I had another low key day focused on energy management. I’m nervous for tomorrow, the last race of the Olympics. It’s the race I targeted before the start of the Games, the 50 kilometer mass start skate. Besides being nervous, I’m also a little fatalistic about it, almost passive. No matter what happens tomorrow, the world will go on, I’m still going to have a World Cup race a week from tomorrow, I’m still going to be focused on continuing to improve and most importantly I’m still going to have wonderful family, friends and fans who support me.
I have had this fatalistic attitude often before races. I’ve felt this way before some of my best performances although I don’t know that it indicates that I will have a good or a bad day. It seems like a reaction to being nervous for me. It certainly doesn’t effect the effort I will put into the race, and it does not mean that I don’t care. I don’t have a very good explanation for it.
I feel like everything has gone as well as possible this week. I’m as prepared as I know how to be. I don’t have any excuses.
I spent the morning writing postcards.
I went into the Olympic Village store for the first time. They carry a lot of Coca Cola products.
It doesn’t seem like a good business strategy for them to carry all these products that people can get for free in unlimited quantities 30 feet from the door to the store.
The free water from outside was also for sale inside.
This afternoon I watched the women’s 30 kilometer race. Until I spent three days out of the village, I didn’t realize how lucky we are to have direct feeds from every Olympic venue on our T.V. We get every event in its entirety completely commercial free.
Our women did not have the day they were hoping for. Liz Stephen was our top woman in 24th place. The Norwegians swept the podium. Full results are available here.
I watched with one of my roommates, Erik Bjornsen. Erik was multitasking. We would have loved to be out on course cheering, but we both felt it was better for us to be off of our feet before tomorrow’s race.
I have been drinking a lot of blue Powerade for the last two days. I’m trying to top my sugar levels off before the race and avoid the cramping I had in the 50 km race at the World Championships last year. I am so sick of it that I won’t be touching it for a long time after this week.
After the ladies’ race I headed to the venue for a short pre-race ski. Kikkan Randall was signing memorabilia for volunteers.
Besides working with me, my coach Zach Caldwell is also working with Brian Gregg, who also skis on Madshus. There were a lot of Madshus skis on the snow for testing today.
U.S. Ski Team Nordic Manager, Joey Caterinichio, has worked tirelessly for us, the Nordic combined athletes and the ski jumpers all Games. Now that the Nordic combined athletes and the jumpers have left Russia, she was able to get out for a ski this afternoon.
Here she is with Brian Gregg (right), me and Kris Freeman.
Here is Brian changing the bindings on his skis.
Here is coach Jason Cork (left) with head wax technician Peter Johansson coming back from wax testing.
Here is British skier Andrew Musgrave:
Here are our coaches Matt Whitcomb (left) and Chris Grover:
I was surprised while watching the women’s race today to see that there is a penalty associated with changing skis in the race. They have tested the penalty in World Cup racing, but I did not know they decided to use it in the Olympics. Here’s a look at the difference between lapping without changing and with changing skis for today’s and tomorrow’s races:
It certainly makes it a harder decision on whether to change skis or not. I think there will be a lot of guys looking at each other to see what the majority is going to do on each lap. That’s what I will be doing. Here is Zach Caldwell going for the grumpy look:
Here is Erik Bjornsen (right) skiing with his coach Erik Flora. Bjornsen has a stuffy nose, and after skiing today he made the decision not to race tomorrow for fear of making it worse. Tomorrow is not his favorite race, and he has some great opportunities in the coming weeks on the World Cup.
I was back at the ladies chalet for massage this evening. The consistent massage and physical therapy these two weeks have been invaluable. I owe a huge thank you to Stephanie Caverhill and Ana Jeronimus. I walked to dinner with Sophie Caldwell.
The view of the flags at night was beautiful.
My focus for the race tomorrow is to ski heads-up and conserve as much energy as possible for as long as possible. I will be very happy with a top-10 result.
The race begins at 11 a.m. Sochi time, 8 a.m. Central European Time, 2 a.m. on the East coast of the U.S. and midnight tonight in the Rocky Mountains. It is not being broadcast live in the U.S., but you can stream it free-of-charge if you have a cable subscription at NBCOlympics.com. It will also be aired tomorrow on NBC at 11 a.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Mountain time.