Well, folks…that’s it! The season is DONE! I feel like the last month has absolutely flown by, and for a while there I was racing every 3 days. That’s a lot of hard work packed into a short amount of time! Right now I’m absolutely exhausted both mentally and physically. Not burned out, but just…really, really ready for a break. However, now that the season is over I have had a chance to look back on it and all I can do is smile. I had a lot of fun traveling and racing with my teammates and going after some big, ambitious goals. Although the season may read a little bit like a fairytale there were hundreds of hours of nothing but hard work, from myself, my coaches and support team and teammates. It took a lot from many different people to make this season possible, and I’m so grateful to be racing for a group of people that inspire me daily.
Before I get into a quick recap of the last races, I’m happy to announce that Slumberland (my headgear sponsor) is hosting an end-of-season party on April 12th! Details below:
Wednesday, April 12
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Slumberland Campus, Discovery Building
1 Imation Drive, Oakdale, MN
On Hwy 14 just East of 694 (formerly Imation Headquarters)
5:30 to 6:30: Meet Jessie, get a signed poster, take a photo with medals, enjoy refreshments, register for free prizes
6:30 to 7:00: Jessie will share slides and stories from World Cup racing, take questions, and preview the Olympic season
7:00: Door prize drawings & more time for poster signing/photos
I hope to see you there if you’re in Minnesota at that time! I love getting to connect with the amazing ski community and heading into an Olympic training year, things will be getting a little busier than usual from here on out! 😉
Heading into the last races of the World Cup season in Quebec, I was nervous but also really excited. To be honest, the races weren’t amazing ones for me, but getting to race in front of so many US and Canadian fans with my boyfriend and family there cheering me on made me feel like a total rockstar!
The sprint day went by so quickly, and I was really happy with how I raced tactically. The finishing lanes felt incredibly slow for me which was strange since they have been a strength all year long, but it was one last chance to improve on my tactics and group racing and I didn’t waste the opportunity.
The 10km classic mass start was, to be totally frank, one of my worst races all year. I picked the wrong skis for the race trying to go for kick, and then wasn’t able to add enough kick so that I had the dreaded slick and slow combination. But the first thing I told my tech at the finish was this: My skis have been amazing ALL year, and when it really counted, like World Champs and the Tour de Ski where I was focusing all my goals, I had AMAZING skis! So at some point, it’s really only fair for me to be on the other side of that! And of course it’s never fun, but I was able to see that one race out of every 15 having not-great skis is really just a chance to appreciate how good we have it the rest of the time. So I turned it around and started to focus on having a good race the next day in the 10km pursuit skate.
However, I had the weirdest thing happen to me! My only guess is that I was either coming down with a weird illness or, more likely, my body just said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, and decided to shut down early. But I was coughing all night before the race and coughing so hard that I started to throw up, and then all morning I felt so nauseated I could barely eat. 2 hours before the race I was curled up in bed trying to figure out how I was going to make it 10km. Luckily for me, my boyfriend Wade was there to take care of me and make me laugh and forget about the upcoming race until I had to finally get out the door. Then I had my family on the side of the course so while I was warming up, I went and got a big hug from both my Mom and Dad, which gave me the boost I needed to make it through the race. And to my great surprise, once I started to race I didn’t feel any nausea and actually started to feel better after the race! So weird. The body does weird things when it’s been put through a lot, and I think mine was just ready to be done.
Having my own personal cheering squad there made the biggest difference of all and all around the race course I felt so loved that it didn’t matter if the races didn’t go how I had hoped and dreamed – I was happy. (not pictured below: my aunts and uncles and cousins who were all there too!)
Then I came home for a few days of family time, puppy time and rest, before heading up to Fairbanks Alaska for spring series and US distance nationals!
It was so fun to see my club teammates again, get to close down the season with some good races (and have my body not rebel against me) and end it with a girls US team trip to the hot springs!
Now I’m headed to Oahu, Hawaii for a week of adventures and beach time with one of my best friends, Danielle, before I come home for the End-of-season ski party!