Acting Out

If you are being nagged by a persistent, reluctant to heal injury… you probably shouldn’t do the following.  But feel free to read all about it!

In my return to Lake Placid I’ve been counseled by sports med, reassessed by the doctor, covered in enough kinesio tape to look like a piece of deco art, and finally started up on a rehab program… Progress looking for progress.  After all I have to put myself back together so that I have a functioning limb whenever it is my season starts up.   The whole process is a little bit frustrating.  There is a lot of, “You want me to do what with my shoulder blade?!?!”  Flexing things on command I didn’t know you could flex.  Ideally I would like an overnight miracle healing where I wake up feeling good as new… unfortunately I’ve come to find it doesn’t really work that way.

And so last night I took to my mountain bike (ok that’s a lie, its not my bike) and headed into the dark and the rain to take my frustration out on the muddy, root filled trails.  Its great.  Its generally just a bunch of guys.  They let me crank along, mashing on my pedals as I try not to get lost cussing at each looming stump and log.  I seem to mostly perpetually fall over (don’t worry I broke the bikes fall with my body) as my riding style leaves a little to be desired… In general I choose (hah, as if I have a choice!) to ride through whatever obstacles might be in my way rather than over or even around them.  Yes as I’m sure you are imagining right now, I am a graceful specimen on a bike (also a lie)…

The mud was flying, the roots were slick.  You could see our breath in the light from our headlamps.

Quick Aside: Thanks for slapping a light on my helmet every time I show up…even if you only do it so that if and when you drop me you can locate me again through the woods via the beacon on my head.  I really do appreciate it.

True it was cold, and yes the blood trickling down my calve may or may not be from slamming my own gear into my leg… but for the most part I was having too much fun to really care.  Ok sure, snuggling with a Pitbull for body warmth might have been a moment of weakness. But I will attest that he was shivering almost as much as I was…

After any abuse I caused to myself (or the trail for that matter) I was happy to roll into L&S for warm food and good company… good food and warm company?  Either way, covered in mud, looking not at all presentable… I was happy.  Truly happy. and grinning like an idiot.

Team USA

Before our camp came to a close this past weekend in Utah we had one thing left to do… check out some short track speed skating!  Earlier in the week we got an invite to come on over to Deer Valley for dinner at the speed skating house before heading into Salt Lake City for a night of watching spandex clad bodies race around the olympic oval.  It was completely optional, but the entire women’s team jumped at the opportunity, and soon I found myself post 5 hour hike, post shower, nestled between a ski bag and the window of our van hurling down the interstate. (Late as usual)

We arrived at the speed skating house fashionably late and on the verge of loosing all the food I had managed to get back in myself after that morning’s adventure.  “Pull yourself together!” I thought, “YOU MUST CO-MINGLE!” “Green is not a normal complexion!”  Between the parking lot and the condo we only got turned around twice more.  I’m surprised we couldn’t find the place by our coaches excited chatter.  When we got inside they only paused briefly to smile hello before returning to their discussion.  (who knew speed skating, biathlon, and nordic combine had so much to talk about!)

Quick side note:  Whoever thought burritos were a good “getting to meet a bunch of strangers” food I ask you simple this…really!?!?  Ok, I love burritos…but I can only imagine how goonish I looked covered in a mixture of guacamole, rice, and what appeared to be chicken. “Hi I’m Corrine, I would shake your hand but as you can see its covered in my dinner…”

From there we took off for Salt Lake for the Korean Air ISU World Cup.  Ready to be thoroughly confused and entertained by a sport I knew nothing about.  Time to get my chant on!  USA, USA, USA!  Getting there alive might be the highlight of the evening as we followed a car following a car to the venue at some ill-conceived rate of mock10.  You don’t often squeal the wheels of a mini van.

We piled into the media section of the stands and waited to have our minds blown.

