Monday, December 14, 2015

Better and Better

This past weekend was a great way to hit the refresh button for me. After almost a month on the road I was joined by Brian for the World Cup weekend in Davos, Switzerland. We feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be chasing our dreams together.

Aside from a rocky start to my first World Cup races I have been having a blast being a part of the US Ski Team and love hanging out with my teammates on and off the trails. It seems like we always have a great result on the team with each race so there is always a reason to cheer and celebrate!

 Even though I am surrounded by great supportive teammates I also really enjoy seeing my friends from all over the world who also compete on the World Cup! I simply love learning about their lives and how the balance competing at the highest level with the rest of life. I hope to stay in touch with these awesome ladies for a long long time!

The races in Kuusamo were a bit of a blur. I was able to give it my all, especially in the 5K Skate, but my body didn't respond the way I was accustomed to! I was happy to have the courage and tenacity to leave it all out on the course and I am proud of my efforts. After the last race of the weekend I started the process of recovering and reversing "off" feeling I was having. 

After two weeks of heavy and lethargic legs I was psyched to start feeling a bit more like myself in Lillehammer. I used some advice from Sten when I was in racing in college at NMU. He always encouraged us to never under estimate the power of rebuilding easy volume back into our training to aid in recovery and regeneration. With his advice I spent each day skiing incredibly easy and avoiding all intensity. The following weekend my 15K skiathlon went well and I was able to ski my best classic portion ever on the World Cup. This was important because Tom and I have been working a lot on my classic skiing this fall and after 4 years with a torn left hamstring, I am finally able to use my left leg completely again pain free :) Even more importantly I scored my first World Cup point of the season!

 After Lillehammer we traveled to Davos at an altitude of about 5,000 ft. After only racing once in Lillehammer my body was feeling pretty good so in addition to extremely easy sessions I was able to do one threshold session on the race course. Having Brian around was so much fun and although we enjoy being together on the World Cup we are still very focused on our training, recovery and racing.

 Brian flew over to Europe after a successful weekend in West Yellowstone and he was psyched to test his fitness on the World Cup. He felt like although his result was not what he wanted he still raced as well as he had the weekend he was in Yellowstone. He left today with a renewed appreciation of the fitness level on the World Cup and a strong motivation to prepare for US Nationals in a couple of weeks!

My race went well and I was able to ski into the top 20 for the first time this season. Although my body was feeling better I am still not 100%. I am looking forward to Toblach next weekend and another classic start as well as the Tour de Ski in only a few weeks. Hopefully all this volume training I have been doing along with some recovery over Christmas will keep me fresh for the grueling week of racing during the tour!

Last but not least, it was great to have a coach with me on the World Cup for the first time ever!!! Tom did a great job assimilating into the USST group and was a huge asset to many of the results throughout period one so far. Tom headed back with Brian today and will be supporting him in the US for the next couple of weeks including US Nationals. Thanks to everyone who have made these opportunities possible and stay tuned for more race reports and results from the entire team!

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