Sunday, June 1, 2014

Ski 2 Sea and Home Again

I only had a few weeks at home in Minneapolis before heading to my original home in Washington.  I grew up in the Methow Valley in Washington state and this was my first trip back post Olympics to share in person my experience with the community that lit the fire inside of me so many years ago.
Rehabilitation of the Fawn Hut in it's new location
Another perk of being home is getting a chance to do some work on our Cabin, formerly known as the Fawn Hut.  The hut was actually 'free' with the only price being dismantling it and moving it.  We are quite proud of it but to be honest it was a free cabin and we weren't the first people to look at it.  We have made a number of enhancements including insulation and a real door and windows.  I really enjoy working on it but with ski training I haven't been able to do nearly as many projects as I have hoped.

Torin and I speaking to 200 students at the Elementary School.  Same gym as back in the day.

My Olympic and ITA Teammate put it well we he said that the best two things about the Olympics besides competeing:
1. Olympic Processing- you get a ton of really great Swag from the Olympic sponsors.  
2. Olympic School Visits- sharing your Olympic experience with others especially kids.

The Methow Valley School District with less than 500 kids had 3 Olympians represented at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.  This statistic speaks volumes of the support and opportunities of the teachers, school and community.  In addition to sharing our stories of Sochi we discussed the importance and fun of setting goals, sharing your goals with others, supporting others in their goals and working hard.

Afternoon practice with the Olympians
Torin came and spoke to me after the 2002 Games when I was a Senior in high school.  It certainly made an impact and I hope that together we have that same impact on the Olympic hopefuls of the next generation.

Start of the Mazama 10km Trail Race and Pancake Breakfast.
About 20 years ago my Dad started a running race that went from our driveway to Mazama for the annual Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast.  I was too young to run so far, so I did it as a bike ride.  A few years later I did it as a relay team with my twin brother.  The race has grown beyond the capacity of the bathroom at my parent's house and now runs a loop from Mazama.  My friends Sam and Alison organize and run the race now.  I haven't run a 10km in over 7 years, but it was fun to narrowly win this local race and set my 10km PR of 35:12.

Not must rest as I had a special person to meet across the mountains in Bellingham for a Pallaya feast.
A ski race in late May?  Yes, Please.
The Ski 2 Sea is a 8 person multi-sport relay race from Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay.  The event kicks off with an 8 km cross country ski.  The course is very challenging and honestly quite similar to the 5km Freestle loop in Sochi.  I competed with the Boundary Bay Brewere competitive open race team.  I have been competing with the same group of guys for the past 5 years and it is always a fun event.

Our team won the big trophy for the fastest overall time

Why stop at a 10km Running Race and 8km Ski Race when you have a 3 day weekend.  Monday's training plan: 100km bike ride on San Juan Island.
We had the whole Team Gregg Family together for the weekend which is pretty special and unique.  This is the first time that Mom, Dad, all the kids, and all the spouses have been together since my sister's wedding.  My training and travel schedule usually dictate many of our family activities and everyone has been so supportive of this selfishness.  We had a blast riding the ferry and exploring the island together.  The day started off in pouring rain as we rode to the ferry but just a one hour boat ride led to blue skies and sunshine.
Caitlin and I touring the 'islands'

We flew back to Minneapolis on Tuesday and are looking forward to over a month at home of training.  I certainly have needed a bit more recovery time.  Lahti and I are doing are recovering in the same way here, but he looked prettier doing it.


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