It is nearing the end of January 2nd, I am in Oberhof. It is nasty out. It has been foggy all day, raining all day, windy all day. On tuesday it was sunny… why it couldn’t have been sunny a little longer I’m not sure. But it isn’t, and like it or not the 2nd trimester of the season starts tomorrow with a 10km Sprint here in Oberhof! After a disappointing start to the season, I’m looking forward to what I hope to do in 2014 though, to be honest, it won’t take much to improve on the first trimester!
This last summer was probably one of the most productive training seasons I’ve ever had. Heading into Ostersund last month I was confident I was in the best shape of my life, with still more to give as we’d been finishing off a hard training block before the start of the WC. However the first races weren’t much to talk about, the highlight being the sprint race in Ostersund! The 41st place finish there was just out of the WC points, something I always aim for, and I left disappointed with even that. The next week went from bad to worse. Following the cancelation of the Pursuit race in Ostersund due to high winds, I promptly got sick during the travel and spent the whole next week in Hochfilzen in bed. Though I did make a quick start in the relay, it probably wasn’t good for me and would have been more beneficial just to train.
Wrapping up the December WC’s in Le Grand Bornand was the highlight of the first trimester! I had never set foot in France before, and I have to say Le Grand Bornand was one of the most spectacular venues I’ve been to in my career. Mountains all around, so much good food I had to be careful not to get fat, and one of the most fun atmospheres I’ve seen at a world cup! The races weren’t much to talk about so I’ll skip right over those.
Perhaps one of the best things that happened during the first trimester also occurred in France! By virtue of my 41st place finish in Ostersund, I fulfilled the last set of criteria to qualify for the Olympic team! Though I wasn’t so psyched about the manner in which I qualified (I wanted to do it with a little more panache!) I am grateful that I’ve been named, and I look forward to representing the USA at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia come February!
The Christmas holidays were pretty low key for me. Upon leaving France, I headed to Lake Placid, NY to train for the full two week break. The snow was great in LP, I’d actually never been there in the winter before, so it was nice to actually get out and ski at Mt. Van Hoevenberg which I’d heard so much about from my teammates. It turns out I couldn’t quite spend the whole Christmas away from home though! I was missing some homemade Christmas cookies and a nice warm fireplace to eat them by, so two days before Christmas I packed my ski boots in a bag and caught a quick flight to MN. Turns out I needed a little more than ski boots! I left LP in a balmy 40F degrees and rain, and arrived in MN to 2ft of snow and temps around -5F! Luckily I had plenty of older ski clothes and I made it by just fine!
In the last few days, I’ve traveled back to LP for the last few hard training sessions, then made the long trek back to Europe to get the first competitions of 2014 underway! Though the weather is bleak, I’m actually pretty excited to get these races going. I feel in much better shape than before the break, I’ve finally kicked my sickness, and I look forward to ramping up towards the Olympics in February!!
Tune in for the sprint race tomorrow afternoon at 3:15pm Europe time, and 8:15am Central time to see team USA in action! I believe I’m bib #55.
Thanks for checking in! Hopefully you’ve noticed I made a few changes to my website in the last few days. Though I’m not much for New Years resolutions, I admit it is one of mine to update more often… just like always!
Happy New Year!