Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sharpen Your Elbows

Up until this summer, I had never broken a bone, but in the last six months, I've managed to break both of my elbows. I wish the injuries had cooler stories to go with them, but I won't sugar coat it. I broke one trying to unclip out of my bike pedals in May and I broke the other while walking across a parking lot on Monday. I don't usually take too many falls on skis and I think of myself as a pretty coordinated person, but I realize flukes like this happen and that there are always ways to come out stronger.  Gus and I were heading out for a run Monday afternoon and about twenty feet from the car, we were walking and a low-hanging cable clotheslined me at the ankles so I went elbow to pavement hard. It was pretty apparent that something wasn't right very quickly, so Gus drove me to the ER. They checked me out Monday afternoon and Dr. Olson and his team brought me in for surgery Tuesday afternoon at the Park City Hospital. I'm extremely grateful for how quickly they got me in and how kind everyone I interacted with was.
Post-tumble trip to the hospital. Matt was intent on documenting it. Gus, Matt, and Simi put in their fair share of hospital hours and thanks to them, I think I spent most of my time in there laughing.

The hardware

By Tuesday evening, I had some new hardware and between the anesthesia and pain meds was feeling pretty great about life. The few days following were a little more painful, but my teammates and friends have been incredible. When I came home from the hospital, my room had been transformed into a candy shop complete with cards, flowers, and the most candy I've ever had sole possession of in my life. The last couple days the pain has subsided and I've been able to go for some hikes of my own and watch some of my teammates' training sessions. My followup appointment is in ten days and hopefully at that point I will be put in a movable and removable cast that will make activities like running, one-armed skiing, showering, and wearing shirts with sleeves a little easier. The doctors predict six weeks recovery. That's a long time, but it was a pleasant surprise since that's the same time frame as my other elbow that didn't need surgery. I haven't made any concrete plans about going to Canmore or Europe yet, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to recover as quickly as possible by mid-November.

Hike up to the top of Deer Valley

Mary, Jessie, Annie, and Zuzana joined me for a hike the other day and Annie even brought her own sympathy spongebob
Sadzarue skating her way up Hermode's at SoHo yesterday

Snow outside of our condos this morning!

Sadie psyched to do some treadmill testing

It's been so nice having Parker close by 

Catching some fresh air while watching the training session yesterday (Matt Whitcomb photo)
Grateful to have our awesome PT and friend, Zuzana, here with us
Before the elbow incident happened, I was able to enjoy a fun week out west. Simi and I went to the desert for a few days before camp started. It was my first time to the desert, and I had never seen anything like it. When we returned to Park City, the USST girls hosted a Fast and Female. We had a huge turnout with a lot of little smiling girls running around.

I was in charge of the red group (9 year olds)

Fast and Female stamps ( Sarah Brunson photo)

Huge turnout ( Sarah Brunson photo)

Sarah Brunson photo

Mtn Bike station!

My red group girls practicing their speed skating
Canyoneering through Moab

Welcome to the desert!

Simi's mom, Ruthie, joined us for a day of canyoneering and showed me the ropes (literally)

The prettiest campsite in  Utah and my trusty Injinji toe socks 

Running up the porcupine trail

And wading through a lot of freezing cold water
Thank you so much for all the wonderful notes of support I've received. Breaking my elbow was tough, but it could always be worse, and being surrounded by so many loving people makes it a lot easier.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last Week in VT Photos

I'm currently on my way out to Utah for our next USST camp. I won't be back in Vermont for a month! It's always sad leaving home, but I love being in Park City and I'm also looking forward to getting on snow in Canmore after Park City. This will also be the first time I've seen a handful of my Alaskan USST teammates since our July camp in Alaska! Park City camp goes until October 19th and then we head to Canmore until the 29th. Here are a few photos from the last week at home. More to come from the west!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Hanover to do a clinic with the Ford Sayer program. We had a great turnout of about 60 kids plus a bunch of parents and coaches. We split into groups and spent the first hour and a half working on ski walking technique, agility, and bounding. After the workout, we headed inside for some short talks and a Q&A. Thanks for having us Ford Sayer! (Annie H photo)
The crew! (Annie H photo)

Simi and I were in charge of the youngest kids a.k.a the snow leopards. (Annie H photo)

I went for my first bike ride since May and it was actually quite enjoyable. Luckily I was biking with Matt Boobar and Simi, who are both very good bikers, and they let me draft behind them the entire way. The loop we did in Manchester is one of my favorite road rides because of the endless amount of cornfields we bike by. 

It was fun, but I was tired after.

Apple picking in Dorset!

