I’ve been trying my hardest to keep the “fun” in FUNdraising.  While at times the prospect of raising $30,000 and asking for donations can be intimidating and a little bit daunting, 98% of the time, it really is fun.  Here’s how I’ve been keeping the fun in FUNdraising.

1. Meeting new people, reconnecting with old.

After driving up to Cable with my mom yesterday, I was lucky enough to participate in the Be Healthy Hayward workout group.  This group of kick-butt women have been meeting once a week to train for the upcoming Birkie Trail 5K (happening this Saturday, be there!).  After a nutrition and taper talk, we hit the trails behind the Hayward hospital for a 2 mile walk/run.  I loved talking with all of the women, but my favorite moment came when one of them said, “Oh, I know I shouldn’t, but I just want to touch your thigh.”  An odd request, but one I couldn’t help but acquiesce.  I flexed my quad, she touched it, and stated “something to work towards.”  Awesome.

Also in my brief stint at home (don’t worry, I’ll be back again in a week) I’ve had the chance to sit down and reconnect with my high school nordic coach, Ms. Scott.  An incredibly generous, outgoing, and all around amazing person, Ms. Scott has a lot to do with where I am today, and sitting down and chatting with her was revitalizing and just so fabulous.  Ms. Scott has been doing a lot to promote my FUNdraiser at the PowerHouse on September 27th, and I am so thankful for that.  And we set a date to make Paella at her house, so a double win there.

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Ms. Scott (far Left) with the rest of my high school team after our sections race my senior year.

 

2. Heavy utilization of my planner, getting new pens to keep everything organized

At times, planning a FUNdraiser is the teensiest bit stressful.  Instead of having dreams where I forget an entire half of an exam, I have dreams nightmares that either (a) no one will show up or (b) I show up to the Powerhouse and am suddenly unable to do a pushup or (c) I drop every single Pizza I’m serving at Rivers Eatery tonight, no one gets their pizza, and everyone experiences a new level of Hanger.  One thing that helps me quell my nightmares is writing everything I want to happen down in my planner, and using different colored (new!) pens to keep everything organized.  My planner looks full and pretty, and that in itself is quite soothing.

3. Home

Despite my status as an Easterner for the past six years, I am truly a Minnesota girl at heart.  Nothing makes me quite as happy as landing in the MSP airport, driving home, and sitting in our living room with coffee, my dog, and three cats milling about.  I love St. Paul and all of the great restaurants and shopping, I love that everyone waves at you when you’re running down a country road, and I really love spending time with my family (sorry you aren’t here Henry, but more steak for me).  This is one of the reasons I’m having my FUNdraisers at home- it gave me the opportunity to come back, and also the chance to be among my favorite kind of people- Midwesterners.  Minnesota (and I’m sure Wisconsin) nice, truly is a thing.

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Hanging with Val on my favorite street in the world, Grand Avenue in St. Paul!

 

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Not sure if Liesel loves me or her tennis ball more, but I’m not going to ask questions if I don’t want to know the answer :)

 

4. Crossfit!

This spring I added the PowerHouse to my seemingly endless list of reasons I love Minnesota.  It took all my restraint not to just hop off the Plane at 8:20 in the morning (after waking up at 2:30 that morning) and head right over to the 9:15 class at the Powerhouse.  But I used some judgement, and waited until Tuesday to enter the gym.  I’ve been going every day since (even if just for some mobility, or to say hello), and I can’t wait to share the gym with everyone on SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27th at 2 P.M. for my special session FUNdraiser.  I’ve been talking with both Max and Jill about the workout, and I think it will be a lot of fun.  So please come (and RSVP if you get the chance)!

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Rediscovered my favorite lifting shirt while at home.

 

5. Pizza!

Finally, tonight I will be serving Pizza at one of my favorite Wisconsin spots, the Rivers Eatery.  Mick and Beth Endersbe were my first employers, and really spoiled me for the rest of my job hunting life.  They are two of the most supportive, genuine, and silent sports loving people you will EVER meet.  So if you are in the area and looking for an easy (and supremely delicious) dinner, good conversation and an all around fantastic time, head on over to Rivers TONIGHT.  It also happens to be great fuel for any and all participants in the many events of the Birkie Trail Run (I will be running the last leg of a marathon relay, so look for me sprinting downhill), and I know I’ll be pizza fueled.

