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Archive for November, 2015

Resting up in Sweden

21.Nov.2015 by Ida Sargent

The race season officially started for our team today in Gallivare, Sweden.  I had been looking forward to this date for quite some time and it was hard to mask my disappointment and frustration this morning when I woke up sick with a sore throat.  There wasn’t anything I would rather have done than put on my new stars and stripes race suit with a bib on top and hammer til my lungs burned.  It didn’t seem fair that I got the achy lungs without the satisfaction of a hard effort.  I longingly looked out over the fresh snow which had fallen over the last several days and settled into perfect ski conditions.  As a ski racer, everything seems to revolve around the delicate balance of staying healthy.  Colds or other bugs which would be minor to most quickly turn devastating to Nordic skiers.  My mind started to wander toward the what ifs and worries from missing races and training. So I spent the day coming up with ways to stay busy and happy in a lonely European hotel room far from home.  Here’s a list of some of my top activities from the day

  • Organizing my email inbox
  • Reading Shantaram, a 946 page novel that I highly recommend
  • Coloring in a coloring book- surprisingly soothing and healing
  • Seeing how slowly I can chew raw garlic
  • Drinking cup after cup of tea
  • Researching online graduate school classes
  • Short walks
  • Yoga
  • And of course…. blogging!

I have my fingers crossed for a fast recovery so I can be back on the ski trails soon!  Here are some pictures of Gallivare from earlier in the week and from a walk earlier today.

Skiing!  So much fun to be back on snow in winter and can’t wait to get out there again!

The Hellner Stadium in Gallivare on a snowy day!  Swedish skier and Olympic Champion Marcus Hellner lives and trains in Gallivare

The stoke level is high for the start of the season.  Here are Erik Bjornsen, Tim Baucom, and Caitlin Gregg
Smiles and warm hands with my new TOKO mittens
Arctic sunrise (and sunset as my brother-in-law Linden pointed out) one morning at our hotel

Dr. Seuss looking trees

Looking down on the mining town of Gallivare from our hotel

Dundret, the alpine resort where we are staying

Alpine ski trails I found on a walk

The view from north of the Arctic Circle

Coloring book art

My room at home 🙂 My parents put a new mattress in my bedroom at home and sent me the picture of my room which stirred up some strong feelings of homesickness.  Time to focus on the good adventures ahead!

On-Snow Camp at Forêt Montmorency

15.Nov.2015 by Liz Guiney

A week and half ago the GRP skiers had the opportunity to venture far north to the land of poutine, loonies, maple syrup heists and the Mounties. You guessed it, Quebec! About an hour north of Quebec City the touring center in Forêt was able to roll out a 2.5k loop of real snow. Like Frozen Thunder in Canmore, “La Glisse Boréale” is made entirely out of last season’s snow that is blown into a large pile and spends the summer under sawdust. Aside from the sawdust bits that tended to accumulate on our topsheets and in our klister, the quality of the skiing was really good for early season skiing. Plus nothing beats the elation of getting back on snow for the first time! Forét did a really good job of creating a loop with twists and turns and ups and downs so we could practice transitions (often something that’s missing from rollerski training), and even after 6 ski sessions the loop never really got boring.

 
The goal of the camp was to incorporate lots of intensity on snow, so we packed level 4 intervals, tempo work, speeds, and a time trial into our 4 days there. With nearly four hours on snow every day, it was an exhausting but ultimately productive camp. We also had the chance to try out our new gear from Craft and Skida, which kept the Québécois junior teams on their feet as the green army rolled by.

 
All skiing photos are from Caitlin Patterson, who ventured out into the woods with her camera even though she was sick. Thanks Caitlin! Also thanks to Craft for providing our new race suits, warmups, and jackets. They look great, and we can’t wait to throw some race bibs on top in a few weeks.

 

Casey and Mike hammering out L4 skate intervals on the big hill on the course

Casey and Mike hammering out L4 skate intervals on the big hill on the course

Ida goes for some airtime around a corner

Ida goes for airtime around a corner

Pepa took advantage of the short loop to get lactates and take video

Pepa took advantage of the short loop to get lactates and take video

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Pretty cool boreal forest in this part of Canada

Part of the women's team- all smiles after completing our time trial and modeling our new Craft suits

Part of the women’s team- all smiles after completing our time trial and modeling our new Craft suits

This is how Pepa gets so good at no-pole skating..

This is how Pepa gets so good at no-pole skating..

Finishing up a long afternoon classic ski with Heather

Heather and I finishing up a long afternoon classic ski

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Whee!

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Green on green on green

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Captures the mood of the camp pretty well!

