About Me

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Boulder, CO, United States
From Minnesota to Maine to the sunny land of Boulder, CO, I have been competing as an athlete all my life and been working as massage therapist for six years now. Helping athletes with greater recovery, bounce back from injury faster, and helping one's body perform at it's best is what I aim to do. My love for sport, training and helping a body feel good and perform at it's best has driven me into a career in massage therapy. I strive for nothing less than the best...let me help you reach greater heights.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A transition from one side of sport to another

I have considered myself an athlete for as long as I can remember.   I have made biathlon my career for the past ten years of my life.  A sport that is like few others, drawing on your ability to physically push yourself  to a place that just doesn't feel very nice,  in addition to requiring calm and focus.  Ah biathlon, never a dull sport.  It is one of the best ones if you ask me, although I may be slightly bias.  

My life has revolved around my biathlon training and racing for almost as long as I can remember.  It felt right.  I love to train.  And I love to race even more, well, most days anyways.  But I have reached a point where I am ready to branch out a bit more in life.
While racing for the past six years I have also been working as a massage therapist.  It is work that I have enjoyed a great deal.  My curiosity for how our bodies respond to things, whether that be training, body work, the food we eat or the place we live in, is endless.  Working with others to help their bodies feel better, reducing stress our bodies hold from training, working and everyday living is extremely rewarding.  I am also left with a desire to learn more in ways in which I can help people to feel better and perform to their best ability   Treating your body to better health, that is what I have always strived to do in my massage work.  So as I have reached this point of transition in my life, I am putting more time and focus into my work as a massage therapist.
This transition of mine has included more that a slight change in focus, it has also involved a move across the country, from the great North of Aroostook County, Maine to the mountainous Boulder, CO.  Settling into the West has been great, although I am still working on the altitude associated with the move, but I am hoping I will eventually adapt.
My role in Boulder now includes helping coach the Boulder Junior Nordic Racing Team, which I have enjoyed thus far and am even more excited to get on snow with everyone and really put the summer training to the test.  I am also very proud to have a the opportunity to be working with the U.S. Paralympic Biathlon and Nordic team, helping to coach and doing some massage work with the team.  All of these athletes have given me a different perspective on the sport that I have been so focused on myself for the past ten years.  This new perspective has sparked new excitement in me for the sport that I love.  I couldn't be more excited for the snow to fall!
In between practice with the BNJRT and camps with the Paralympic Nordic team, I am  working on establishing my own business as a massage therapist, providing the greatest bodywork an athlete can find, here in Boulder.  All of these changes in my life has lead me to spend a lot of time coming up with new goals to work towards.  Bringing greater bodywork care to every level of athlete, is now at the top of my goal list.  Along with this goal, I am launching a new blog to follow my progress in reaching this goal of mine.  It will also be a platform for me to share ideas and thoughts on bodywork, skiing/biathlon, a means to schedule your own massage with me.  Check it out at:  B.A.M.bodywork.blogspot.com.  Yup, BAM: BethAnn Marie.
Changing up my priorities doesn't mean I won't be out on the trail this year.  I'll be putting a race bib on and throwing my rifle on my back as often as I can. I will just be juggling it with a few other things this year. And could not be more excited about them all.
Hope to see you all out on the skis trail or perhaps on the massage table sometime soon!  Until then, keep working on that snow dance! You can never do too much.

cheers, BethAnn

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ride Aroostook....round two!

Smiles from last years Ride Aroostook!

So I can hardly believe how long it has been since my last update.  I am not going to start making up excuses and just move forward with things.  I have good reason to do so because I have something else that is much more exciting to write about.  This weekend is the second annual Ride Aroostook event in Northern Maine.  I am working on raising money for Camp Adventure, which is an awesome camp for kids with diabetes.  At this camp the kids have a chance to do all kinds of cool, adventurous activities like run around and shoot rifles at targets.  Sounds crazy doesn't it!?!  Trust me it is a good time! ;).  The councilors at the camp also help the kids learn how to monitor their blood sugar while doing all these fun activities. It is a really great thing.
I would very much appreciate your support in helping raise funds for this awesome camp.  Every penny that is donated goes directly to the kids camp.  It really is a no loose situation.  And I promise to write a few updates following to let you know how the ride went!
So many thanks in advance for your support.  Just click on the link and you can donate to my ride, which is pass right on to the kids at this awesome camp!
Thanks again and happy riding to you all!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fresh start

