This morning the sprinters, Andy Newell, Simi Hamilton, Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess and Sophie Caldwell, left for home. (Sophie and Simi hadn’t been back in the U.S. since mid-November.) Since last night was our last together as a team, we had a celebration for our wax technicians Peter Johansson and Gus Kaeding because they are leaving our team after this season.
Gus was only with us as a wax technician for one season. He was filling in for Cory Wubbels, who took the year off because he and his wife had baby boy in December. Gus was an athlete when I first got to know him five or six years ago. He then coached for the CXC club and then the Stratton Mountain School. My teammates and I have all known him for a long time, and he slotted into our team perfectly. He is a very hard worker, professional, knowledgeable and fun. My teammates and I are extremely grateful for his hard work this year, and we hope to see him around often in the future.
Peter has been with the U.S. Ski Team for nine seasons, and he’s been the head technician for the last couple of years. He embodies professionalism. The biggest difference between the World Cup and lower level racing is ski service, and when I was an up-and-coming athlete and had the occasional chance to race on the World Cup, Peter was the person that represented excellence at the highest level for me. I dreamed of being on the World Cup full time and I dreamed of working with Peter because I knew that would have meant that I made it. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to have Peter as my personal technician because he has worked with Andy Newell and Kikkan Randall for almost his entire time with the team.
We cannot say Thank You enough to Peter, and I cannot overstate the role he has played in our team’s success. When Peter first started working for us, a top-30 World Cup finish was a huge result for us as a team. Now, we have numerous athletes who have been on World Cup podiums and Kikkan has won three World Cup sprint globes in a row. Peter’s leadership in the wax room and his example of professionalism has been instrumental in helping us achieve this success. He is going to be sorely missed and nearly impossible to replace.
Here are Peter and Gus with some giant cards we made for them:
It’s really nice to be back in Norway. The food at our hotel here in Fornebu (an Oslo suburb) is the best I’ve had since arriving in Europe four weeks ago.
My apologies for being absent from blogging for nearly a week. As I said in my last post, Emilia came to visit me in Lahti, Finland on Thursday, and I didn’t want to spend my time with her sitting on the computer.
When I wasn’t training and racing last week, Emilia and I enjoyed our time together. We went out to two movies, played card games with my teammates and did some shopping. The hotel we stayed at in Lahti is connected to a shopping mall with some cool stores. My favorite was a gourmet and bulk food store, though I never bought anything from it because we were on the hotel meal plan.
This morning I did some short hard classic intervals here in Lahti, Finland. The purpose of the workout was to work on my high end capacity after Sunday’s slow 50 kilometer slog. I’m preparing for a 15 kilometer classic World Cup here in Lahti on Sunday.
The workout consisted of a 5 minute warm-up interval at level 3 (aerobic threshold, a sustainable pace) then 6 by 2 minutes at level 4 (race pace). Only about a kilometer and a half of the course had tracks today, so I did the intervals around that section of course. Intervals 1, 3 and 5 were on the first half of the loop and intervals 2, 4 and 6 were on the second half. Here’s my data from the session:
On Monday Emilia (my girlfriend and a professional slopestyle skier) received an invitation to Nine Queens, a prestigious week-long photo shoot and big air competition in Austria beginning March 15th. Next week there is a slopestyle World Cup in Switzerland that Emilia wasn’t going to attend, but now, since she’s coming over to go to Nine Queens anyways, she is going to compete in that as well. She needed to be in Europe next Tuesday, so we looked into her coming early to visit me, watch this weekend’s races and get adapted to the time change. We were able to make the logistics work and she is leaving Colorado today. She’ll arrive here in Lahti, Finland tomorrow. I’m very excited! (Ironically, she’s only been to one World Cup cross country race before, and it was here in Lahti last year.)
I didn’t get a blog up yesterday because I was travelling and working on logistics for Emilia’s trip. My apologies.
On Monday evening, our last day in Falun, Sweden, the city that had been packed to the gills for two weeks was eerily quiet.
I was too exhausted to blog last night after the Falun 2015 World Championships 50 kilometer race.
I mentioned in my last blog that Emilia and I are doing a new challenge for the month of March. After not eating foods with added sugar in January and replacing forks with chopsticks in February, we’re writing in a journal for 10 minutes first thing every morning during the month of March. So, I had to go pick out a journal and pencils on Saturday evening. Luckily, there is a book store across the street from our hotel, and they had everything I needed. While I was there I saw that they were just about sold out of a book about Norwegian skier Petter Northug.
I just posted final scores for the World Championship Fantasy League. They include results from all six races. You can view the results here. (Again, I suggest you use the “find” keyboard shortcut to search for your name. It is Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on Macs.) As always, I owe a huge Thank You to my friend Scott Lacy for compiling these scores. They would not be published without him.
The winning team consisted of Marit Bjørgen (Norway), Maiken Caspersen Falla (Norway), Therese Johaug (Norway), Charlotte Kalla (Sweden), Stina Nilsson (Sweden), Kerttu Niskanen (Finland), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (Norway) and Heidi Weng (Norway).
Congratulations to Johanna Talihärm, Lene and Vili Črv for picking the winning team! The three winners will receive the first, second and third place prizes. I will have a drawing next week, hopefully in some creative way, to determine the order of the winners. I will also do a drawing of everyone who entered to determine who will receive the Timex ONE GPS+ watch.
As I’ve mentioned, Emilia and I are doing a different challenge every month this year. January’s challenge was to not eat foods with added sugar. February has been to replace forks with chopsticks. As luck my have it, my chopsticks broke at lunch today. (I did bring a couple of backup pairs, but the timing is perfect since it’s the end of the month.)
Lots of my teammates have parents and family members here in Falun, Sweden supporting them this week. Liz Stephen, Andy Newell and Sophie Caldwell’s parents all rented a house 20 kilometers outside of Falun. Last night, Jessie Diggins, Ida Sargent and I got to join Liz, Andy and Sophie for dinner at their parents’ place.
I just posted updated scores for the World Championship Fantasy League. They include results from today’s women’s relay. You can view the results here. (Again, I suggest you use the “find” keyboard shortcut to search for your name. It is Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on Macs.) As always, I owe a huge Thank You to my friend Scott Lacy for compiling these scores. They would not be published without him.
Toko rep Ian Harvey sent me this cool screen shot from the live stream of yesterday’s 15 kilometer skate race.
This morning I posted updated scores for the World Championships Fantasy League. They include fantasy results from yesterday’s 10 kilometer skate race. View the standings here. (Again, I suggest you use the “find” keyboard shortcut to search for your name. It is Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on Macs.) As always, I owe a huge Thank You to my friend Scott Lacy for compiling these scores. They would not be published without him.
Last night we had a celebration for Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg, who both finished on the podium in yesterday’s 10k skate race. My teammates organized a champagne toast.