I will give you a brief report on how my races went and then I will try to erase them from my memory. I knew from a number of previous occasions when I’ve been sick, it is virtually impossible to have a good race, nevertheless I was hoping for a miracle. Well, it didn’t happen. Let’s be honest, to hope for a good performance after being in bed for 2 weeks, was pretty senseless.
One good thing is I got fan mail!! Every year I receive a number of letters from German fans, they either send the letters to my home address in Australia or give them to me at a German World Cup (Oberhof or Ruhpolding). It is always a pleasant feeling to receive fan mail, makes you push that little bit harder in races when you know that there are people cheering for you.
I had 2 ski sessions before the my Oberhof WC, I was up for the 10km sprint event and let me tell you the race was nothing but agony. I couldn’t breathe properly with my nose blocked, my muscles had absolutely no power and I pretty much got lactic after 500m. Horrible result with 3 misses, 4.55 min behind Arnd Peiffer (GER).
In Nove Mesto I was up for 2 events a 20km Individual and a 10km Sprint. Even though I was feeling much better, my skiing didn’t turn out to the way I planned. The first 8km was good but then I started feeling tired and to top it off my lower back cramped up. But I was saved with my shooting, I only missed 2 out of 20, finishing 80th 8.33 min behind Andrei Makoveev (RUS).
Next day I could feel my back wasn’t loving life after the 20km. I was hoping after a light classic ski and a short afternoon run, my back would recuperate and be ready for the 10km sprint the following day. When I woke up in the morning first thing I did was look outside, it was snowing, gusting and super foggy. Great, perfect conditions for me! Not..! I was still driven in my mind to give it all I have! But during the race I was in that much pain that I just wanted someone to shoot me and put me out of my misery! I missed 4 shots which was not bad to the weather conditions we faced, but my skiing was atrocious, I ended up 95th 4.51 min behind Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR).
I don’t really ever get depressed from bad races, so as soon as I finished I was happy that we are leaving Czech and going to Seefeld (AUT), where the Cross Country team has been basing themselves for a couple of weeks now. It is also the venue of the Youth Olympic Games so there was a pretty cool atmosphere in the air!
Seeing Simbo and the Boys was awesome, we got up to some
ruckus like always and did some awesome training! One afternoon we decided with the boys we would go check out the Aqua Centre. It had a missive indoor/outdoor pool, and all kind of saunas. As most of you already know, European saunas have a no clothing policy, as some Non-Europeans may be uncomfortable walking around naked in a communal Aqua Centre, we weren’t. It’s a part of the European culture and we had to get amongst it! It was hard leaving the boys behind today but we are hoping to come back there after my Antholz (ITA) World Cup.
Today we arrived to Antholz (ITA) it was only a 2 hour drive from Seefeld, so it was almost an enjoyable drive. It was perfect weather here today, but the forecast is predicting heavy snow for my race. That’s just my luck! I am not the best skier in snowy or slushy conditions, but I feel much stronger then my previous races and I am ready to push myself to the limits out there on the track!
Wish me luck.