A foggy road ahead.  Sometimes, you just have to put your head down
and trust that the road is leading you right where you need to go. 
There is something nice about the ending of one season and the start of another.  While many things in life run right into one another, the idea of starting fresh has always been something that I have enjoyed.  In ski racing the end of the winter and working your way into the growing season again is always a time of transition, a time to regroup, a new beginning.
This spring season has been especially that.  Many changes are in the works, with many details yet to be worked out.  While the unknown often makes me nervous or perhaps more impatient, I am learning to work through things more slowly and enjoy the process, at least most of the time.

I do know that change is good.  To have things stay the same would only lead to a life without adventure, learning or new experience.  While I will continue racing in the year ahead, I am also looking forward to explore and expanding in other areas in my life as well.  More on that in the near future. I have to be on my way,  a new adventure awaits...


This spring I have been able to enjoy a few different activities I don't often get a chance to do other times of year.  Including.....

An amazing afternoon of food, friends, and beauty in a perfectly plan bridal shower
for a very good friend!
A game of Settlers of Catan along with a hot coffee = the perfect activity for a
cold rainy spring day. (p.s. I won too! :) )

I enjoyed an amazing day of rock climbing in Acadia National Park 
Catching up on lost time with my very energetic niece and nephew.   You can
never spend too much time at the playground!
Worth waiting for...two years later my asparagus is going to be ready to eat shortly...
A true test of patience!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A quick rewind...to some amazing athletes!

The snow maybe mostly gone for the season but I still have a few stories to share about my adventures this past winter.  Bare with me as I play a bit of catch up...

Spring series in the North American Nordic world is usually about the last racing event for the year.  Traditionally it has been held out West in higher elevations, where the snow tends to stick around a bit longer.  This year it was in the East, at Craftsbury.  Being in the East already,  I was happy to participate in the events, not only as a racer but helping out with another team as well.   I know I updated a few times already on this event but this time it isn't about my racing but of my opportunity to help out other racers.  
The Adaptive skiing and biathlon programs have seen an amazing amount of growth in the last couple years.  The  U.S. hosted two World Cup in the Midwest this past season.  Both of which were a great success.  Our National team is growing stronger by the minute and programs across the country are calling in new recruits left and right.  It only seemed natural that Spring Series to add an adaptive category to the mix.   And somehow in the organization of this event I was asked if I had interest in helping out with the adaptive races to be held at Spring Series. I obviously said yes,  and I am so very glad I did. 

The Adaptive event at Spring series was a mini-tour, much like the other races.  This means that there area  number of races in a row, where the results are added cumulatively in the end creating an overall winner.  This event consisted of three races; a prolog, a distance race and a sprint.  Among many other things, I learned quickly while helping out that organizing an event for these athletes has you take a lot of additional factors into consideration.  Creating a course that is challenging yet safe and doable for those in both a sit ski and the stand up skiers is not an easy task, especially when you are limited to a very small loop to begin with.  Despite this challenge we were able to come up with a different course for the athletes each day.  And, for the most part, I think they were all happy about it. 
The Nordic world in the U.S. is fairly small.  You don't have to be involved in it for too long before most faces and names become familiar.  Working with the Adaptive athletes gave me an opportunity to work with athletes with totally different backgrounds, which was a really cool experience.  Each athlete has his or her own unique challenges to overcome, adding another huge task to each athletes already full plate  of simply competing at their very best.  The specifics of each sit skiers "bucket", (a new term I learned  for what I called their sit ski), has to be just right and fit just for them.  I relate this to fitting a rifle for a biathlete, also a very specific fit that often takes years to get just right.  Much of what is fairly streamlined for stand up skiing is still very much a work in progress  for those racing in the sit ski division. This includes everything from finding the best length of pole, ski technique, flex of ski, and binding system.  My mind is spinning just thinking about all of this!

