February 12, 2015

Finishing Touches

Everyone talks about trying to reach their "peak" for a championship event, but what does that mean?

Well, for me, I decided to stay with most of the U.S. Ski Team in Europe to reduce travel and have some friends to train with. We headed to Davos, Switzerland, a fabulous place to find happiness with lots of snow, big mountains, and a little sunshine. We spent the past two weeks there with everyone working on their own "peaking" plan. I was lucky enough to have some of my team with me. Sadie and Erik were great training buddies. Zuzana, our team Physical Therapist from Advanced Physical Therapy in Anchorage, arrived to fix me up and keep my injuries in check. Lastly, our coach, Erik Flora came over to make sure we were doing everything just right. These things make all the difference for me, providing some comfort, encouragement, and familiarity with all things training and recovering.

First things first, to peak, I have to believe. Believe that I have done the right training all year, that Erik's training plan is a perfect fit for me, and that I have done everything possible to be sharp and rested. Doubt leaves rooms for demons to come into your head and try to tell you that you aren't ready and that's no good. We are ready!

Second, I need to go really hard and feel the joy in pushing and pushing and pushing a little more. We did this on one of our last days in Davos. Sadie and I did some skiathlon practice, moving from classic to skate in an interval fashion. We went REALLY hard. As I told my roommate, we wrecked ourselves and it was awesome! This is one of the most important feelings to me. I don't have to feel great doing something, but I have to feel the desire to push harder all the time. To me, that means I am rested, have some competitive spirit brewing inside, and want to race.

Lastly, I need some fun and rest! Davos is great for this because the scenery is perfect. We went for some nice easy cruises up some spectacular valleys, soaking up the sun or floundering in the large amount of snow we got. (all pictures shamelessly stolen from Sadie)
Team APU, Zuzana, Me, Erik, and Sadie

Sadie and I enjoying some new snow

Skiing up the Sunny Valley!

Erik's Girlfriend, Marine and I at the top of the valley
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Sadie's great portrait of me at the top of Sertig Valley

We went to a Davos hockey game, a favorite sport there!

Lastly, as I was flying from Munich to Oslo, I happened to be on the same flight at the US Biathlon Team and one of my best buds, Hannah! Her teammate graciously traded me seats so we could catch up. It was one of the best surprises of the winter! I was too excited to make sure the camera was in focus, o well!

I have moved on to Ostersund, Sweden where we will have a weekend of World Cups as the final prep for the World Championships!