Well, I’m on a plane once again…. Based on my rough estimates, I have flown approximately 25 hours in the past week and 35 hours in the past two weeks (this is airtime alone!) This is a complete experiment and this “travel heavy” approach is one that is usually NOT recommended. If everything goes as planned, I will arrive in Lahti, Finland roughly 48 hours before Saturday’s 15k pursuit start. I’m hoping that the mental rejuvenation and time at home will supersede the time spent at 30,000 feet and the jet lag of the 10-hour time difference.
Right now I’m simply feeling lucky that they let me on the plane. As it stands now, I have no ticket leaving Europe, traveling home and apparently TSA and/or Finland (my arrival country) doesn’t like that. Upon pulling up my itinerary, the lady at the Delta ticket counter informed me that I would not be allowed to fly to Finland without proof (a ticket) that I have firm plans to leave the country. After multiple phone calls, and my firm negotiating skills, I got the go-ahead THANKFULLY. That was a close one for sure….
What’s after Lahti? I’m not sure yet…. It depends on how I ski. With six women and 4-5 starts for each race we must earn and/or share start rights. Following the pursuit and sprint in Lahti there are two more regular season World Cups, the first being a city sprint in Downtown Drammen (Norway) and finally, the highly regarded, traditional “Holmenkollen” 30/50k race in Oslo. At the finale of the regular season I will either make World Cup finals and stay on to race in Sweden or travel instead to OPA finals in Toblach, Italy. Honestly, I am surprised that the points I scored in the first half of the winter have kept me within reach of making the finals. I missed lots of good point scoring opportunities rehabbing my wrist and traveling home for a short break back in the states.
At this point, all I can do is ski as fast and my body will allow me to ski. The rest will take care of itself. Of course my goal is to make the World Cup finals but racing in Italy with a large squad from the US (including many of my APU teammates!) would be a blast as well. I feel like I have two great opportunities and I am really looking forward to ending the season on a high note!
That’s it for now… thanks for reading and check back soon for more updates!