One of the things that amazed me most about these athletes during this event is that when they faced with questions about equipment and technique, last minute changes in race course and distance and additional challenges with equipment, took it all in stride.  They kept their focus and worked hard racing and even had huge grins on after their races.  Well, maybe not immediately after, but soon after they had recovered! :)  It was a great reminder to me what sport is all about.  Learning how to best work with your body to have the best performance you are capable of, no matter what the circumstances around you may be.  This group of athletes racing were working hard to do just that and I was inspired by watching it.  Many thanks to them and the organizers and program directors for giving me the opportunity to do so.  Hope to help out again sometime. 

More to come. Until then... think spring!  Because there isn't any snow left and 40 degrees and rain doesn't make for fun outdoor activities!  Bring it on sunshine!!! I'm ready!



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The season's end

Every racing season has it's ups and downs.  This year was no exception.  A few too many missed targets early on and sickness smack in the middle of it, threw my original game plan off for the year.  This is not to say that there weren't some successful moments or that I didn't enjoy my winter.  Things can always be a little bit better, right? That is what keeps us going, keeps us working hard?
The end of March came and I had one more race that I had signed up for.  My motivation going into it was not especially high. I was feeling a little tired, not in the best racing shape and my focus lacking slightly.  Thoughts of just passing on the last race of the year, the 30km U.S. Distance Nationals race, did pass through my mind a time or two. Finally, after giving myself a good kick in the pant,  I came to my senses and realized that I had the opportunity to race with an amazing group of skiers.  I was already at the venue and had already registered for it.  Of course I was going to race.
Now onto the weather.  Eighty degrees in March is not something I am use to.  Nor is it something that race organizers are planning for when hosting a ski event at the end of March.  After a year with limited snow, or snow followed by days of rain, a week of  nearly 80 F weather was not what any of the skiers or event organizers were hoping for.  This is where I take my hat off to all of the MANY volunteers and organizers at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.  They did what I thought was impossible.  They held all the races of spring series, including the women's 30km and men's 50km race.  It was all done on a 1.5km loop, but they did it.  I never thought they would be able to make it happen.
Having committed to helping with the Adaptive races earlier in the week, (which I will report more on very soon),  I was left with only one race to choose from.  The 30km skate race.  A skate race, which is much more in my favor than classic, and a longer distance.  Not a bad event for me to sign up for.  So I did.

It wasn't my best race of the year.  But it was an experience like no other I have ever had in Nordic or biathlon racing.   A mass start 30km race, twenty laps on a 1.5km loop  in warm and pretty sloppy conditions.  The conditions ended up being the most challenging part for me.  Hard and fast conditions always favor my kind of skiing.  Slow and sloppy conditions are a bit more challenging, which was what I found during the race.  The small loop made for great cheering the entire way and easy to take multiple feeds.  I had a crew counting laps for me, which turned out to be priceless.  I think I might still be out there if it wasn't for them.
I finished 29th place.  A bit behind where I would have liked to have been but in tough conditions in a very competitive field, not terrible.  This race turned into a mental battle for me.  Even though the loop was very small I found myself alone on the trail for good portions of the race.  Keeping my pace up during these times was a tough struggle, especially since it was a 30km, where the pace isn't crazy fast, but you still need to be moving at a good clip.  Knowing that I wasn't having my best race and that nothing was really on the line, as far as where I finished, made it hard to just keep going at time.  But I did.  I was proud to win that mental fight with myself.  I stayed in the game and crossed the finish line.  It is a race that I will remember, not because of my place or time, but because of what I overcame inside of myself to finish it.  You really do learn something new every time you put that race bib on.

Oh so tired...
Just keep skiing.....just keep skiing....

