On Thursday coaches and I made the decision for me not to race the relay. Thursday afternoon I was feeling very sick, we suspect I have the flu. It is always very difficult for me to not start a race, but this one was especially hard because it is a relay, where you have three other guys counting on you. I am very disappointed that I did not get to race, but I am hopeful that I will be feeling strong tomorrow morning morning for the 30k. It will be a gametime decision tomorrow morning.
The relay was a rough day for both the men and the women. The women came in last, and the men were pulled from the race during the third leg because we were so far behind. I really regret that I was only able to watch from the sidelines, and I wish that I could have been able to suffer with my brothers.
Reese Hanneman is an Alaskan skier who is not on the US Ski Team, but was invited by the USST to race the world cup in November and December. After coming in 79th in a field of 81, Reese said, “At home, even when I’m suffering, I can be winning the race. That’s really motivating. Over here, you’re really suffering and you might be skiing the same speed, but you’re four minutes out. You’re just getting blown by.” He was inarguably the fastest skier in the United States last year not on the USST. I am fully confident that both our relay teams yesterday would have won had it been a USCSA Rocky Mountain race. Yet skiing the exact same time here gets you pulled from the race. All four of our guys on the relay team are real athletes who train year round for cross-country skiing. All of them are good skiers. Sometimes that’s just not enough.
This morning was the girls' 15k. Some of them were happy with how the race went, others weren't. Conditions were really slow due to soft, fresh snow, and the course is hard. The girls are now done racing, and the men have just the 30k tomorrow.
I woke up this morning feeling much, much better. I skied today, so I am feeling optimistic about racing tomorrow. It's going to be hard, but I'm really excited.
Sorry about no pictures, the Internet is just too slow.