Update from Felicia Gesior – CXC Team Athlete

Enjoying the view after ski walking intervals at Killington Ski Resort in Vermont.

Time for an update! I am nearing the end of another major training block. For the most part, I follow a rhythm of medium week, hard week and then a recovery week. I make sure to plan my travels around training so that I can be in a good position to train during  larger weeks and travel on easy weeks. I wrapped up my five weeks of altitude training in Colorado with a volume week which included lots of longer runs and rollerskis.

Felicia Gesior touring Governors Basin outside Ouray, CO

Felicia Gesior touring Governors Basin outside Ouray, CO

I really enjoyed running on the alpine roads outside of Ouray, CO. The trails went deep into the mountains and valleys which aren’t otherwise accessible. It was great to spend time training so high in a place with so much hill climbing.

Once I was acclimatized, I felt a huge difference in the speed and distance I could go on each workout.

Felicia Gesior touring Governors Basin outside Ouray, CO

Felicia Gesior touring Governors Basin outside Ouray, CO

Next, I traveled to Vermont where I spent my easy week in the countryside for my brothers wedding celebrations. Now, I am looking forward to getting back to Marquette where I will have the NMU ski girls to train with! For the majority of my summer, I did my training alone which gave me a lot of time to focus on my technique. However, I’m excited to have other girls to push me as we move into more level four intensity workouts this fall.

Felicia Gesior during her ski walking intervals at Killington Hill in Vermont.

Felicia Gesior during her ski walking intervals at Killington Hill in Vermont.

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Update from Nichole Bathe – CXC Team Athlete

This summer has been an exciting one filled with lots of trips and great training! After graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I drove back home with my college roommate, stopping in Canada to go hiking and exploring (we got snowed on many times…) as well as attending another friend’s wedding.

After getting home in early June, summer training kicked into full force. I have been lucky enough to join the MadNorSki juniors for some workouts this summer as well as having Eliska and Tobias Albrigtsen in town to train with. We even made it into the local paper…

Nichole Bathe, left, Eliska Albrigtsen of the MadNorski Ski Club perform interval training exercises during an off-season workout along Carver Street in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. Bathe is a member of the British national cross-country team, and Albrigtsen is a former world cup competitor for the Czech Republic and current head coach of the Norski club's youth programs. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL

Nichole Bathe, left, Eliska Albrigtsen of the MadNorSki Club perform interval training exercises during an off-season workout along Carver Street in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. Bathe is a member of the British national cross-country team, and Albrigtsen is a former world cup competitor for the Czech Republic and current head coach of the MadNorSki club’s youth programs.

The next adventure I got to go on was to Scotland with my family. It was the first time in a long time that my mom’s entire side of the family was in one place. It was also the first time I’ve seen Scotland as a training ground.

We were staying just outside the Cairngorm National Park. One day, we climbed what they call moors, which are like baby mountains.

It was gorgeous and reminded me a lot of my time in Fairbanks.

Nichole Bathe Moors On top of a moor in Scotland, when the sun was about to set.

On top of a moor in Scotland, when the sun was about to set.

My final trip for this summer was this past week, I spent four days in Door County (WI) on my easy week. If you’re from the Midwest and have never been to Door County I highly suggest it!

I got to spend time hiking around some of the local state and county parks as well as going for a very exhilarating and wet kayak trip on Lake Superior. It was the perfect way to spend an easy week before gearing up for the last big push of the summer!

Nichole Bathe in Door County

Nichole Bathe in Door County

Now it’s time to be home before the next big adventure starts this fall!

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An Update from Sam Elfstrom – CXC Team Athlete

So far this summer, I have spent most of my time in Marquette. Training has been going well, thanks to the guidance of Andy Keller. In early June, Kyle, Andy, and myself joined a Loppet Nordic Racing College camp in Hayward, Wisconsin.

We got to train with Brian Gregg (Team Gregg) and Andy Shields (Canada) for a couple days.

I previously had not done much roller skiing in that area. Now, I understand why so many skiers have spent their summers in Hayward. The back roads are great for roller skiing with not a lot of car traffic.

Sam Elfstrom Bounding at a Loppet Nordic Racing College camp in Hayward, Wisconsin

Kristen Bourne (NMU) and me leading the Blackhawk junior team in a good bounding effort at Mt. Marquette.

After the couple days in Hayward I went home for a yearly fishing trip, Burt’s Boat Bash that my grandpa Burt started in 2000. All of the guys on my dad’s side of the family, and some close friends, spend a day together.

Kyle Bratrud, Felicia Gesior, and I took the U16 Dream Campers to the top of Mt. Marquette for a sweet view of Marquette.

Kyle Bratrud, Felicia Gesior, and I took the U16 Dream Campers to the top of Mt. Marquette for a sweet view of Marquette.

I joined the U19 Regional Elite Group for a three hour run at Picture Rocks.

I joined the U19 Regional Elite Group for a three hour run at Picture Rocks.

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An Update from Kyle Bratrud – CXC Team Athlete

As I have typically found this time of year, time has absolutely been flying by and the summer of 2017 is no exception. I have entered this season with one goal and one goal only. I want to make the 2018 Winter Olympics. I have now been to two World Championships for the US since the last Olympics, but somehow that all seems irrelevant when coming into this year with the desire to be proclaimed an Olympian.

That being said, as I have learned through my time working with Sten Fjeldheim at NMU, in order to accomplish my goal, I must first break it down into smaller steps.

