Monday, February 23, 2015

A Big Thanks to my Teammates!

Everyone knows how much hard work goes into reaching your goals. Words such a dedication, persistence, perseverance and sacrifice are among a few of the terms used to describe the scenario involved with performing your best. There is another element, that has often be referenced in Nordic Skiing in the past but that I wanted to highlight on the Eve of my 2015 World Championships Debut (I am racing the 10K tomorrow!), that is the role of teammates.

As I look back on this past year of training and racing I can't help but remember the workouts and adventures that involved my other LNR teammates. Sure there were plenty of solo efforts that were probably integral in my success but for some reason I can't think of them now. All I picture is the hard work and effort put in by everyone on the group training days. Even when I was hundreds or thousands of miles away, I remember seeing the photos and reading the posts about what the LNR athletes were doing and how they motivated me to do my best that day too!

As the results poured in from the early winter races I was fixated on how the "Team" was doing and almost looked forward to seeing their successes (I include Brian in this group too) than I was about my own upcoming World Cups. It was the greatest feeling knowing how hard everyone had worked together over the spring, fall and summer and seeing the results show that effort as well.

When I came back from a less than stellar World Cup period 1, it was amazing to get the group together again in Houghton, Michigan and prepare for what we would soon realize was an incredible week of racing.

I can remember on a few of our longer workouts talking about our goals for the season. All the girls knew I was shooting for the 10K here at World Champs and now that it is only a day away I can't help but feel their support and encouragement even though I have been gone for so long!

I look forward to representing our LNR team and Team USA tomorrow. It's a wonderful feeling knowing how many people make these opportunities and dreams possible. I look forward to helping the rest of the LNR crew (including Brian) continue to reach their goals and dreams too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Heading to the 2015 Nordic World Championships!

I am very excited about heading to 2015 World Championships in less than a week! Below is an interview from one of the media sources (Fasterskier) for Nordic Skiing here in the US!

Questions from Landar Karath:

1. This is your first World Champs since 2009. How does it feel to return to arguably one of the biggest events in Nordic ski racing?
I am very excited about the upcoming opportunity to represent the US and all of my supporters and sponsors on the "World Stage" again. I have a lot of awesome teammates and coaches with Loppet Nordic Racing who helped me reach this goal and I am happy to represent them as well. 

2. When did you find out you made the team and how did you feel once you got the news? 
I found out I made the team a few days before the official announcement and I was beyond ecstatic! 

3. What did you think your chances were to make the team? (I remember you said earlier this season that you heard a rumor it was just USSTers who would be chosen.) 
Honestly...I wasn't sure. I've heard a lot of rumors regarding team selections and size over the past couple of years and I realized that it is completely out of my control. The only thing I can do is focus on skiing my best.

4. Were the 2014 Olympic selections on your mind this season? How did any of those feelings factor into this year's quest to be on the World Champs team? 
Yes and No. I had a pretty incredible season last year and felt strong from beginning to end. Olympics or not I had a blast and will always remember 2014 with fondness!I learned a lot about why I love this sport and why I choose to continue committing so much time towards it. I approached this past summer and fall knowing I had a great opportunity to learn from racing the fall World Cups. Although I wasn't 100%, I still came away with some of the best experiences of my racing career (even if the results didn't show it). 

5. You and Brian unfortunately were not able to compete together at either the 2014 Olympics or this year's World Champs. Is there any disappointment there? Will he remain in the U.S. while you're competing?
We try to look at everything in a positive way...which means that Team Gregg has successfully put athletes on the past two Olympic/ Championship Teams! Obviously we would love to go together but we need a goal for 2017 right! Brian will stay in the US and race one of the most important events for our sponsors, the American Birkebeiner. We love the Birkie and it has always been a great event for us.

6. Now that you've made the team, what are your goals for Falun? Is the 10 k freestyle a target? 
Yes the 10 K Freestyle race is my target event. I have been preparing soley for that race for the past month here in Frisco, CO. Training is going well and I am looking forward to getting back to Sweden!

7. You mentioned in Houghton that you were still feeling the effects of ill health (shingles) and travel in the form of fatigue. How is your health now? How is your skiing feeling as you ready for World Champs? 
I am feeling so much better now. I would say that all of the symptoms and lingering fatigue are completely gone now. I have been able to put in one of my best mid-season training blocks ever this past 6 weeks and I am really looking forward to racing again! I have had a really positive response to training at altitude in the past and we had to get a little creative about how to keep my sea-level speed and power up at over 9,000 ft but I am feeling good about the hard work and rest I have put in.

8. Will you race in Ă–stersund this weekend? If so, what are your goals for the race(s)? 
I will not be racing in Ostersund this weekend. I heard it was an option a bit too late for me to take advantage of the opportunity. My training, racing and travel plans were already lined out to have me head over just as the Championships start. I love Ostersund and have had good races in the past there. Last time I was there was the 2008 World Championships for Biathlon.

Watch for me and the entire US Team live from the LLBean Falun App!!!