And that’s how I’ve been keeping FUNdraising fun, and I hope you’ll join me in my fun-seeking efforts.  The dream I’m living wouldn’t be possible without a huge base of support, and I am forever indebted to those who have made, and continue to make, everything possible.  So come do a workout, or eat some pizza, or both…I can’t wait to meet you.

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Time sure does fly when you’re having fun…I apologize for the delay in blogging!

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated the old blog.  I don’t have a great excuse other than I’ve been very busy completing a Tour de East Coast, doing a lot of training, and enjoying everything summer in the East has to offer.  Since I last checked in I’ve been all around Southern Vermont (Stratton Area), made the voyage to Maine to visit Thomas on our recovery week, back to Hanover for an afternoon of gawking at the new Hanover Co-Op, and then drove to Craftsbury, Vermont (the far North in these parts) for a volume block alongside the Green Racing Project.  It’s been a whirlwind, but I’m pretty fired up about it.

I’m pretty fired up about a lot of things right now, and after discussing with my fellow Annie we realized that “fired up” might just be the phrase of the summer.  The phrase probably originated earlier than June 2015, but my first distinct memory of the phrase goes back to Coach Pat.  At an early team meeting following a spectacular team showing at a time trial, Pat concluded his speech with, “and I’m pretty fired up about it.” Whether I’m fired up for a workout, fired up during the workout, or a self reflective fired up after the workout, fired up is the undeniable goal.  And, fired up doesn’t have to be reserved for exercise.  One can be fired up about a recovery week.  Or food.  Or naps.  Or the morning New York Times, iPad edition (ask Annie P.)

So in pictures, here are some things I’m fired up about.

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My SMS T2 teammates. I love them, which is one of the reasons I’m sad that half of them just lost a day in travel time flying to New Zealand for some on snow skiing. Thanks to Reese Brown for snapping this team shot before everyone parted ways for a couple weeks!

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Getting the chance to visit Thomas in Maine for five days! After our first month of team training, we were granted the much loved recovery week. For big training loads to absorb, we need to make sure that entire weeks are programmed into our schedule for rebooting the system. No better place to do this than boating around in Maine!

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Something that’s literally fired up…the grill! Grilling might be my favorite form of dinner preparation, and while in Maine Thomas and I did a lot of it.

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One of our grilling nights we actually made everything on the charcoal grill. Steaks, asparagus, peaches, and bread (not pictured).

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As has become a Fourth of July tradition for me, Thomas and I also ran in the L.L. Bean 10K Road Race. This year was significantly less painful than last year even though I ran the same time-progress!

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After the recovery week in Maine, Erika, Annie, Pat and I headed up North to Craftsbury, Vermont to join the Green Team for a volume week. Craftsbury boasts some of the best cross country skiers in the world, and also some of the best rowers, in part thanks to their beautiful lake! A distinctly more serene fired up, but I still love it. Not so fired up about the bugs, however.

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After proving her natural abilities in the rowing boat (…) Erika enjoyed a nice dip in the lake!

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Real Ida is currently in New Zealand, but cardboard Ida stayed right at home in the new Craftsbury Touring Center.

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One of the great benefits of living relatively close to the Craftsbury is we get to pretty easily train with an entire new set of talented individuals. I had a great time working with Caitlin Patterson on some threshold skate intervals earlier today.

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#firedup


During the winter months of racing, every weekend brings with it anywhere from one to three (to nine if you are competing in the Tour de Ski) opportunities to enter the pain cave.  During the summer training months, however, we don’t get as many chances.  A body can only take so much in one season, so we typically reserve all out efforts for closer to the start of the season, and of course the season itself.  But every once in a while during the summer months, we enter the pain cave.  Just to remember what it feels like.  As if we could forget.

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Last Minute Warm Ups Pre- Uphill Test

The ultimate shape shifter, this week the pain cave took on the form of a 2 mile uphill run test.  And yes, it is just as hard as it sounds.  The one brief downhill just following the half way mark seems to mock me more than help me (downhill running just isn’t any easier than uphill running), and with no rest the test truly is a hammer-fest (note the rhyme).


Before I go further, I have a confession to make.  Saturday was the first time I actually wanted to punch my 2 mile uphill run pain cave pass.  In the past, I’ve viewed the pain cave as something to be reserved solely for winter racing.  Not to be entered during the summer, during a time trial, and especially not in running shoes.  Looking back, I think I did this on purpose.  I believe that I used this as a cop out, an excuse, if only to myself.  I rationalized that if I didn’t check-in to the pain cave during a workout, then I could tell myself I had more to give.  A disappointing time trial result became a little less disappointing, not finishing the last set of pull-ups justifiable. I could have gone further, faster.  Could have done one more pull up, five more minutes of mobility.  But if I stopped myself intentionally (however sub consciously), then my under achievement didn’t matter.  Because I could have done it, had I wanted to.

