These last two weeks, I have been living and training in Meribel, France, making my final finishing touches and preparations for World Championships. This camp served multiple purposes for me. First and foremost, I needed to rest and recover. I found myself in a bit of a fatigue hole in Falun for the last World Cup's.. so the first order of business was to get back on top of my fatigue and find neutral again. I used this opportunity to get caught up on life, visit friends, do some snow dances (to try to get some winter to come) and spend some time on the alpine slopes with my boyfriend. I have been visiting Meribel every winter for the past seven years now, so it has started to feel like a second home for me.
After a few days of rest and recovery, the second task was to get a little training block in. As a World Cup racer, if you follow the whole tour racing every single weekend with all the traveling in between, you rarely find a whole lot of time mid-week to get some hours on your skis. This winter I decided to skip a weekend of World Cup racing, and use the period to put some volume training in, in hopes to have a jump in fitness for Lahti World Champs. Sadly this meant that I needed to miss the pre-Olympic World Cup in PyeongChang. Fortunately, a few of my teammates did make the trip, so they will have to fill me in on all the little details leading into next year.
The majority of my teammates went to Sweden during this time to do a training camp, but I chose to deviate in my own direction for a few reasons. I am really lucky to have my boyfriend living over here in France during the winter months. For many, they don't get to see their loved ones for the entire winter, which often means four and a half months away. Any chance I have to do a training camp, or a recovery in France with Jo is amazing. Jo also lives at altitude, so that means I got to do some altitude training as well! My boyfriend, and altitude are not my only favorite things about Meribel, I also love the skiing there! There is a great trail system with unlimited training options from race trails to recovery trails. The other little secret is that when you are cross country skiing in the world's largest alpine resort… you have the added beauty of being one of the only ones on the nordic trails. I have always loved the value of spending kilometers training alone. Almost every human alive feels they have a little voice inside their head. It either screams out harsh, mean, kind, encouraging, or any comment in between. The beauty of training alone is that you get to spend a lot of time with your little voice. You get to work on a positive, constructive and powerful relationship. I love taking the silent time to work with that voice, and prepare it for the challenging races to come. Some may call this confidence, others may call it crazy. Every athlete has their own ways and their own styles. This is just one of mine!
The past two weeks were incredible. I had a great block of training, I finally got to see winter for the first time with lots of snow, I got some time with my boyfriend to reground and find my happy place, and I mentally and physically prepared myself for the next five weeks of intense racing to come. I did the work, I prepared the very best I can, and I am now completely ready to take on the world! Since I have been most recently in France, maybe it's more appropriate to say "Je suis prête"!
For those that are interested to watch, the World Championships Schedule is (times listed are local):
Feb. 23- 3:00PM Skate Sprint Qualification, 5:30PM Heats
Feb. 25- 12:00PM Women's Skiathlon
Feb. 26- 11:30AM Women's Team Sprint
Feb. 28- 1:45 PM Women's Classic 10k
March 2- 3:00 PM Women's Relay
March 4- 2:30PM Women's 30k Skate
There will also be broadcasting on Universal HD and NBC Sports.
Before World Championships begins though, we have one more weekend of World Cup Racing in Otepaa, Estonia, where I am now. This is one of my favorite venue's on the World Cup Circuit, so I am really looking forward to it!