Well our first event is over and I have to say for me the cup is half full. My jumping was on and I was very happy with my jumping results. However my optimism and hope of being able to race into the top 10 was quickly diminished at the half way point through the race. I was feeling great sitting comfortable in 10th place, which was the same as my jumping result. Going onto the third lap my legs started to feel the burn and I hit the wall. I was trying to hang on since I was still in striking distance of the top 10. However with the snowy conditions and the fog I had some troubles seeing on the down hill. Mid third lap I went to adjust my glasses and my lapse of focus cause me to take the wrong line on a corner and I caught the tip of my ski in some loose snow and fell. I got up as quick as I could but I had lost the group and being that I was already spent from trying to just hang onto the group, I could not make up the time. So the rest of the lap I skied the pace I could hold and then the fourth lap I was able to recover and ski a little bit harder again going into the finish.
I was definitely frustrated, who wouldn't be, but over all I am happy for a couple of reasons. One now I know I am capable of putting together some great jumps and two I know that I can only get better from here. If that was my worst race of the Championships then I am ok with that. I am however bummed that I couldn't take advantage of my opportunity the way I wanted. My coach always says, "big trees grow slowly." and I am a believer in that statement. I have made big strides this season and yet I still have a lot of experience to gain especially when it comes to racing with the top guys. I have to learn the games they play as well as how to control myself in those moments.
Overall I am looking forward to tomorrow and our chances in the team event. Everyone on our team is capable of putting down a solid jump and if we can get that right then our chances in the XC are more then good. So I will have my game face on again tomorrow on the jump hill and the XC course I will put the hammer down harder then I ever have before.
I just checked into my hotel room for the World Championships here in Oslo, Norway. Today is a day of preparation for the up coming events. Today we will get our credentials, bus schedules, training bibs and rest of the junk needed to be prepared for worlds. Tomorrow is the opening Ceremonies and a kick off for a lot of the events. Tomorrow is our first official training and the second training for the girls. I am sure there are a lot of other events going on as well.
Our hotel is nice and it will be a comfortable stay for us throughout the next two weeks. We are located near the hill and also near the center of Oslo. We have a train station right next to our hotel which makes it easy to go into town to get anything we need throughout the competitions. The venues look great and Oslo has plenty of snow this year and forecasted to get more throughout the week. I am looking forward to the two weeks of competitions coming up. I think Oslo is well prepared to have a great World Championships. Go USA and I will see you out on the hill and on the trails!
Our team has arrived in Lillehammer, Norway for our last week of training before World Championships. Since we have arrived it has been dumping snow. Champagne powder as light of now as it gets. This is unusual for me because I have never in my life seen snow this good for alpine skiing in europe. Except in ski movies of course. Yesterday was our first day of training and it was glorious. Despite the snow the hill actually skied pretty well, and our Cross Country session was way fun. I would compare it to skiing in a winter wonderland. Our schedule from here on out is to take it easy on the training and we have one test comp coming up this weekend. The last two weeks were very hard so its time to rest and let the body recover. We will be in Oslo starting the 22nd and from there is hammer time for the big event.
I have some unfortunate news, however it has motivated me more then ever. Last night I received word that one of my best child hood friends had past away. This was very saddening to me. I cannot imagine a life without him. This World Championships I will be skiing in his honor! Brad Bonner was a great guy and was always looking at the bright side of life. His untimely passing really angst me, he will never be forgotten and not a day will go by that I wont think about him. So every single jump I take will be in his honor! Stay tuned for more updates throughout the camp here shortly!
R.I.P Brad Bonner
This week we have had some awesome weather here in Park City, UT. The conditions on the jump hill have been pretty much as good as you can ask for without getting greedy. The focus of training this week has been speed. We have been doing plenty of intensity complemented by plenty of rest. I am not going to lie it has been a great week of training. The down time has been much needed and I am starting to feel ready to go for the big event. Tomorrow we are racing in the Wasatch Citizen Series. There is a 10k sprint at Soldier Hollow that will be a ton of fun. Johnny, Taylor and myself will be out there pushing each other every K. Come down and check it out. The race starts at 10 am and is open to all abilities and ages, so sign up and have some fun! See you there.
Sorry its been a long break in my updates, however there has not been a break in training. Two weeks ago, (the week we got home) we put in a huge amount of skiing. Last week was no break either we continued with the volume. This weekend was a little treat for us Nordic Combined guys. Bill Demong, Taylor, and myself drove up to the Boulder Mountain Tour in Sun Valley, ID. We have done this race in years past and have always had a blast. The race is a 32 K race, that is challenging because for the most part its all downhill. The downhill factor makes it tough to break away from any other skiers. It's a high speed race that never lets up. The only rest is drafting because your always moving as fast as your legs can carry you.
The race started at a tough pace this year and everyone had to jockey a bit for position. Once the race settled around 3k, thats when the field started to split up. By 15k to go there was only about 10 of us in the lead pack. Taylor, Bill and I took turns on the front along with a few other guys. At about 8 k to go thats when the attacks started to happen. Sylvan Ellefson was the master today of getting the preem sprints and on the last preem, around 8 k to go, he attacked and never let up. From there it was a battle. I was the next guy to go trying to reel in Ellefson, however I was unsuccessful in my attempt and ended up between Ellefson and the group. I was alone for about 5 k and then Leif Zimmerman bridged the gap up and he and I tried to work together to get back up to Ellefson. At about 2k from the finish my legs were toast and I couldn't hang any longer. I fell off of Zimmerman and was able to stay ahead of the group landing my self in 3rd place over all. Taylor and Bill remained on the front of the main group and were in a heated sprint to the finish. Bill was just edged out by another racer landing him in 5th position and taylor in 6th. Over all 3 in the top 6 is not bad. We were happy to have been apart of the Boulder Mountain Tour again. I would guess depending on our schedule we will be back again next year hungry for more. I cant ask for a better training race heading into World Championships! Lets hope the momentum keeps on rolling!