Well… it’s been a bumpy ride for me since I returned from Europe. I arrive home on December 21st, sick and exhausted from the travel. With the holidays in full bloom, I hustled around town Christmas shopping and visiting family. As soon as I felt healthy enough I was back training hard, trying to squeeze in some volume, strength, and Lappe’s annual Boxing Day race. I was rebounding pretty well until I came down with a random stomach bug that wiped me out completely for a day. Two days later, on New Year’s Day, I was on the road to Houghton, Michigan.
This was all a bit crazy, but I couldn’t rationalize missing out on a chance to race US Nationals when it was only a 7.5-hour drive away. At this point, some low-key volume training in Thunder Bay and a break from intensity would have been best for me, but the races weren’t going to wait on me so off to the States I went.
I was racing with low energy in Houghton and every race I had to really dig deep, yet I managed to have some decent results. I certainly was hoping for more, but based on the circumstances I am satisfied to walk away with a couple top tens and a podium.
15km Classic: 10th place
Skate Sprint: 8th place
30km Skate: 3rd place
|Above: Start of the 30km Skate Mass Start at US Nationals. I'm bib #102.|
Below: Leading the race with fellow Canadian, Kevin Sandau.
|US National Championship 30km Podium|
Ok, made it through US Nationals, now time to take a little break right? Nope. I had 6 days to try to recover then prime myself for a NorAm weekend in Thunder Bay… why do I do this to myself? Ha ha. That’s easy to answer, I love racing! Sometimes to the point where it’s counter productive as in this particular scenario.
I felt so primed for Thursday’s skate sprint! The qualifier felt awesome until I crested the main climb and the fatigue kicked in. All through the heats it was the same thing. My body would fail on me before I expected it to and there was just no fighting past it. I ended the day in 7th, missing out on the A-Final.
Friday’s 15km classic was where I really fell apart. First big climb I could feel it. I had nothing in my legs. I had been running on fumes and the tank was finally empty. There was no fight left in me. I ended up 9th place, a full 2 minutes behind in a race I had expected to be battling for the win.