Overheard at the lunch table after a morning of time trials in Davos:
“Hey, how was your skiathlon time trial today?”
“It was AWESOME! I destroyed myself.”
While that sounds a little contradictory, it’s a pretty common theme for skiers: feeling awesome after pretty much destroying yourself. While our sport has so many different parts to it; tactics, technique, waxing, pacing, strength, power, speed…a huge part of it is dealing with physical pain as you’re pushing your body to it’s limit. And then a little farther. It seems like enjoying ski racing goes hand in hand with enjoying the lung-burning, muscle-numbing, iron-tasting, mentally-exhausting state you find yourself in near the end of a race.
To a lot of people, this sounds crazy. To me, it makes sense. Until you tear yourself apart, how can you possibly know what you’re made of underneath all the layers of “can I really do this?” How can you know what your limits really are, and if you can push past them?
And of course, let’s not forget that endorphin rush. That’s a big part of the reason hard training and racing out of your mind is so rewarding…not only do you feel like you’ve really done something hard, you get a rush of endorphins that somehow makes it all worth it!
So last weekend I did a team-sprint time trial with Cork. I was the only girl doing that particular time trial that day (most everyone else did a classic sprint time trial or a distance race) so Cork was my tag zone partner. It was really hard but really fun as well, in that weird way that only painful training can be. The time trial gave me a lot of confidence and good practice going into Worlds, especially since the last team sprint I’d done was the 2013 Worlds race! I don’t know yet if I’ll make the team, but I have to prepare for the races I’ve set my biggest goals on, and so I’ve been training with that in mind.
I guess you could say that our pre-Worlds training camp in Davos was one of the best we’ve ever had. When it was time to focus and be on the snow, it was all about the skiing. We trained hard but made sure to keep the pace down on our easy training sessions. The tracks were beautiful and we could ski so many different valleys. And in between, we relaxed and had fun!
One night our friends Markus and Maurus had the team over for Mexican food, and we had such a fun time catching up and then watching the live Fasterskier feed of the Craftsbury SuperTour races. It was so cool to cheer on our teammates and actually be able to watch the races happen while we’re in Europe!
Another night we went to a Davos Hockey game, and I had such a blast. It was the second hockey game I’ve been to in Davos this winter and I still think the fans are the best I’ve ever seen!
For me, it’s really important to keep that balance between training hard and having a life, because if I start focusing on skiing for too much of my day, I actually won’t ski as fast. So I loved having time in Davos to hang out with friends, meet new people and enjoy the town.
It was hard to leave Davos, but I can’t wait to race again and see another city I’ve never been to before!
So here we are in the Stockholm airport, on our way to Östersund, Sweden for the last World Cup races before World Championships begin! It was a relatively easy travel day and I’m excited to explore a new place and see the stadium!