Frozen

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.

The trails, note the snow plastered high up the trees. Just shows how windy it all was.
The trails, note the snow plastered high up the trees. Just shows how windy it all was.
My Room mate and fellow Aussie Mark Pollock enjoying himself knocking the overhang off our roof.
My Room mate and fellow Aussie Mark Pollock enjoying himself knocking the overhang off our roof.

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.

Our wintery home for the week half buried off to the right.
Our wintery home for the week half buried off to the right.
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Sun set on the very last day was the only glimpse of the sun we saw for the whole week.
Heavy machinery was brought in to fill trucks to cart away all the snow in the streets
Heavy machinery was brought in to fill trucks to cart away all the snow in the streets to just keep them open.
a brief reprieve from the storm shows a very pretty little down town section.
A brief reprieve from the storm shows a very pretty little down town section.
Walking in the main street with Lauren. It was great to be able to spend some of my week with her.
Walking in the main street with Lauren. It was great to be able to spend some of my week with her.

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.

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The face and the icicles off the pole straps says it all. One of my friends racing for APU, Forrest Mahlen.

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.

The beginning of the classic  30km.
The beginning of the 30km Classic. Photo Credit Skinny Skis.
Racing the skate 15km. Photo credit
Racing the 15km skate. Photo credit Skinny Skis.

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.

My last night in Houghton I went to a NCAA College ice hockey game which was awesome and apparently a massive grudge match between two local teams
My last night in Houghton I went to a NCAA College ice hockey game which was awesome and apparently a massive grudge match between two local teams! It was a lot of fun and as one of my friends said “It’s ironic that the warmest I’ve been all week is standing in an Ice Hockey stadium watching a game”.

So for now, It’s just rest easy for me.

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2 thoughts on “Frozen

  1. Hey PL
    Don’t you hate it when when the hardest lessons are probably the most valuable!
    Life just sucks sometimes eh!
    Oh well, onwards and upwards and don’t forget to have some fun
    Mike
    PS Beer sometimes helps

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