I have been very busy the last two weeks. It started off with max testing and strength testing at the Center of Excellence where I improved my test results from my last test earlier this fall. To top off the week the team went to Ogden, UT to do some wind tunnel testing at Darko Studios. We played around with the goal to optimize our in-run and flight positions. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot.
The following day, I went home to Aspen where, along with myself, fellow U.S. Ski Team members Noah Hoffman, Simi Hamilton had a fundraiser. The turnout for the fundraiser was amazing. Family and friends came and it seemed as if the whole town came out to support us. The fundraiser mainly consisted of meet and greet, silent auction, a short ski movie Simi put together, and a Q&A. We raised over $20,000, and all of the money will go to help offset each of our travel and equipment expenses for the upcoming season.
I am now back in Park City getting ready for winter! Last week the Utah Olympic Park hill crew worked their butts off and were able to get the K90 ready for winter jumping. Because of their amazing work, we were the first team in the world to take winter jumps! We have had several jump sessions so far and it feels good to be back on snow. I will be in Park City now until the beginning of December where I will go to Steamboat Springs for the Winter Start competitions.
Bring on the snow!!!
Two weeks ago I was interviewed by Marci Krivonen of Aspen Public Radio. Marci interviewed me, along with other Aspen, CO Olympic hopeful athletes. Below you can listen to the interview. Enjoy!
Enjoying the new snow!
This morning, I woke up to about four inches of "white stuff" on the ground! I couldn't believe my eyes because yesterday it was sunny and grassy. We were scheduled to have intervals down at Soldier Hollow but with all the new snow, we were eager to ski and took advantage. I grabbed my skis out of the garage, dusted them off, and went for a morning workout. Even though we were still getting our ski legs back under us, we went along with the plan and had our first interval session of the week. Needless to say it was really hard but I was happy we were able to ski. Now I am just hoping that the snow keeps falling!
I just got back from the final training camp of the summer. trained in Planica, Slovenia for five days and then travelled to Oberstdorf, Germany for the final five days of the trip. I had a successful camp and my jumping and skiing started to turn around.
I was in Planica with three teammates, as well as one of the Canadian nordic combined skiers, Wes Savill, and the National Training Group. One of the afternoons we were able to take a drive up a beautiful valley into the mountains behind Kranska Gora, Slovenia. The mountains are jaw-dropping. There is nothing like it in the U.S. It is probably my favorite place in Europe. Our final day in Planica, we had a competition. I had a better jump and started 2:30 behind the leader. There is not much roller skiing available in Planica, so we drove just 30 minutes to Villach, Austria for the roller ski race. Villach has one of the nicest venues and an amazing roller ski course. The race went really well. I made up a lot of time and finished with the second fastest time. After the race we drove to Tarvisio, Italy to check out the popular gypsy market. I did not by anything but some people came away with some hats and a classy vest.
The next day we packed up our van and drove to Oberstdorf where we met up with the "A" team. They had been in Ramsau, Austria skiing on the glacier and testing new jump equipment. The next few days we focused mainly on ski jumping. I really started to improve my jumping and started to get more confident. Our last day in Germany, we had another team competition. I had an ok jump but the conditions were very tough. I jumped 80 meters and started the roller ski race 2:32 seconds behind the leader, Todd Lodwick. I skied my best race of the summer and was able to grab the 5th fastest time.
The whole time we were in Europe the weather was amazing and training started to improve. It felt great to finish the trip on a positive note. I couldn't have asked for anything more. I am now back in Park City getting ready for the season and for the snow to start falling. I will keep you updated throughout the fall.
I last updated you from Steamboat Springs and am now writing from Planica, Slovenia! It has been a while since my last post so I will tell you about my recent training and travels.
After Steamboat, I returned back to Park City for the first intensity block of the year. Unfortunately, during the first interval session of the week, I crashed roller skiing and got banged up. I ended up cracking my helmet, tearing my clothes, getting some bad road rash, and bruising my shoulder. I was very lucky that I did not break any bones or have a concussion. After the mishap, I had physical therapy and did interval and steady states on a stationary bike and running since I could not use my left arm. I recovered quickly and finished the week with a roller ski time trial.
