This has to be the first January that I've spent every night sleeping in my own bed since that bed was a cradle. It's been a little strange. But that's not to say that it hasn't been a productive month. Training has been good here in Park City, and after one more practice competition this weekend, I'll be more than ready to leave for Europe on Monday.
As I mentioned earlier, I head over on Monday morning along with Brett, Nick, Michael and coach Greg. First we'll compete in Eisenerz, Austria and then Planica, Slovenia. (Unfortunately, no, we won't be jumping the massive ski flying hill in Planica - we'll be on the HS104). After Planica we'll spend a week off just outside of Innsbruck, Austria during which World Championships will take place a couple short hours away in Predazzo, Italy. After that, we head up to Scandinavia for 3 more weeks of competition to complete the season. 5 solid weekends of competitions lay ahead!
It's been a while since I've posted, so I'll try to give a quick summary with lots of photos.
My focus for the first part of the season was on the 3 Continental Cup's (COC) here in Park City. If any of us did really well at the COC's, we could earn a chance to ski in January World Cups in Europe.
Unfortunately, I did not meet my expectations and was aways off from earning a World Cup spot. My teammate Michael Ward, however, had an awesome weekend, with a career best 2nd place the first day, and will be heading to overseas next week to ski in two weekends of World Cups.
Thanks to my Dad for taking some great pictures at the COC's. Here's a few below.
I spent Christmas week at home - which was especially nice after being stranded in Steamboat last Christmas. The best part of the week was just hanging around with my whole family and enjoying far too much good food. I also got to go one of Chippewa Valley Nordic's practice. I always enjoy seeing my old coaches and the up-and-comers from back home!
The rest of us B-team'ers will stay in Park City for the rest of the month and prepare to compete in COC's in February and March.
Last week we had the opportunity to race in US Cross Country Championships - which happened to be right next door in Soldier Hollow this year.
With over 200 guys racing - basically every serious US cross country racer except for the few that are currently on World Cup - the competition was tough. I was 64th in the 15km and am fairly satisfied with that day. Brett was our best NC guy at 37th. Erik Bjornsen, the winner on the day, was exactly 4 minutes faster than me. That's a lot of time, but hey, he doesn't ski jump.
Where am I?