The races made me dizzy with their short loops.  I got nervous and anxious for the racers as they approached the final two laps of each race and the suddenly accelerated!  Talk about a sport of tactics!  I would either be sliding on my butt into the boards or getting DQ’d for elbowing some irritating chick in the face.  It was an exciting night to be an American fan, the women alone took home three of the six podium spots!

We stayed until the end so we could watch the men’s and women’s relay qualifying races.  During the relay there is something like 20-25 skaters on the ice.  There are tag offs, crashes (oh yes we love crashes), and an overwhelming list of rules.  Lucky for me I had two speed skating pros and olympic medalists Joey Cheek, and Travis Jayner to explain everything that was happening in a play by play run down race after race.

It was an awesome night and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to watch my future TEAM USA teammates kick large quantities of spandex-y ass!   Going into Sochi the USOC really wants us to be something bigger than all these separated sports teams who just so happen to wear the same awkward opening ceremonies sweaters…  They want us to be united.  To really be Team USA, and last night you could already feel the olympic spirit!

(picture from team mate: Susan Dunklee)

Short a Limb

Yep that’s me.  Back down to three limbs.  I got so excited  to have both arms again…that I sort of went overboard.  and by overboard I just mean that I jumped back in to training with my national team guys and gals.  Full speed ahead…right?

Wrong.  I should have expected back tracking to occur.  I know better that you can’t skip over the whole “rehab” process.  You can’t go from 0 to 100%….but I sure gave it a real good try.

Finally did some intervals again.  Did the first time trial.  And then BAM!  That all too familiar lingering pain and discomfort crept back into my shoulder and down my arm.  Things got tight.  Every time I move my arm you can hear things click, pop, and pull.  And so once again we pulled the plug on my vain effort of a painful catch up.

And so….if you put two and two together you have realized by now that I will not be going to Europe for the first set of races.  Injury will do that.  It doesn’t help when you can’t race and the qualification process is clearly written out “Best TWO out of four races.”  I didn’t even get to race two…. oops!

Not a lot one can do about that.

So that being said.  I’m headed back to Lake Placid.  “Back home”  I’ll be there with my team mates until they leave for Europe towards the middle of November.  and then…I’m on my own!  Relatively.

The plan right now is to keep me out east (weather permitting) until I go to Minnesota for racing before christmas.  So its not exactly what I wanted… but after meeting with my coaches I’m excited.  re-excited perhaps?  Since I will be one of the only biathletes in placid for a bit I’ll get lots of one on one coaching, and lets face it…I could use a lot of that.


And so it goes.

Today could have been better. sure. but sometimes it just is what it is.

Because of my shoulder I missed almost an entire block of intensity workouts… I just started skiing again with my bad arm about a week ago.  I didn’t really know what to expect going into today but I thought, “Heck!  I dont have much of an option!”

It wasn’t horrible.  but it was far from good.  Shooting actually went fairly well. I shot 70% which for me right now in a race effort is pretty reasonable.  and very realistic.  My skiing however was far from where I want to or should be.  It felt rusty.  I couldn’t find a good gear and was just sort of stuck spinning.  Not the effort I was looking for.

The good news?  We know whats going on.  you can’t ski fast when you have no intensity to back it up.  It will come back fast.  In the next couple of week with regular workouts back in my plan I will get back on track.

Its frustrating that I’m not fast right now as these races determine if I go to the first set of IBU cup races… but alas. Injuries happen.  Set backs happen.  Its just another hurdle I will work through.

Good things that happened today:
I didn’t give up.  No negative talk going on during my race!  …actually I didn’t really think about anything.  maybe its back to that  “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all” ?

On the range I felt calm and controlled.  It wasn’t just point and shoot.  I took good shots and felt really happy with my performance from that side of things.

Lastly… I went on a really awesome hike run this afternoon up the ridge behind our house.  And it was lovely!


People keep asking me how I feel about the trials race tomorrow.  Ready? Anxious? Excited? Scared? Prepared?