I didn’t even realize I had been committing self-stagnation until this spring.  During some tough workouts at the PowerHouse, I discovered a new ability to push myself.  Did doing 4 rounds of a circuit versus 3 rounds have an immediate effect on my ski racing?  Physically, probably not that much (although added up over an off season of training, the effect is likely noticeable).  Mentally, however, a huge effect.  Instead of politely knocking at the pain cave’s door to see if anyone was home, I was breaking that baby down.

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Mid double pole test, fully in the pain cave a couple weeks ago.

On Saturday, I broke my previous personal best on the uphill run test by 48 seconds.  I am certainly fitter than I was last summer, but I think the biggest shift has been in my mind.  Right from the get-go I was pushing, and pushing hard.  I didn’t wait for an invite to the pain cave, but just crashed the party from the moment the clock started.  And, it was awesome.  The 13 minutes and 19 seconds hurt like hell, but I survived.  Then, everyone rode an endorphin high for a solid hour before crashing hard into a midmorning nap.

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The pre-nap right after the uphill test

It’s not necessary to go into the pain cave every workout–you don’t want to overstay your welcome.  But every once in awhile, it’s good to reacquaint yourself.  That way come winter, you can greet one another like old friends, skip the casual talk, and get to racing.

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As I said, not every day involves admittance to the pain cave. On Friday I went adventuring to the Pine Hill Park Mountain Bike Trails in Rutland, and accidentally went for a 3 hour bike. It’s surprisingly easy to do on fun single track!

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Out for an easy skate with the rest of the SMS T2 ladies earlier in the week.

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         A wonderful evening at Andy’s cabin in Weston, Vermont with the crew.

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Working on some coordination and jumping with the SMS Devo kids at one of our afternoon workouts. One of the coolest things we do during the summer is lead agility/strength workouts 2-3 times a week with the younger summer training group. A good opportunity for us to get back to the fundamentals, and give back to the community that gives us so much support!

Also, look for a post later this week about a Fund/Friend-raiser I’ll be hosting in coordination with the PowerHouse on September 27th.  It’s gonna be good!

Mornings (and Mondays) are a good time for reflection.  Especially today.  What, with the rain drops running down the windows, the Van Morrison playlist providing a playlist for my off-day to-do list, and my third cup of coffee sitting next to my computer, how could I not stop and consider the big questions.  What will I make for dinner?  How many emails can I send today?  How long can I make a to-do list? When did “the jumping picture” become a thing?

I don’t know the answer to the first three questions. The fourth, however, is definitively during the Fall of 2012.  In a foreshadowing of my current life, I spent my off term from Dartmouth (Fall 2012) training alongside the newly created SMS T2 team.  Scrolling through my old facebook photos (some times I manage to embarrass even myself…yikes), I came across the first recorded jumping photo.  On September 27th, 2012, Sophie and I leaped off a wall at the summit of Equinox, a nearby mountain in Manchester, VT.  From there, the jumping photos just don’t seem to stop.  Nearly all epic adventures, mountain tops, hard workouts, and every day occurrences seemed to be photographically captured via the jumping shot.

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And so it began.

This led me to another question- what about the jumping shot is so intriguing as to have become a necessity in the lives of full time skiers?  As with most topics, I have a couple of thoughts.

1. Prove that if we really wanted to, we could have been beach volley ball players

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…well everyone except for Annie. Celebrating a great day in Ramsau, Austria during the Pre- World Juniors trip in Winter 2013.

2. Prove that we can all count to three, all at the same time

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When you consider how many muscles had to fire at exactly the same time, this coordinated jump shot from my senior year trip with Dartmouth to Silver Star is actually VERY impressive.

3. Demonstrate that even after a hard workout, we can still leap into the air (fitness)

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Just a couple days ago we did threshold ski walking intervals up Stratton, and despite the hard effort managed to get ourselves air borne at the summit.

4. Because it’s part of our strength plan

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This week for strength Max threw some hurdle jumping into the mix! Channeling my inner-bunny.

5. Our best attempt at trying to capture just how happy, excited, and truly lucky we are to be doing the things we do.

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Whooo! Jumping for joy in Almaty, Kazakhstan with my SMS T2 teammates Ben and Annie at the 2015 U23 World Championships.

