After yesterday’s blog post, I received several very nice e-mails from people encouraging me and telling me they believe in me. Thank you so much for the incredible support! Contrary to how I made it sound, I really am looking forward to the season.
Yesterday evening was our Estonian wax technician Oleg Ragilo’s birthday.
Coach Matt Whitcomb took some awesome pictures during our trip to the school here in Muonio, Finland yesterday. Check them out on the USSA Nordic Facebook Page. I posted about the school visit in yesterday’s blog.
Alaska Pacific University athlete Reese Hanneman, who’s training with us here in Muonio, Finland and has start rights for each World Cup race before Christmas because he won the U.S. Super Tour domestic race series last season, took some awesome pictures of me.
It’s awesome to be back on the road and kicking off the race season. I’m in Muonio, Finland, north of the arctic circle, with the U.S. Ski Team for a training camp prior to the opening World Cup races in Kuusamo, Finland.
Our clothing supplier Bjorn Daehlie now makes three quarter length training pants. The only one of my teammates who chose to pack them for Europe was Ida Sargent. She was rocking them on the way to training yesterday afternoon. (I’m struggling to take good pictures in the Muonio darkness. I tried taking this picture without a flash, but it was way too dark. My apologies.)
It’s been a really long day. Please excuse any errors I make in this post.
I’m currently sitting in the Helsinki, Finland airport. Yesterday my technique coach Zach Caldwell dropped me off at the airport in Hartford, Connecticut, an hour south of his house in Putney, Vermont. I then flew from Hartford to Dulles airport in Washington D.C., from Dulles to Munich, Germany and from Munich to Helsinki. I have one more flight, up to Rovaniemi, Finland, and a three hour drive from Rovaniemi to Muonio, Finland, which is north of the arctic circle.
The technique block I just finished in Putney ended on a positive note, contrary to how it began. I mentioned in my last post that my sole objective on Saturday, the final day of technique work, was to simplify the task of skiing well. Zach and I were not trying to add anything new. I just need to be able to consistently reproduce the good skiing I demonstrated in Vermont (as opposed to the bad skiing that I also demonstrated at times in Vermont). We were successful in simplifying the task of skiing well, and I left Vermont feeling confident in both my skate and classic techniques. I wrote down simple clues that I can refer back to when I start to struggle.
Here I am skate roller skiing during Saturday afternoon’s session, followed by Brayton Osgood:
Working on technique yesterday was challenging and frustrating. Thursday’s time trial shook my confidence, and I’m questioning my ability to solidify and reproduce the good skiing that I’m doing here (at times) in Putney, Vermont with my coach Zach Caldwell watching me. Yesterday everything seemed hard and complicated. Zach and I did a double pole session in the morning and a skate session in the afternoon. I was joined by my friend, former professional skier Brayton Osgood.
Sharon Schmidt of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) sent me this cool photo from the SSCV Celebration of Winter party last week. (From left to right below: U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Katherine Irwin, me, Emilia, U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Paula Moltzan and Alpine racer Ryan Mooney)