Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Last Week Or So

So after the Olympics I had a brief, flying visit back home to Huntly. I was home for 2 nights and about 36 hours. Just long enough to sort some kit out, go for a rollerski session and have a home cooked meal. Last wednesday I flew out to Helsinki for the Lahit world cup last weekend. We had a rather comical check in for the flight to Lahti. As I was checking in on a SAS flight I looked over to the BA counter. There I saw my bags I had lost on the way home from Sochi. I went over asked about the bags. According to the BA staff at Aberdeen they had no idea who's bags they were and they were trying to get rid of them for the last 2 days. Reunited with my clothes and the teams wax boxes we then checked in a whole bunch more bags than we had planned. And then right before I was about to go through security my ski bag and the team ski bag with the test skis turned up of the luggage reclaim band.  So we went back to check in and added two ski bags to the list. Talk about good timing. Poor Posy, whose ski bag came on the flight after mine and so by the time we had left the airport, her bag took another 4 days to catch up with her.
Anyway we made it to Lahti. There really wasn't much snow in Lahti. Only a thin ribbon of snow on the ski tracks. And even then calling it snow was a big of an exaggeration. This season has been an awful snow year throughout Europe. And Lahti has not been exempt from that. The tracks where a thick layer of ice with a tick layer of sugar like snow sitting on top. The sugar moved about and gave way when you kicked or pushed on the snow.
I had two good training sessions with Kåre on the thursday and friday. Kåre was there coaching us for the weekend, and he helped out filming and looking at technique for the two sessions. On Saturday there was a skate sprint race on the plan. For me it would be my last sprint race of the season and I wanted to go out on a high note and take some more world cup points. I ended up 51st, 1,17 seconds from the top 30 and world cup points. I felt i skied quite well, but found the loose sugar snow tricky and lost time where I normally wouldn't. The sprint was so short that any mistake is punishable with a big jump down the results list. There is nowhere to make back any time lost from a mistake. I was reasonable happy with the result. I wasn't actually that far behind, no further than normal and I was around the people I normally am on the results list.
The following day was a skate 15k, time trial start. It was a pretty bad race for. I started ok... and finished ok... but the 14k in the middle was pretty bad. So safe to say I have some work to do before next year.
I travled back to Lillehammer on monday. It's nice to be home, have my own bed, more than just a suitcase of clothes and it's nice to cook my own meals again. I have been doing a course with the OU this year, and it is meant to be finished by monday. Considering it started in October and I first looked at it on Sunday night, I have quite a job ahead of me to get it finished. Partly because of that I have decided to give the drammen and oslo world cups a miss. I'm also just looking forward to being able to train back in Lillehammer and not have the stress of racing this week.
I plan to return to racing next weekend for the Birkebeiner, 2 weeks after that the Norwegian champs 50k and the week after that the troll ski marathon. Hopefully they will go to plan and I can do some ok races at the end of the season. We'll see.

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