At this moment I am sitting on the couch listening to some chill tunes with my feet up, soaking in some sun in Beitostolen, Norway. I must say… don’t think life could get much better at this moment! I am a lucky person to be involved in such a sweet sport! For the past 3 months I have moved from house to house, venue to venue, and country to country racing- and I am now truly starting to appreciate it. Some of the first countries were a bit uncomfortable and extraordinary, which left me with a bit of a homesick feeling… but lately I have been getting super lucky!
I have always liked the traveling part of ski racing. I think many people struggle with switching beds so often, and living out of a suitcase- but for me, I love it! I love how many different lifestyles we get to live, all the sweet places we see, and all the cool people we meet. If we raced similar venues every weekend, and traveled to simple places… it would be boring! I like constantly switching it up every week. I have to admit though… there are a lot of times I wish I could just have a switch of clothes. Wearing the same 3 shirts and 2 sweatshirts for 3 months is a LONG time!
Jessie and I in the stadium
Last week classes started back up for me at APU. All the courses I am taking this semester are online courses…but don’t let the word “online” fool you. Class still meets at a specific time, just “online”. What this means is my 7PM-9PM classes in Alaska meet at 5:00 in the morning Norway time. Because we don’t have internet directly in our room, I set my alarm-clock for 4:45 in the morning and wake up and head down the hill for class ☺ Good fun! The good news is I only have this for 3 more weeks here twice a week… so I think I will make it. But it is nice to have schoolwork to consume my time again. I always miss that stress when I am without it!
The past two days I have been racing here in Beitostolen for some Norwegian National Cup races. Many of the national team members are here, mostly the sprinting team, but lots of speedy people! It has been super fun though to see what racing in Norway looks like. I have always had an image in my head, but it is even more impressive then I imagined. Yesterday 890 people started!! That is sooo many skiers!
So Friday was a skate sprint, which went pretty well for me. I was 4th in the qualifier, and then moved down a bit in the heats. The heats were interesting, as the course was short- and there was no room for passing- so the order at the end of the first straight away was the order coming across the finish. In my semi-finals, I didn’t have the best start, so I came to the end of the straight away in 5th, and crossed the line in fifth…. which meant I moved down to 9th place for the day. The other US girls also did very well. Jessie Diggins got a bit tripped up in her semi’s, so wasn’t able to move on, but Ida got fourth in my heat and moved on as lucky loser- to finish the day in 5th.
Yesterday was the 5k classic, which also went very well. Once again the US ladies were packed in there for the top places. I came in 4th, about 36 seconds off the leading pace, with the other US ladies close behind in 8th, 11th, 16th, and 20th I believe.
Today I opted to sit out the 15km skate race to prepare for next weekends world cups and then world champs. I heard though that the ladies kicked butt again. Think Mo and Liz were 2nd and 3rd and Jessie won the juniors race. Its fun to see everyone on their game right now- think we will be bringing a strong team to Oslo, which will make that week so much more fun!
We train here a couple more weeks and then head back towards Oslo, to Drammen where I will enter my first World Cups next weekend!! Can’t wait!