After the World Cup in Antholz, my coaches suggested that I skip the first of two North American World Cups-- World Cup 7 in Canmore, Alberta-- in order to best prepare for World Cup 8 in Presque-Isle, Maine and World Championships in Oslo, Norway. I was sad to miss the opportunity to compete in Canmore because it is a beautiful place and I want to do as many races as I can, but in the end I agreed with the plan. I had a good week of training in Lake Placid with a few of my teammates and my coach, and then when they headed west for Canmore I headed back to my old stomping grounds in Craftsbury, Vermont.
|L-R: Annelies, her sister Marlijne, me, Erika Bailey,|
and Hannah took a winter tour up to Avalanche Lake
in the Adirondack Mountains.
|On Avalanche lake with the cliffs of Mount Colden in the background.|
The timing of my break at home aligned perfectly with the New England nordic racing calendar. There was a NENSA Eastern Cup + Super Tour the weekend I was in Lake Placid, and then Craftsbury hosted an Eastern Cup + Super Tour + Carnival the following weekend! The Eastern Cup crowd consists primarily of U-18 skiers who seek a higher level of competition than their school circuit offers; the Super Tour skiers are the top US racers vying for start spots on the cross-country World Cup; and the carnival crew are NCAA Division I eastern collegiate racers. It was a blast to see all my old cross-country ski buddies, many of whom are coaches at this point rather than athletes! I had not been to a non-biathlon ski race since winter 2014.
Despite my two-year hiatus, I decided to jump in the 5k skate race on Saturday in Craftsbury which boasted 225 women!! That is the most women I have ever competed with on any given day, at any level. I finished 5th, which was a good confirmation that I am on the right track in terms of getting my ski speed back up after my December slump. Results.
|My GRP (and UNH!) teammate, Elizabeth, celebrated her|
birthday by tying for second place in Sunday's 10k classic.
- Taking advantage of the OTC sauna with Hannah
- Catching up with my biathlon teammate Patty J at the OTC
- Celebrating Casey and Liz's birthdays
- Writing a guest edition of the Craftsbury Chronicle, the staff newsletter I started at the Outdoor Center (now in its 4th edition!)
- Seeing old friends from the New England cross-country skiing community
- Eating at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center dining hall
- Doing my first ski race in two years
- Getting addicted to a 2000-piece puzzle with Liz and Mike
- Petting Gunner, the fluffy malamute former-puppy belonging to Alex and Emily Dreissigacker-Howe
- Using a laundry machine at my convenience
- Doing two interval workouts in pouring, freezing rain.
Now I am in Presque-Isle, Maine getting ready for my first race on Thursday. I am working really hard to prepare for a great performance so I can make the pursuit by finishing in the top-60! There is a women's 4x6k relay on Sunday that I also hope to be part of. We are bringing five women to this event though, and the coaches have not yet named the relay team. A good race on Thursday would help my chances!
If you won't be here in person, be sure to watch live online at: http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu/
|Mike showing off our completed Cinque Terre puzzle|