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Kait Miller

The entire team sporting our new gear and ready for race season! L to R

The entire team sporting our new gear and ready for race season! L to R Ida Sargent, Kaitlynn Miller, Mike Gibson, Caitlin Patterson, Emily Dreissigacker, Coach Pepa, Liz Guiney, Casey Smith, Alex Howe, Heather Mooney, Ethan Dreissigacker (missing biathletes Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, and Hannah Dreissigacker and skier Hallie Grossman)

Next up on the GRP docket- ski season is almost here. In the month of November, Susan, Hannah, and Clare are starting on the World Cup Biathlon circuit, Ida is racing Cross Country World Cups, and the rest of the skiers have USSA SuperTours in West Yellowstone. Make sure to follow along on our Facebook page and Instagram (@greenracingproject)!

Sharpening focus, training at the Park City USST camp

1.Nov.2015 by Caitlin Patterson

Most of the GRP ski women (Heather, Ida, Liz, Kait, and Caitlin) just returned from a great camp in Park City, Utah.  With coach Pepa on hand to video, take lactates, and drive us around to USST-organized workouts, and with only 5 athletes from our team, it was a smooth-operating and fairly successful camp.  Only fairly successful, because we did have a few instances of lost-skin while rollerskiing or running, a few close calls to losing more skin, and a bit of impaired health – still, for the most part the camp was extremely beneficial and we left Utah extremely tired in the best possible way, and each with some accomplishments as well as plenty of things to work on in these next few weeks.  And we had a great time during and in between training sessions, getting plenty of hard work rollerskiing, bounding, and with frequent strength workouts, but also posing for silly photos and enjoying cooking and hanging out with each other.

Before the photos commence, a quick plea to you, the reader, to take a look at our CGRP fundraising page for the NNF (National Nordic Foundation) here and to consider donating even a small amount if you are able: https://support.nationalnordicfoundation.org/fundraise/team?ftid=60750

With limited resources available through USSA, the cross-country skiing governing body, the skiing community relies heavily on NNF to provide financial support for racing trips for developing skiers.  Many of us from the GRP have attended NNF-supported trips, from World Juniors to OPA Cups to World Cups, and we wouldn’t be where we are in ski racing if it wasn’t for the NNF. The financial support, covering of partial trip costs, is a big part but equally as important is the sense of the skiing community standing with and behind us as we race on the international stage representing the US.

And now, scenes from Utah… it’s difficult to capture many photos of the action while actively participating in the training sessions, but I managed to snap a few, and most especially we had Pepa take photos of us during several of the sessions.  Thanks Pepa for supporting us in every way at this camp and for the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and the GRP for facilitating such a great training experience by sending us out West! It definitely helped us start to sharpen our fitness towards racing shape, which is a good thing since our first ski races are at the end of November, coming right up!

Our GRP women's team Park City camp favorite pose... the crane kick! Inspired by the sandhill cranes in our back yard, and by the Karate Kid movie (which none of us have watched recently)

Our GRP women’s team Park City camp favorite pose… the crane kick! Inspired by the sandhill cranes in the back yard of our rental house, and by the Karate Kid movie (which, needless to say, none of us have actually watched recently)

Caitlin and Becca Rorabaugh of APU, striding up American Fork Canyon

Caitlin and Becca Rorabaugh of APU, striding up American Fork Canyon

Way up high on the Wasatch Crest trail

Way up high on the Wasatch Crest trail

Ski walking with Ida and Sophie Caldwell, nearing the end of the Wasatch Crest trail

Ski walking with Ida and Sophie Caldwell, nearing the end of the Wasatch Crest trail

Matching strength outfits and triple-climbing the wall after strength, just because we can!

Our favorite matching strength outfits (thanks Crafts Sportswear!) and triple-climbing the wall after strength, just because we can! Left to right, Heather, Caitlin, Kait

Chicken enchiladas! One of many mexican-inspired meals we ate while in Utah, and this one especially nice and plentiful because we invited our friends from the APU women's team over for dinner too!

Chicken enchiladas! One of many Mexican-inspired meals we ate while in Utah, and this one especially nice and plentiful because we invited our friends from the APU women’s team over for dinner too. This is only one pan of 3.

Pepa made us tasty moussaka and Bulgarian salad one night of our trip

Pepa made us tasty moussaka and Bulgarian salad one night of our trip

Caitlin leading a train of women from various clubs during a double-pole workout

Caitlin leading a train of women from various clubs during a double-pole workout

Ida pauses for a sip of water during a rollerski

Ida pauses for a sip of water during a rollerski

Training is most fun with friends and in bright-colored attire

Training is most fun with friends, and most safe in bright-colored attire

The guys did an out-and-back section to add a bit of time, and they didn't catch the lead women until nearly the end of the ski

The guys did an out-and-back section to add a bit of time to this rollerski, and they didn’t catch the lead women until nearly the end of the ski. Perfect timing so that we all finish in the same spot.

Meandering through western valleys

Meandering through Western valleys

Most of the crew, left to right Liz, Heather, Kait, Caitlin

Most of the crew GRP Park City crew, left to right Liz, Heather, Kait, Caitlin.  Look for future updates as the skiers and biathletes head to Foret Montmorency to get on snow in a few days! And stop by my (Caitlin’s) personal blog at caitlinpatterson.blogspot.com for slightly different commentary and more pictures from the Utah camp.