I just wanted to get in a quick update before racing resumes this weekend with the Relay and Mass Start. Yesterday was like a dream come true for me. I feel like I have been working my whole life for that race and it felt just incredible to have everything come together. After the Sprint and Pursuit races, I was very disappointed and I honestly did not know if a top result was going to be possible at these championships. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such great people who helped me pull it back together and refocus for the Individual race.
There are so many people who I want to thank for helping me achieve my goal yesterday. Everyone from my family, friends, sponsors, coaches and our entire staff. Although biathlon is an individual sport, it absolutely takes a team effort to achieve top results. I honestly believe that I am surrounded by the best team in the world. This group allowed me to go out and execute my plan, everything else was taken care of for me. I especially want to thank our wax team for the incredible skis yesterday. The snow conditions were very challenging and these guys had me on the best skis in the race!
Now it’s time to get back to work and see what we can do for the Relay and Mass Start! Thanks for all of the support!
Not a bad place to spend a few weeks!
The past few weeks of racing were pretty tough for me. I got sick almost immediately after traveling back to Europe after Christmas and I struggled over the next few weeks to get back to 100%. Some races I would feel normal and I would think that I was finally healthy but these days were almost always followed by a race where I felt completely empty. Considering this roller coaster ride, I was pretty happy with some of my results but it definitely left me a little frustrated.
Lucky for me, we now have a few week break before the start of World Championships. I am finally getting the chance to recover back to 100% and most importantly I have been able to start picking up the training hours, which is something that I have been able to do for a long time. I am staying in Antholz, Italy for the entire pre World Champs camp. This is definitely one of my favorite places to stay during the winter. Antholz has a great combination of delicious Italian food, prefect ski tracks right out the front door and lots of sun. After a few weeks here, I am confident that I will be very well prepared for World Championships.
While it has been frustrating to not be at my best over the past few weeks, I am happy that I was still able to be competitive. I am really curious what I can do when I am at my best!
We left the rain and fog of Oberhof, Germany behind yesterday and traveled South to Ruhpolding, Germany for another week of World Cup racing. Unfortunately, the weather is really warm here too, but at least the rain seems to be holding off. I am optimistic that we will even have some more winter like conditions as we get closer to this weekends races.
Last weeks races in Oberhof were pretty tough for me. I started out on high note with a strong leg in the relay to help us on our way to a 5th place finish, but things went downhill from there. The relay race was by far my best race and after that I just got more and more tired with each race. In fact, I can’t remember the last time that I felt as bad as I did in Sunday’s pursuit. Considering this poor feeling, I was happy to leave Oberhof with at least some World Cup points. I think the travel over, then racing the World Team Challenge event and then three World Cup races took a little more out of me than I had anticipated. I am hopeful that with a few easy days of training I can get my legs back soon!
I am back home now after a solid start to the World Cup season. After a month on the road it is great to be back home and spend some time with my family and friends. Being on the road for months at a time is one of the toughest aspects of what I do. Don’t get me wrong, I get to travel to some amazing places and meet some great people but there is something about being home that will always be special.
This was clearly one of my best starts to the World Cup. After being sick leading up to the first competitions, I had no idea what to expect. I felt Ok in the first few races but I could tell that I was just missing a little speed at my top end; I could maintain a solid pace but I just could not quite pick it up when I needed to on the last loops. Luckily, my shooting was very solid during these first races and it enabled me to stay in the mix and collect some valuable world cup points.
By the third week of racing I could feel that my race shape was finally coming back. On top of that, we were headed to Poklujuka, Slovenia, which is one of my favorite venues on the world cup. This course suits my style very well and I had some of my best results there in the past. Slovenia did not disappoint and I ended the week with 3rd, 4th and 7th place finishes. I was very happy with all of the races and was of course thrilled with the third place. Along with our team, I have worked so hard to get back to the podium so it felt great to see all of that work come to fruition. This was definitely a great way to head into the Holiday break.
I will only be back in Lake Placid for just over a week before heading back to Germany. My sister is getting married here in a few days so it will definitely be an action packed week. It will be great to catch up with everyone because after Christmas, I won’t be back home until the end of March.
Unfortunately, there is not much snow at home and cross country skiing is near impossible. It looks like I will be spending some quality time on the roller ski treadmill this week and I even plan to make a few trips to the alpine mountain for some uphill training.
I wish everyone all the best for the Holidays!
The World Cup kicked off today with the mixed relay here in Ostersund, Sweden. Unfortunately, I was not able to participate because I am just getting over a cold that I picked up on the travel over here. I have still trained a decent amount but I have not been able to do any intense training since arriving here 10 days ago. Normally I am able to train more aggressively with a head cold but this one went straight to my chest; cold weather and hard breathing don’t mix well with coughing.
I started to feel a lot better in the last few days so I am planning on starting the first individual race this Wednesday. I am not sure how I will feel after so much easy training but I am hopeful that I can get right back into race shape after a few hard efforts.
Sickness is something that nearly every athlete deals with at some point during the season. Hopefully I have mine out of the way and I can move on to a healthy next few months.
Unlike last year, where it was really cold for the start of the season, this year has been unseasonably warm. In fact, today was the first day here where we have seen temperatures below freezing. This is definitely not normal for Sweden in November. Luckily it seems that winter will arrive here this week. Hopefully we will even get some snow because it does not seem right to be skiing next to green grass on the side of the trail!
One of the best parts about being over here the past week has been watching all of the Nordic sports on TV. It has been awesome to watch the US cross country ladies have such a strong start. I believe that the first big result of an athletes career is always the hardest. After that, you have no doubt that it is possible again. I expect to see many more great results from this crew this winter!