So today marks 18 days until the first WC of the season in Lillehammer, Norway. Our crew will depart for these competitions on the 17th of November in hopes to get a couple days on snow before the big opening day. I can honestly say I am excited and anxious to get underway. The summers hard work has been laid and all that's left to do is have fun and execute in competition.
I am currently sitting on a plane bound for NY hoping for cold temperatures and snow in Park City, UT. Hopefully then we would get the opportunity to train on snow a few days before our departure. So why am I on a plane to NY if I am hoping to train in Park City? There is a simple answer, I am heading to the city for the annual US Ski Team Ball which I am very excited to be apart of this year. In addition to the ball I have packed my suitcase full of a few extra coats to donate and happy to be helping volunteer with the relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. I will be in NYC until Thursday enjoying the ball and volunteering. More on this later...
I return to PC on Thursday evening, from there life gets simple. I will be enjoying the last few days with the girl friend, and resting up to start off the season. The name of the game will be recovery until we depart on the 17th. Recovery weeks are awesome, I have said it before, and I will say it again. There is nothing more enjoyable then low volumes of training, couch time, and lazy mornings with coffee. That being said with a week to go to the comps, maintaining good nutrition is extremely important. I find the easiest way to maintain is with a routine. I wake up and record my weight, take my USANA vitamins with a lot of water, and eat a healthy breakfast. Which for me happens to be my favorite meal of the day, I am not sure if it's because I think it's the most important or if it's because thats when I am at my hungriest every day. Either way those three steps help me ensure that I have the best chance possible to land on the top 3 steps when competition time comes around!
Just a quick update to fill you in on what I have been up to the last couple weeks. As you probably know I have been doing a bunch of road riding as usual. Definitely my favorite training activity at them moment. I was able to participate in the tour of the depot which was a two day stage race. The race had 3 stages and was a ton of fun. I finished 11th overall in the cat 4 devision. I was definitely lacking my bike legs for this race. Since that race I have participated in an RMR crit and had a ton of fun. RMR crits are great because they happen every tuesday and are a great work out. I almost was able to break away from the field but with a 100 meters to go I was reeled in by the chase group. Last week I was a participant in a sweet ride that Bill Demong put together for a bunch of like minded people. Believe it or not we had 60 people show up for an all out sufferfest. The ride was 50+ miles and easily 10,000 feet of climbing. We had several races within the ride. Each one with a great prize at the end of them. Some were Climbing TT's and others were all out flat sprints. Which appealed to wide variety of people. I know everyone had was pleased with the event and will be back in the future. Also a big thanks to Colesport for their help and support with the event. I know the products they donated kept some people on the road!
This week is an easy week for us. So it will be good to relax for a couple days and recharge and hit the pavement hard again next week. This is perfect because with the down time this week I can finish the Hunger Games Trilogy, catch up my planning for the next season and of course and most important, I can finish my coffee while still sitting on the couch. Rest weeks are awesome and they are always fully enjoyed.
Wow what a roller coaster weekend. I could not ask for a better place to win my first world cup. This victory will be probably one of the most special of my career. However I am not stopping here. I think its easy to lose focus after events like this one and I want to make sure I keep my goals in focus for the years to come. I am still enjoying my time here in Europe very much. After the victory, I was very overwhelmed with everything that was going on but after a couple days of catch up I am right back in the game and ready to go Ski Flying for the first time this weekend. Since Saturday I have travelled from Oslo to Munich, via the Ferry to Kiel. After a 9 hour drive I arrived in munich and got a great nights sleep. Today we drove down to the Adriatic Sea and will be spending a night just enjoying some warm weather and relaxing before heading up to Planica tomorrow. Then I will get my first jumps on Thursday and follow up with a few more on Saturday. I am very excited for the whole experience in general.
