Man, I did not expect todays race to be what it became. Super Demanding. Let me go into detail here about today’s event. Every day has been a different event. First day a GS, 2nd a SPRINT Classic, and the last the Classic. Well each day the races get longer in length and the classic is the longest. WOW!!! I knew that the classic was long, but apparently on the World Cup Circuit they want to make it gut wrenching, exhausting, legs giving out, unbearable pain kind of race. During inspection we were shocked and stunned that we actually had to race this thang. Dancing the night before probably was not the best idea. The course started out with a GS section on kind of steep pitch, about 30 secs into we went into a cat walk were we went into a tuck on a flat section, (tucks burn the legs a bit) then back into the GS section we went for another 20 secs, then we come into a wrap where we had to make a complete 180 turn and start skating up the hill and then back across the hill, (that took about 25 secs) back into the GS section again for another 35 seconds and by now you are seriously hurting, but wait the jump is coming, (the jump has been very demanding and challenging each day and requires extreme strength) the jump line requirement today was unreachable and only 1 person cleared the line, (the judges messed up and put the line to far down the hill, 28 yards, yea 28 yards!!) after the jump back into a GS section for 40 seconds, then to the finish area where you are not done yet, go around another wrap making a 180 degree turn then skate up the hill to this small bridge, then keep skating through 3 or 4 zig zags (40 seconds) to the finish line…. and then your done. no prob right. Well let me tell you if you had a crappy dinner the night before you are gonna regret it cuz your body is going to quit. Man!!! I was watching guys before my run and my game plan completely changed! It was basically too survive…. Not really, but it did change to really conserving my energy and not to push it too hard in the GS sections of the course. and not get penalties as well. My coaches were on me today just pounding it into my head about some of the changes I needed to make.
Start time-skied very smoothly, slow, (on purpose, even the top guys did) you could not push it or you would not make it, got to the first skate and skated 60% really had to control my breathing for the next GS section of the course which was the icy part of the course, (very demanding legs burning section), to the jump I come and although I am a jumper I had to not go for the line but rather just take the penalty, it was too risky to try as hard as you can to get to the line when it was not obtainable, well…… i jumped and sucked it up a bit to control my speed and before I knew it i was sliding on my hip passed the next gates, bummer, but no way was I gonna give up, back up on my feet and started hiking, and this when I need to make up time, hiked at full speed, fought through some leg pain and back in the course i went, another 40 sec of GS gates ahead of me, it is a very weird feeling trying to give your body a rest while it still working but I had to prepare for the skate section at the finish, skied the last GS section fairly well, and reached the last wrap with the skate section ahead of me, I took one big breath right before I entered the skate session and said to myself i can tear through this section fast, i jumped into the section and gave it everything I had, it was the coolest thing because the whole skate section is roped off and on the other sides of the rope is the crowd cheering you on, your teammates/other races are allowed inside the rope so then can actually run along side of you and cheer you on, well I hit the small bridge and I can just hear everybody yelling, some in different languages as I look to my left and see Norwegians going nuts yelling at me to go go go, the I hit the first switchback and my teammates jump inside the rope and run along side me, 2nd switchback pain increased, 3rd switchback with one more left to the finish my teammate is standing in front of me standing right where I need to go encouraging me to come to him, he was waiving the American flag, eeeshh right, i saw the finish line in sight and just gave it my all. Crossed the line, Time 3 min 23 seconds, collapsed, teammates and 1 Norwegian came and clicked me out of my boots and straightened out my legs so they wouldnt cramp. There was no strength left period, i just laid there some time. Relieved I was. I skied well. Not great. Bummer that I fell, just stupid crazy that I had to throw another hike in there after the jump to make the gates I missed. But very encouraging on the penalty side, I only had 7 or so, (most guys had around 6-8). And encouraging that I still beat 22 dudes. The skate at the finish is were I excelled, perhaps living up in good ol Breckenridge paid off. Very cool feeling having the whole crowd and teammates cheering you on. Also perhaps the crowd cheered me on a little more cuz of my song selection….. your gonna love this… Well there is an announcer at the bottom who is announcing everything and talking as you race giving the crowd the play by play. He plays music as well as your racing, very cool. Well if you want you can request a song as you come into the last section to help you get to the finish line…. well a few of my teammates requested songs like, “Born in the USA” or “Final Countdown” or “We are the Champions” borrrrrrrrrinnng right…. My song, yup!!!!!
Miley Cyrus, “Its a Climb” Crowd favorite song for sure!!!! boooyaaaaa. (Brother, please don’t make fun of me.)
All and all it was a fun day. Although I crashed and lost tons of time getting back into the course, I was still happy with my place. I just gotta put a clean run together and make it happen. Also I was happy with my fitness level, today was a good test.
So this wraps up the World Cup Finals, a good warm up for the World Championships in Rjukan. Tomorrow is a travel day back to Olso then Rjukan. Should be a long day, but good to get out a bit and see some sights.
Thanks for support and emails… Oh and mom, i am perfectly fine, not a bad crash at all, more like just got off balance and fell over and missed a gate. Love you.