Ruka Day 1

There isn’t a lot that seems new on the World Cup this year. Maybe that’s normal for a post-Olympic year? I know that it’s normal for the U.S. Ski Team budget to go down after the Olympics so maybe other teams do as well? Kazakhstan has a new van, or at least a new wrap.

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The Swedish truck arrived here in Kussamo, Finland this morning. Here it is before it expanded:

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The Finnish truck was here yesterday and is all ready to go:

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The Russian truck is also here. I haven’t seen the Norwegians’, Germans’ or Italians’ trucks.

We got our World Cup athlete bibs this morning. They give us access to the race course at every venue all winter long. The top 30 athletes in the world from last year’s overall World Cup points list get their names on their bib. All other bibs just say “Athlete”. I finished 35th on the overall list last year, and it’s a goal of mine to get a name bib next season. Jessie Diggins was psyched to get her first ever name bib today:

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It’s fun to see some of my friends for the first time since last winter. Here is Finnish Olympic Gold Medalist Sami Jauhojärvi:

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We saw the sun today for the first time since we arrived in Finland 11 days ago.

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It was really nice.

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Here is Canadian wax technician Joel Jaques:

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The sun only hit one very small section of the course. Here’s a look at it hitting the top of the ski jump:

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For my workout today I did some ski testing with Jp (my wax technician), then I did 5 minutes of threshold (level 3, a sustainable pace) skiing then 6 hard intervals of 45 seconds each. I was classic skiing, which felt much better than it has previously this week. Here’s some video of my intervals:

In the video you can see that I’m still not gliding on the steep uphill in the second and third clip. I am skiing better than I was and my energy is great. I just need to stand up, be patient and glide. I’m off tomorrow, so I have one more day to practice it before Sunday’s race.

When I test skis I often go hard in order to test the kick. Consequently, my heart rate is consistently spiking. In my data from today’s session, it’s hard to identify the intervals because there are so many peaks. Check out the data here. The threshold interval is lap 2. The 45 second intervals are laps 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. I forgot to start my watch for the last interval so it is contained within lap 13.

Overall, I feel physically ready to go for this weekend and nervous about my ability to put together a representative effort. When I race I’m going to be patient and stand up. I’m excited for Sunday.

Here’s a look at the wax area:

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And here’s the sun on a nearby hillside:

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I did get direct sunlight one more time on my walk to lunch.

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Here are Simi Hamilton and Sophie Caldwell soaking it in.

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The sun is hitting the top of the alpine resort.

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It makes it pretty.

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By the time I walked back down from lunch it was gone.

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Happy Thanksgiving!