After the Olympics we had an easy week in Inzell, Germany. This was a strange place and time to be. On most days it felt warmer then in February than it did in August when we were there for a summer training camp. There was no snow and walking around in t-shirts out side was an option. Last year at this time we were going for easy classic distance from the doorstep. It hasn't been a great winter for this region. Strangely enough a forty minute drive from Inzell and maybe a couple hundred meters of climb brought us to some of the best skiing we had seen all year. So training was there when we wanted it and a late spring for the rest of time.
I at least made it to the Pokljuka, Slovenia WC. This is the place that is always popular among the athletes and coaches. The crowds are not massive, so I'm not sure how much the IBU sponsors and TV crews like the place. In case you missed the earlier update the racing didn't go so well. It had good potential, but when you choose grab the wrong skis on a day that favored good skis it dons't go over very well with the result list. I was pretty bummed and down right embarrassed for pulling one of the dumbest moves I've ever done. Which happens to be a very competitive category.
Sometimes I think I can feel the storm coming. Maybe it's just pessimism, maybe it was actually somewhat obvious, but I had a growing fear that I wouldn't be on the team for the last two WCs. I denied all negative thoughts and tried to keep it together. To my dismay the preemptive fear was spot on. I would be the only athlete on the team to be flying home and not to Finland the following week. Due to some ironic nation cup point needs I was the short straw out. It wasn't unfair from the mens team side. Only your team's top three score points and we had three good athletes on pace to keep us in a sage place. I was just disappointed for myself. This was my last chance to justify the training put in this year and year's prior. In one dreadful meeting all that hope went down the drain.
Like most every athlete in the field at that point in the season I had been looking forward to going home for a while and yet as I packed for the transcontinental flight home there was no excitement to be had. Kontiolahti and Oslo are two great places for racing. There wasn't much for other racing available that interested me, and the thought of ending the season in early March just didn't feel right. It didn't really matter, all I knew was that I needed something to cling to. Something to think about during training. A reason to keep up with the vitamin
D and grab door nobs with my sleeve instead of hand. After some research (e-mailing) the best race itinerary was a 15km skate race in Vermont and a marathon in Sugarloaf.
It was cold and snowy in Craftsbury, Vermont. It was nice just be able to drive down on day that wasn't storming. Long story short the race was fun, but not fast enough. I could list all sorts of little reasons, but I hate excuses and believe in results. So in all fairness let's just leave it at that. I will say that racing on what was most likely bronchitis did not help. What ever it is, it's still lingering now a week and half later. I was pretty frustrated with the day, but at that point I was close to my terminal frustration. In other words, what did I have to lose?
|In all fairness that last flight into PQI has never looked better.|
Ending the racing season in western Maine isn't what I envisioned but it was a nice means to an end. It has been a while since I actually won a race. Admittedly I put in a solid effort to keep my presence in the county under raps. With the two races in mind and lot of busy work to plow through I didn't have the time to catch up with the masses. The race season theme was still a go even after I landed in Presque Isle. Now that Saturday's race is over that subconscious contract is up. That was a run down of the post Sochi section of the 2013/2014 season. Next time I'll try to wrap up the November to March stretch. Aside from a White house visit there isn't a whole lot in place for April. That's a vacation with in it's self.
So as of now Maine's lone Olympian is both physically and officially back home in Stockholm.