After our OD out to Little Rock Pond on Saturday, we ran into a couple going for a hike with their two pet goats. What are the chances?!? (Erika photo)

Annie, me, and Erika resting on the rocks at the pond (sver photo)

Jessie taking the plunge (Sver photo)

On Sunday morning I woke up early to do the Vermont 50 mile running race as a relay with two of my cousins. My cousin Heidi was a cross-country runner at Brown and my cousin Alexa was a lacrosse player at Brown who claimed she never understood why anyone would choose to do an endurance sport. We rubbed off on her and now she's the one dragging us all into 50 mile races. We ended up winning the race for women AND for men! I did the first leg, Alexa did the second, and Heidi was our anchor. Here is a photo of Alexa tagging off to Heidi and Heidi taking off with her perfect running technique and a smile!

Hanging out with Alexa after her leg

Getting some food while we wait for Heidi to finish

And of course some beer from our biggest fan, Grandpa

Photo collage from the day. It was fun to have my parents, Izzy, Dave, Uncle Tim, and Grandpa out as cheerleaders!
Leroy the cat showing off the world's fluffiest tail to my grandma, Twinkle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Happy Fall!

We celebrated the transition from summer to fall with our annual 100km skiathon last Sunday. It always ends up being an all-day adventure and while it's usually a lot of fun, I've found that the best approach to skiing 100km is not to think about it too much. Wrapping your head around skiing the distance of three 30k races (the longest race we ever do) plus a 10k race, or being on your rollerskis for 6-7 hours, or worrying about how to properly fuel, or wondering if your legs, butt, elbows, and back can handle it all generally causes a lot of anxiety. So this year my approach was to get excited about the ski without thinking or worrying about too much. I just wanted to enjoy spending the day outside on what I would argue are some of the most beautiful roads in the country with my teammates. It worked pretty well. We switched from classic skiing to skate skiing at about 50kms and there was an hour there where I wasn't sure my legs could handle skating any longer, but then I got used to it and on we went! We had a very supportive cheering section consisting of Sverre, Jason Cork, and Pat for coaches, Annie P.'s parents and boyfriend, and Simi's mom, aunt, and uncle. When you have people smiling and cheering you on around every corner and up every hill, you never really question whether or not you're going to make it to the end. So thank you to everyone who supported us. Here are some photos from our epic adventure and you can check out the SMS T2 website for more.
The crew before the start - Annie, Annie, Jessie, Andy, Erika, Ben, Paddy, Sophie, and Simi (Annie P photo)

Coach Patrick calculating our route (Annie P. photo)

Thanks to Podium Wear for our matching tanks! (Annie P. photo)

The coaches marked every intersection with encouraging words and directions (Annie P. photo)

There were a few hills that were a little too big to feel comfortable skiing down, especially with tired legs, so we used the vans to help check our speed (Annie P. photo)

Fuel. When you ski 100km, you probably burn 3,000-4,000 calories, so if you want to be alive at the end and feel semi-okay the following day, you need to eat enough. As long as it doesn't upset your stomach, you can eat anything with calories. Bars, PB&Js, donuts, apple cake, gatorade, jelly beans - yes please! (Annie P. photo)

When the vans weren't an option, the coaches were there to slow us down. Here is my dad braking Erika, Annie, and Jessie down one of the bigger hills

Draft. Some people like classic skiing more, while others prefer skating. Some people are really good on the ups and others are good on the downs. We took turns pulling during our strengths and when no one was feeling great, we recruited Pat to do a little pulling on the bike (Annie P. photo)

If you smile long enough, you will become happy. Fake it till you make it. Just kidding, it was actually really fun, but I'd be lying if I said there weren't a few times my smile probably wasn't that genuine. (Annie P. photo)

Aaaaand that's a wrap. (Annie P. photo)

Start together, finish together. Or at least finish with the girls ;) (Annie P. photo)
We did it! (Annie P. photo)
That has to be some kind of record.
In addition to skiing 100 km, we've been enjoying the perfect fall weather and watching the leaves pop more and more each day. After a couple weeks of recovery, I have a big week before I head out to Park City for our next USST Camp. I'm going to get back on my bike tomorrow for the first time since breaking my elbow in May, we're going to go apple picking, we're going to check out the Peru Fair this weekend, and I'm running in the Vermont 50 mile relay on Sunday morning with two of my cousins! We are also hosting a clinic in Hanover on Sunday afternoon. Check out this VIDEO Annie Hart made to get you psyched for ski season!

Enjoying a date night with my sister and Annie at the Hapgood Store in Peru

USST coach Jason Cork is town for the week. Not only is it awesome to have him supporting us at our workouts and giving us feedback, but he also happens to be an amazing chef and has been cooking up some tasty meals. A man of many talents who is just a pretty cool person to have around! Here he is taking his try at karate with me. (Jessie photo)

My favorite time of year

Jessie, Andy, Simi, and I did a school visit to the Burr and Burton Mountain Campus the other week. My sister is working there this year and is happier than can be. I now see why. It's a really incredible program where students go for a semester to focus on environmental education. You can read more about it HERE.
This is a photo of my sister and the rest of the Mountain Campus at the Climate Rally in NYC on Sunday!