There are many people I need to thank for making the last two weeks possible. First off I have to thank my coaching staff, and the Ski Team for everything they have done. Next I need to thank the companies and people who have made my training possible over the last couple years. First is Latco, and DIck Latta. Without his contributions to both Taylor and I, I would not be able to focus nearly as much time and effort on training. Next is Honeystinger for providing the proper nutrition to me especially when training is at its most brutal in the summer. Their products are a staple in my pre race regimen in the winter as well. I have to Thank Jon Schafer and Fast Big Dog Racing! <<<FBDR4LIFE>>> Fast Big Dog has only scratched the surface of what it can be and I cannot thank Jon enough for what he has done. Along with Space Station in Steamboat another great contributor to the cause! Thanks Bart. I also need to thank Steamboat Resort. They have believed in me from the beginning and throughout everything. Of course I have to thank the community of Steamboat and the SSWSC for shaping who I am and supporting all their kids throughout their journey!
Perhaps most importantly I have to thank my family. They have made so many sacrifices along the way. I definitely owe them everything. Nikki Thorsen who has to put up with my life and travels, and the sacrifices she has had to endure. I cannot thank her or her family enough!
I am sure I left out a lot of people. But just know I very grateful for everything. Moving forward I hope there is many more chances in the future!
I am reporting from inside the Hotel Babylon in Liberec, Czech Republic. Today I had the first of two competitions here in Liberec. Friday left all the competitors wondering if it would be possible to get the competitions off here. After several attempts to get the competition off all failed. They moved our competition from the big hill to the small hill and still the jury found it too windy to hold the competition. Naturally our saturday morning started a little earlier then planned in order to get the necessary jumps off that we didn't get on Friday. Despite a delayed start the competition was held and the provisional round was completed. Upon completion of the provisional they decided to forego the Competition jump and use the provisional comp as todays race.
I ended up jumping to 16th place in my provisional jump. I was in the hunt, I knew I had a tough race ahead of me though. Spring skiing conditions were out in full force today. It's tough to ski when the slush is almost 1/3 of your body height. Despite my best efforts today I was not able to move up. However considering my track record in slushy races I feel that today's race was a solid effort on my part. I did what I had to do in order to hang with the group, although it cost me in places at the finish today I think it was the best way to prepare myself for future races in this conditions. Tomorrow could be exactly that, and after watching my teammate ski his ass off in this condition I know that speed in attainable. Bill Demong was impressive to say the least. Watching him or Mikko ski in these conditions is probably the best teaching anyone can get. Tomorrow I hope to imitate and put the hammer down myself.
After the race tomorrow, Taylor, Nick, Brett, and myself will be driving up to Travemunde to board our "cruiseship" to Finland. We will drive our car right onto the ship and probably take a much needed siesta. 24 hours later our crew will land in Helsinki and after a short 1.5 hour drive we will arrive in Lahti. I am looking forward to Lahti and what it has in store for us this year. However for now I have my sights set on tomorrows competition.
I have arrived in Klingenthal, Germany for this weekends competitions. This weekend kicks off the next 5 weeks on the road for myself. Klingenthal is a winter wonderland this year. This would be the most snow I have ever seen here by far. Johnny, Taylor and myself have been here since Tuesday doing some XC training and relaxing before this weekends events. While we were here during the first part of the week there was a special jumping world cup competition which made jumping not possible for us but it did provide us with some world class entertainment for a day or two before it was cancelled. We are hoping the same cancellations don't happen for us. The weather forecast is very windy for the weekend so it could be a lot of waiting on top of the hill before each jumper goes. However with the good skiing here and good food we have decided to stay here until thursday of next week to get some extra training before heading to Liberec in the Czech Republic. I know the whole team is excited to kick off this weekend right where we left off in Predazzo. After skipping Almaty I am hoping we are rested and ready to go. So I will do my best to update throughout the weekend.
