Home Sweet Home

After a very long travel day (thanks to my team mates who made sure I got to the airport!) I arrived back in the Midwest.  Its beautiful here right now!  A very wet spring and early summer has made everything very green.  I just realized the other day that I wasn’t home at all last summer, and so I’ve been marveling at everything I missed out on.

My arrival in Hayward just so happened to line up perfectly with Musky festival.  Town is a zoo.  Driving is horrendous.  Who would have guessed such a little place could be so hopping?  You would think have grown up here and watched the yearly influx of seasonal guests I shouldn’t be surprised…but somehow, it gets me every year.

My brothers and I escaped the madness of Hayward on sunday and headed up to Duluth for a great show at Clyde Iron Works!  Jack’s Mannequin was the headliner with two great bands opening for them, Steel Train, and Lady Danville!  The music was great, the bands were all awesome and incredibly down to earth.  I love musicians that really interact with their audiences, it makes you feel connected to the show and connected to the music…its really an incredible atmosphere to be a part of!  Personality is likeable and much appreciated.

I’ve only been home for a few days and I’ve seen so many old friends.  This past year I was home at very odd periods of time and so everyone was always in school.  We’ve spent some good days on the lake.  I got way to much sun (my nose might peel for weeks!)… now all I’m ready for is a good movie night with some of the girls and a bonfire!

Now I have a list of things that need to be painted.  Yes, I know, Welcome Home…to mannual labor!!! Things to tape, things to paint.  Enjoy the great weather we’re having!

Slip and Slide

Yesterday when the rest of the team took the day off Anneliese, Patrick, and I head down to Keene for The 7th Annual Great ADK Trail Run.  It was the perfect day for a running race, sunny, but not terribly hot.  (well not at the start anyway!)  Because the race is run on the AT trail it has be carried out in a very nontraditional way.  They bus racers in with two different shuttle starts.  8 am and 9 am.  Once at the trail head we all sign in and are assigned a start number…which may be permanently markered on my arm!  They then start one racer at a time at one minute intervals until everyone is out on course.  Yes, you’re right.  This is infact a time trial, 11.5 mile trail run.  There might not be another race out there quite like this!

With the wet spring we’ve had, and more rain the night before, the course was wet, slippery, muddy…did I mention wet?

The course was technical, the race was tactical.  And I spent a good portion of the race laughing.  There were no mile markers, the occasional course marker, I was going into this race completely blind…I was a little nervous.  What else could I do?  So I laughed.  I ran the first 4 miles pretty conservatively.  I didn’t feel great, so I used the first section of the race to warm up.  My calves were tight and I felt super awkward sliding and slipping over roots and rocks.  I hit a few trees, did a few face plants.  There was alot of mud and plenty of puddles, who couldn’t be happy?  At one point the trail turned into a waist deep puddle, at mile 7 the course turned into a bog.  At which point it was all I could do to keep my shoes on!

As the race went on I felt better.  I could move more fluidly, there were even moments I felt agile and quick!   After lots of uphill the course turned down, at this point my legs were near jello and it was all I could do to keep my legs under me.  When the road finally became flat again my legs were toasted and it was all I could do to keep them moving forward.  Brutal.

The finish was located conveniently next to a river and one by one the tired muddy finishers stumbled down to the water and sat in the water listlessly, soaking up the sun.

After the race there were the essential three B’s…barbeque, beer, and a band.  It was the perfect way to recover after one heck of a run.  I remember walking around a beer in one hand and a cup cake in the other hand thinking…This is the life!  The results came out and it turned out, running completely separate races, Anneliese and I finished 1 second apart.  That’s right after two hours of racing I lost and she won by one second.  Pretty cool stuff.  We both walked away with some awesome prizes!  Who has two thumbs and is the proud new owner of a really sweet Patagonia wind breaker? This girl!

It was a wonderful little saturday!  It was a race took being gutsy and having a good sense of humor.  It was a beautiful day, and I got to spend it with some really great people!  The event was smooth and well organized, and the locals were welcoming and supportive.  The event organizers were really stoked to have such strong fields in both the mens and women’s races and I’d like to think we put on a good show!

If you’d like to check out some results you can find them.  at this little website!

If I get my hands on any pictures, I know they are out there somewhere, I will put them up.

Lets go this way.

More innocent words were never uttered…  But it was those simple words that turned today’s  four hour run into 6 hours of fun and adventure!

This morning when I woke up I knew I didn’t want to bike.  Mentally I just couldn’t put myself in the saddle for that long pushing pedal stroke after pedal stroke.  The weather was beautiful and to be honest it would have been a perfect morning for a really lovely bike ride.  But I just wasn’t in it.  So when I looked across the breakfast table and said, “Hey you want to go run with me?”  I was ecstatic he responded with “Yes.”