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Oh, where to start...
It is hard to believe so much time has past since my last update.  It leaves me a little uncertain as to where to pick up from. 
A quick review of February:  I was sick.  The biggest downfall from this was my inability to race in the Birkie.  I am not sure if there is anything worse than being at a big event, feeling well prepared but sickness or injury prevents you from starting.  This was probably my low point in the year.  It did help me realize just how much I really do love racing.  Despite the anxiety and pressure of performing well I often put on myself in races, it is a whole lot of fun when you actually get out there and do it.  The one up to being on the sidelines was being able to watch my husband David come in second, (later was moved up to first due to a disqualification), in the classic Birkie and my sister and brother-in-law have personal bests as well.  There always is a silver lining.
On to March:  It started out with amazing skiing in Aroostook County.  I enjoyed a great amount of time helping out at high school and other community events throughout the area.  I was able to join in on the fun of an amazing Women’s ski day, a kickin’ Aroostook Youth Ski day and even join in on the final Aroostook Cup race of the year. 
My final biathlon races of the season just wrapped up last weekend in Val Cartier, Quebec.  It is hard to believe that the conditions were as great as they really were, given warm weather and an early morning thundershower Sunday.  Somehow the course held up and the skiing was pretty darn good all week long.  I had a slow start to the week, with a lot of missed targets in the Mass start.  Thankfully I put things together over the weekend and walked away with two 5th places in the sprint and mass start. 
 In between the races, I was able to help out with a Fast and Female event, (www.fastandfemale.com, check it out if you aren’t familiar.  It’s an awesome organization!).  And it was in a Quebec school.  There were a couple highlights to this particular F & F event.  First, it was a biathlon specific event.  We were able to set up a full biathlon air rifle range in the gym of the school!  It was so cool.  And the girls were so into it.  The second highlight was it was in a Quebec school, so it was mostly in French.  While a bit awkward at times, I was excited to work on my French with all the girls and many of them were excited to practice their English as well. 
I have since returned from Quebec, and enjoyed a couple days back at home.  I had the chance to get a ski in at Aroostook State Park and test out Atomic’s Skintech skis, which are awesome.   I can’t wait to order my for next year already.  I now have my car packed up again and am ready to head to Vermont.  I’ll admit, I am having believing I am going to be skiing on snow once I get down there.  The weather continues to feel more like summer and not at all like winter or even spring.  I am only signed up for the 30km race, as I will be helping out with the adaptive team earlier in the week.  One way or another, it should be a great time.  And I did pack some shorts! 
Update from Craftbury coming soon…-BA

March in Aroostook County started off with some amazing skiing.  Picture perfect day!

Perhaps the best part of the week,  maple candy!  Doin' it right in Canada! :)

A bit warm and foggy, but the conditions held up amazingly well all week in Valcartier, QU.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lots of catching up to do...

How long it has been!  Here is a fairly quick summary of the last month:  trip to Mid-West,  cancellation of the Mora Vassaloppet due to lack of snow, racing 42km Pre-Birkie race instead and placing 2nd,  getting sick, getting the flu, endless frustration,  sitting out of the Birkie because of sickness.  It is always frustrating getting sick, and feels so much worse when you want and should be racing instead, but it happens to us all at some point in time.  After nearly three weeks of battling one thing or another, my health feels nearly normal again. Thank goodness.
I am back in Aroostook County enjoying the great abundance of snow we have here!  This morning I am even going to give a little classic sprinting a try, just as a workout.  I am not ready for a classic sprint race just yet.
 I do promise to have a more thorough update shortly!  Until then, check out the photos below of all great fun the kids of Aroostook County had yesterday in the Aroostook Youth Ski Festival.  I was working with the little Lollipop skiers!  Endless energy, no fear and OH so cute!  Great time had by all.

Happy skiing to you all,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Biathlon - Quebec style