Early the next week I had my first jump session since Steamboat. It went surprisingly well since I hadn't jumped in almost two weeks. We then headed to Lake Placid, NY for U.S. Nordic Combined Nationals. Friday the team took training jumps in the afternoon and then went for a roller ski. The weather was perfect. Warm, sunny and the leaves were beautiful. Saturday was the first competition of the weekend. I struggled on the hill and did not get the results I was looking for. The following day was U.S. Nationals. I struggled once again on the hill and started the cross country race 2:32 back from the leader, Todd Lodwick. I had a much better result in the cross country race. I started in 17th and slowly picked skiers off. With half a lap left I passed 8th place. Unfortunately, he beat me in a sprint to the finish. I was happy with my cross country result but need to jump better if I want to be able to be a podium contender.
Monday morning, we drove to Albany, and flew to Europe for our last training camp. The team split up in Munich; the "A" team went to Ramsau, AUS to test equipment and the "B" team went to Planica, SLO with the National Training Group to train on the new ski jumps. I have been in Planica for two days and we have already had two jump sessions. We are here for a couple more days before heading to Oberstdorf, GER for the final 4 days.
I'll keep you posted
Well hello there. It has been a while since my last blog post, so I will bring you up to speed.
I recently traveled over to Europe at the end of August for a two week training camp with the U.S. Ski Team. This was our second camp in Europe this summer.
Our first stop in Europe was to Oberstdorf, Germany, one of my favorite places to train in Europe. They have top of the line jumping facilities and a great rollerski course, not to mention some of the most dramatic mountains and beautiful scenery in Europe. I arrived in Oberstdorf with the team and we jumped right into the swing of things. The first few days consisted mainly of jumping and easy roller skis, however on the second day, the Swiss nordic combined team joined us for a beautiful hike up to the Nebelhorn. The Nebelhorn is a mountain behind the town of Oberstdorf and a ski area in the wintertime. From the top you can see over the mountains into Austria or back to the farmlands of Germany. In short it was spectacular. We continued to jump almost every morning. I struggled on the ski jump at first, but started to make some improvement towards the end of the week. Our last day in Oberstdorf, we had a competition within our team. I was happy that I had improved on the hill and on the rollerski tracks but I know that my level of skiing is not ready for winter.
After Oberstdorf, we drove just two hours to a small town in Austria called Stams. I was really excited to have the second week of the camp be in Stams because the hill is great for training and I have jumped well here in the past. The day we got in, coach Greg Poirier and teammates Adam Loomis and Taylor Fletcher along with myself went for a hike/run from Stams up to a little cabin on the side of this massive mountain. The weather was beautiful that day, sunny and warm. The following morning, the team drove to Innsbruck for a morning jump session. Everyone was excited to jump in Innsbruck because it was a new jump for everyone except for veteran Todd Lodwick. Unfortunately we only were able to take three jumps because of the poor conditions. I didn't jump very well, but hope to go back and jump the hill again. The next week consisted mainly of ski jumping but we were also able to drive to Seefeld for a morning steadystate session. However, with all the jumping, I was really able to focus all my time on that aspect.
On one of the last days of the trip, we had an afternoon off and our new jump coach Marc took the team to a water park called Area 47 to have a little fun. I guess the only word I can think of to describe the park would be is awesome. The park had everything from high ropes courses, climbing walls, and volleyball courts to watersides, and blobs. I had a great time especially on the blob. Because I am the smallest person on the team we somehow came up with the genius idea to have the two biggest people on the team launch me. I ended up getting launched about 30 feet into the air, flailing like a little girl the whole time, and landed directly on my back (backflop). Yes, I got the wind knocked out of me but I was hoping it was going to be a good story. To my luck, one of my teammates filmed the whole thing (go to Photos page to watch). I had a blast and hope to go back next summer.
