• Maddie Phaneuf

Fall is in the air...

Hello again, it's been a minute and I'm learning to stop apologizing - so I'm not sorry. I've been pretty mentally exhausted and emotionally drained this summer, so writing a blog post has not been my top priority. That said, here's an update.

First things first, I moved! I used to live downtown Lake Placid in a house with a few roommates, which was nice and fun to be close to bars/live music pre-COVID. I'm now subletting a cute apartment further out of town, near Mount Van Hoevenberg with my friend Summer Britcher, who is a World Cup Luge athlete. We only have the apartment until later this fall/early winter, but it's been such a relaxing home, I don't want to leave!

Training has been going really well, considering COVID pretty much ruined all the good parts about training. I've regained access to the Olympic Training Center, so I've been able to train in a real weight room again, have access to a chiropractor, and have used the rollerski treadmill for ski technique. As I stated in my last post, our summer rollerski races were canceled, and more recently, our fall rollerski races have also been canceled. We won't be traveling to Utah for our team camp anymore, but there's word we could have some sort of a team camp in Craftsbury during the month of October. Fingers crossed! Hopefully they'll also move our races to Vermont, but I haven't heard a word on that yet.

In August I spent a little over a week training in Craftsbury, VT - which was a nice change of scenery and teammates! The week started out with two time trials, which would be the first biathlon time trials of the season for me (I had done one ski time trial earlier in the summer). The first TT went really well, it was a 7.5km Sprint and I shot 0,0 and placed first! I have to say, this is the first time ever(?) where I won a "race" in the US for biathlon as a senior! Granted, not everyone was there, and it was just a time trial, but it still felt good. The next day we had a 10km Pursuit and I shot 0,2,0,0 and placed second, behind Susan. Overall a great start! I stayed for the rest of the week to train in Craftsbury with the Green Racing Project. It was fun to ski on a new rollerski loop, shoot on a bigger range, and work with different coaches and teammates.

My beautiful little "home" for the week

We had another time trial at the end of my stay, another 10km Pursuit. I ended up shooting 1,1,0,0 and placed second again, behind Susan. I was happy with my shooting, and even though my skiing felt sluggish, my ski time was still a little bit faster than the previous pursuit race. It was nice to be able to compare times, since the course was the exact same!

I had a little recovery week when I returned to Lake Placid, and since my plans of heading to the Outer Banks were canceled, I decided to do a little "staycation". Basically just tried to recharge my batteries, sleep in, chill at home, and I did a day trip to the Thousand Islands region of New York with my boyfriend. It was a nice few days of relaxing before heading back into another 3-week block of heavy training.

I'm now finishing up my second hard week of that 3-week block, and completed ANOTHER time trial yesterday! It was a 7.5km Sprint in Lake Placid, alone. (Clare's in Europe right now training with our coach Armin) Although I was alone, I still pushed hard and hit a lactate level of 11! I was very happy with how the "race" went, I hit all of my targets and felt fairly good on the skis. Overall, feeling good about the work I've put in this summer and I'm excited to see how it translates to the race season!

Time Trial ready!

Besides training, I've been doing a bit of mountain biking, virtual trivia playing, reading, and drawing! I recently got a hold on an iPad and started playing around with Procreate - a drawing app. I developed a design and created some stickers, that sold really well! It's the Adirondack Park with the words Leave No Trace in the center - to hopefully promote leaving the Adirondack Park better than you found it, and pick up any trash you may see out on the trail! I may put another order in, so if you're interested in either color (green/blue) let me know! The Old Forge Hardware Store will also be carrying my stickers, they were shipped their yesterday, so they should be stocking them shortly - keep an eye out!

Another fun project I've been working on with my friend Caitlin Kelly has been Womxn of the Adirondacks, an inclusive community that lifts up and celebrates our strong womxn of the adirondacks. Basically, one evening a group of girl friends and I were mountain biking. We ended up discussing how strong of a presence the men have on this community and how we wish we knew more of the women who live and recreate here! This sparked our idea of creating an Instagram page to promote those women and non binary folks that live in the Adirondack Park - and thus Womxn of the Adirondacks was created. The "x" in womxn is a little controversial, and we're still not 100% positive if it's the most inclusive term to use, but our thought behind using the term womxn comes with promoting inclusivity. We want to make sure trans women and non binary folks feel like they're welcomed and included. If you know a lot about the topic of using women vs womxn - please shoot me a message as I'd love to learn more! Anyway, I'm excited to see how the page grows and hope people can connect through it! Please, give us a follow if you're interested in following along! I designed the logo :)

For the rest of the month, I'll continue training in Lake Placid. I have a holiday week coming up at the end of the month, which I'm very excited about! My plans right now are to travel to Vermont (assuming that's possible) and mountain bike for a few days, and then just rest at home for the remainder of the week. Then, in October we're supposed to have a National Team camp in Craftsbury, VT for most of the month! Fingers crossed that doesn't fall through, and that we get to do some team races in order to name the World Cup and IBU Cup teams for the winter. I'll be sure to keep you all posted - I promise this time!

Don't forget to VOTE!!!

Until then, enjoy the last warm days. I can't wait for all the leaves to change and the flakes start to fly!

- MP