Wynn’s company would be much appreciated for the four hours that lay ahead of us, but more than anything I was worried that if I went by myself I would get lost and my day would end much later with a search party or worried coaches.  We started off from the trail head off an access road on our way into the woods, trail after trail.  The goal? get up Marcy and then some.  Check. Check. Check.  The weather was perfect, not too hot, a nice breeze up top.  The trails were not super muddy, and the sun was shinning.  What more could a girl ask for?

We summited Marcy in good time, talking along the way, greeting the other hikers we would come to with big GOOD morning(s)!  After taking in the view and snapping a few pictures of our triumphantly mismatched socks we turned around and headed back down the trail we came up.  There were some falls we passed on the way up that we wanted to check out more on the way down so when the trail split we decided to take some time to check out the water.  …and so it began.

There were ooos and ahhhhs and plenty of “oh that’s pretty neat!”.  Soon enough we were taking off down stream.  We had time to kill before we had to meet another team-mate back at the trail head…so away we went.  We hopped and slid from rock to rock, there was bush whacking, log shimmy-ing, and lots of splashing!  This carried on for quite a while.  Laughing, slipping, splashing, and repeat.  Then it sort of hit us, “we should be getting near the trail intersection soon…right?”  a little farther down stream.  “We should be getting near that trail now?”  30 mins late…45mins….an hour…shoot?  The bugs were getting worse, I totally slipped on a rock and ate it face first into one of the deeper pools of water. Ugh.  finally after nearly 2 hours of river running we saw something amazing…a bridge!  What did a bridge mean?  A trail!  Great Success!!!!  and much relief!  Jeeze louise was I happy to see that bridge.

Another 30 mins of running we made it out past Marcy Dam and to the trail head.  Lucky for us our team-mate had decided to nap in his car and wait for us.  Now that’s team work!

Our return to the OTC was filled with frantic eating, a healthy quantity of ice cream and lots of water!  Of course it wasn’t enough, I showed up to Ultimate tonight a little beaten up, bruised, and scratched…but of course, oh so worth it!

Working it.

We had our first time trial this morning!  …okay, technically its the 2nd one of the year but I had to sit out the first one with my leg injury.  Now that I’m up and fully functioning its nice to not have to sit on the side line anymore.

The time trial was a 7.5km sprint at our little roller range by the ski jumps in Lake Placid.  Its not an easy place to shoot, lots of uphill into the range.  Its a hard approach, I’m struggling to keep my heart rate down, my head together, my breathing in check…I come into the range and I’m panting and trying to point my rifle at a seemingly tiny target 50 meters away!

It was ok.  I was the first girl out on course with Andrea starting right behind me.  My goal…stay in front of her for as long as possible.  I tried.  I made it 4 of 5 laps out front.  But with fast skiing and faster shooting she caught me and I did the best I could to hang on to the finish.  It wasn’t great.  It wasn’t horrible.  It was a really hard effort.  I shot better than I would have this time last year. Missing 1 in prone and 3 in standing.  So all in all.  Things are heading in the right direction.  We took our blood lactates after the finish and I was amazed to see mine. 14.6!  Hot dang is what I thought!  Hot dang is right.  It was a real hard effort, the first slobber of the season.  Check. Out of the way!  Now that is a good feeling!


We should get some popsicles.

Its been a tough week all over the country.  Hot Hot Heat moved in…even up north!  90degree days in June, its a shock to the system.  and as we moved into another big week the warm weather seemed to zap any extra energy I had left in my body.  Ouch.

With big days of volume came big days of bonking.  There was a moment during one ski this past week where I questioned how and if I might make it back to the Olympic training center.  Rough.  It might be the one moment in my life I was thankful to have horse flies chasing me, pushing me homeward.  Those buggers will get you.

We made it through some tough intensity workouts, had some awesome hikes with some spectacular views…The girls team joked that we only go on hikes when the weather is really gross so it was wonderful to have two separate hikes that brought us to really great views of the valley.  Awesome!

Right now we are closing out our second training block of the year.  It amazes me that much time has already gone by!  But let me tell you something…this block has been HUGE!  Alot of good work done, boat loads of quality training sessions, more good days on the range than I imagined, things are progressing.  Its a great feeling, and its this feeling I will try to hold on to, so that when those bad days come around I will be ready.

I’ve got one workout left and I’m looking forward to finishing out the block right.  We have a rest day tomorrow, I’m looking forward to catching up on some sleep.  There is some serious nap time in my future!