Once the winter gets rolling it often feels non-stop without a break to unpack the suitcase and barely a moment to get clean laundry. This year, though, I had two and half weeks over the holidays at home to recover, train, spend time with friends and family and recharge the batteries part way through the long season.
It didn’t take long though before I got that racing itch and wanted to get back on the start line. Just a little time away makes it pretty obvious how much I love what I do! I flew to Munich and drove to Val di Fiemme, Italy where I met up with teammates who were finishing the last couple stages of the Tour de Ski. I was very impressed by how much energy and enthusiasm they still showed despite having raced for many days in a row. I got to watch and cheer for them while they raced in a 10/15km classic mass start and the hill climb up Alpe Cermis.
Italy was warm, sunny, and beautiful. It was the perfect place to get used to the time change and train. With such warm temperatues there wasn’t any natural snow but manmade snow on the Val di Fiemme race courses and snow that was trucked in along the point to point Marcialonga trail. We stayed in a cute little hotel in the town of Predazzo and there was homemade gelato at the hotel every day so I was in heaven.
Skiing in the Val di Fiemme stadium
The evening after the final stage of the Tour de Ski we drove to the town of Feltre, Italy for an exhibition night team sprint. It was a super fast course and fun to race against other World Cup skiers in an event put on by the owner of the company Sportful. Jessie and I finished 3rd after leading the whole race and Holly and Liz took the victory with a strong finish.
Yesterday we left sunny Italy and drove across Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic to Liberec where we will be racing this weekend. It was an eight hour drive starting in the sunny alps and getting progressively grayer and rainier as we headed east. While driving through Germany, I was very impressed by the number of solar panels. Almost every house or building had one side of the roof lined with panels and there were additional panels in the fields along the road. It’s inspiring to see the initiative which Germany has taken and didn’t look like it would be too difficult to replicate.
We arrived in Liberec last night and there isn’t very much snow here but we are only racing sprints this weekend so only a short loop will be neccessary. I went for a walk/jog with my camera and checked out the city of Liberec.
Excited to race this weekend!