On the last day of the trip we had one last team competition. I had been jumping much better on the hill and knew I could improve on my previous result. However, I completely "shanked" my jump and started the race too far behind to move up places. On the bright side, my level of jumping improved a lot since Oberstdorf and I was happy with the progress.
I have been back in the states since last Thursday and have continued to train everyday. On Monday, I retook my VO2 max skate test at the Center of Excellence in Park City. I had taken the test about a month earlier but I had been really sick in the week leading up to it. This time I had a much better result, skiing for 9 minutes rather than 7:30 in the previous test. I also did a strength test on Monday but have not yet received the results. Monday afternoon I decided to go to Steamboat for a week of training with the National Training Group (NTG). I thought it would be a good idea to train with new faces and have a change of scenery. I will be in Steamboat until Saturday.
Again sorry for the delayed blog post. I will try and keep updating more often. Hope everyone is enjoying this rainy, fall weather!
Top: Teammate Bryan Fletcher on K120. Bottom: Ducky Derby
The past two weeks have been very busy. After the Europe camp I returned to Park City and started preparing for the Springer Tournee competition on the HS100 and US ski jumping Nationals on the HS135. I felt like my jumping was improving and I was in good shape for cross country and was hoping to have some good results at Springer. Unfortunately that did not happen. I struggled on the jump hill and didn't race to "par." The poor results were really frustrating because I know I didn't jump to my full potential.
After Springer, I decided to head home to Aspen and clear my head. I had a great time training at home. I had some great roller skiing and biking interval sessions up to the Maroon Bells. My parents even took some days off of work to come watch and critique. My last day at home I went into town with some friends and watch the annual Ducky Derby race. It is a fun event put on by Aspen's Rotary program. There is cotton candy, bouncy houses and obstacle courses, and of course, the ducky derby race. We watched 30,000 ducks float down the river. The winner received $10,000! I had an amazing week at home and had a great time seeing family and friends before they head back to college.
I am now back in Park City for a rest week. I will be jumping a lot this week to improve my jumping and to try and get out of this "rut." These upcoming weeks are very important for training. We have VO2 treadmill testing and strength testing at the COE on Monday and Tuesday. I will be training in Park City until August 29th, and then head back to Europe for the second training camp this summer. I will keep you updated during the upcoming weeks!
Top-Bottom: Alp d'Huez stage/Nick, Glen, myself; last ride, Mt. Blanc in background
We have had a great week of riding in France. We rode a lot of passes and were even able to catch one of the stages of the Tour de France.
Thursday the group split up. Half of the team and VIP's decided to ride from Courchevel to Alp d'Huez. That is a long way and goes over three major climbs. They left at 6am to make it to the Alp d'Huez in time to see Le Tour. The other half of the group left at 8am and drove to Grenoble, France and rode from there. The ride was 50 kilometers to the base of the Alp d'Huez and then we rode about 10k up the climb. I biked up the climb with coaches Greg and Dave, teammate Nick and one of the VIP's, Gino. Getting up the climb was one of the craziest things I have experienced on a bike. There were probably a million fans lining the 14 kilometer hill climb. At about 4k from the top, Nick and I ran into freestyle skiing legend Glen Plake and ended up watching the stage with him! He had been following the whole tour in a camper van, with his wife and some friends. On top of that, the stage was very exciting because Tejay Van Garderen, one of the USA riders, was off the front. Unfortunately, he was not able to hold onto first but finished second for the day.
Friday, I took the day off and did some homework. We had ridden every day for the last four days and thought it was a good idea to rest a little bit.
Saturday was our last day riding bikes with the VIP's. We woke up early and drove to Ugine, France to ride a 80 kilometer loop. It was an easier day because there were not too many big climbs. This was probably my favorite ride of the trip because half way through we were able to see the stunningly beautiful Mont Blanc. We had such a good last ride and it was the perfect way to end the trip. The VIP's then left from Ugine to Geneva, SWI because they had to fly out early Sunday morning.