Kyle Bratrud Rollerskiing 2017 in Marquette Michigan for the CXC Elite Team

Kyle Bratrud Rollerskiing 2017 in Marquette, Michigan

With the help of Andy Keller, we have developed a slightly different training plan than I have ever followed before. After years of making small mistakes here and there, we have eliminated everything we know does not work for me or any other “waste” I used to have. I am listening to my body more than I ever have before.

We have lowered the number of intensity sessions I am doing in a week while raising the quality resulting in a net gain in overall “on” time. Despite a nagging Achilles issue at the beginning of the summer, I am running more and faster than I ever have in the summer. In the strength room, I have a level of focus I have never had.

For the first time in my life, I do not want to leave the strength room and thoroughly enjoy my time in there. I am also discovering, for the first time in my career, how much I like to train alone. This time with myself allows me to fully evaluate my energy levels and focus solely on what I need to improve in myself.

Kyle Bratrud classic rollerskiing with the boys of the NMU team nordic skiing training for olympics marquette

Kyle Bratrud classic rollerskiing

I have one more big volume block left in the summer and then we will get in to my favorite kind of training, lots of intensity.

While I enjoy the “eat, train, sleep, repeat” grind, I am greatly looking forward to a fall where my energy will start to slowly rise and the workouts really start to matter.

I am fully aware every skier in America has a goal of making the Olympic team, but I remain extremely excited and confident to toe the line this winter and sort things out once and for all.

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An Update from Felicia Gesior – CXC Team Athlete

I entered into the new training season in my favorite place to train: Marquette, MI. There isn’t any other place that makes me feel as motivated and ready to start working hard. This summer was a little different than my past Marquette experiences. In March, I started my student teaching placement at Father Marquette Elementary in a fourth grade classroom. This was the final step before graduating with a  bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at NMU and went through the middle of June.

Felicia Gesior Treadmill Center of Excellence Madison Wisconsin

Technique Work on the rollerski treadmill at the Center of Excellence in Madison

When I started training in May, I had to balance skiing with the full time teaching placement for the month and a half I had left before the end of the school year. I looked at this new challenge as a chance to get in tune with my body and find out my limits when balancing work and skiing. I learned the hard way that pushing to do too much will just leave you more susceptible to getting sick. After recovering from a series of colds, I had to concede that I would not be able to put in as many hours as is typical for May. Instead, I focused on strengthening my weakness and building a solid strength base. As a competitive athlete, this is a lesson that takes a long time to learn. I really enjoyed the challenges that came with student teaching and I look forward to having my own classroom in the future. For now, I plan to continue to train and ski with CXC while substitute teaching in the fall when training and travel allow.

felicia gesior teaching fourth grade cross country skiing

Teaching my fourth grade class about cross country skiing and living an active, healthy lifestyle over the summer.

I happily spent the rest of June and a portion of July training in Marquette while doing some tutoring on the side. I felt well rested and was able to get in a solid block of training. I enjoyed joining the REG camp held in Marquette and skiing alongside the juniors who attended the camp. I also had a blast getting back to Waukesha to coach two Peak Nordic Ski Camps.

Felicia Gesior Marquette Michigan rollerski rollerskiing

Rollerskiing on the amazing roads up in Marquette, MI

Now onto a new trip!  I just arrived in Durango, CO where I will spend the final part of the summer before heading back to Marquette in September. I am excited for the change of pace training out west.

Peak Nordic Felicia Gesior Coaching High School Athletes

Coaching the Peak Nordic Camp with a motivated group of high school athletes

I am happy to announce that I will be putting on the Bergkonig Mountain King Run this year. The race will be held on November 11th at Lapham Peak State Park in Delafield, WI with a 5K/10K/1K kids run options. Bergkonig means Mountain King in German. This race was founded by Maria and Bryan Cook former CXC Elite team athletes.  Proceeds from the race will help fund my 2017/2018 race season with any additional funds going directly to the Bergkonig Scholarship Fund which helps local elite athletes pursue their cross country ski dreams. For more information check out the race website! http://bit.ly/mountainkingrun

To follow more of my adventures check out my personal blog and website! http://felgesior.wixsite.com/gesior

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Nichole Bathe of CXC Named to U23 Worlds Team

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has named a team of 10 athletes to represent the USA in the upcoming Under 23 Cross Country World Championships, Soldier Hollow (UT).

Women’s team member Nichole Bathe (Fitchburg, WI) of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and CXC Team is on the 2016 U23 Team Roster.

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Nichole Bathe sprinting to 3rd place at the 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah. (Photo: Bert Boyer/http://bertboyer.zenfolio.com/)

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Taking Home National Title

For the first race of the 2017 US Nationals Championship in Soldier Hollow (UT), CXC Team athlete Kyle Bratrud took home his second national title in the 15km Skate Individual Start. Kyle fought hard to close out his biggest competitor Tad Elliott of Ski Club Vail, by 21.6 seconds.

“This race has been circled on my calendar for the whole summer and fall as (the 15km) is a strong event for me. My training has been good leading up to nationals and I felt like I was able to execute my “race plan” perfectly,” stated Bratrud.

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As a result of winning on Saturday, Bratrud has put himself in the top distance spot for domestic selection process for World Championships this year in Lahti, Finland.

The team continued racing on Sunday with the Classic Sprint Competition. Once again, Felicia Gesior found herself in the top of the field in the qualifier, placing 12th overall. With weather changing throughout the day Felicia decided to forgo kick-wax and instead double poled the qualifier.

CXC Team athlete Nichole Bathe, now racing as a senior at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks is showing her strength at the Championship series taking home the top U23 female title and 16th on the day.