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Archive for December, 2009

winterizing, part 2

27.Dec.2009 by Chelsea Little
Lauren and I putting up a window quilt

Lauren and I putting up a window quilt

I spent my Christmas break sewing insulated window quilts.

The saga of the window quilts is long, and my teammates are completely sick of it: back in early November, I bought a ton of flannel and heat-reflective batting to assemble window quilts for our house. Then, after Lake Tahoe, I tried to sew them. But I really struggled with Anna’s sewing machine so progress was extremely slow and, really, pretty nonexistent.

I then decided that I should bring the material home and sew it on my mother’s sewing machine. Problem: there wasn’t room in the car going to Presque Isle, with four skiers and all their belongings for a race weekend and a week at home. We crammed them in anyway, to the extent that Lauren and I couldn’t see each other from opposite sides of the back seat. Then, there wasn’t room in the Ford Sayre bus to get back to Hanover, so I had to send them separately with some parents and pick them up in Hanover Center later in the week.

Finally, I spent quite a few hours sewing, and my parents thought I was nuts. The payoff, though: Lauren helped me put them up on the eight huge windows in the living room today, so hopefully we’ll be a little toastier and our heating bill will go down!

The quilts roll up during the day to let light into the room....

The quilts roll up during the day to let light into the room....

... and hang down at night to keep out the cold.

... and hang down at night to keep out the cold.

Some Early Season Numbers

23.Dec.2009 by Hannah Dreissigacker

# of days since I’ve been in VT: 33

# of different hotels/houses I’ve stayed in: 5

# of races I’ve done: 10

# of times I skied around the same 2.5 k loop of manmade snow at Mt. Itasca, in races alone: 19

% of biathlon races that I made a dumb mistake in: 40%

% of shots hit in races: 69%

# of places I ended up being away from qualifying for the IBU cup team: 2

# of socks and hats knit: 7.5

# of frostbitten pinky toes: 2

# of times I did laundry: 1 (eek!)

Its good to be back home, I can’t wait to go ski the new trails at Craftsbury tomorrow!!

Me Playing Biathlon

Me Playing Biathlon

CGRP Ornament (and the County)

21.Dec.2009 by Lauren Jacobs

My Mom started a tradition to give her kids one Christmas tree ornament with special meaning every year. Usually they have to do with something we did or somewhere we went during the previous 12 months. The little duck is because that was my first word, there are ones from most of the countries I have visited, others from Gould and Bates. You get the idea. Now, after 24 years, the tree is something of a visual biography of me. It is fun to unwrap the ornaments and remember the trips or events that they represent. It’s also kind of scary; 24 ornaments seems like a lot. I console myself by thinking about how fewer ornaments I have than my older brothers.

Anyways, this year’s is a CGRP ornament crafted by my Dad. I won’t tell you how much colored ink he went through to get it just right, because it is decidedly un-green. But the ornament is perfect and much appreciated!

The new ornament front and center.

The new ornament front and center.

Just before returning home for Christmas Pepa, Matt, Ollie, Chelsea, and I, as well as a number of Craftsbury juniors, made the long trek up to the County (Aroostook County in Maine) for the opening NENSA Eastern Cup races. There was a skate sprint on Saturday and a 10 km classic mass start on Sunday. I was really happy with how the races went, especially the distance classic. I felt really awful for the first lap but held on and managed to have a significantly better second lap. There is a good lesson there: if the race is rough, just try to wait because it might get better! Also, does having a way better second 5 km mean that maybe I’m starting to get better at distance races?

Aside from the races, we got a first hand view of how incredibly large Maine is. I’ve lived there my whole life (until now) and it still floors me to pass Bangor and see a sign that says Presque Isle is another 160 miles further north. And then guess what? Fort Kent (location of this year’s spring series races) is another 56 miles north of Presque Isle. Wow.

And finally to end this epic post…a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Ida for doing an amazing job at the races in Canmore!!! Yay!!

Equipment failure, repeat, equipment failure.

21.Dec.2009 by Chelsea Little

The Eastern Cup openers in Presque Isle were definitely not as exciting as Ida’s Canmore races, and I didn’t go through quite the agony and the ecstasy that she did after falling and then making the A Final – but I had a few exciting-in-a-bad-way moments of my own en route to some of my best Eastern Cup finishes ever, and a really solid start to the season.

Saturday really suprised me as I am usually very bad at sprinting – I mean, not just not good, but actually bad. Luckily, Pepa has helped me grow some fast twitch muscles and I was shocked to see that I qualified in 7th. The real excitement began in my quarterfinal, though, when about two strides out of the start the basket came off my right pole. This was completely due to my own stupidity since I knew it was loose when I left Craftsbury and had just forgotten to find pole glue and fix it. That threw me off and I was in 5th coming up the first steep, awkward hill. Luckily, on the rollers on the next part of the course, I was able to do some really quick V1 and get by a lot of girls, ending up 2nd in my heat and advancing. Every time I planted that pole, though, it sunk into the snow and I was terrified that the bottom was going to just snap off, which would have been a big problem! Before my semifinal, Janice from NENSA was nice enough to find a new basket, some pole glue, and a heat gun, and fixed me up. Thanks Janice!

I entered Sunday’s mass start confident that my poles were all set, and caught a lucky break in the start. I was in the second row, but the girl who was supposed to start in front of me never showed up. In addition, I was on the inside lane for the turn at the top of the hill. So I got a good start. By 2 1/2 kilometers in, I was skiing in a lead pack of 8 girls. Then, somehow, I don’t know whether it was from me skiing up on Rachel Hall’s skis or Olga Golovkina skiing up on mine or some combination of the two, but the binding on my left ski opened. WHEN HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED???? It was on an uphill, so by the time I noticed that my skiboot was making direct contact with the snow, my ski had already started sliding down the hill. I stopped and frantically turned around to go get it, shouting to the spectators at the bottom of the hill, “Grab my ski! My ski!” and also, perhaps, cursing. I managed to get the ski, put it on, turn back around and ski up the hill again, but the damage was done. Sprint as I might, I couldn’t catch the pack – the closest I ever got was within 8 seconds going by the shooting range, although I did catch Rachel when she dropped off the back. I still had my best Eastern Cup result ever, but it was frustrating because I think if I had been able to stay in that pack instead of wasting my energy trying to sprint up to them for a few kilometers, I could have had a really excellent result. Oh well, at least I have more confidence for next time, because I know I can ski with those girls!

So, here’s to getting equipment malfunctions out of the way early in the season….