I’ve been back in Europe for a little over a week, getting adjusted to the time zone again and getting back into the World Cup racing state of mind. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to skip the Tour de Ski and spend Christmas in Montana since it gave me a full three weeks to hang out with Erika, experience the joys of Christmas in Bozeman, and get in a ton of real winter skiing. Three weeks was the perfect amount of time to build back up some training in order to hit the bulk of the ski season full steam and with full energy. There is a lot of ski racing left this season and after a tough start with injuries and sickness the rebuilding process was really important. Now I feel like I’ve traveled over to Europe with a fresh start to the World Cup, and with a great base built up to maintain fitness throughout the whole season.
Since arriving in Munich last Wednesday I was able to jump right into some practice starts at the OPA cup in Planica. I have to admit it wasn’t super fun to come off a plane Wednesday and jump into a race on Friday but it was still a good workout and although I didn’t feel the best racing I think it did help me with jet lag and a few days after I was feeling good to go. Since then we have been training here in Toblach. Toblach is a quiet Italian town with not much going on which makes for a relaxed atmosphere. Our hotel, which has become a regular and familiar stop for us, is walking distance from the ski trails. Right now the skiing consists of ribbons of entirely man made snow at the moment but it is still fun, fast, hard packed skiing.
Since Bozeman Christmas break had such awesome skiing I have been dropping down the hours since arriving back in Europe and just focusing on staying fresh and quick for the races. Since they host several marathons here throughout the winter there is actually a ton of skiing prepared and some really long out and backs on the man made snow. We got in one long ski as a group but for the most part have been sticking to the race trails and working on speed and interval training. In our down time we have been checking out the area and adventuring into the beautiful Dolomite mountains which are pretty incredible and one afternoon drove up to the base of the Tre Cime (three peaks).
Many of the skiers who completed the Tour de Ski are still resting up which means we have a slightly smaller crew here in Toblach than a normal World Cup weekend but we are all fired up to race. The schedule calls for a skate sprint on Saturday and a team sprint on Sunday. This will be our first team sprint of the season so I know Simi and I will be excited to let it rip!