Sunday, January 30, 2011

Midwest Super Tours: Ups and Downs

The last two weeks have been a bit of a struggle for me. I travel well, but I hit the training hard on Monday after flying in from Lake Placid and I caught a virus. I took it real easy most of the week and started feeling better near the weekend.

Last year, I won my first individual SuperTour at the Mayor's Challenge in Minneapolis, MN but this year I didn't even get out of bed for the first day of racing. Feeling better on Day 2 I raced but when the pace picked up, I started hurting in a hurry. My results matched how I felt and I began to focus on the coming races in Houghton, MI.

The first two races in Houghton were decent races for me as far as time/percentage back from the leaders but my placings were some of my worst of the season 14th and 11th. I was really starting to loose confidence.

The good thing about tough or poor races is that they make the good ones all that sweeter. Today's race, a 15km Freestyle mass start was just that. I went out hard from the gun to keep the crashes and chaos to a minimum and settled in for a good pack race. My friend and teammate Matt took some long pulls at the front and brought the lead pack down to ten skiers. Knowing that I was still not back to my 100 percent form I skied a conservative race, trying to use as little energy as possible. With 2.5km to go my roommate Garrott had broken away by 15 seconds from me and a group of four other skiers. I waited for the anticipated attacks of the other skiers in my group and decided to make a break for it as soon as their pace seemed to back off a bit. I was able to get a few meters gap and come in to the finish in second place for the day.

It feels great to be back on the podium and back in the mix at the front of the race.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

67 Days On The Road

I left Hayward, WI 67 days ago on November 11th to travel to 7 different training/racing venues and compete in 7 races. Today I flew back to the Midwest and tomorrow I am headed home to unpack my bags and recharge for a few days. Minneapolis has more snow than I have ever seen here and I am looking forward to skiing in the Midwest for a few weeks.

15k Freestyle Lake Placid Super Tour (click to see the evil eye) Photo Credit:

Originally I planned to fly back to the Midwest after US Nationals in Maine, however the Super Tour series was headed to Lake Placid along with a good portion of the skiers headed to World Championships. I didn't want to miss it.

Men's 15k Freestyle Podium

Each fall I have traveled to Lake Placid with my teammates for our hardest training camp of the year. It was fun to see snow on the ground and check out the ski trails from the 1980 Olympics. Although I have been ski racing a long time it is still very exciting for me to experience a new venue, plus I love to race.