I came to Otepaa, the home of Estonian cross country skiing, 12 days ago. With some high ambitions and goals in mind I was set for some good competitions. Firstly I had to world cup sprint qualifier on Sunday, a week ago from now. It was to be my final warm up competition for the World Junior Championships (WJC). Held on the same trail as the WJC sprint it would be the perfect warm up race.
The race actually went surprisingly well compared to how I had been skiing in Liatoppen earlier in the month. I skied to my rank of 74th. Probably a few seconds down on what I needed to qualify in the WJC sprint qualifier. But it served as a starting point and showed I was roughly back where I was sprint at this level last year.
Excited for the WJC and eager to get ready fro them on my rest day after the sprint I headed down to the stadium to prepare some skis for testing the next day and ski the 3,3km round once to know it properly for the 10km race in 2 days time in the WJC. Feeling good I finished and came back to the hotel. Over dinner I noticed I a little bit of a sore throat. By the evening I was full on shaking and had a bad fever. I was put into my own room and didn’t come out for the next 48 hours. In fact I hardly got out of bed, only to go to the toilet, for the next 48 hours. I also couldn’t eat as the thought of eating just made things worse. I chocked down a mouthful of pancake on the first night a discovered it was a bad idea to eat.
After 2 days i came out of hibernation and managed to walk around a bit on the 3rd day. On the 4th day I managed to make it down to the stadium for a short period of time and on the 5th day I managed to train 30min. And today on the 6th day after getting ill I managed to complete the 20km pursuit at the WJC. The result was horrific, but at least now we have cleared up that the result is nowhere near my best performance and is curtsy of being ill.
The annoying thing is that the first 10k of the pursuit I felt really good and comfortable but the last 10k killed me. I feel if it had been the sprint or the 10k race today as the last race at WJC I could actually have completed it to a reasonable standard. But that’s not the way things happen.
The good news is having completed it I can now take a positive start to the next 2 weeks before my next race. I have had some racing under my belt now and this itty bitty season feel like it has to start turning my way. Having had nothing but disasters since the begging of December is a little annoying but now I feel it is coming back and I can push through to have a reasonable second half to the season.