A panoramic view of the air rifle range in Val Cartier, Quebec
Rain, wind, snow and more snow, caused a number of changes in racing plans this past weekend.  The North American Cup was to be held in La Patrie, Quebec, which is just down the road from Shearbrook, Quebec.  Rain mid-week unfortunately washed away a good amount of their snow causing the organizers to  cancel.  Shortly there after, they came back and told us it was rescheduled for Val Cartier, Quebec, but there would be no air rifle division.  This event was suppose to have categories for the younger folks shooting air rifles. Maine Winter Sports Center had planned to bring a big group from our development team to participate.  We were all bummed to hear this wasn't going to happen.
After rearranging transportation, housing and coaching because of all the changes, we finally had everything figured out by Wednesday night.  And that was when they opened the air rifle categories again. In the end everything worked out and all the kids were able to come and have a real international biathlon race experience. What I gathered from my observations is this: a. they all had fun racing, b. none of them liked the fact that most people spoke French, even though most of these kids have been in French class since second grade! c. traveling with prepubescent boys make everything more interesting.
Gannon French-Terrien starting strong in the sprint biathlon race
on Saturday. 
It was a very busy weekend for our coach Sarah Kamilwicz, who was in charge of all fourteen athletes ranging from senior athletes to novice 12 year olds.  Throw a good ol' fashioned snow storm into the mix, turning what should be a four hour drive into nearly an eight hour drive, and you have a yourself a great adventure.  The boys in the van kept themselves entertained on the way down with their Wii, which they duct taped to the ceiling of the van on the way down.  We all kept one another awake on the long, dark, drive back by playing name that tune via walkies talkies, one in each of the four vehicles.
Despite some interesting grooming techniques, course marking and the very winter like weather we endured through the weekend, the races went on without too much trouble.  Going into the weekend I was a little nervous about how I was going to get myself around the hilly course on my very tired legs.  The eight inches of mashed potato snow on Saturday was definitely not what I was looking for, but I survived.  After missing three targets on Saturday I wound up six seconds out of third place.  Sunday's pursuit race took us up a long climb for the first half of the course and mostly down  for the second half, which we completed five times around.  Tired, I still managed to throw everything I could out onto the course.  I finished third and was happy to be back on the podium.
Having made it through the weekend, my body is now demanding a little bit of rest.  A day off, followed by a long classic ski yesterday leaves me feeling a bit more recovered.  One more easy day and I think I'll be ready to put a little more marathon training time in.
Anya O'meara of New Sweden, ME, cleaned, (hit all her targets), in her first biathlon race ever!
She was also the youngest competitor there!  Hats off to Anya!
Standing on the podium with my Canadian competitors after the pursuit race on Sunday. 

The timing crew at the Presque Isle High School meet Tuesday afternoon.
 My tired body was glad that I was helping out and not racing.  Although, timing is not always easy.
 It's hard work staying warm when you aren't moving around on skis!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Another day, or two, in the cold

The trails were in beautiful condition at the 10th Mountain Ski Center for the
North American Cup #3 held this weekend in Fort Kent, Maine
As the season continues, winter seems to getting it's grove back up here in Northern Maine.  Fort Kent was home to the North American Cup this past weekend and winter was in full force.  I love winter and I love racing, but waking up to
 -23 F temperatures Sunday morning did not make me want to run to the start line.
In the end I didn't let the cold get to me, not to mention it thankfully  warmed up quite a bit by the time we raced.  An hour delay for both Saturday and Sunday's races allowed plenty of time for the sun to work it's way over the horizon and warm things up.  
The folks up in Fort Kent did an amazing job putting on this event, with endless volunteers, great organization, beautifully groomed trails and even lunch and hot drinks for everyone afterwards.  Hats off to everyone who helped put this great event on, with a special thanks to Nancy ;).  

Racing in biathlon for over ten years now has brought me all over the country and the world.  I have been lucky enough to race as so many venues in so many cool places.  And I absolutely love it all.  That being said, there is also something pretty cool about being able to sleep in your own bed the night before a race, even better sleeping in your own bed the night after your race.  I enjoyed doing just that this past weekend.

North American cup #3 was a two day event, starting with a two shooting stage, 7.5km sprint race on Saturday followed by the 12.5km, four shooting stage mass start race on Sunday.  Consistency was the name of the game for me, placing second in both events!  Despite the cold, slow snow, skiing continued to feel pretty good.  I was a bit tired on Sunday, but held in there and was happy to walk away in second place for the second day in a row.   I was even more excited to feel my shooting become more and more solid with every race.  
That is it for racing I will do close to home for the year, which is actually more than most years.  I am excited to be traveling to some other great events in the weeks and months to come.  Next weekend I will be visiting our friendly neighbors to the North. I'll be competing in North American cup #4  in La Patrie, Quebec.  After that a little rest and a short training block will lead into a few Nordic races in the Mid-West.  Snow permitting, I'll be going the distance in the Mora Vassaloppet, then shortening things up a bit in Madison, WI for the Capital sprints and will wrap things up with the American Birke!  It'll be my third year racing the Birke and I am really starting to believe that third time really IS the charm.  It's going to be a great one.  Now we just have to send more snow to the Mid-West! Keep doin' the dance. Winter isn't over yet. We still have the whole month of March too!
Cheers, BethAnn

