energy foods and beverages tested.  5.Versatility makes it popular, since it can be used in many ways, and in combination with other foods and beverages.  6.It is a pure food, apparently free from bacteria and irritating substances…”

Sold. right?  And guess what the research on the benefits of honey on athletic performance dates back over 50 years!  So its no secret.

With all that said I would like to introduce the newest sponsor!!!

Looking forward to being fueled by lots of really delicious honey stinger products for the next year!

Oofta!

A nordic combiner once told me that oofta is an old norwegian word for gross… atleast that’s what his grandmother told him.  I have never met said grandmother or even know if she’s norwegian or not, but I’m going to go with it.

And so if I had to pick one word to describe this past week I would pick oofta!

The cold weather finally let up and the sun came out and I left my down jacket in the wax room instead of bopping around the trails in it (thank goodness)!  It warmed up into the teens and I was estactic at the thought of not having to wear mittens over my race gloves anymore.  Things were looking up, way up.  The trails were fast, the climbs were plentiful and I was pretty darn stoked about jumping into some more races.  I was a little nervous going into the week, we had three races, a mass start, a sprint, and a pursuit format race.  Two shooting races…oofta!  Oofta indeed…

Oofta it became.

I shot pretty poorly.  and by pretty poorly I mean really quite horrendously.  and incredibly embarrassing.  For me these races weren’t super important but I was definitely looking forward to proving that all my work on the shooting range was paying off.  But instead of showing off my hard work it was a disaster.  a complete and utter disaster.  Earlier this year we (my former coach and I) had set a goal of trying to average 60% or better consistently and after my last time trial in canada where I shot 80% I had pretty high aspirations going into this set of races…  I’m not sure exactly what happened, but needless to say I would like to put the shooting behind me and look forward to improving on them.

After easily skiing anywhere from 1 to 2 extra kilometers in the first two races we decided that we had to try something different in the final race of the series.  I skied the first 4 loops at threshold, so well below race pace, the idea was to lower my intensity level to try to help me focus on the range.  It didn’t seem to help…  so onto something new.  I’ll just have to keep working.

So maybe shooting doesn’t come as easily to me as it does to others.  So maybe I will have to work harder than my team mates and fellow competitors.  So that’s what I’ll do.

On the other hand… I skied really well this week.  I felt good skiing.  I felt like I could really go fast.  I really enjoyed myself out there on course and had a good time going hard.  I understand I can’t make up how many shots I missed this past week but  I sure gave it a good go out on course.

When they told me to ski easy today I wasn’t sure if  I was going to be able to.  Its kind of like giving a kid a bag of candy and telling him he can only eat a piece a day.  It was hard, but  I did a good job of staying calm, distracting myself by focusing harder on technique and less on the chase.  You have NO idea how excited I was when I finally got done with my final shooting stage and got to go haul around the course.  but you know…  it was the perfect end to a very frustrating week.

BRRRRRrrrrrrrr!

I’m starting to think that the cold is just following me around!

and so to all my fellow competitors I apologize…  Yesterday we had a balmy high of -1F with wind chills ranging from -30 to -40F!  This morning I woke up to the thermometer reading -17F.  Its suppose to get above zero today but from the little time I’ve spent outside today it is chilly.

I’m getting whimpy!

I’ve been keeping my eye on the weather predictions for the week… rumor has it that it will just continue to warm up!  Big news I know.  numbers like 20F have been thrown around and the idea of being able to feel my hands when I shoot is thrilling.

Here’s to warmer temperatures in my future!  Keep your fingers crossed.

Coyotes, Beavers, and….farm animals?

Oh my!!!

Just an average week of training back in the home land?  not quite, but it was just what I needed!

This past week I was getting a little anxious training by myself all the time.  I was starting to feel a little like a crazy cat lady… If I wasn’t training I was home, cleaning or baking or feeding cats.  …and when you  spend more time talking with cats than you do people you know things are going down hill rapidly.

So i packed up my car and headed west into the distant land of Minnesota.  I drove practically to North Dakota!  Destination?  Wynn Robert’s house.  I needed some time to refresh my mind and Battle Lake MN was going to have to do.

