Travel

A Lot Can Happen in Two Months

Erik and David having some fun at the Sunday market in Park City.

Erik and David having some fun at the Sunday Market in Park City.

It has been a busy couple of months since my last post. Since then, I have had a two-week camp in Park City, had a training block in Anchorage, went to visit my old team in Fairbanks, and now I am in Bozeman recovering after another two-week camp in Park City. When I originally started this blog, I didn’t think I would have enough to write about, but now I am overwhelmed with what I have done since my last post. I will try keep you engaged by “telling” with pictures.

The first Park City camp was amazing. I have been to Park City three times, but only once in the summer, so it was great to go back and enjoy some hot weather and some sun. Even though Alaska had the best summer in the last century, we had one of the worst falls on record and we were able to get out for a good chunk of it.

 

The team after a hard threshold workout up from Salt Lake City.

The team after a hard threshold workout up from Salt Lake City.

The camp was a pretty normal training camp, the biggest difference though was that we lived just above 8000 ft and trained mostly between 5000-6000 ft. It was an amazingly ideal situation and so valuable considering the majority of the important races next season will be at altitude.

We had a few critical workouts including a sprint time trial. My coaches, Erik Flora and Sam Sterling, spent most of the day before searching for the perfect course and they found it in a new neighborhood about 40 minutes outside of Park City. It is incredible how much dedication they have for this team.

Sprint time trial on the "Sochi" course.

Sprint time trial on the “Sochi” course. (Photo: USSA)

Reese and I at the Girdwood 2020 golf scramble.

Reese at the Girdwood 2020 golf scramble.

 

We finally made it back to Alaska for an easy recovery week. At the beginning of the week, Reese Hanneman and I had the opportunity to join in a golf scramble fundraiser held by Girdwood 2020. Both Reese and I received a “Go for the Gold” grant for this season from them so we were very happy to join in. I had never golfed before, but I was lucky enough that we played the best ball of our group.

Erin Phillips, Pete, Reese, and Jack Novak at a fundraising dinner.

Erin Phillips, Pete, Reese, and Jack Novak at a fundraising dinner.

 

 

The team also put on a fundraiser dinner for the winning bid from the APU gala earlier in the summer. We do not get the opportunity to make such good meals that often, so I was a little nervous on how the meal would turn out, but my more experienced teammates pulled through and it went really well.

The team gave a toast to Sochi.

The team gave a toast to Sochi.

Since this is an Olympic year, the pressure is high for the whole team, but we get the unique experience of a lot of media attention. Cross-country skiing has not been the most popular sport in the past, but with the success of the US woman’s team in the last year, the team is getting a much stronger media presence than ever.

Erik getting interviewed my Al Jazeera America.

Erik getting interviewed by Al Jazeera America.

Towards the end of the Anchorage training block, Anchorage started getting nicer and nicer. Since I live less than a mile from Kincaid Park, I spend a lot of time there, especially when training alone. These three pictures basically sum up what Kincaid means to me in the summer: moose, the Cook Inlet, and overlooking the Chugach. It does not get much better to me.

One of the many moose of Kincaid.

One of the many moose of Kincaid.

Sunset after a late recovery run overlooking Cook Inlet from Kincaid.

Sunset after a late recovery run overlooking Cook Inlet from Kincaid.

Snow is coming. The view of the Chugach from Kincaid.

Snow is coming. The view of the Chugach from Kincaid.

For my last recovery week in Alaska, I decided to go up to Fairbanks with my former UAF teammate and current APU teammate, Lex Treinen. I have a lot of fond memories of Fairbanks so it was great to go up and see my old team and do a few workouts in my old territory.

Lex decided to jump in the river halfway through a run on the way up to Fairbanks.

Lex decided to jump in the river halfway through a run on the way up to Fairbanks.

The water seemed nice enough that I went in, too.

The water seemed nice enough that I went in, too.

Lex in front of the iconic "Into the Wild" bus. He pulls it off pretty well.

Lex in front of the iconic “Into the Wild” bus. He pulls it off pretty well.

Back in Southcentral Alaska, my teammate Reese Hanneman and I got the amazing opportunity to talk to the kids at the Girdwood K-8 School. Opportunities like these are major motivators for me. The passion and excitement kids have when they get to listen to what we do is humbling and really makes me forget all of the trivial aspects of the sport and causes me to remember why I actually started.

Reese and I talking about the importance of making goals.

Reese and I talking about the importance of making goals.

Here's me talking about how I got started in skiing and where it has taken me.

Here I am talking about how I got started in skiing and where it has taken me.

This was my first school presentation and I definitely need more practice, but I am excited for the next ones after the season ends. Ms. Cook and her class will be following Reese and me this winter so the pressure is on us to perform well this winter or we will have a lot of disappointed kids back home.

Reese talking about life on the road.

Reese talking about life on the road.

Reese and me with a few of the girls from the class. They were all super excited we came, which makes me excited for more school visits.

Reese and me with a few of the girls from the class. They were all super excited we came, which makes me excited for more school visits.

Finally, we just finished up our last Park City altitude camp. It was a pretty hard camp for me, getting food poisoning the first day and trying to get back on track. The camp ended really well though with some nice weather and a large group of guys to train with. In total, there were over 25 top US men in Park City for the two weeks so we were able to butt heads in a few workouts. I am pretty excited about where this country is headed in the world of skiing.

Now, I am taking a much needed recovery week visiting my teammate David Norris in Bozeman for a few days and family nearby before heading back up to Anchorage for the last training block before the race season. I can hardly wait, but I’m glad there are a few more weeks to tune up.

Moose in Park City. Even though I see 15 of these critters a day back home, for some reason it is special to see them outside of Alaska.

Moose in Park City! Even though I see 15 of these critters a day back home, for some reason it is special to see them outside of Alaska. We saw a group of four bulls here.

The team on our last long run of the season, overlooking Park City.

The team on our last long run of the season, overlooking Park City.

For more on our Park City camp, check out Reese Hanneman’s blog.