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A change of plans

Just a great view from inside the 10th Mountain Lodge
in Fort Kent.  Not a bad place to enjoy a hot meal

It's good to be flexible, in a scheduling sense that is.  I am enjoying the beautiful view out the windows of the 10th Mountain Lodge in Fort Kent, Maine as I eat my lunch and write this update.  I was not expecting to have the time to do all this in my original plan for the day. 
 I drove the 45 or so miles North to Fort Kent early this morning, stopping at the boarder to get my rifle papers in order and to get a training session in before our schedule departure time of 11:00 am.  We, the Maine Winter Sports Center Biathlon Team, are headed to Jericho, Vermont this weekend for North American Championships.  Our first race is Friday, so I wanted to get one more intensity session in before the long drive and start of the weekend races.  But before I could even begin my workout, I received a text from my coach telling me we are going to have a little later departure time because he hit a moose last night.  Hitting a moose is never a good thing, but I was under the impression he didn't hit it head on, perhaps only clipped it  since he was only delaying the start of our trip by a couple hours.  Well it turns out the moose hit the windshield and caused the mini van to roll.  Not good.  I am only writing all this because, thankfully, my coach was fine.  Even so, it is still a scary deal.  
Things are looking very winter like in Fort Kent these days.
It was especially feeling that way this morning, with temperatures
staying below zero for much of the morning.
In the end this very scary event my poor coach went through, caused for a very minor shift from the original plan.  This kind of thing is easy to adjust to.  I am actually quite content here at the 10th Mnt. Lodge, having taken a nice, long, hot shower after my workout, eating lunch, checking on emails, paying bills, sipping hot chocolate.  I have the latest New Yorker and Outside magazine that I am anxiously awaiting time to read and of course my bottomless bag of knitting projects with me, that could keep me entertained for days, or more like months.  My car is packed full of ski gear, bed sheets, blankets, food, shampoo, you name it.  Simply stated, I have all that I need with me and am always ready for a change of plans. 
So goes for the rest of my winter "planing".  Going into my racing season, I knew where I would be through Christmas.  I knew where my races were and what my focus was.  I was able to work out these details by the end of October, no sooner.  It was right around the holidays when I was able to piece together what my schedule for January would look like; U.S. X-C Nationals in Rumford followed by North American Championships, Jericho, VT and finally North American Cup, Fort Kent, Maine.  There is a chance I will race in another event or two the last weekend of the month, but that is left undecided until closer to the date, when I know what racing I have beyond January.  
My month of February is mostly up in the air, besides the Birkie, which I will race towards the end of the month.  And March,  I don't have a clue, yet.  While to some this may seem crazy, but to me, an athletes whose opportunities change with racing results and by how fresh or tired my body is feeling at any given time, it is just the way it is.  I can't say this is an ideal set up, but it is the way things are, at least for now.  So I will continue to pack enough clothes, equipment and additional means of keeping myself entertained every time I pack my bags, which is almost weekly. 
And as long as those moose stay clear of me and all the rest of you out on the roads, I am feeling pretty lucky. 
Happy and safe travels to you all, 

With a little more time to kill, I stopped to enjoy the scenery after my workout.  It was brief however, given the chilly temps. 
Happy to be out skiing