My days were filled with farm chores, fish scale skiing through farm fields, setting beaver traps, making gingerbread houses, skiing under christmas lights, and eating my body weight in chocolate chips.

I fed the cows, and chased the chickens, and tried to remember the pecking order of the 4 horses but three of them were white so I was really hopeless.  I unloaded bags of grain and tried to avoid stepping in any cow pies and horse poo as I tromped around in my ski boots.  We failed at making a gingerbread house, however we did get it all decorated before the roof caved in, atleast no one was inside!  Those spicy gum drops are dangerous I tell you.

Our last morning in Battle Lake we classic skied out through the fields and over the frozen ponds to the beaver lodges.  Wynn, Pa Roberts, and I had set two traps two days earlier and so Andrea, Wynn and I set off across the tundra crossing our fingers that we wouldn’t be coming home empty handed.

The first trap was empty.  So dejected we moved on to the next big bad beaver lodge!  This beaver lodge was gigantic!  Not that I’ve seen too many in my life, but this would be like a beaver palace.  And from the beaver palace we trapped the beaver king!!!  He was a monster, I’m surprised Wynn got him out of the water. We just kept coming out!  And of course the beaver king would have a stately beaver tail!  It was awesome, and thrilling.  We all got super excited my the catch.  Then we realized we had to get the beaver home…

We must have looked like such a weird gaggle of kids trudging out through the cat tails.  Wynn with a beaver on his back and me with ski poles in one hand and an axe in the other (dangerous I know).  Andrea being our lovely caboose documenting us as we plodded along.

That afternoon we made the trek even further North to Grand Rapids.  Its been a low key couple of days but its been perfect.  Andrea and I have hunkered down at Kelly Kjorlien’s house for the week.  We have beds and been told to help ourselves or starve.  I’m in Grand Rapids until next sunday with three races on the docket over the next week.  I’m excited to get on the start line again.  To ski hard and try to hit more targets.

More updates to to come from the races and through the week.  And hopefully some pictures of our great beaver adventure!

Paying Regards.

Firstly I would like to pay regards to Bryan Fish, former CXC ski coach.  I remember the first time I saw him fly by me at a road crossing hoping along right to the other side.  It was so smooth.  one ski off.  hop hop hop. ski back on. BAM. he was off and away down the other trail.  I’ve always wanted to do that and today was the day.  I skied up took my one ski off and like that I was on the other side with my ski back on and on my way again.  Better yet there was a happily planted group of master skiers ready to be amazed.  Mission accomplished.  Another victory for me, thank you Fish.

Secondo I am of very average size.  You need skis flexed I’ll be there to stand on them every step of the way.  Today I went into New Moon to drop off some skis that need bindings changed and as I was about to drive out of the parking lot I was startled by knocking on my window.  “Could you come stand on some skis?”  Yes yes of course.  They help me out all the time the least I can do is be average sized.  So random girl I don’t know from Anchorage Alaska you are welcome. Hopefully you’ll love your skis!

Lastish.
Congrats to the Men’s and Women’s biathlon teams over in Europe.  Although it was a World Cup opener hampered by a nasty nasty parasite the guys and gals still pulled out some stellar results!  You can watch race replays and races streamed live at:

http://eurovision2.feedroom.com/?&fr_chl=28f50f88ca97c97431107a5b9e494d75454fca83

 

Hellner along for the ride!

Home Turf.

Mine. My trails. My home trails.  …but I suppose I can share. right?

Thank you Colby middle school and high school skiers for making my intervals this morning much more exciting.

 

The quote of the day is brought to you by one older birkie man mumbling skier.
okay its not a quote I just got a kick out of how he deemed the trail “much to slippery and dangerous”.
I mean I suppose snow will do that.
he was also concerned for his life as he “almost died”.
I think what we really should get out of this is that we participate in a dangerous sport…soon the birkie trail will be home to cat skiers and full body armor.

 

Highlight of  my day.
watching the Jackson kids slide down the hill on their skis on their stomachs like skeletoners (yes word).  It was both hilarious and impressive.
I need to play on my skis more. permission granted.