Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#storyofmylife, Fast & Female + running with chickens!

Another insanely fun, busy & productive week... I'm going to share a bunch of pictures and they are going to be out of order..... because I'm too tired to re-arrange everything. Gotta keep ya on your toes! 

We had our 5th annual Fast & Female Anchorage event. I have to say that I think it was the most fun ever. The APU Ski girls were joined by UAA Gymnastics & BB... as well as a rep from Women's ski jumping and more. It was AWESOME. 

We had a photo booth where girls could dress up and get their pictures taken together - what a hit!  Here are a bunch of girls - trying to look serious but I promise (or at least think!) they were having fun :) 

 After a busy week Kikkan and I needed to get some R&R and focus on training. We did a mini-camp up at Hatcher's Pass Lodge. Being mid-week and bad weather we had full control of the place. It was awesome, restful & just what we needed.  They even had the Shining on VHS although we opted out of that. We spent one morning drinking coffee reading over the surveys from Fast & Female in front of the fire place. It was near heaven... 

 This is bar-none the most hilarious comment in the entire stack of 200 surveys! 

 I took some photos & video with Rick & Levi up at Hatcher's Pass for Kendall - stayed tuned for that! (Thanks for the fun shoot you two) 

 I think Buggz has SAD..... because he's been sleeping in this chair, in this position for what seems 20 of 24 hours lately. Anyone else's pets acting overly lazy? 

 Recording PSAs with the Girl Scouts! And being paid in Girl Scout Cookies! (Perhaps selling 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies when I was young helped with my work ethic?) 

Me & Kikkan with Mary and Bonnie - our SUPER FAST AND FEMALE VOLUNTEER! We couldn't have done it without her!  A special thank you also goes out to Joey Cat! You ladies rock! 

 Tons of activity stations at FF where girls got to try all sorts of cool things! 

 Sling shot biathlon - with tootsie rolls! 

Thanks so much to all the sponsors for Fast & Female - we had great community support for the event which made it possible. A special shout out to one of my long-time sponsors, the Rhyneer Clinic which kicked in for the event!  

Also of note is that BP donated 10K to Fast & Female!  We're really hoping to build the programing and dream of being able to hire more staff so we can expand and have more programs.  This donation is a great start to that. 

 Linda Cresap had the team over for a meal.... it was AMAZING surprise surprise. I felt like I was in high school again having a teammate's parent cook for us. Why can't this happen everyday? 

 This past weekend we also had the APU FUNDrun benefiting both NNF and the Alaska Winter Olympians Foundation.  There were some AMAZING costumes. Special thanks goes to Jim Jager for the vision & for organizing! 

 It's important to note that Lex ran the ENTIRE 5k with a LIVE chicken. Yep. 

 Go Eva! 

 Teammates at an early am session at Hatcher's Pass 

To create good skis one must keep klister in their pants :) 

Until next week!  Happy Halloween everyone. Be safe out there! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

.... What day is it?

I can't believe that I already flunked my "blog every Wednesday" test.... I thought athletes were supposed to be good at setting and achieving goals. After all, isn't a blog a week (delivered on the promised day) a whole heck of a lot easier than a top ten on the World Cup! You might think.....

Yep - the skiing at Hatcher's Pass really is this good... 

But it's been BUSY since I got home. I feel like I'm trying to stuff the next five months of life into the 3 weeks I have in Alaska.  There have certainly been a couple of times where I really have to think about what day of the week it is - seriously.  Athletes don't work Monday-Friday and we certainly don't have weekends off.  Lame excuses for botching the blog Wednesdays I know but I promise I'll make it up!

This is one reason I've been so busy.... the 5th Annual Fast & Female is TOMORROW! We still have spots open so if you know of a girl between the ages of 9-19 send her to East Anchorage High School tomorrow!

 If Friday nights are always going to be spent in the weight room at least I have a good training partner... 

Scout rocking the box jump! 

My third "Road to Sochi" article was printed in the Anchorage Daily News on (blog!) Wednesday..... Here's the link in case you want to check it out
Road to Sochi: Olympians ramp up training for final hundred days

Read more here:

Nicole at Hatcher's Pass - bluebird! 

Me at Hatcher's Pass! 

Alright, that's it for now - gotta get back to F&F work! 
More soon - thanks for cutting me some slack! 
Holly :) 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday Whereabouts and Anti- Doping Tribulations

Holly & Kikkan roller ski training at SOHO - Tom Kelly Photo

Speaking of “Whereabouts” Anti-Doping efforts have been quite active lately, collecting urine samples from athletes far and wide.  Last Sunday was our much-anticipated day off from training and an opportunity to sleep in after a week of busy, consecutive 13-hour days. I nearly jumped out of bed at 6am when I heard a loud “knock, knock, knock” on the condo door.  Not knowing how long the person had been trying to wake us I sprinted to the door and nearly ran into Kikkan who was equally half asleep.  As it turns out the DCO (Drug Officer) was testing on behalf of FIS and Jessie was the only name on the list. 