After a week without internet I am finally home and excited to report some good news from our competitions in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
We spent the first part of last week training in Oberstdorf, Germany. We had the chance to test out the k90 as well as get some great XC training in. After a jump session on Wednesday we travelled down to Val di Fiemme ready to go and hungry for results. Our first comp was a penalty race. This was the second one of the season and I have to admit I do enjoy racing in this event. I would compare this event to a game of musical chairs. Since throughout the race people are constantly ducking off to hit their penalty laps, making it near impossible to ski with the same people the whole race. Our team jumped well and went out with some vengeance on the XC course. I had one penalty lap to do and skied most of the race on the front of the group in 5th place. This was a little over zealous however because I wore my self out for the last lap and could not hang with the sprint to the finish. I fell back and ended up 14th.
The next day was a two man team event. This is also only the second time this year that we have used this event. The two man team was a popular event in the past and has been brought back to the circuit. Bill Demong and I were teamed up and looking for a podium. We jumped well and put our selves in position again for a podium. Each lap we tagged off to eachother and kept ourselves in podium contention. However on the final lap with Bill fighting it out with 5 others we had our hands full. Bill was not able to win the sprint and we ended up 6th overall.
Sunday's event was the final event of the weekend. After having missed the podium twice our team was wanting it more then ever. Today was a good old fashioned individual and again we put ourselves in podium contention. This time however Bill was able to capitalize and placed 3rd. I jumped to 9th and after making the mistake of leading so many times I decided this race I was not going to do any work, I wanted to just sit in until the sprint to the finish. It worked after 9 k everyone was dropping off the group and I was just barely able to hang on. With Bill in the front setting the pace I was fighting for position in the back. After a close sprint for the finish I ended up 7th. This ties my personal best result however my motivation to reach that top 6 is at an all time high.
This week our team elected to skip Almaty, KAZ to take the opportunity to come home and refresh before heading back out on the road for 5 weeks. Next stop is Klingenthal, Germany. This rest week will be well documented so stay tuned for more updates!
First weekend of competitions in Kuusamo have come to a close. For a first weekend it was sure a crazy one. We had to contend with a variety of weather conditions from snow to rain, strong winds and warm and wet icy snow. With no training jumps on the hill it definitely added some challenges to an already challenging event. I was able to over come most of the challenges. Of course this weekend was not kink free and I did have to work through them. The first day of competition we had was comprised to a provisional jump as well as a comp jump. As these two jumps also happened to be our 2nd and 3rd jump on the hill. My provisional was not my best jump but was good enough to put me in 25th position to start the race. My comp jump was significantly better placing me in 11th place starting the race.
The races were quite the opposite however. The first race was off the comp jump on friday. I was starting in 11th and hoping to move up. On the second lap my pole was stepped on spinning me around and putting me in to a panic. I had to work very hard to chase back onto the group. By the time I was back with the group I had used up all my energy and blew up. Falling back to 18th place.
Day two went a lot better on the race course. We race off our provisional jump competition which meant I was starting in 25th place and had to work my way up. I skied a lot smarter and felt a million times better then the day before. I went from skiing the 34th fastest time in the first race to skiing the 12th fastest time. Much better and because of this I moved from 25th up to 20th place. I was very happy to be inside the top 20 again. As my goal for the season to be top 20 average though out the season!
Next weekend we head to Lillehammer, NO for the second competitions of the season! I am looking forward to improving my results there!
Wow, I cannot believe its been so long since I have updated my page. However this means only one thing. I am outside being busy with training activities. In fact I have accomplished some pretty sweet stuff in the last two months.
Starting from the beginning. After our 4th of july camp in steamboat which was extremely successful, we came home and loaded up to head over to Germany and France. We spent a week in Germany and a week in France. In Germany we focused on Jumping. We divided the week between Hinterzarten and Obertsdorf. Hinterzarten is an extremely well built jump. It has a great rhythm and you can jump well past the K point. Training there was nothing short of excellent. Our entire team had some very nice jumps there. In addition to jump equipment we brought our road bikes. We also had quite adventure on our road bikes in Hinterzarten. A simple 2 hour distance ride turned into a 4.5 hour trek 3 hours on the road and 1.5 hours riding/walking/hiking/climbing on a trail to get over a mountain and onto a road on the other side. This was a great way to kick off the week. Everyone enjoyed the adversity so much. I think it was game on from that point on. Everyone was willing and up for everything.
