Thursday, December 3, 2015

Kuusamo to Lilllehammer

Last weekend was the opening weekend of the World Cup! We had a mini tour that consisted of a classic sprint, a skate 5k, and a classic 10k in three consecutive days. As a team, we had a good weekend, but we know we have bigger and better things to come in the future. Some of the highlights of the weekend included four girls qualifying for the heats in the sprint, Ida ending up 7th, Andy getting 4th, and Sadie placing top 15 in every race of the weekend for a 14th overall in the mini tour. Personally, I was really happy to qualify for the sprint in Kuusamo. This was the first time I had ever done that, so it was a nice way to start to the season! I was a little tired for the skate race, but I feel like my skate distance technique is better than it ever has been, so I'm excited to do some more skating later in the season. I woke up the morning of the classic race with a little tickle in my throat, so I decided not to race and to focus on recovering. It hasn't turned into a full blown cold, but it's a persistent tickle that still won't leave me alone, so I've been enjoying some easy training and rest the past few days.
Andy skiing to a 4th place in the opening sprint! (Nordic Focus photo)

Training day in Kuusamo with Rosie

Skiing around the tourist tracks with Sim

Welcome to Ruka!

My sprint qualifier (Nordic Focus photo)

Training with the gals (Noah photo)
After a busy weekend of racing in Kuusamo, we flew to Lillehammer, Norway for the next World Cup weekend. Lillehammer doesn't have a ton of snow, but higher up in places like Sjusjoen and Nordseter there is enough natural snow for some beautiful skiing. In addition to skiing on natural snow for the first time in awhile, we also found the sunshine here. We just went two and a half weeks without seeing the sun in northern Sweden and Finland, so we were all smiles when it popped out in Norway. I haven't even been up to the race course yet because I've been enjoying skiing on the easier trails of Sjusjoen and Nordseter, but I'll venture up there this weekend. I probably won't be racing this weekend in order to get totally healthy and rested before Davos, but I'll be cheering hard for my teammates in the skiathlon and relay!
Skiing in Sjusjoen with Jessie and Sadie

Enjoying the sunshine (Sadie photo)

Sodie twins!

Jessie posing in front of the gingerbread house in downtown Lillehammer

Lillehammer in the evening

Favorite Christmas decorations