But don’t worry, the rest of us got our turn too.  Just two days later came another knock on the door, this time at 7:30 in the morning, literally 5 minutes after I had gone to the bathroom. Liz lucked out by hitting the snooze alarm that morning and she could “provide the sample” on command.  I, however was not so lucky. Upon their arrival I realized my predicament and started pounding liquids, alternating between water and coffee. We were due to leave for practice at Soldier Hollow at 8:25 meaning that I had less than an hour to provide an ample sample, get through the paperwork, and ready myself for morning training. On my first attempt I could only squeeze (yes, I know…) 45 ml into the cup for testing.  45 is only ½ of the required 90 ml so after 5 minutes of trying with the sink water running for inspiration, I provided a partial sample.  This brings about an additional layer of paperwork.  Then, the sample had to be within my sight the entire time and I had to be within sight of the DCO the entire time until my "test" was complete. This resulted in my running around the condo, drinking water and packing for the roller ski workout, drinking coffee, and worrying that my inability to pee on command was going to make everyone late for training - all while toting around a jar of my own pee. (Sorry if this is a bit rough around the edges... I'm just trying to paint a clear picture of a realistic situation!) 

Needless to say, I was able to deliver and we were less than five minutes late to practice!  Apparently all "Olympic hopefuls" must be drug tested at least once within a 150-day window before the Sochi...... 

That's it for now.... expect a longer post soon! Thanks for ready & have a great day! 
Holly :) 

Zuzana Rogers Photo

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pain faces and the meals to make up for it!

I am really really tired.  It's been lots of 12 hours days at the COE (Center of Excellence) full of training, meetings, activity & excitement.  Yesterday we wrapped up fall testing and I'm happy to report it went well.  In my classic max test I stayed on the treadmill longer than the spring and my proof of a hard effort is in the "treadmill" burn on my knees that I got from collapsing hard onto the treadmill while it was still moving. Luckily I fared better than these people:

Then yesterday in my classic double pole max test I held onto the treadmill once again with my teeth. Yes, you heard me right, my teeth.  Protocol for the treadmill is that every minute the gradient increases and as you fatigue, it gets harder and harder to keep up. If you get behind for even a split second you're in trouble as it's virtually impossible to move your way back up the treadmill.  We wear chest harnesses, have our noses plugged, and are connected to oxygen.  I fell behind and was literally hanging on by biting the mouthpiece connected to the O2. I never said max tests were pretty...... 

Yesterday we also had strength tests. This includes FMS or "Functional Mobility Screening" and strength tests. Ida and I partnered up and we captured some real pain faces. Hopefully she doesn't mind me putting them on the Internet. Mine are just as funny if not worse than hers! 

HOLY cow Ida can squat a lot!  Actually we are standing on a force plate here which measures the pressure that is going through our feet. 

 The one-legged force plate max push is much harder and more awkward than Ida is making it look. 

 We also measured lots of jumps.... 

After all this hard training we need some serious recovery.  Tonight we cooked up a fall feast in our condo.  Thanks to Morgan Arritola for the recipe inspiration!!!!! 

Via Mo's recommendation we made Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini and Zaatar. I'm sadened to report that we couldn't find Zaatar but we tasked master chef Cork into googling substitutes for the spice and whatever he did turned out excellent! 

Try out the recipe for yourselves here.... it's fantastic! 

Also, I posted a bunch of pictures from camp on my athlete site, "Holly Brooks - Dare to Dream" if you're interested in checking them out. LIKE my page for more regular updates!

In the meantime, I'm happy to report that this is the second Wednesday in a row I've been successful at posting!  Check back next Wednesday if not before for more updates on the team and the last big training block before the "winter of SOCHI!" 

Have a good one & as always, thanks for reading, 
Holly :) 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday - CHECK!

I did it!  A little Wednesday update... probably my shortest blog yet!  Things in Park City have been pretty chill but they're starting to pick up fast... it's going to get busy really, really soon. With what you might ask? Meetings, USOC training, pictures, uniforming, more pictures, presentations, Fast and Female Park City, Fundraisers, Testing, blood tests, goal meetings, technique, more pictures.... training twice a day.  

To complicate things the USST Team always stays up at Empire, near Guardsman Pass while in Park City.  I believe it's close to 8600 feet - basically at the top of a mountain.  We have a few cars .. but we have more people so we joke about how every day is a carpooling jigsaw puzzle with everyone's slightly different schedules, meetings, and PT appointments.  You can't exactly walk to or from town  unless you want it to be one of your training sessions for the day! (For the record I am NOT complaining) 

 As you can see, Fall is in full effect here in Park City. We've had some gorgeous days but this weekend is forecasted to get colder and snow, rain, or thunder - we shall see! 

 I spent today in Salt Lake City; I had an airport workout, airport workout sandwich plus some.  I enjoyed the change of pace and got to mix things up with my good friend and old training partner Katie Ronsse. Katie has less than a year left of PT school at UU. She took me out on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Katie and I have done lots of adventures in Alaska together and we are always Bear Aware. But today we found a new predator..... 

This snake was just chilling across one of the bike paths we encountered.  We didn't really want to bike by it so we stopped and threw things at it like total amateurs. We thought it might be dead because it wasn't responding but then we saw the tongue... Needless to say it was a great ride and we survived the snake encounter! 

Last but not least - SAVE THE DATE! 
Fast and Female ANCHORAGE is going to be Saturday, October 26th! We'll be signing up participants & gathering volunteers shortly. We hope to see you there! 

More from Park City soon! 
Thanks for reading,