I am sitting on the couch in our little cabin by the Ostresund biathlon venue and I totally have a racer’s high right now. I don’t think I am going to be able to fall asleep for a bit. Luckily, I have a piece of carrot cake waiting for me, and maybe an episode of glee to watch before hitting my pillow.
Today was the first race on the World Cup for me and I was so psyched because I had so much fun. This course is a hard course to have fun on and it’s definitely not my style, so that is saying something. I felt decent today and really focused on my goals of skiing technically well and in control so that I wouldn’t die a slow painful death out there and it really seemed to work. I was doing pretty well in shooting too, until the last stage where I thought… “Okay! Here is my chance!!” and then immediately after that thought, “Don’t think that way, don’t think that way, don’t think that way”. But it was too late and I missed two which added two more minutes to my ski time. No matter, I am still pleased with how it turned out, mostly because I see room to improve and work on all these types of things.
Maybe it is because of the racer’s high, but I have to say that tonight I kept comparing this venue to Dewey Mt. on steroids. With bib 99, I was pretty much alone at the finish and was lucky to have the opportunity to skiing for my cool down. It was so beautiful out there, all alone. The lights were still on, but some parts of the tracks are pretty dark and I skied around out there for a while, just enjoying that feeling of night skiing. It felt like Christmas. There was snow softly falling, and I had my big parka on so I felt nice and warm. At one point, I snuck under a fence to get onto the normal trails for a big because they are mellow and flat. I had to lay on my stomach to get under it and of course the zipper on my water belt somehow caught the fibers of the fence so I was trapped there like a rabbit, feeling fairly foolish. Luckily no one saw me and after I got myself untangled, I skied back into the night to enjoy the winter evening. It was beautiful- such a contrast to all the racing energy and vibes and craziness- and a good reminder of the deep down reason why I love to ski. I’m so thankful that I will have Dewey Mt. to go back to someday, because there really isn’t anything quite so exhilarating as skiing down killer hill in the dark. Even the down hills here at night don’t quite compare.