Wow, it has been way too long since my last post! My apologies! It has been a busy few weeks of traveling, racing and more traveling! As you probably recall from my last post, we had U.S. Nationals in Rumford, Maine the beginning of the month. It was a crazy and somewhat challenging week given the very little amount of snow! We arrived to 32 degrees with brown grass, dirt and twigs everywhere! “Hhmmm, maybe it is somehow just magically snowy up at the race venue” I thought to myself. That was not the case however.
The first training day was a bare…dirt, rocks, twigs everywhere! Disappointingly I ruined my skis. The forecast called for warmer temperatures and rain on race day. Ug! That turned out to be true, but the race was still a go! We raced the classic sprint in probably the worst conditions I have ever skied in. Despite the conditions, racers still had their game face on…it was time to put uncontrollable variables aside and just race as hard as you could. I skied a strong qualifier but missed advancing to the semis by less than a hair in a photo finish. My day ended short, but I immediately put that performance aside and focused on preparing for the races in the days to come.
As a result of the lack of snow, organizers decided to postpone the distance classic race by a day to give organizers more time to create a 2.5k loop with man-made snow. Luckly temperatures dropped into the 20’s and they were able to make snow. The organizers and volunteers did a good job of preparing a 2.5k loop. Thanks for all your hard work!
The classic race resumed on Wednesday. I unfortunately woke up with a bit of a cold and very low energy. I completed my warm-up and decided to give the race a go…four times around the 2.5k loop. I managed to ski the first lap in control, but going into the second lap my entire body felt like lead…I had no energy whatsoever. What do I do? Fight the fatigue? drop out of the race? I expressed how i was feeling to my coach and he recommended that I save my energy for the 20k race the following day. And that is what I did…half way through the race, I decided to drop out. Definitely not an easy thing to do. I’ve only dropped out once in my entire ski career and it is not a good feeling! I quickly put that disappointing performance behind me and once again started preparing for the next race.
Dropping out of the Wednesday’s classic race definitely fueled the fire for Thursday’s 20k skate race. Still not feeling 100% I went into the race with a completely focused attitude. My plan was to ski the first couple laps controlled and work into it each additional lap (7 laps total). I kept a consistent pace throughout the race and skied almost the entire race with another skier, exchanging leads. I ended up 9th overall, just 4 seconds out of 7th! Overall I was pleased with the effort but bummed to miss 7th by such a small margin.
Three races down, one to go! The last race was the skate sprint. I skied a solid prelim, qualifying in 8th place. I went into the quarterfinal 100% determined to advance to the semis, which I hadn’t done yet this season. I charged off the start in the lead. I managed to maintain my lead as I hammered up the hill and down into the final 200 meters. I won my quarterfinal, finally making it into the semis! I was feeling strong and once again went into the semis ready to charge. All was well until the final 100 meters…I was fighting for third place when it came down to a lunge to the finish! Yet again, it was a photo finish. I ended up getting the short end of the stick and missed qualifying for the A-final. Instead I was in the B-final. I had lost a bit of steam from the previous efforts but managed to finish 9th.
The conditions in Maine were definitely challenging! We can only hope for better next year! Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for making it possible!
Once again, I had the privilege of helping with Fast and Female in Bethel, Maine. It was a very successful event with over 130 girls attending! It was a day filled with skiing, lunch, dance and yoga! I had fun with a group of 30 girls, ages 9-10. Our group name was “The Green Goblins.”
I am currently back in Ketchum, recovering, training and getting ready for the second half of the season.
Thanks for checking in!