As many of you know, the World Cup revisits many of the same venues each year with a few that are every other year stops and once in a while we will go to a brand new venue. This year, Lillehammer was the brand new venue, and it is always fun to try out some new trails. Davos, however, has been on the circuit for many years, sometimes catching us in February for Valentines Day and sometimes right before Christmas. Davos was where I competed in my first World Cup races ever, in 2007, when Morgan Arritola, Tazlina Mannix and I came over to join Kikkan in a 4x5k relay event, as well as a 10k skate race the day before. It is pretty fun to go back and look at results from those two races and see how far we have come. I was 48th place here in 2007 in the 10k skate and our relay was 11th, probably out of 12 or 13 teams. Saturday I finished 20th in the 15k skate, which is the first race of the season that I have been in the top 30, not including the final stage of the Ruka minitour. I have only skied faster than I did on Saturday here in Davos once before, which was last year where I finished 15th.
My only point in mentioning all of these results is that our standards as a team have changed, as well as my own. As professional athletes who have seen some great success, especially last year, we always want more, and we always want to better our best, which is good because it makes us better. But, we have to remember that average races will happen many times throughout our careers, and an average race still brings with it many positives to take out of it. A top 20, no matter if you have had a win, a podium or a 5th is still a top 20. It is still in the points and it is still no reason to be disappointed. The season is long and it is still December. The great race or races are in there, or at least we have all done everything we can to be prepared to have the race of our lives this year. I am not thrilled with Saturday's 20th place, but I am happy with it and I realize that what now feels like an average race, not too long ago would have been a hugs success.
Davos has some good food, especially their breakfasts!
Day 1 training in Davos. We ended up skiing with quite a few other teams which was really fun! Russia, Sweden, Norway and us all just kicking and gliding in the sun together.
We have quite the views here from the Hotel Kulm. We have been staying here as a team since the 80's or even late 70's maybe and so coming back always feels a bit like home.
Noah and I soaking up some Vitamin D!
And perma tanned Simi getting some bronzing action too.
Sadie and Soph
This is my Christmas star that I bought in Norway. I have always really wanted one, as in Scandinavia they are hanging in many of the windows. I like subtle Christmas decorations, white lights, paper cutouts, so this is just what I needed to make Christmas feel close.
Our annual secret santa which includes writing a poem for your person took place on Thursday. Here is Cory reading his. Cory happened to be my secret santa as well and he wrote me a really heartfelt poem.
Kikkan had Cory and here is the poem she wrote him.
Ida had our PT, Fredrica "Fred" Manning and went all out!
Noah and I went to the Bjorn Dahlie kids event after our race on Saturday. It is an event put on by Bjorn Dahlie where 300 kids show up and get to go through a really fun obstacle course.
Noah and I jumped in and helped the kids through the course.
There was a tree section, which was really tricky with long skis!
And an uphill GS course as well as a jump and a downhill GS course.
In some cases I really had to get my sprint on to beat these kids! They were really impressive!
And here I am with Bjorn himself! What an honor it was to meet him! (picture stolen from Noah's blog. Thanks Noah!)
Noah and I hit the gym after to get buff. (picture stolen from Noah's blog. Thanks Noah!)
Noah and Rosie cheering at the skate sprint yesterday. It was a beautiful day for a race.
We had a really solid day yesterday, qualifying 6 out of our 11 athletes, and 3 moved on to the semi finals! Sophie Caldwell had a personal best with a 9th place!
We also had USSA's new CEO, Tiger Shaw and his wife Kristin come to watch the race!! (picture stolen from Noah's blog. Thanks Noah!)
I will not race again until the Tour de Ski which starts on the 28th of December. Noah, Jessie and I plan to complete the whole Tour, so we will skip the next weekend of city sprints in Asiago, Italy and move into an apartment here in Davos where we will spend Christmas together.