Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Arrived in West Yellowstone

Just finished a fun 20 km cruise on the Rendezvous Ski Trails here in West Yellowstone, MT.  Daylight joined us for the first half of the ski before I had to switch on my headlamp.  There is snow in town already which is fantastic and I found the skiing to be quite good.  A few more inches would make things a lot better.  I used my training skis and didn't pick up any scratches, however there a few areas where some taller grass or young trees are poking through along with a few chunks of frozen dirt.  The crew here in West Yellowstone has done a really great job of buffing out the trails and the festival will certainly be in town this year.  We broke the drive up in to a day and a half, which went smoothly with  the exception of a slight delay when the truck had a flat tire just a few hours down the road from Minneapolis.  

I first came to West Yellowstone as a senior in college in 2005 and have been making the pilgrimage here every year since to kick off the ski racing season.  Many great memories here in town including proposing to the perfect girl, skiing in to old faithful, qualifying  for the Olympics, introducing the ski world to Team Gregg and many Thanksgiving feasts with friends and family.  

Skiing on snow in Minneapolis
This year I delayed my arrival to West Yellowstone as the Twin Cities had groomed trail snow skiing It is pretty rare to have such great ski conditions in central Minnesota in early November and is fantastic for skiers and the ski industry.  When it first snowed I was actually bummed because the in between season of too much snow to roller ski and not enough snow for a quality snow ski intensity session is the worse for training.  I adjusted my Tuesday interval workout to bounding, but then had to adjust it again when the park I planned to do intervals in was closed for a deer hunt and I had to switch to pavement running.    The pavement just destroy my legs as I was not used to the running load especially on pavement. Thankfully the next day I discovered the Elk River crew was grooming and the skiing there proved to be fantastic.

My Marwe roller skis have been put to rest for the season.
After a great 19 day camp in Canmore I came home to Minneapolis for a week of sea level intensity and some speaking commitments.  I had the honor of being the guest speaker at the Winona Ski Dinner to help raise money for the skiing programs in Winona.  I had never been to this awesome little community on the river but had heard many great things.  The Winona group is a passionate one and I look forward to returning with my skis and snow on the group.
Presenting to the Edina High School Team
Minneapolis woke up white last Monday to greet the first day of practice for Minnesota High School Skiing.  I gave a talk to the Edina High School team about goal setting and my Olympic experience.  To my delight the Nordic team at Edina High had 180 kids registered and paid on the first day or practice which is so cool.  My high school barely had that many kids in the entire school.  

For my third speaking engagement I gave a free Toko Wax Clinic at Hoigaards.  It is great to see so many people embracing the snow and picking up or updating their ski equipment.  I had fun sharing my experience as a waxer and teaching others how best to care for their skis.

I am now in West Yellowstone and am excited to catch up a bit on my recovery and get the race season underway.

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