A week before World Championships I was feeling great. I stayed healthy and had a really good block of training at the pre-worlds altitude camp in Italy. A good example of my shape was at the Davos World Cup, I was able to come back from a 6 second standstill/pileup on the first big climb in the 1/4 final, when I was able to finish 2nd and move on to the next rounds. I finished in 6th in the Davos World Cup sprint, which is exactly where I wanted to be 5 days before the big sprint at Worlds.
Unfortunately, the day after Davos, my streak of being healthy all winter came to an end in a big way. I was diagnosed with strep throat and was put on antibiotics right away. I felt really achy for a couple days and started to feel better the day before the World Champs sprint. I decided to give the race a shot, since I have been preparing for this race for two years. Turns out my body was not ready fast enough to compete with the other skiers... I didn't qualify and left the race site pretty disappointed. The qualifier really hurt my lungs. I pushed as hard as I could, maybe a little too hard. My lungs never recovered, I caught some sort of chest cold that put me back in bed... So there I was sitting in bed watching hours of movies and tv shows and watching my teammates racing on TV. Since I was the alternate for the team sprint, I had to do some race prep intensity the day before the team sprint. I felt like my energy and snap was coming back but the lungs were still not great. I thought I was finally coming out of this sickness when I was hit with the final phase of the "disease week". The next thing I knew I couldn't talk anymore... Now I had laryngitis for 2 days. By this point I was finding all of this pretty funny. It's not often I get this sick for 9 days straight. It felt like every morning there was a new symptom to deal with. All I could do was laugh...
So my Worlds this year was pretty much a complete write-off. It was great to have my parents there with me during the championships, nothing beats having your mom around to take care of you when you are sick. ;)
|My mom and I on a mission to find a decent Cappuccino in Cavalese|
Our team had a good championship. For sure, the three highlights for me were Alex's boss skiing in the sprint coming home with his first individual World Championship medal! Ivan's stellar 4th place finish in the 15km skate race! And finally Devon and Alex coming within inches of another team sprint medal.
This ended up being a really disappointing World Championship for me. It was tough to deal with all that illness when I have been training hard for two years for this one week. Life goes on, and I have to remember that is still just ski racing. These things happen and there will be many more opportunities for me to reach my goals in skiing.
|Papa Valjas refueling getting ready for more racing|
|Babs at the awards with his 4th place finish!|
|Bronze for Alex!|