Jessie checks in from the post-Tour de Ski training camp in the Dolomites of Italy.
We are wrapping up a fantastic week of training here in Seiser Alm with the Tour de Ski crew. The first few days after the tour ended, we just focused on recovery. That, and finally washing all our clothes (gross). Then we drove up to the Dolomite mountains, to one of my favorite places to ski on earth. It’s called Seiser Alm in German, and Alpe di Siusi in Italian, and the hotel we stay at is one of the nicest places we live in all year! I like to think of it as the best reward ever for getting through the Tour…you get to train in paradise afterwards! It’s right on top of the mountain, and the ski lift drops you off right outside the hotel door. You can walk out the front door, take 5 steps, and put on your alpine skis, hiking boots, or cross country skis and take off.
Or, if you’re me, you can go sledding each day down the mountain and get up to 58.1 km per hour. I love the sledding here, and I made it my goal to take at least one run every day because I know it makes me so gleeful and totally happy that it’s worth the hike back up the hill. Most days I would wait until the chairlift closed, then I’d bomb straight down the middle of the alpine run. It was totally, totally safe (I know my Grandparents are reading this right now)! The other great part about sledding here is that it’s a viable form of commuting when you live at the top of a mountain. To get to the van, the fastest way down is to sled, so that’s what we do, backpacks and all.
There were 24km of groomed trails for us to train on, and it was a really nice week of recovery distance skiing. The goal for me wasn’t to get fit – finishing the Tour de Ski was more than enough to accomplish that goal – but to let my body recover and soak up all the intensity and race efforts it had been through in the past week. I really loved being on new trails and being able to ski on more than just a 2.5 or 5km loop! I also hit up my favorite trail in the world, the one that loops out over the edge of the mountain and overlooks the valley with all these awesome little wooden huts dotted throughout the slope.
Don’t even get me started on the food! Dinner usually takes an hour and a half and it’s 5 courses, each one beautifully plated and about 10 bites, so you never get too full but enjoy every bit of it. Italians really know how to cook their pasta well, but weirdly enough, my favorite thing on the whole mountain is getting this huge bowl of hot raspberries for dessert. It’s so unusual to get fresh berries in the winter that I just crave it.
Tomorrow we will spend pretty much the whole day in the car, en route to Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. We have a 10/15km skate race on Saturday and another 4x5km relay on Sunday! You know how much I love relay days. I’m already getting super excited. Wish us luck!