Team USA at the "opening ceremonies/team introduction" for the Tour
So.... I haven't said much on my blog yet about the Tour de Ski but here it is - starting TOMORROW! As there is no World Champs or Olympics this year, the Tour is kind of the pinnacle of the race year. Many of the top athletes have been aiming to perform well here all year. I was a last minute addition to the US Tour roster after having performances during period one of the World Cup this fall.
Skiing in Ramsau, Austria on one of the few clear days
I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to race this event. As a distance skier and high volume trainer, I absolutely LOVE the thought of racing day in and day out, challenging myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have no idea how I'll do or what will happen to by body as the days of fatigue add up but this is a great time to try it and I couldn't be more excited for the challenge.
There are a ton of friends, family, and even people I don't know that have helped make it possible for me to be here. As many of you know, I responsible for providing my own funding and I wouldn't have been able to do it without the generous support and enthusiasm of many of YOU. I hesitate to name anyone personally because there are so many of you and I don't want to leave anyone out but you know who you are. The experience of needing support and needing it fast has really been really moving. I only hope that I can repay many of you back with the generosity someday be it in the form of a ski lesson, athletic inspiration, a smile, or perhaps one day, dollars to a cause important to you. I know that tomorrow, when I put a bib on, I will feel like I'm racing with the support of people from Washington and Alaska; Kongsberger Ski Club, Alaska Pacific University, and Snoqualmie Nordic Team. THANK YOU so much to ALL of you!
This is simply the best and most wonderful thing I have seen at a breakfast buffet ever - fresh, local honeycomb.
As far as challenges go, I feel the need to share something that's been on the fore front of my mind lately.... Christmas Day I decided to go for a short run before dinner. It was dark out and icy in places. Just as I was about to turn around and head back to the Kobaldhof, I slipped on the ice, falling back, and caught myself with my left hand. I knew instantly that it was not good.... but I wasn't sure how bad. And I still don't know. The plan for tomorrow, and each day afterwards is to ice, tape, take some anti-immflatatory medication and go for it. The US team doesn't have a doctor here at the moment so this morning I went and saw the Norwegian Team's Doctor and "Physio." (The Euro name for PT) They were incredibly generous to see me and were encouraging in that they do not think my wrist has a scaphoid fracture - my greatest worry via a couple hours on email and web MD. (Always a bad idea and also guaranteed to give you nightmares). If Petra Madjic can win a bronze medal at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games with broken ribs and a punctured lung, perhaps I can race the tour, and excel in the Tour with whatever injury my wrist may have sustained. It's not ideal but I'm certainly not the first athlete who has gotten a bit beat up.
Time for bed as often rest provides one with the best healing and rejuvenation powers! Thank you everyone for everything and I'll do my best to keep you posted through this incredible journey!