Saturday night we packed up and loaded the van so that we would be ready to drive to Zurich on Sunday. Coincidentally, Saturday night was the night when the French celebrate there national holiday, Bastille Day (like the 4th of July). There were fireworks as well as a DJ playing at the city center. The whole town came out so Taylor, Brett, Adam and myself decided to join in the festivities.
Sunday morning, we woke up had a quick breakfast, did a short core workout and then hit the road. Along the way we dropped off the last VIP, Walter, in Geneva. We are now in Zurich for a night and we then fly home tomorrow.
The trip has been extremely beneficial for me. I came into the camp struggling with my jumping and finished with a good jump session. The riding has been spectacular and we had a great group of VIP's to ride with. I am already looking forward to next year's Tour de France trip.
When I return back to Park City we have about a week and a half before the Spinger Tournee competitions. I am going to be busy but will keep you posted in the near future! Au Revoir!
Bonjour! We are now in Courchevel, France for the last week of the camp. We will mainly be doing a lot of road biking, but we do have a few jump sessions on the schedule for the first two mornings.
When we arrived in Courchevel, we met up with head coach Dave Jarrett and the "VIP's." The VIP's are people who have paid $10,000 to come on the trip. The $10,000 goes towards their food costs, travel, and housing. The rest of the money is thrown into the National Nordic Foundation to help support the USST and the National Training Group. Last year we had three VIP's and this year we have five. In short, we are the "meanest, badest" group of bikers in France... almost.
The first day we jumped in the morning. I started on the HS100 to continue working on technical stuff. Before the session, Marc and myself made some adjustments to my equipment to see if this might help me. The session was much better and was happy with the improvement. In the afternoon, the whole group rode from Courchevel up to Col de Petit St. Bermard. The ride is about 80 kilometers and took about 4 hours. We rode this last year and it is one of my favorite rides.
Yesterday, we jumped again in the morning. I had a much better session. Since it was our last day of jumping for the trip I was extremely happy with the way things ended. In the afternoon we rode a loop starting and finishing in Faverges. We got a little lost at first, but managed to get back on track. The ride was 115 kilometers and took about 4.5 hours. It was a little longer day than I was expecting but I enjoyed the ride and the beautiful weather.
Today, some of the group is going for a day long ride and others are taking the morning off because there is a local time trial that many want to do. The TT goes from the bottom of the Courchevel road to the very top. It is about 20 kilometers and a brutal climb. I guess the fastest time is around 47 minutes.
Tomorrow we will be riding the Alpe d' Huez one of the steepest and hardest climbs of this year's Tour de France. We will go and watch tomorrow so look for the USST or a Captain America costume.
So far the trip has been really fun. I have made some good improvements with my jumping and feel like I am on the right track.There is a lot of biking to come in the next couple days so I will keep my blog updated as much as possible. Au Revior!
Sorry for the lack of blogs. I have been extremely busy since the 4th of July.
I returned to Park City for two days after the 4th of July to pack for a two week training camp in Europe with the team. Our first stop of the camp was in Hinterzarten, Germany. The focus of the week was ski jumping. Granted we did take our bikes out for several bike rides. Anyway, we started the jumping camp on the HS75. I struggled quite a bit with the jumping. By the third day, coach Marc and I believed it was necessary for me to move to an even smaller hill to just "play around" with my in-run, take-off, etc. The goal here was to build a good base and to improve my confidence in my jumping abilities. After several sessions on the HS30, I moved back up to the HS75 jump. My confidence was much higher and I had some pretty good jumps. It was a happy ending to our week in Hinterzarten.
Also, when we were in Hinterzarten, we had meetings with reps from Rass jump boots, Meininger jump suits, and Fluege skis. We learned about all the new innovations the companies are looking to make and we even tried out some of the products. I think most of the team is now squared away with equipment for the upcoming season.
The next stop on our agenda is Courchevel, France. Au Revoir!!!