This is how I feel right now…


Let the nervous laughter begin.

A Day With the Board

Once a year the US biathlon board gets together for a meeting and to celebrate the accomplishments from the year before.  Volunteers, athletes, and coaches are recognized for their many different feats and everyone enjoys good food and great company!

After our interval workout in the morning the board showed up at the range so we could teach them how to shoot!

I think everyone hit a target!  The brave ones even tried to shoot standing!  It was fun having everyone on the range.  Coaches and athletes running around, lots of “This is the best rifle on the team!”  … “No THIS is the best rifle on the team.”

Here former athletes (Bjorn and Walt) duke it out in a mini biathlon race!

After everyone tried their hand at marksmanship we headed up to the day lodge for lunch and then off all over the valley for some great activities.  There was golfing, fly fishing, a hike up to stewart’s falls, and a horse back ride at the sundance stables!  Most of the women’s team ended up on the horse back ride which was a blast!  There were 13 of us in all, each paired up with a horse that fit us seemingly well.  I was on Romeo.  We hit it off right away!

After our ride we headed back to our houses to get ready for dinner in Park City.  (Yes it was a very very busy day!)  We gathered at the High West Distillery and Saloon for food and our awards banquet!  It was a great mix of the young and the old(er), with board members, the national team, paralympic team, and several of the clubs and junior program that are in town to train.  We ended up at assigned tables…and low and behold I was in  fact at a “kids table”.  I was the only national team member tucked away, I had a blast with my little table of youth boys, but part of me wondered why I couldn’t mingle with the rest of the adults.

The awards for the evening for the athletes panned out something like this.

Junior Female Athlete of the Year: Corrine Malcolm
Junior Male Athlete of the Year: Casey Smith
Junior Marksman of the Year: Kelly Kjorlien
Senior Male Athlete of the Year: Lowell Bailey
Senior Female Athlete of the Year: Sara Studebaker
Senior Marksman of the Year: Sara Studebaker
Sports Man of the Year: Leif Nordgren
Paralympic Athlete of the Year: Sean Halsted
Paralympic Rookie of the Year: Dan Cnossen
Coach of the Year: Jonne Kahkonen

It was a long but fun day for everyone.  I know when we made it back from Park City I fell into bed and was happy we got to sleep in!

I’ll leave you with some pictures from our classic ski up Wolf Creek Canyon.  We even found some snow up at the top!


We are officially through the first couple days of our team camp in Utah.  The weather turned around.  We’ve had sunshine every day so far.  Cool mornings that make us dress in layers and layers.  You can’t feel your hands to zero and then as soon as the sun comes up over the ridge into solider hollow it warms up fast.  …and those layers come off fast.

The coaches have really been stressing the shooting with us the last couple of days.  lots and lots of rounds. rounds and rounds of rounds.  …and so today we broke away from the range and got to go exploring.  We headed toward park city to venture into the hills.  Sara, Annelies, and I got dropped off and we headed for the Mid-Mountain trail.

The colors are out in full force here, with snow still on some of the ridges and peaks around here it makes a really great backdrop for training.  We ran through the aspen groves and oak scrub following the single track towards The Canyons.

Within the first hour we were talking a very reluctant moose off the trail.  After a few minutes of sweet talking and a little singing we got the yearling to move up the hill and away from us.  We ran into another mama moose and her baby they panicked just as much as we did when we came around the corner and saw them standing there.  With a yelp we stopped dead in our tracks and they bolted down hill….fast.

Tomorrow we jump into our first really intensity session of the camp and it will be nice to move fast again!  Until then there are peaches and tea to be had.


Fast and Female!!!

