There is light rain falling as I look out the window of my room. Back home we call mizzle it’s not mist and it’s not drizzle. In some ways it’s hardly noticeable but you get wet from it fairly quickly. It’s trying to snow but not quite. It’s a standard grey day here in Falun Sweden. The entire World Championship team is now together and living in our allotted athlete accommodation for the Championships. This year our team is huge, 11 athletes and 8 support staff. This is the largest overall group we have ever sent to a Championship event! It’s pretty exciting to be part of such a huge group. There is a lot of excitement and a few nerves floating about the team. We have four athletes competing in the 10km qualifying race on Wednesday. I’m lucky enough to be prequalified and able to skip that race. I think all of the athletes should qualify, they’re skiing well and looking good! They have to come in the top 10 to go through. This weekend I was up in Ostersund. Around 5 hours north of Falun racing on the World Cup. These were my first races on the World Cup this year and as always it’s extremely fierce racing!
The course for the classic sprint on Saturday was one of the coolest but weirdest courses I’ve ever been on. It was too laps of a 500m loop, however the loop went up into the stands and through a pedestrian tunnel and then around the back of the stands and down. Then after a fast little downhill it did a hard left, climbed over the biathlon shooting range and back into the stadium. They created huge scaffolding and floors to hold the snow and groomers. It was super impressive. I had a fun classic sprint. I wasn’t expecting too much from the race and I just loved racing in front of so many excited spectators.
The Sunday was a 15km Skate and I really liked the course. Two massive climbs, both over a kilometre in length and some hard fast downhills in-between. The snow was fast and even better our skis were rockets! Our waxing staff and coaches did an amazing job dialling in our skis and I was loving how great they were feeling.
I had a solid 15km race but again I was disappointed with my last 10% of energy. I feel I have still more to give I just need to get my body firing better and sharper. Going out and up the first climb I suffered but pushed hard. After recovering on the downhill I pushed again up the second long climb and skied the first lap hard and well. The second lap I skied well and stayed consistent. Working hard but now blowing up. On the third I went to find that next gear to really push myself but I just couldn’t find it.
Before the race I had a long discussion with one of my coaches about starting. My throat and lungs still felt burnt from the day before and it was discussed if I should pull out or not. I love 15km races so I was really keen to go for it. My lungs didn’t feel perfect but I happily battled through it. The next day I payed the price a little with a sore throat. Since then I have just been lying low and taking it easy, looking after my body and making sure everything feels good again. My energy is good it just getting rid of the sore throat. I expect to good in a day. For now ill enjoy watching the mizzle come down but as always. Train hard, rest easy, live for the moment.