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Showing posts from 2016

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…

Relaxing into Patterns

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Cover the past couple years, I've completed many routines, all part of the life of a teenage nordic ski competitor. One of these routines is ski racing. I've done a whole lot of skiing racing. Through high school races, JNQ, Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals, and just ordinary citizen races, I've gained confidence in my ability to adapt to different courses, different living situations, race starts, snow conditions. I have race warm ups engraved in my head, day-before-race-day-workouts. I'm started to learn all the preparation it takes to get everything ready for race time, from my body and head to my skis. I have mental checklists of what I have to do, and having the confidence that everything is going to the way it's suppose to is a big bonus on race day.

The Midwest Junior National team arrived in Cable, Wisconsin Friday night. This is the 3rd Junior Nationals I've competed in, and knowing what's coming is a big advantage for me. Cable is the closest Ju…

Racing to Win

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One of the biggest things that I have learned as a competitive skier is that you can't let past results affect your current races. This has been especially relevant for me for the past couple weeks, and I'm excited to share my experiences. It all started out with my Section 3 meet; the qualifying meet before the state meet. My plan was fairly simple and straight forward. I was heavily favored to win, but my plan was to race it like I would at the State Meet, put it on the line and race hard. It was the last meet before the big races, and I was using it as a tune up for the State Meet.


I started out hard in the classic Individual start, and I definitely paid dearly for that on the second lap. I suffered, but held up and tried to finish as hard as I could. I wasn't pleased with my results, I only had a 30 second lead, and I had been expecting much more. I rested up to pull through with a win in the state race, something I had assumed to be guaranteed. 
The snow started to fa…

Tears and Cheers

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Last Tuesday, after a week of training, the Highland Park Nordic Team had our Section Meet. This year there was a change in the rules so now 2 teams from each section go to state and only 6 individual girls. We got 2nd for the past 2 years, but this year the competition was thicker.

We had good races the first race which was a classic race around the 2 lap course. We were 6 points ahead of the 3rd place team and 8 points behind the 1st. We were pretty nervous in between races, and we decided that the next race was not going to be for our individual selfs. We were racing as a team, and we were racing for each other.  We made each other laugh, as we cracked jokes, Anna taught me how to play part of a song on her ukulele and the guys were nicer than normal. But the race did eventually start and off we went, racing as hard as we could. I came in, and the boys were telling me their calculations. Don't tell the rest of the girls, I told them. Not yet. Because they said we were loosing b…

Race Season… commence

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It has been so so busy with an estimation of 8 races in this 2 week frame. Definitely not as busy as the Tour de Ski, but pretty close. I can name them off for you, brief summary, and give you a lot right now. I'm on a pretty consistent streak right now and all I need to do is work through conference, sections, some JNQs mixed in and then state. One of my two major races this season. But that's for another time.
Race time!!!!!!
Race #1 and 2: Loppet Invite 
This was the weekend after sr nats, so many of the big guns weren't racing. It was based off of the conference and section format, and it was the first time I races at Theodore Wirth this year. It was fun and I got to ski a skate race and a classic race. I love Wirth and it helped me prep for JNQs and sections.

The team showing off the new tent
Race #3: Classic '5k' Anyone who races at Elm Creek knows that you treat that 5k like a sprint. With only 2 big uphills and mostly flat, EC goes by so fast. I had an awesome …

A Tour de Ski

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In Europe, a ski event called the Tour de Ski is held annually. It was modeled after the Tour de France cycling event, and it has 6 to 9 stages, or ski races. This year has been historical for the US, with 2 American women, Sophie Caldwell and Jessie Diggins winning stages in a competition field that is normally dominated by the Scandinavians (or mainly the Norwegians). One of the challenging aspects of the Tour is the number of races condensed into a small amount of time. This year, the athletes are racing in 8 races in 10 days, in 4 different venues across 3 different countries.


I apologize for not getting a blog up earlier, as promised, but after my dad left Houghton, on Monday, I moved in the EU guys that were up there, and I didn't have anymore wifi.

For me, I did a little Tour de Ski myself, racing in 5 races in 6 days in 2 venues in 2 states! I competed in the classic distance race, skate sprint, and skate mass start in Houghton, Michigan for Senior Nationals. I had high e…

Senior Nationals- Day One!

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Reporting from up in da yoop! This week I am lucky enough to get to compete at the US National Championships (aka Sr Nationals) in the Upper Peninsula! This is a big week for me because depending on how I do, I have some opportunities to qualify for other races and trips! A quick run down starting from yesterday:  We (my dad, Molly, and I) arrived in Houghton yesterday afternoon, and after settling in, we headed to the race venue, the amazing Houghton ski trails. Today we went out to the trails again for an easy ski and then ate lunch before Molly and my dad went out to Swedes Town for some more skiing. For me, it's just an easy afternoon, with a run mixed in with extra homework. Tomorrow is the first race, a 10k classic. The men race at 10:00 and the women at 1:00, so I'll have time to jog a little in the morning to sooth some pre-race nerves.  Right away again on Monday is the skate sprint races. These will be pretty exciting for me because I'll be competing against my ow…