Sunday, January 29, 2012

New England Ski Adventures

 Skiing in Sabe's backyard with Sabe and our friend Michela

For the past two weekends, my sister and I have journeyed around New England for ski adventures.  Last weekend, I went to the White Mountain Classic 30k with Sabe and the VTXC crew to cheer them on.  It was fun to be a spectator and (wo)man the the feed zone for once.  It's not easy to hand off anything with poles in the racer's hands.  It definitely takes some finessing on the skiers part.  The Jackson trail network is extensive and has some phenomenal skiing.  It was a blast to do a longer ski on different terrain.  The culinary highlight of the weekend was visiting the cupcakery in where one of my life long dreams was fulfilled.  I ate a maple, bacon cupcake.  It was as good as the sum of all its parts.  Delicious. 
The cupcake before it was devoured
 Mary and Sabe at the start of  the White Mountain Classic
  White Mountain Classic Line Up
This weekend, the Davison lady clan (my mom, sister, and I) went up to Bethel, Maine for the NENSA Women's Ski Day.  This ladies weekend was a birthday and Christmas present from my sister, Sabe, to my mom, and I was so happy that I was around to complete the Davison Triumverate.  The only thing missing from the weekend was the third generation, my GMA, but, at ninety years old, I'm not quite sure cross country skiing is her thing.  Dessert is more of her specialty. 

The weekend was absolutely glorious.  It started out with a bluebird day at Trapps in Stowe, VT where the skiing was good.  I'll repeat that.  The skiing was good.  We had one inch of rain fall on Friday so I was completely shocked to be able to get in a two hour skate ski in great conditions on forty kilometers of their terrain.  My mom and sister climbed up to the cabin while I hammered away.  Then, we zoomed off to Bethel.

Today was another bluebird, absolutely incredible day of skiing.  I skied for three hours chock full of V2 glory in the sunshine.  I literally had forgotten what that bright thing was in the sky.  The Bethel trails are primarily flat and on a golf course so it was a nice change to the constant one hour climbs and two minute descents at Trapps (and that time break up is no exaggeration).  My sister was part of the crew of volunteer coaches for the ski day and my mom took the clinic.  There were two hundred women skiing around and working on their technique with coaches with some serious fire power.  It was pretty much the creme de la creme of the women's new england nordic ski world including two Olympians, the founder of the Dartmouth women's ski team, and handfuls of top collegiate skiers.  I was completely impressed with the event and it was a blast to see that many women on skis.  I really want to get that many women on bikes at once.  It would be a dream come true. 
 A view of the World Longest Candy Counter.  That's me in the back round getting down to business

The weekend trip was complete with a side trip in Littleton, New Hampshire to the world largest candy counter.  This is one of my most favorite places on earth. They literally have any type of candy you could think of including gummies shaped as fried eggs and pumpkin malt balls.  No joke.

I'm soaking up the last bit of winter while I can.  I leave in a week for Santa Cruz to get on the bike.  I'm honestly going to be sad to leave the snow.  It's one of my favorite times, but I'm capping off the winter training block in good fashion with the Lake Placid Loppet on Saturday.  Think snow and fast skis for me!

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Winter Rhythm

I have now been home for an unprecedented three weeks and I'm really starting to get into great training rhythm.  This is the time of the season when my days seem packed with training.  This prep phase is almost more consuming than the typical race and recover rhythm of the season, but I am completely enjoying it.  I skate ski for two to three hours trying to stay on my sister's heels, eat, strength train, and eat again. There's generally just a lot of eating and working out.  It's been a treat to be able to train with my sister, Sabe.  Nordic ski racing is her thing and her guns are about the size of my quads so she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.  She pushes me, to say the least.  If there's a double pole section, there's no hope for these cycling arms.  I'm going to be staying in Vermont at least to the end of January and competing in a couple of 50k's and loppets.  I'm very pumped.  If you couldn't tell already, I love snow.  It's so important for my brain and my body to be able to switch it up and hammer in Vermont's winter wonderland.   And, even better news, Vermont just got a snow storm so we actually have snow to play in.  Below, my sister 'farms the fresh' right outside of her back door.  We are lucky.

 Trapp Family Lodge at the end of a cold, long day of skiing (zero degrees in this photo)

There were a lot of birthdays this month.  My grandmother turned ninety!  My sister poses with her and her cake masterpiece

 Happy Mom Birthday!  It was today!

 On the eve of the snow storm.  Keep it coming!

Get outside and play!  Think Snow!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012 to everyone!  Year 2011 was a fantastic one and 2012 is going to be equally as exciting. 

After the foraging dinner on Kauai, Jojo and I had a friend, Sarah Schreib, one of the greatest Little Bellas mentors, come to visit us.  The week was jam packed and we checked off most of the activities in the 'Adventures' section of the Kauai guidebook.  The guidebook does not kid around when they place things under the adventures section.  On the first day, we undertook one of the biggest adventures of my life.  We embarked on the secret tunnel hike where we followed a faint (big emphasis on faint) hiking trail for a couple of miles to the secret tunnels.  This hiking trail doubled as a pig path and there was about six inches of mud the entire way.  It was a slow couple of miles to say the least. These secret tunnels were built in the 1920s to ferry water from Kauai’s wetter north shore through the mountains to the west coast to feed the sugarcane industry.  They are impressive.  The first one is about a mile long and we had headlamps and a dime size light at the end of the tunnel to guide us.  The water was about ankle deep and mostly clear.  The second tunnel was just a black abyss and we had to wade through silt about shin deep. The third tunnel was extra secret and very hard to find.  After a half an hour jungle bush whack, we finally discovered the most tenuous tunnel of the three.  This one was also a mile long and was filled thigh high with water and silt.  We had to practically run through this tunnel because we were racing daylight.  The adventure was well worth is as we were rewarded with an amazing waterfall at the end of the journey.

View of Waimea Canyon
It was hard to top anything after that epic adventure, but we had to try.  We ventured to the southern end of the island and rode our bikes to the top of Waimea Canyon.  This is one of my favorite climbs.  Seventeen miles long and you get views of Kauai’s grand canyon or the Pacific the entire time.

 Polihale State Park

This is the ditch before the tubing tunnel

A mandatory post ride stop for jojo's shaved ice
That night we went to the end of the road and camped out at Polihale State Park.  It was the first time I’ve ever slept on a beach and the first time I’ve been camping in years.  The day was one of the more perfect days I’ve ever seen on the island and the waves were perfect for surfing.

We also decided that we hadn’t had enough of the tunnels so we found some more to tube through.  This is definitely my preferred method of travel through these things.  It brought us to an incredible swimming hole complete with a rope swing.  It was something straight out of Swiss Family Robinson. 

I have since traded in my surfboard for skis and spent the holidays in Vermont.  It’s great to see my friends and family and get into a training rhythm again.  I’m thrilled to spend January skiing.  Now, just think snow!