Friday, March 20, 2015

Catch Up

I'm a little behind on blogging, but the last couple weeks have been busy ones. After Falun, the team flew to Lahti, Finland for a skate sprint and a classic distance race. One year ago in Lahti is where I got my World Cup podium. I tend to like flatter skate courses like Lahti, but for some reason I've always struggled in qualification there. In the three years I've done the Lahti sprint, I've failed to qualify twice, and I snuck into qualification once (last year). It was tough to not qualify this year on a course that I had had such a good result on the previous year, but luckily, all three teammates who qualified had great days. Andy ended up 8th, showing he was in strong form at the end of a long World Cup season. Jessie placed 4th, which is her best World Cup result ever and Kik was back on the podium in third! That's three years in a row that she has been on the podium in Lahti. Even though she hasn't had the season she hoped for, she always kept fighting and believing and landed herself back on the podium. We couldn't be more proud. Even though my skate sprint was a little disappointing, I had the oppurtunity to race the classic 10k the following day. I haven't been able to do very much distance racing this year, so I was excited to get a start and came up with a race plan without having any expectations as far as results went. I felt amazing my first lap and even though I faded a bit the second lap, I hung tough and ended up 31st, .2 seconds away from scoring distance points! It was arguably my best distance race on the World Cup ever. Even though it was a little bittersweet being so close to scoring points, I couldn't help but be happy with the result and how I felt.
It was International Women's Day while we were in Lahti, so one of our wax techs, Assar, gave us all flowers. How nice!

Dinner at Aino Kaisa Saarinen's house

Getting some TV time at the start of the 10k classic.
After Lahti, we packed up and headed to Oslo. The last two races of the season took place in Oslo. The first was a classic city sprint in Drammen on Wednesday and the second was a 30k skate at Holmenkollen on Sunday. I was only racing the classic sprint before heading back to the U.S. I've never qualified for a classic sprint in Drammen in the three years that I've done it. The gradual grade that mostly consists of power striding and double poling is not my favorite, but one of these years I'm going to make it happen. Despite not qualifying, I enjoyed soaking in my final day on the World Cup for the year by joining the crowds to cheer on my teammates for the rest of the race. Then it was back to the hotel to pack for heading back to the states!

Squinty team photo shoot in Drammen

Dakota, Sim, and Erik skiing at Holmenkollen

Holmenkollen Stadium

Soaking in some sunshine on a nice morning in Fornebu
The morning after the race in Drammen, I hopped on the plane and flew back to the U.S. I felt like I had been looking forward to heading home for awhile, but then when the time finally came, I was actually a little sad to be leaving. Life on the road isn't always easy, but we get used to the people and the lifestyle and eventually come to love it. That said, the idea of home is always appealing. Landing in a US airport after four months in Europe is always a wild experience. In Europe, I kind of get used to a constant buzz of other languages that I don't understand and it almost becomes white noise. When I landed in the US, everyone was speaking english and I couldn't stop listening! It felt good to be home. I haven't actually been to my real home in Vermont yet, because Simi and I went to Aspen for a week before Spring Series in Sun Valley. I had the perfect week of ski adventures and sunshine and arrived in Sun Valley last night. Unfortunately I woke up with a little cold this morning and I'm hoping to kick it before the races start tomorrow, but I'll take it one day at a time. Thanks for following!

A ski up to Maroon Bells

Our friends Megan and Dylan came out to CO to join us for the week. We tried just about every kind of skiing last week. Here we are on our first day of back country skiing. 

Not bad!

Enjoying a lake break

Sun, snow and a lot of skiing!

An artsy photo into Meg's goggles

Alpine skiing on Meg's birthday

The crew on one of our adventures

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