The first days here in Canmore were particularly tough on my body. I was completely wrecked from the 16km skate race in Quebec and to add to that fatigue was a long travel day straight afterwards. I think it was the altitude which really made things dramatically worse! Successful racing at altitude requires good preparation leading into the event. The adaptation from being at altitude several weeks earlier can still have big effects on how well your body handles the low levels of Oxygen. Unfortunately, my schedule didn’t allow for any time at altitude since I was back home in Australia in September! It was safe to say, I felt the full effects…
For the race prep day just before the Classic sprint, I felt horrible! Low energy, irritated lungs and generally lethargic from the altitude. The next day was slightly better in terms of feeling, however still not anywhere close to the way I had been feeling in Quebec. With this also being my first classic sprint of the season, I was certainly worried about the 20% cut-off rule. I won’t for a second try and say that the result was anything great, but I made it through the sprint stage placing 79 and not really losing many seconds to the guys around me.
The 30km skiathlon is an event which I have seen my best results in the past. Less than 4 weeks ago I had a solid result in Lahti in the skiathlon and wasn’t close to being lapped off on the 3.75km lap. With the conditions being so warm in Canmore this week, it really effects how much the field stretches out. I actually had really good energy, good skis and a solid race, however it just wasn’t quite enough. It’s pretty frustrating really, mostly because it could easily have been avoided if they had of just used the 5km loop! The result was actually good and that’s what I should stay positive about. I placed 63rd, and improved me rank in the overall, however due to the field stretching out so far, it wasn’t enough. Along with 11 other athletes I was lapped off and as a result, my tour ended there.
It’s a tough one, especially when I know that I had good form and a good feeling returning back to my body, however that’s just ski racing! The results have been a step up and I need to really be proud to have achieved those results! For anyone that was out there watching, they would have know I gave absolutely everything I had out there!