Monday, December 17, 2012

Canmore World Cups

We just finished up a full weekend of racing in Canmore and everyone is now on various planes heading many different directions. Thursday kicked off the World Cup weekend with a 10k classic mass start. About three minutes before the start of mass start races on the World Cup, the entire field files into the stadium at once. The coaches told us this the night before but Rosie and I still made the rookie move of being a little too nervous and overly cautious about getting to the start on time and we were the only two in the stadium for about 10 minutes before the rest of the field paraded in at once. I tried to focus on skiing my own race during the 10k and although I wish I had started a little more aggressively, I never blew up and still had something left in me for a little double sprint to the finish. I thought it was a solid start and it's one of the only times I haven't gone out too hard in a distance race. Some of the other American women had great days, highlighted by Kikkan's 5th and Sadie's mid 20s result - her first distance points!

catching a ride behind Chelsea Holmes (fasterskier photo)
Gus was very proud of his new snow pants but they turned out to be a little too hot at times
My second rookie move was making friends with the Russian wax trailer. I'm not sure why this happened but it did … several times. Maybe I was on my phone (don't text and walk!) or just thinking about other things while walking to our wax trailer in the mornings but for one reason or another, I kept walking into the first wax trailer (ours was the third) and not realizing that it wasn't the US trailer until I was inside of it looking up at a bunch of Russian men dressed in blue and red. Each time I quickly apologized, covered my face, and exited as quickly as possible but it was pretty embarrassing. 

Beautiful venue

 Saturday was another individual skate sprint and this was probably the race I was most excited for after Quebec City. The day before the race I did some pickups on the course and talked some strategy with Matt Whitcomb. It was a shorter course but it was pretty hilly. My strategy in the prelim was going to basically be to go very hard the whole way because the uphills were at the beginning and the recovery was at the end. I executed my plan but my legs felt super flooded at the top of the first hill so I think I had to yell at myself a little in my head to get up over the second hill - something like, "get your butt up this hill right now or else you can't have your jelly beans later." I was pleasantly surprised to hear I had qualified in 21st after my legs had felt less than stellar so I put my feet up for awhile and got a massage from Michael to flush out my limbs. Kikkan qualified in 1st and I qualified in 21st so we were in the same quarter final. Kikkan is a very smooth, strong, and smart skier so my ultimate plan was going to be, "just follow Kikkan!" My legs felt a lot better in the quarter final than they had in the prelim but there were a couple little tangles, then a small gap formed, and I didn't have enough in me to bridge it so I ended up 5th in my heat and 23rd for the day. I was still very excited to be in the top 30 and learned a lot from my heat. Kikkan went on to place 2nd, Ida was 10th (AWSOME!), Andy was 5th again, and Skyler scored his first world cup points so it was a very exciting day!

Sprint (Rob Whitney photo)

Sprint finish (fasterskier photo)

The final race was on Sunday and this was a 15k pursuit so we started out by doing 7.5k of classic and then switched equipment half way through and did 7.5k of skating. I was a little worried going into the day because my legs were starting to feel tired and there were some sicknesses going around but Eric Packer always says that his results never reflect how he's feeling when he wakes up in the morning and sometimes he has his best races when he wakes up feeling like crap so I tried to take his word for it and ignore any signs of feeling tired. I started this race a lot more aggressively than I did in the 10k and was skiing around the top 30 for some of my classic portion, which was awesome!! I got to ski next to Ida and Rosie for awhile and my legs felt great for most of the classic leg. It was a long enough race that I felt like I had multiple highs and lows throughout it (most of the highs being in the classic leg and the lows being in the skate) but I thought overall it was a good race and it was fun to be able to ski with so many different people. It was also very exciting to watch Noah, Kris and Tad get 8th, 10th, and 28th, respectively, and to see Ida have her career best distance race, coming in 14th!

Pursuit (Rob Whitney photo)
The past two weekends have been very exciting and really eye-opening experiences. It was fun to be in the same place as a lot of my good ski friends who are from all over the country and to be able to be there to witness the success of the US team this season. Thanks to Gus and all the other coaches for making it possible and enjoyable! I'm currently on a plane back to Boston where I'll be for a few days before heading home to VT for Christmas. Even though I'm going to miss rooming with Jessie and getting 10+ hours of sleep every night, I haven't been home since the beginning of November so I'm really excited to get back and see my family and friends. I don't think we have much snow but hopefully some will come and even if it doesn't, my legs are looking forward to a little break before heading out to Utah on the 27th for Nationals.

Beamers muffins!

Jessie washing her laundry as well as herself


The perfect treats, courtesy of Ms. Diggins - she knows me well!