Monday, December 8, 2014

Lillehammer World Cup Weekend

This photo from Eurosport commentator Mark Rhode pretty much sums up my feelings for the three day mini tour weekend in Lillehammer, Norway.  The racing started with a skate sprint on Friday, followed by a 5km skate on Saturday, and finished with a 10km classic pursuit on Sunday.  Sprint days are usually an awesome day for the team but this one turned out to be one of the worst.  Sadie was the only one who qualified on our team and we were all left disappointed and trying to grasp what had happened.  But luckily we had another race the day so we shook it off and moved forward to the first distance race. Unfortunately Saturday didn't go much better for me either but luckily a few of my teammates had better races and Jessie, Liz, and Sadie all scored some points!  And even on a bad day racing in Norway is still very fun!  Fans line the entire course and chant your name as you ski by.  The atmosphere is a big party and it's always exciting to see such enthusiasm for Nordic skiing! Unfortunately after the race on Saturday I started to feel worse and worse and I started to wonder whether the headache and cough I was feeling were just side effects from the race or my immune system failing me.  When I woke drenched in a cold sweat early Sunday morning it was starting to be more obvious.  The thought of watching Sunday's classic pursuit was much less enticing than actually being on the trail hammering so it took some serious convincing from coaches to not put on a bib that morning.  It was the smart decision, though, and I have been resting up and already feeling much better.  Sunday's race was the first World Cup I have ever had to sit out for illness so I'm thankful for a strong immune system and looking forward to more races this weekend in Davos, Switzerland!

Simi and Erik skiing up the long hill on the course which was about 4 minutes of solid climbing which was followed by a ripping fast downhill that was extra fun with screaming legs.  (USSA Nordic Photo)
And even while living on the road in a hotel room and duffel bag, the Christmas spirit is high!  One of my favorite parts of travelling at this time of the year is seeing the different Christmas decorations around the world and the streets of Lillehammer are lit up every night!

I finally get to open the advent calendar which my mom gave me before I left home!  It's not an easy item to travel with  so one day I opened the window and there wasn't a chocolate but a couple days later I had two chocolates waiting for me!  
Christmas spirit and in Lillehammer
The 'Birkebeinere' statue in town honoring the two year old future king Hakon Hakonson being carried on skis across the Norwegian mountains in 1206.  

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