January 9, 2012


Had you asked me going into Nationals which race I would do best in and which race would be the toughest for me, I would have undoubtedly answered that I would do much better in the classic races and that skate sprinting is my biggest struggle. Skiing, however, always presents challenges and experiences that make these things unpredictable and as it turns out the skate sprint (last post) turned into by far my best race.

The rest of the week proved challenging and while it was not a disaster, it was not the week I was hoping for. The 10k skate was the second race and I had some very tired legs that I had to convince to keep moving from the get-go. It was a tough day on skis and I ended the day in 13th, not my best,  not my worst.
Photos Courtesy of USSA Nordic
Getting chased down by the winner

Last uphill!

Next was the 20k Mass Start Classic, which is one of my favorite races. With only a 3k loop to work with, we had to do 6 laps which included the infamous High School Hill, a rather steep hill in the middle of the loop. We were greeted in the morning by falling snow. It was enough to change the wax up a little, but was not enough for disaster to strike. Once again, I felt I was missing that top gear to really push when someone drops was the hammer. I unfortunately had a case of slow skis too, which is difficult in a mass start because your race is usually dictated by the leaders so its hard to push in places where you skis are good. Anyway, I ended the day in 11th, not quite what I was hoping for, but not an utter failure either. 
Mass Start

After getting dropped from the lead pack, I had to fight the last 2 loops alone
Out of the stadium we go!

The week finished with a classic sprint, which in the past has been a really good race for me. With a year full of disasters last year, I didn't race much and as a result, this week, with 4 races packed in, I was really struggling to recover from each race and muster up energy for the next race. So, I found myself in the classic sprint fighting lots of fatigue. I ended up having a great qualifying round, which I am very happy about because qualifying has been a struggle in the past for me. I qualified in 5th, making me believe despite the fatigue, I must have something left in me! Not wanting to play games, I just went for it in my quarterfinal, which, retrospectively, was probably a bad idea. I made it through the quarters, but maybe spent a little too much of my dwindling energy. In my semi, I had no push and was unable to make it to the A-final. Back to the B-final, I decided I needed to do what I could to fight for a top 10. I pulled through and ended the day in 9th. 
Feeling the Fatigue
My goal heading into the week was to get top 10 in every race, making me a good all-around contender. While I fell short of that, I am very thankful to have been able to race all 4 races this year in good health, after all I went through last year. I have been reminded of some of the struggles in racing many days in 1 weeks and have come away with some things to work on in future.

From here my season is a bit up in the air....At this point, I am planning to race an Eastern Cup in Maine this coming weekend and then heading to the Twin Cities for a mini-tour which should provide lots of challenging racing.

Thanks for all the support and keep cheering!