Monday, January 3, 2011

A Picture Perfect Day!

Yesterday was awesome... there is really no other way to describe it.  Not only was it a great day for me, but it was a great day for our team.  Lining up for the A final felt like a regular day at practice with 4 of the 6 girls in the final wearing blue APU suits.  We've done it countless times for intervals; roller skiing, day after day in the rain (34 days straight this summer) to bounding with poles in freezing temperatures come September.  In fact, yesterday turned out so cool, here is my tweet from last night:

Pretty sweet to eat dinner and debrief with the rest of the podium tonight. My teammates rock... APU girls: 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 US 

A great photo of our girl's team at the finish line from

Once again (this morning) the top four Americans (myself, Morgan, Sadie, and Katie) from yesterday's race are sitting around the breakfast table.  We've already had a fantastic morning drinking coffee and watching the men's Tour De Ski live on Eurosport.  We're excited to watch Kikkan compete in the women's race later this morning.

"Cheers!" (w/hot chocolate!)

My first National Championship!!!!!

There are so many great things about having a strong team.... there are so many benefits.  First of all, being on the road is fun. We have endless amounts of laughs. If you don't enjoy the people that you travel with, ski racing can be tough.  We're in tight accommodations for weeks on end training, sleeping, eating, and racing together - sometimes even sharing the same bed. It's priceless to be able to come home at the end of the day and celebrate together.  Even if you didn't have the best day individually, you can be happy for a teammate that did well.  

The APU girls storming the podium (left to right) Kate Fitz, Becca Rorabaugh, Katie Ronsse, me, Sadie Bjornsen, Morgan Smyth

Signing our paperwork

Katie, Holly, Sadie, Morgan

The APU girls team definitely has something special right now. I've been trying to boil it down, put my finger on it, & identify it but I can't..... People have asked me what it is, wanting to create the same thing amongst their team(s) but I don't know that it's reproducible.  Some how we have the right people, with the right chemistry, at the right time. We have great coaches, hard working, professional wax techs, and good attitudes.  We live for hard workouts, we switch leads in intervals, we give each other feedback on ways that we can improve.  Most people view cross country skiing as an individual sport but it can be so much more than that. 

I think that good results and good attitudes are infectious and we have the bug.  Once someone breaks through, everyone else starts doing well. There is a domino effect and it's awesome.

Here are a couple of articles about the day: 

A cool article from the Anchorage Daily News that made the front page of the paper, even when Nationals are 3,000+ miles away. (You've got to love a ton that appreciates skiing, hence, one of the reasons why I moved there!!!)  Thanks to the ADN and Beth Bragg for covering skiing.

Kris Dobie

Also, for all you non fasterskier readers, here is the link to the ski website coverage:

Thanks so much to everyone who has sent words of congratulations, to the coaches and techs for their endless hours of hard work, and last but certainly not least, to the race organizers that are constantly having to battle with weather that is out of their control.  Hosting US Nationals is never a small task and I realize that the operation is a labor of love for many of those working countless, undocumented hours. Thank you.

APU girls team in Silver Star - December, 2010