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There's No Such Thing As Easy Training

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I never have thought that ski training was going to be easy. One of the many thrills of the sport are the numerous times you are given to push yourself mentally and physically. I have always said that one of the reasons that I love skiing is because of those chances you get. It's a sport like no other, where you are working your arms, legs, core, you have to focus on your technique, and there are only small moments of rest.

There are obvious times when it's easier to push yourself, and those times are what can create an amazing race or workout. Factors that help are being super focused, being well rested, and being in good shape. You also need to have a positive mental attitude, for when everything isn't going perfectly. It's hard to get everything to go to plan, and if you can surge and go over bumps that are in the way, you can create those good workouts and races on your own.

Over the past 6 years that I have been ski racing and training, I would consider myself a pos…

2017 Season Recap - Shoulder Recap

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Last October, I was faced with a hard decision. I just had a traumatic shoulder dislocation, which tore my labrum, a tissue that keeps the shoulder ball in the socket. Because it was my 10th dislocation/subluxation in less than a year, my doctor told me I needed surgery to repair the labrum. Although it was a risky move, I decided to push the surgery to after the ski season. The rules were pretty simple: I was going to physical therapy 2-3 days a week, and if I had any type of dislocation or subluxation, I would need to have surgery right away. I was so excited that I was allowed to ski and race. Getting to a high level of competition though was another story.

I wasn't really allowed to rollerski for the majority of October, and when I did no-pole, it was pretty uncomfortable. I could run a little (with discomfort), and the majority of my training was either leg work in the early morning weight room hours, intervals on the stationary bike (when everyone else had arm day), and hiki…

Life as a Sprint Race

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I have been racing competitively for just over five years, and while I still have a lot to learn, I have picked up some skills here and there that help me prepare for races. One skill in particular that I picked up, helped create of my proudest race moments in my career so far.  When I raced at Junior Nationals in Truckee in 2015, I knew I could be strong in the distance races, but because I had never been that successful in sprint races, I didn't have high expectations. With the first races being skate sprints, I went in, ready to go with the flow.



As my first time racing at altitude, (7,000 feet!!), the sprint qualifier left me very aghast, but I was happy to qualify for the heats in 5th. In the heat, I raced in, I thought only about how I was going to get to the finish line on two heat. Surprisingly (to me) I won the heat, meaning I moved on to the next heat. Again, my goal was to survive (it's an excellent goal when you're breathing in thin mountain air), and I ended u…

The training of a Gimp

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The holidays usually mark one thing in the US ski community: US Nationals (or Sr. Nationals) preparation. US Nationals usually occurs in the 2nd week of January, and it is used to create the U18 Scandinavian Cup and U23 Junior World Cup teams, and also provides an opportunity for stand out athletes at Nationals to be recognized by the US Ski Team coaches, and compete on the World Cup.

For a junior athlete such as myself, these teams are a great way to get your leg in the door to internationals competitions. Throughout, the hundreds of hours of training I did this year, making the Scandinavian cup team was constantly in my head, and I was gearing up to be a competitive threat at US Nationals. 


One of the hardest things about US Nationals is figuring out how to peak for the early season races. You want to be competitive and do well, but you also want to have much more in the tank for the rest of the season. Becuase of this, my training schedule for this year (that had been planned out i…

Erin's Guide to Injuries

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As a high school athlete, I've had my share of injuries. Since I've been a freshman, I've had tight IT bands, or pulled muscles after a cross country race, but since Nordic skiing and Cross country running are pretty safe sports, none of my injuries were very long term. 
This changed last November, after Thanksgiving.  I was on a distance rollerski with my teammates and tripped over a grate.  I had a shoulder subluxation, meaning it slid out and then back into it's socket. It was a shoulder dislocation to a lesser degree. 
In the beginning, I was okay, and while it was painful experience, I used the time afterwards to focus more on my leg strength, and I went easy a couple a weeks. It was a pretty easy recovery, although I was pretty restless. A month later, besides soreness, I couldn't tell anything weird had happened. I pretty much had forgotten about the incident. 
But, 2 months after the first fall, I subluxed the same shoulder again again on a ski. A couple w…

Lessons

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It's been a long time since I last posted. For a while I didn't know what to think of what was happening. I was sad, worried and angry. But over time, I've come to terms with this spring and I have even found that I am lucky. I've learned a lot in that time, as an athlete and a person. Sadly many of these lessons have occurred because of stupid events that would have been easy to stop, but they happened and now there is nothing anyone can do about it, but just keep chugging along. One of the scariest things that can happen to an athlete is becoming injured, and when it comes along scary thoughts creep into your head: what it this is the injury that ends my career? What if I can't get better? But in the end, everyone will get injured. That's life, mistakes happen. But what I'm learning is the elite are the ones who take advantage of any situation. It's taken time, but I've come realized that good things can happen from this hard time.
To back up a li…

The First Race: 5k Individual Start

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A question that is asked commonly here at Junior Nationals, is: What event are you most looking forwards to? For me, this is a difficult question, because I enjoy all of the races, and because of the shortage of racing this year, I don't really know what my strengths are. But one thing that I know I truly excel at is being able to push myself as needed: so if I'm in a group of girls that are going hard, I can stick with them, working harder than I normally would be if I was by myself. So in my view, the race I was most nervous about was the 5k individual start, where I'd have to push myself without anyone around me.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Midwest has a big advantage of already racing this course several times, and I believe that really helps, because I knew where I could go hard, with the help of built in rest, or where I needed to conserve a little speed, so I could make it around a corner, The Midwest team pulled out a big day yesterday, with almost all of o…