Lillehammer Race Recap
Welp, that was a tough pill to swallow.
Up until this past weekend, I had raced three World Cup sprints. In all of which, I had finished just outside of the top 30. I knew that eventually, something had to change. I wanted more than anything for it to change in a way that favored me finding those extra fractions of a second on course to end up in the top 30 and race in the heats. However, after skiing around that course, at what I could feel wasn’t the pace I needed, I knew before I crossed the finish line that I would look up at the jumbotron and find myself outside of the top 30.
After skiing and staggering through the last 400m of the race, I looked up and saw that I had finished in the 49th. I shook my head as a wave of emotions cascaded over me. I was disappointed that my body felt slow and couldn’t deliver what my mind had asked of it. That’s the tough part of being on the fringe; When you have a good day, you might crack into the top 30, and when you have a bad day, you have a really bad day. When 5-10 guys are finishing every second, there is no room for feeling flat.
So, for the first time in a long time, I felt defeated. I asked myself if I was in the right place. For a couple days, I wanted to pack my bags and go home. Being on the road, living out of a suitcase, and missing your friends and family is draining. All of these thoughts stuck with me as I tried to process the race that had just transpired.
Now, just a few days out from the classic sprint in Beitostolen, Norway, I am still letting these thoughts slip away. Andy, my coach, told me that: “The best athletes put things into perspective and let go of the bad races.” So, that is exactly what I am trying to do. Another person told me that: “We are fortunate to feel this much about something in our lives. Most people go through life just trying to find something to care about.” I am going to take these words to heart and move on. I will do intervals on the course tomorrow to learn it better and I will reset my sights on Friday’s race.
There are always ups and downs in sport. Sometimes, the lows feel extra low, and when you reach the highs, everything becomes worth it. So, time to buckle up and rekindle the fire for what is to come! It’ll be a wild ride.