The website was down there for a bit, but we’re back now. It would be nice to pretend that all the web traffic after the 15K crashed the server, but that’s not the case. The host got changed and I screwed up the nameserver something or other. Managed to lose some content along the way as well (if anybody has any saved copies of the missing reports please send them to me!). Anyway, it’s a multi-purpose title as it works for Kris as well. He’s back in a pretty big way, and at just the right time to hit his major race goal of the season.
There has been decent enough coverage of the 15K so I needn’t go into any great depth. Kris started conservatively with the confidence from the Val di Dentro race the week before that he had the fitness to contend. He got the perfect ride as Bauer started about 15 seconds after Kris finished his first lap. Kris jumped on for a lap and three quarters and then passed Bauer at the end, posting the fastest final 10K of the day. Its easy to suggest that he should have started faster, but the race was defined by Bauer’s pace as much as anything. He could just as well have pulled over and waited for him. It was the perfect ride. Skis were among the best in the race. While 4th place is frustrating Kris has no regrets and can’t claim that those 1.3 seconds were available to him if only…
Kris’s preparation for the Championships has been defined by a very low level of training. While this has been the plan all-along – to really scale the load back in a pre-competition peaking phase – the compartment syndrome diagnosis made us even more cautious. Mostly this was a matter of giving his legs some extra consideration. As he started to regain some feeling in his legs after Whistler Kris realized that inflammation and fatigue had masked some of the CS symptoms and he came to understand how poorly his legs had been functioning, even in classic races. So he scaled things back even further than we had planned in order to give his legs a break.
Taking training down a big notch necessitates some other adjustments for Kris in the realm of sugar management. One of the reasons he’s carried such a high training load at times in the past is that blood sugar management can become a big issue when the load comes down. The Rybinsk race last season was a good example of this phenomenon. And when blood sugar management goes bad it’s really easy for Kris to get run down and sick. This time around Kris modified his diet more than he has in the past – knocking back his carb intake quite a lot, and eating more protein. The Omniopd has also given Kris a tool to deal with the day to day, and even hour to hour dosing variations in a way that was impossible before.
It’s not time for a post-mortem on the season quite yet. Kris’s final race of the year is coming up in the distance relay and he’s feeling very good. We’ve already started talking about next year but before we get too far it’ll be necessary to do a comprehensive review of what went right and what went wrong with this year. It’s a much prettier picture than last season, and we’re all going to come out of this pleased with the way that Kris has responded to disappointment and learned from errors.
Late Addition: Today’s sprint relay was frustrating because Kris and Torin didn’t make the final. But Kris felt excellent, and did what he set out to do – delivered Torin the lead with a lap to go. He felt as though he could have skied a tremendous final – plenty left in the tank. Distance relay is the day after tomorrow. He’s fired up.