Or…”FAST AND FURIOUS!!!”  that is what my group of 10 year old girls decided as a team name.  And it fit them very very well. This group of young ladies were awesome.  They were equal parts spunky, energetic, and fun.  (okay so they were also rambunctious and wild but we managed just fine)  There was a brief moment where I felt like I was in the scene from gulliver’s travels when the tiny people are running all over him with ropes, but with the help of my speed-skating partner in action we wrangled our group of girls through all sorts of activities.  We watched them each excel enthusiastically!  Working with such a motivated bunch really made the day fly by.

(Here our fast and furious group gets its DANCE ON with Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins)

We had nearly 30 ambassadors from 6 sports come together for the event!  And it was wonderful to get to travel through all the stations and learn a little something from each of the different sports!  We got to slide down half pipes and run through obstacle courses.  We worked on our agility with the alpine women and learned just how much leg strength and speed it takes to be a speed skater!  We danced with the nordic girls who know how to have fun and get a workout in at the same time.  We did some biathlon relays before we hit up the trampolines and foam pit to learn how to flip and spin like the mogul and ariel skiers!  (yes I got to do front flips off the tramp into the foam pit!  Never to old to have fun right??)

(We couldn’t help but jump in and race the girls a little bit!)

We were decked out in pink and having a blast!  You should have seen the ambassadors getting ready before the girls showed up.  There was pink glitter and ribbons everywhere!  Not to mention feather boas, tutus, crazy tights, and pink sparkly crowns to go around.  …and yes I lost my crown launching myself into the foam pit!

(Here the girls and I decorate our lovely “group 4” poster as we all got to know each other)

We finished the day with some great inspirational talks in the gym with all the girls.  Above are two olympic medalist who both spoke to the girls (LtoR: Aly Dudek a speedskater and a bronze medalist in the 3000m relay in 2010 and Shannon Bahrke a moguls skier and silver and bronze olympic medalist!) Talk about inspirational!  Kikkan Randall (XC) and Emily Cook (Ariels) also spoke.  They all talked about set backs they’ve faced.  About the obstacles they’ve overcome.  About walking in their first opening or closing ceremonies at the olympics.  They talked about the times they thought they didn’t stand a chance and wanted to call it quits.  They talked about the moments when everything came together and they accomplished a big goal of theirs.  Its hard not to be motivated by these women and I hoped the girls there yesterday walked away knowing and feeling they can accomplish anything they put their minds to!  That if they dream big and work hard they can conquer so much!  Listening to these gals talk about where they’ve been and where they are going reminds me that I’m on the right path.  That we all have hard days.  …but I’ll make it too.

Everyone left the Center of Excellence with smiles on. (even if we were exhausted)  Working with these girls reminds me how much we (the ambassadors) get out of these events.  I know we are suppose to be the inspirational ones…but every time I get to work with such motivated kids I can’t help but feel inspired as well.

Cold Cold Cold!

If you didn’t know this already…its Cold here.  Really Cold.  Ok…its not “that” cold… I’m just not ready for it.  Its that time of year again when the temperatures flirt with freezing.  But if you get the sun to come out long enough it could still crack the 60s.  (which by then feels so very warm)

Its a time of year you have to be careful.  Those drastically changing temperatures can really throw your body for a loop.  You become more susceptible to getting sick.  So we try to be careful.  Where enough clothing.  Have dry warm clothes to change into after practice.  Drink plenty of fluids.  etc and so on.  always hoping its enough.

The house was pretty chilly yesterday.  Heck I curled up on the couch in a down jacket for nap time…with a down sleeping bag and another blanket.  (don’t forget the wool or fleece socks)

The weather is suppose to turn by sunday and get better and better through out the next week.  I’m excited for our camp to start.  For all of my team mates to be back together in one place again.  It really does seem like we’ve been all over the place, especially ever since the last trip to Jericho!

I’m getting bundled up, packing a bag full of warm clothing for this afternoon’s adventures in Park City.  Hopefully I’ll get some pictures from the Fast and Female event!   Until then I hope its sunny and warm wherever you are…or as one of my team mates always reminds me “You just have to think, above the clouds its sunny with blue skies.”