Monday, January 9, 2012

Rumford wrap up and catching up with life

The start of the rounds in the skate sprint race.  I am on the one
on the left with the pink hat on. 
While the weather didn't appear all that into hosting a Nordic skiing event last week in Rumford, the event did go on!  A 3.26 kilometer man made loop was home to all four races last week at U.S. Nationals in Rumford, Maine.  The week started with the two skate events, a sprint and a 10km for women and 15km race for men.  The second half of the week was all classic; 20/30km distance and another sprint race.  I made the drive down South to my husbands old stomping grounds at Black Mountain, and took advantage of the high level of racing going on just a few hours drive from my home.
After a long drive down, due to some inclement weather, including snow, sleet and some freezing rain coming down in that order.  I arrived on the eve of the last day of 2011.  Exhausted after too many hours of stressful driving, I happily hit the hay long before the New Year.  Instead, I was happy to wake up to a New Year feeling rested and ready to ski!  At that point the first race, the sprint was still on for Monday.  It wasn't until I was just getting up Monday morning around 6:15am that I got a call from David, my husband who was out at the venue early with the BNS crew testing wax and testing skis,  that I found out that there would be no race on that day.  Warm weather and rain all night long kept the trail from freezing and there was great concern about the man made snow lasting through the week if they held a race on it.   The weather for Tuesday was expected to be much cooler , so another day of unexcited rest was thrown into the beginning of the week.

When the races finally did start Tuesday morning, it was a great day for a ski race.  The temperatures did drop and the course set nicely and was CRAZY fast.  The women's 1.4 kilometer sprint course was so fast that the  top qualifying time by Jessie Diggins was under three minutes.  The next thirty to follow, all those that then moved on to the rounds, were all within 18.1 seconds of each other.  I was happy to be one of those top thirty which gave me another opportunity to race this crazy fast course with five other fast moving females, (six girls per heat).
Gunning it right from the start, I was in the mix  three quarters of the way through the course.  I then, before I knew it, lost a few meters in a short transition area and missed the draft going down the hill into the stadium.  At this point I did my best to make up my lost ground, but ran out of real estate, as the finish was quickly upon us all.  The top two from each heat moves onto the next round.  I didn't make the cut.
While I was disappointed not to move on, I was very excited that I had the opportunity to race against these fast moving females.   The tactics of these races are something that I have much to learn about.  It is also tough to keep improving on this when I rarely do this kind of race and don't focus on this kind of racing in my training.  Perhaps this is something I will change in the future.  Perhaps.
Everyone enjoyed a day off following the skate sprint.   Round two of the races began on Thursday morning.  This time it was a race I am a little more familiar with, the 10km skate race.  Three laps on this course completed this distance.  I was happy to have a little better start position, starting just thirteen minutes in, where as in the past I had been starting close to the end due to my lack of USSA points.   My start position enabled me to ski with and among a few of the top girls on various loops.  I enjoyed the busy tracks, as nearly 160 racers were in this race along with me.  I held strong through the first two laps and then felt myself slow down a bit on the third lap.  In the end my time was good enough to put in me in 25th at the finish.  I was ten seconds out of the top twenty and about a minute out of the top ten.  Despite hopes of being a little further on the results sheet, I wasn't too disappointed in my performance.  I do know that I have room to improve and can take that next minute off my time next go round.  There is always something to work towards, isn't there.

The trails at Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine.  Not bad for all man made snow, not bad at all. 
 After the staking events, I made my way back North to get a little work in and get a little more training, specifically shooting in.  Turns out the cold weather Thursday night was bad enough to freeze the pipes of my house, so it is a good thing that I did make it back.  Thankfully nothing burst.  After some phone calls, testing out my abilities with a blow torch and a lot of help from some good friends, (thank you again Kyle!!), all is well again.  As of yesterday afternoon, I can now add insulation installer to my resume, not that I am hoping to ever have to do that again.  But rest assured there will be no more frozen pipes in this house!!! All this time consuming, yet very necessary work has kept me from completing the training I was hoping to do over the past few days, but such is life.  You have to just work around it, right?  It is all done now and it is time for me to get back out there.  The best new of all, which I nearly forgot, is that we did receive a couple more inches of snow and most of the trials in Northern Maine are looking pretty good.  They are also calling my name right now, so I best be off.
Biathlon races in Jericho Vermont this coming weekend.  The adventure continues....