Obertsdorf, our a short stop before heading to France. We Spent two full days in Obertsdorf completely focusing on jumping. The jump there is large and in charge and is not afraid to test you. We had some challenging days on the jump hill there. The conditions were gorgeous and yet the wind was just strong enough to make any mistake very noticeable. Day two however I was able to overcome some of my difficulties and throw some long jumps down the hill. Mostly I think it was the excitement of getting out of there and over to france for the Tour that made my jumps a little better. Immediately after the jump session we packed up the van and hit the road.
A short 8 hours later we arrived in Courchevel, France. Courchevel is the sister city of Park City, UT. That was a pretty unique thing to see. We spent the rest of our trip posted up here in Courchevel (le Praz). We had an epic time during this week, despite the rain. We had several days of gloomy rainy weather however we did not let it stop us. We rode several routes of the Tour De France over the years. We also put our selves to the test up L'Alpe D'Huez, I have to say it was a very cool feeling to be riding the very same legendary road that all the worlds best of cycling have. However I don't think I could hammer up that road after 150 km of riding before hand. We also got to watch the stage of the race climb the road. The atmosphere of the climb was on fire. I have never seen anything like it before. I will definitely be back at some point in my life.
The TT in Grenoble was another glorious stage we got to witness with our own eyes. Though not much could be seen it was still cool to be watching from the finish line. Thanks to VERSUS! This was a cool stage to watch because you knew when it was all over the winner of the Tour De France would be known. Thats what made every little second of the TT exciting.
After France we headed back home to the USA. We arrived in the U.S. late on monday night. We had just a little less then a week to mentally refresh and prepare to compete in U.S. Special Jumping Nationals. I am not going to lie after a smaller competition on the thursday before nationals I didn't think I had much of a chance of doing anything. However I used that as motivation and put my game face on and when saturday came I was able to take 3rd place. I am happy with this result although I know I am capable of more. I will be looking to improve for the second leg of U.S. Nationals in Chicago, Illinois this fall.
As for now we are training in Park City, UT gearing up for the Summer Grand Prix which start the week of August 22nd. We will be there to compete and put our names high up on the result pages. Stay tuned I will keep you posted as much as possible between now and then!
Also Check out our videos on YOUTUBE. search for any of our names or U.S. Nordic Combined!
Well Oslo was a wild ride. I had a lot of fun, the crowds at the venues/medals ceremonies were huge and full of energy, it was a great experience. Performance wise I was very happy with my jumping. Three out of the four comps I had very solid jumps for myself. Most of the time I was able to step it up in competition when it mattered. This was a big confidence booster for me in jumping.
Cross country I felt was my weaker side. I definitely did not have my slowest races of the season by any means. However I was not having my best races like I had hoped for either. Pacing for me was my biggest issue, I was mister go getter for the first two races. I would hammer out of the start thinking I was on track with the right pace however on a hard course it only took a couple minutes of extra work for me to blow up. The second two races my pace was a lot better and I was able to ski a little bit faster. So I am happy about that and the fact I can adjust accordingly when I need to.
Overall I had a great experience in Oslo. I learned a lot about how to handle myself in big competitions, and got to see first hand how the best win competitions. Next world championships will be in Val Di Fiemme in 2013.
As far as the rest of my season goes, I am here in Lahti, Finland. These are the last two comps of our season at another location that draws large crowds. Since this has been my best season on record I am hoping to do well in these last two competitions to solidify my self in the top 30 overall. Lahti is always a fun place to ski at the end of the year, I am capable of good results here, so its time to make them happen. After Lahti our team gets about a two week break and its on to summer training.
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.