Former biathlete, current coach….all round nordic enthusiast!

An elite athlete competing in the sport of biathlon: nordic ski racing combined with marksmanship

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Race! Then Rest, Recover, plan.

This past Monday I got back from my final trip of the 2014-15 racing season….a five week stint on the road that included racing in Canmore for IBU Cups 7 and 8, two weeks in Truckee, California for US Biathlon Nationals, and finally a week in Sun Valley, Idaho for cross country Super Tour Finals. I'm happy to be back home, sleeping in my own bed, cuddling my two favorite kitties and enjoying some overdue time with Seth.

Some of my races went well, others went not so well but I came home with a tanned face and some gorgeous pictures so it can't have been all that bad! Now it's planning season…figure out where to go from here. There will be big changes though I'm not sure what they'll look like yet due to some serious changes for MWSC. When I'm ready to share, I'll post again about those. For now, here are some of my favorite photos from the past weeks….enjoy and stay tuned.

Lake Tahoe….on the border between California and Nevada. Was the perfect place to thaw after a long, cold winter in northern Maine. 

I'm ready to go back. 

Clear water and blue skies lend the lake to looking like this most of the time. It's gorgeous. 

I took pictures till my phone died and I was sure that I had two shots of every rock. Just kidding, but I do have a whole slew of photos collected on my computer after four trips to the lake in the two weeks we spent in Truckee. 

So pretty. 

Old cars live longer where there's no salt on the roads…and apparently Thule boxes grow horns too.

Lake Tahoe again…the water level is super low. It's pretty sad. The sand-looking area between these trees and the waterline should all be underwater. 

We got to explore some abandoned train tunnels up on Donner Pass. They're all covered in graffiti and wet inside but pretty fun to explore. 

Urban art in a not to urban area? 

We also went to the Donner Party Museum and learned about their unsuccessful migration west back in the 18040s during a winter of 20+ feet of snow. 

At the museum store they had painted rocks for sale….for $30! Why haven't I been selling rocks? 

Very dirty but still snow-covered trails for US Nationals at Auburn Ski Club. 

Prone shooting on day 1: sprint race. Photo credit: Jakob Ellingson

I finished third with four misses (pretty bad for me) and having raced on my training skis which were terribly slow. I learned and decided to actually sacrifice some good skis for the second race. 
 Photo credit: Jakob Ellingson

Recovery activities between races at US Nationals. After a few weeks on the road my body wasn't psyched about racing in Truckee….here I'm in the ice bath with my right foot and the hot tub with my left. Contrast bathing in hopes of feeling better for race #2 the next day. 

Saying goodbye to my beautiful S2 race skis…they got sacrificed to the dirty snow that we raced on in Truckee. How they managed to pull off races on snow-covered trails is beyond me. 

The day after our last race in Truckee it snowed down in town….this little bit of fresh white stuff would have so helped during the previous two weeks of big races (they hosted Junior Nationals for cross country the week prior to Biathlon Nationals). Mother Nature just wasn't feeling like cooperating! 

After biathlon Nationals I made my way up to Sun Valley, ID with Patrick Johnson, a biathlete on the Far West team, based out of Truckee. This picture pretty much sums up the whole drive from Truckee to Idaho…all 10 hours of it. 

In Sun Valley I was sick for the first few days and unfortunately wasn't well enough to compete in the team relay two days after we arrived. Two days later was a 30k and my final chance to race for this season so I choked down more vitamin C than I care to think about, slept and saved my energy. 

Completing the "parade lap" immediately after the mass start. Photo credit: FlyingPointRoad

It worked and though I wasn't sure I would race even an hour before the start due to severe congestion, I put on my bib, paced myself carefully through the first lap and then started picking off competitors. It was 6 laps on a 5k course and I think I managed to pass people on all but the very last lap. By that time the race was so strung out that I was just able to see the next competitor in front of me and had no one in sight behind. I know…don't look back, but when you're out there for two hours (the skiing was super slushy and slow due to 60 degree temps and full sun) you get bored and start looking around. I finished 18th….better than my 54th start position, and 12th for Americans. Pretty happy with that for an ending to a long season despite being sick! 

Looking north-west from the back side of the pass that Galena Lodge (the venue for the Super Tour races) sits on. We took our rental for some exploration before heading home. 

I stayed out west for a few days after the races, explored a bit, nursed my cold (though it's still hanging on) and then made my way back east to find home still buried in snow and still cold. 
Though not as cold as I left it back in February. It's snowing lightly even as I write this. On April 2nd. 


Stay tuned for my decisions on next season. 
I'm not at all sure what they'll be, but I hope they'll make me happy. 

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