I have some time now to sit down and reflect on the past 5 weeks of the Swedish trip. I’m back in Alaska for a few weeks before flying down for one final set of races and the end of my season.
Since my last blog I had two more races to go. Both I had high hopes for and originally had been focussing on these two as my main events. The 15km Skate and the 50km Classic. After the team sprint I was on a high for a few days, I felt awesome and I was loving life. It was great to have some spark back and I was feeling really confident going into the 15km. The race was two laps of 7.5 and the plan from the start was to build into the race and hammer home not just go out guns blazing like I normally do. I was starting at the very back of the field and after 60 guys had gone through the course was a soft mess. The conditions were terrible with basically boot deep slush. The smallest rises now became difficult and I seemed to get bogged down in everything. I didn’t have the race I was after. I built into it and instead of holing on and pushing at the top I just fell straight off the cliff and suffered.
I was then able to recover for a few days as each day held a relay and we didn’t have team so I was able to refocus and prepare for the 50km. The day before the race I was doing intervals with Callum, we were both sharpening up for the race the next day and I felt really good. I was psyched with how I was feeling. I finished the session with a lot of confidence in my body again. However it wasn’t to be and that afternoon I got the team stomach flu it seems. Luckily I was able to minimise the effect and just ended up in bed for 36 hours with stomach cramps. Game over for me, I ended my championships in bed watching the races on TV.
During all the races I got to do a few really fun activities around town to just see a little bit of Falun which was really cool.
One thing I will most definitely take away from Falun is the crowd and passion of the people there. Never have I raced in front of so many spectators cheering and going nuts. The sprint day was amazing, it is possibly the most enjoyable race I have ever done and I will always remember racing in front of that crowd. Cross country skiing really is a big deal over there!
One thing a lot of athletes often forget is before they even put their ski on and move to the start line. Before they even step on course, a group of people behind the scenes have already given their best efforts in preparing the best skis they can do and probably have already been up for 5 hours. So again I’d just like to thank the waxing staff, the managers and the physio’s and doctors for looking after the whole team.
Train hard. Rest easy. Live for the moment