I once read that the lowest temperature in Australia ever recorded was -16C. Well for all of US nationals the temperature never got warmer than -16C. It constantly stayed around -18C.
I’ve been trying to write this blog for the last few days. It’s hard to work out what I want to write and how I want to convey it. US nationals were a disappointment for me. I simply failed to meet any of my goals. As an athlete it’s frustrating and a little shattering to put so much effort in over the last few months, to come away with little success. However as I improve, I continue to increase expectations upon myself, setting harder and harder goals. Weeks like this just remind me I’m human and that racing has its ups and downs. I fly home to Bozeman to refocus and again start preparing for some more racing in the US, but more importantly Europe. I’ll need to spend some time evaluating what I did well and what went wrong at the races and then put it all behind me. As athletes this is when we are tested the most and our resilience shown, to bounce back. To wind back time a week. We arrived in Houghton to snow and wind. We left the sun on our drive and entered the freezing temperatures, strong winds and heavy snow that makes the Upper Peninsula of Michigan famous in winter. Almost a meter of snow fell in the week I was there. I still am missing some feeling in my toes, they got so cold so often. It will take some time for them to heal.
Each race for me was tough, I had a lot of issues with my energy levels and spark pre race. I was often too flat and in the races too passive. I just was missing “that next gear” or the “spark” as some athletes say. And sadly on the days I felt alright, I had equipment issues that hampered me. Throw in the crazy weather and it set me up for a rough week. A bit of a mental boot camp.
Both the 30km and the classic sprint were disappointments. The 15km skate and the skate sprint were solid/ average so I can take positives from there. I didn’t reach my goal, but I also didn’t miss the mark by too much. Since returning to Bozeman I had a very long travel home and didn’t get into bed till after 2:00am. I’ve developed a bit of a head cold, so maybe I was fighting that all week, which explains some of my low energy.
Where to now? I’m in Bozeman for a few weeks. Time enough to train and gather myself again before heading to the east coast. The aim of the next few weeks is to find my energy and spark again and build it all up for mid February.
So for now, It’s just rest easy for me.