Well, that’s it! World Championships are over, with the 30km classic and yesterday’s men’s 50km. I went up to the far end of the course to cheer in the sun with Liz and Ida, and we had a really good time getting our cheer on. Watching Johan Olsson of Sweden ski over half the race out in front by himself and then take the win was really incredible, and I don’t have much of a voice left after all the yelling we were doing at our boys out there! Hoff finished 27th, Bird got 37th, Tad got 40th, and Erik finished 52nd.
We had about 10 bottles of ice water in the snowbank in case anyone looked like they were in danger of heat stroke. It was a sunny hot day!
Saturday was a bit of a rough day for me. First of all, though, I want to say congrats to Liz for a super awesome 16th place, and Ida got a 25th in the 30km mass start classic. I started the race having talked with my coaches and, knowing that Lahti is only a week away and wanting to be able to ski well there, had the plan to drop the race if anything went wrong. It just wasn’t going to be worth it to push so deep that I would regret it later. In my head, that plan sounded great – it was smart, it would be a fun, sunny day no matter what.
But on the first lap, there were a lot of crashes, especially right after the steepest fastest downhill on the course. I was one of them – I fell hard onto my side and couldn’t stop sliding till I slammed into an Italian girl. My ribs scraped over her skis (and, I found out today, broke one of her skis. I felt super bad about that). After that I was mostly skiing by myself, and after a lap when the adrenaline had worn off a bit and my side was starting to really hurt, I started thinking too much. My head jumped right out of the race and started thinking about injuries, and I decided to drop.
Even though all the coaches said it was the smartest decision, it felt so bad in the few hours after to not finish a race for the second time in my life. I guess it felt bad because I’m used to doing the “tough” thing, not the smart thing. But the next day, after I let it sink in, it was nice to feel rested and be able to train well, and I wasn’t bummed out anymore. It won’t be the last time I need to drop a race in my life, so it’s important to be able to roll with the punches early on and not get caught up on the little things!
Here’s a bunch of pictures from our two weeks here at World Champs – I didn’t have time to upload them earlier but thought they were definitely worth posting.
Next, we move to Lahti for a skate sprint and 10km classic. But first – a few chill days to relax and let the Championship week sink in!