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Celebrating the absolutely stunning landscape with my Dartmouth bestie Natalie in Silver Star, Canada.

Sometimes it’s hard to capture how awesome skiing is.  And sometimes a “normal” picture just doesn’t seem to do it justice.  I think the jumping photo is the closest thing we have to showing just how happy we are to be doing what we do.  Even if it’s cliched and silly, I love the jumping shot.  So let’s keep on jumpin’!

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Other ways to show you’re happy (and also tired): goofy roller ski shots at the end of a Sunday roller ski over distance session.

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Sophie showing how much fun she’s having being pulled around during a recent roller ski drill session. Yee-Haw- Till next week!


 

 

 

What do a squirrel finding a hidden acorn, a skier finding the missing sock to a smartwool pair, or a me finally locating my favorite shirt crumpled at the bottom of my ski bag have in common?  The exhilarating sense of relief, excitement and awe that the missing object has been found is exactly how I feel about the season finally starting.  The racing season has been missing since sometime in March, and I almost can’t believe it’s about to be back in full force on Friday.  Even writing this blog I’m feeling one little butterfly flit around my stomach, matched by my muscles involuntarily flexing anticipating a sprint start.  Actually I think my heart rate just increased a little bit (as if it wasn’t already high enough being at altitude).  My team and I have been in West Yellowstone for the last week getting ready for the opening SuperTour races (the US domestic race series).  It’s been a flurry of testing skis, trying to keep easy skiing in level 1, and generally having a giant party on the Rendezvous trails with the rest of the cross country ski community.

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Confessions of an Over-Packer (and some pictures!)

Last week was a full week of training.  We did two speed workouts, two interval sets, one over distance workout, and a huge clinic with the Ford Sayre Ski Club in Hanover, NH.  Looming over each workout last week was the knowledge that I had to begin packing.

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A pretty accurate image of me packing

One problem I’ve never had on trips was having too few clothes.  Some might argue, maybe, perhaps, there’s a chance, that I pack too much clothing.  As a result, sometimes the 50 pound bag rule becomes a problem.  Have I worn three sweatshirts, a winter coat, and my heaviest winter boots while flying?  Yes.  Am I ashamed?  A little.  Is it possible for me to change? Here’s to hoping.

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The 100 Kilometer Ski (we did it!)

I’ve spent a good deal of the morning trying to come up with the best way to relay my 100 Kilometer experience. At first I had a schedule format planned (at 7:00 AM this happened…at 8:00 AM this happened). Then I considered comparing my mental state at various points of the day to different animals (think an Ostrich with it’s head in the sand, or a very angry raccoon).

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I instead decided to narrate the day through a series of pictures (a HUGE thanks to Annie’s boyfriend Will for taking them all!).  A picture is worth a thousand words, and I think most of them speak for themselves.  But just to make sure, I’ve added some captions.  Check ‘em out!

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FedEx and Fundraising: A Brain Game

A quick game to start off this week’s blog post. What do the FedEx logo and the picture of me finishing a race (with Isabel Caldwell cheering hard) at the 2014 Middlebury Carnival have in common?

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donate isabel cheering annie at middlebury

Here’s a hint (and some background):

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6 Word Memoirs: Lake Placid Edition

Like any good midwesterner, I don’t speak in monotone. I use my hands, my voice travels across many octaves, and a lot of the time my own excitement gets in the way of getting a point across. It’s frustrating–At times all I want is for someone else to understand my squeals and hand gestures.  But until I come up with an official “Annie” dictionary, I am limited by the English language.  So in an effort to hone my English language mastery, I’ve decided to recap Lake Placid in a series of 6 word memoirs.

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The Times They are A-Changin’

Today is Jessie’s birthday…which means today is August 26th…which means it is almost September…which means we are treading dangerously close to the start of fall! It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that summer (and with it summer training) has almost come to a close, and with it the start of fall allergies, more “fine-tuned” sessions, and pumpkin baked goods. With my newfound 22 year old wisdom (my birthday was last week), I’ve learned that change is the only constant in a constantly changing world (say that 10 times fast!).  I can’t know or promise what the future holds, but I can be positive that it will be different from today.  Change isn’t bad, but I’m a character of habit and love routines.  So in times of doubt, I like to go by Winston Churchill’s quote: “To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.”  And another related quote form Churchill…”There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.”  My goal this year is to change often, always in the right direction, while also keeping in mind that perfection is unattainable.  Maybe easier said than done, but a worthy goal.

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