A happy skier makes a fast skier.
This is a saying I hear often and I truly believe in it. It is easy to get wrapped up in what it says to do on your training plan, your race results, your average heart rate and so on. This week I decided to just enjoy the winter wonderland and go with the FLOW.
On our first day out in Truckee, CA we headed for an easy ski onto the Royal Gorge trails. Originally, I had a 1.5h ski on my plan, but as soon as we started skiing I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The classic tracks were perfect, the sun was shining, and it was the perfect temperature. Erika, Annie and I went for an incredible ski and even went off trails to scope out lookouts and ski through some powder. Although we weren’t sure if we would make it though the deep powder and if we did, we weren’t sure it was the best idea on race gear, we sent it anyway (we didn’t break any gear or get stuck)! It looked so tempting that Erika and I couldn’t resist and it was so fun! It turns out, trying to swing turns in powder is a bit tricky on skinny skis, but Erika and I got the hang of it (at least we thought we didn’t look like complete Jerrys). In the afternoon Erika and I’s east ski turned into: ski up a steep trail, shoot down the powder, repeat.
The sunshine quickly left us after the first day and the snowpocalypse started right away. We trained in dumping snow everyday leading up to the race, practicing how to race in deep snow because we knew it was only going to snow harder for the races. I have never ever seen so much snow in my life before; it was unreal! I enjoyed going on morning and afternoon runs to explore the winter wonderland and take a few photos to capture the absurd amount of snow. Although the power went out a few times, that couldn’t put a damper on my mood because it was refreshing to have too much snow unlike the usual case of too little snow now a days.
Saturday kicked off the SuperTour weekend with a classic sprint, my favorite race! I was really looking forward to this race as a last chance to practice a full classic sprint before World Junior Championships next week. As my coach Pat repeatedly told us, conserve energy throughout the day because sprinting at 7,200 feet takes a lot of energy. I decided to take the qualifier relaxed and focus on skiing smooth and with good technique. As coaches often say, the harder you try, the slower you go; I found this to be exactly the case. By skiing relaxed and smooth I was able to ski faster because I wasn’t frantically thrashing around trying to go fast: instead I just skied well and had the second fastest qualifying time. I went through the heats with the same mentality of conserving as much energy as I could by skiing the minimum pace I needed to advance through the quarterfinal and semi final. In the A final I had a poor start, which is exactly what I didn’t want to do on this course but I changed my game plan and found ways to move up a few spots. On the final climb I felt like I was really kicking into gear and made the tactical mistake of trying to make my move on the hill and I just ended up plowing the snowed in track that no one had skied in. Even so, I was really happy with a third place overall for the day! And to top it off, I got to spend the evening with my sister and former CSU teammates who came up from San Francisco for the weekend!
With the snowpocalypse reaching its’ peak severity on Sunday, they had to cancel the races due to unsafe driving/highway closures, heavy snow fall at about 2 inches per hour, and 100 mph wind gusts….oooohhhh. Yeah, I don’t think anyone would have enjoyed trying to race in that kind of weather. Instead, my teammates and I went on an adventure ski down in Truckee! I headed off with my teammates skiing on the road thinking it was going to be a 45min ski since they had said the cross-country ski trails were closed down in Tahoe Doner. After an hour of sweet skiing on the road, we had made it to the cross-country ski area to find freshly groomed trails…we couldn’t resist! The planned 45-minute ski turned into and epic 2.5-hour adventure ski that started in the sunshine and ended in dumping snow, pretty sweet!!!!
I still can’t wrap my head around how much snow there was in Truckee, but what I do know is that all of it was pretty epic! Now I am back in Park City getting ready for World Junior Championships which starts on Monday! If you want to watch the races live, you can find them on this link: http://nationalnordicfoundation.org/tv/
I hope to make another update at the end of this week before the races begin! Now it is time to get some rest and recovery!