Keep thinking snow,
Austin Ross of Maine Winter Sports Center, having a good one in the men's 15km skate race on Thursday

It was fun to be in Western Maine racing.  David and I were able to catch up with his folks, who live just down the road over the week!  

Where all the magic happens, the BNS wax cabin.  While David was also in Rumford, I didn't see him as much as you might think. He and the rest of the BNS crew were working hard making the fastest skis out there. And I am very thankful for it!  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country - First FIS World Snow Day: 225 Events in 39 countries

An event that I can resonate with, WORLD SNOW DAY. Join in on the fun and create your own day of fun in the snow January 22nd. A celebration of snow will be going on in thirty nine countries on this day. The celebration will spread across the globe from China to Pakistan to Canada to India. What a great day! Check out the link below to read more about how different areas are celebrating snow.

Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country - First FIS World Snow Day: 225 Events in 39 countries

Whether you are close to an event celebrating this day, hanging out at your local ski trails or sitting at home, join in on the fun. Make a snow angle or snowman, dust off your Nordic skis and ski around the yard, anything to get you outside in the white fluffy stuff and enjoying the best thing winter has to offer, snow! It's just another great excuse to get outside and play in the snow. Enjoy! I know I will.

Wishing you all snowy dreams and powder filled days,


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The winter season

Having fun with my new camera and it's panoramic setting, this photo was taken on the trails of the Eldora Nordic Center, just outside of Boulder.  

Now into the year of 2012, we are right into the racing season.  Kicking off the season of biathlon races in West Yellowstone, I was happy to start the season off with a win.  Despite fridged conditions at NORAM #2 in West Yellowstone in mid-December, I managed to ski and shoot my way into first place.  It was a good start for the year.  
From West, our team moved a little further East to my home state of Minnesota.  IBU Cup trials were held at Mount Itasca, which is just outside of my home town, Grand Rapids, MN.  Feeling great on my skis but having a few ups and downs on the range made me walk away from this race series with mixed feelings.  On the positive side I won the pursuit race after cleaning, (hitting all five of my targets), my final standing stage and pulling in front of the rest of the competition in my final lap.  
I fell a bit short of my goals during this race series, which has caused me to have to reevaluate my season and think about what I want my next move forward to be.  Before getting too weighed down with all the decision making I was faced with I was able to take a few days to relax over the holidays, enjoying time with both my family in Minnesota and my husband in Colorado!  It was a busy December. 
Now moving on to 2012, I am slowly gathering speed again for the remainder of the season.  I decided to take advantage of U.S. Cross Country Nationals being held in Maine and have jumped into the two skate races at this event.   I will then get back to my favorite form of racing, the kind that involves a rifle and will race at North American Championships in Jericho, Vermont the second weekend in January.   I will then stay closer to my home in Caribou and race at the North American cup just down the road from me in Fort Kent Maine.  That will nearly bring us into February.  There are still a few unknowns in my racing schedule for this month, but I do know that I will wrap up the month with the American Birkie.  It will be my third year racing in the U.S.'s biggest Cross Country event.  I am looking forward to preparing well for it and coming out with my best finish yet.  I am looking for at least a top ten.  A challenging goal for me, but one I look forward to accomplishing. 
I only ask one thing of you all as I wrap up this post, THINK SNOW!  After all, what good is cold weather if you don't have any snow to play in.  
Looking for on coming traffic coming down the hill as the trails merged in the pursuit race at Mount Itasca

My favorite fan at the races in Minnesota and probably the youngest one there as well.  Jaclyn, my 18 month old niece, greeted me at the finish.  A very welcoming face after a long race. 

Jaclyn doing all that she can to stay warm, all the while keeping herself entertained. 

Feeling pretty happy after pulling out a win in the pursuit race on Sunday

Start of the mass start at IBU Cup trials, Mount Itasca, MN

Despite the dry land on the range, the race course was in great condition thanks to a lot of voluenteer hours making snow in the weeks prior to the IBU Cup Trials in MN

After a week of racing I was happy to enjoy a little time with my family.  A little ice skating on a frozen lake with my mom made for a nice change up.  Watching my family's dog, Sadie run and slide across the ice made for great entertainment as well.