Schallinger for the W!

Racing in Utah went reasonably well. My legs are still hurting today two days after the 20k skate race. The olympic course at Soldier Hollow is no easy feat for mere mortals, but our UAA freshman ringer Michael Schallinger hailing from Traunstein, Germany made easy work of it. On the last hill before the finish, Schalli blew past the pack and sprinted in for the win. This is the first nordic win for UAA since Paul took the gold in New Mexico in 2007. Yahoo and good work Schalli!

Schallinger jump-skating up the last hill.

Here I am heading out for one more lap at Bohart Ranch in Bozeman.

Photos by Mandy Kaempf and Lex Treinen


Race. Hard.

Full-throttle racing season is on. Train easy, rest well, race hard, travel, repeat. I love this rhythm.

US nationals finished a few days before the school semester started up. After two days of school, I jetted down to beautiful Bozeman, Montana with the UAA team for some college racing at the MSU invitational. My classic race went pretty well, putting me in 26th place, but I bombed on the skate. It always takes some getting used to skiing at altitude.

Then we all drove down to Midway, Utah, stopping at West Yellowstone along the way for a lovely training ski. It's been stormy here in the rockies with lots of new snow. We've been training and prepping this week for our races tomorrow and Saturday. With the warm weather and the new snow, it could be tricky conditions for the classic race tomorrow. We'll see.

Tricky conditions usually favor those who don't give up, and always know that it's the skier that counts, not the skis (or as my dad would say, what's on top of the skis is more important than what's on the bottom). All of the physical training we do as nordic skiers makes us fit, but perhaps more importantly it makes us mentally tough. Knowing you can do something is half the battle of actually getting it done. I try to remember that during hard training sessions. I'm not just teaching my body to deal with the pain of extreme effort. I'm learning how hard I can push myself. I'm learning that the limits of my mind are often  more strict than those of my body. I'll try to remember that tomorrow as I power my way up Herman's hill through the thick snow.

Wish me luck!

photos coming soon...