Drammen World Cup

by Jennie

Your harshest critic should be yourself. And most times, that’s a hard enough battle.

When you are not in someone else’s shoes, judgment comes easy. Now that I am racing here vs across the ocean, sitting at my computer watching FIS online, it is evident that the details here ARE the big picture. The World Cup is like having US Nationals every weekend x 3. Except for a few exceptional athletes, everyone peaks at different times. You can’t have good races every weekend. If you feel strong, mentally happy, have health, and good skis,  that is your ticket to a result worth while. When just one of those are not in line, you sink down the results page quickly.

It’s something I knew coming into these world cups, but they made me realize how pieced together this year I truly feel. I had high expectations for Drammen. The course is a good one for me. I was energized, and strong all things considered. Two things happened. One that I am still kicking myself for, was skiing the finish bump like an idiot. They don’t let us ski it before hand, and it’s known to be a tricky one. It gets steep fast, and is long enough that you would usually feel like you should herringbone. Instead of striding it and lunging like I had pictured it in my mind over and over again, I came up the short, and realized the line was farther back from the crest than I anticipated. I saw that, and ended up doing an awkward waddle to get to it and cross instead. Seconds lost. Disappointment set in. I realize it’s high expectations to think I could qualify in my first few world cups, but if you don’t see yourself succeeding, no one else will. Shortly after, I felt the second hit. My back does NOT like classic sprinting still. It’s something I am hoping to train it out of, but the sudden ache makes me sick to my stomach, actually.

The positive mantra must reset, and start again. “It will get better. I can do better. I will do better. ”


It was good to watch Sadie, Kikkan, and Andy race the heats. Sadie is a great classic skier, but had some misfortune with a collision out of the start. Each one of these races is a lesson. Trial and error. Marit Bjorgen is 8 years older than me, and has been racing world cups for 15 years. She’s had 195 WC starts. That whole 10,000 hrs thing? Yeah, that has a lot of  ….Marit…har har…. get it?


After the sprint, I felt dizzy and sort of nauseous. I have noticed that when my back suddenly hurts, I get queasy, so I thought that might be it. However, I went to bed with a high HR, and could feel a sore throat coming on. Booooo. We moved from a hotel a bit farther away to one right on the trails at the Holmenkollen. It’s where almost all of the athletes stay. They didnt have any extra rooms though for a sick isolation room so I moved back down to where we just came from. (Luckily, the WC here has over 900 volunteers, many who are doing the curtesy shuttle). After one night by myself, an extra room opened up back at the main hotel and I moved yet again today to join everyone else. There are a lot of ups and downs with this lifestyle.  An up is that I’m in Norway. A down is that I have spend 90% of my time here at the hotel. Just the way it goes.


On the course at Drammen, you can see how they hung giant screens all around with cranes! It was pretty legit.


It made my day to meet up with my college buddy Ross and his old high school team, who are here to race the Norwegian Birkie!


Rock concert in between heats? Brilliant.


Everyone has their random health remedies. It’s a task and a half staying healthy, especially when everyone else around you is sick post Sochi. These are some of mine that I have put to work the past couple of days.
1) We all hand sanitize like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve been trying to eat everything with a fork and knife, especially since we have to serve ourselves in a buffet.
2) When I feel something coming on, I eat raw garlic. It smells. It’s an acquired taste. But I always feel like it’s doing something.
3) Eating raw lemon wedges too makes me feel like I’m kickstarting my immunity. Gives you Vit C, as well as helps swollen glands.
4) Lots of Vit C, lots of water, lots of  Vit C in water.
5) I have heard that taking ibuprofen helps relax your body, and your throat muscles to ease swelling.
6) Curamed, recommended by all the locals. Just a general soothing drop.
7) Nose saline. I usually use my netti pot, but you need to be careful what water you use when traveling.

8) Diet can make a big difference. Decided to hit up the kiwis and natural honey, while avoiding heavy carbs and dairy.

9) Oregano oil capsules that I brought with me from the USA. They are good for the immunity.

10) When in Norway…I picked up some of the popular Mollers Norwegian cod liver oil. It’s quit popular here, so although I need to take a chaser after a swig because I can’t stand the taste, I figure it can’t hurt.

On a different note, this is pretty funny. Mostly because it’s not just the left arm that’s worn down.




Hopefully I will update you about a race review after Sunday! One more day to try and kick this cold. The men start tomorrow. It rained all day today, so the conditions are interesting, but they have been salting the 8.5k loop. Should be a spectacle either way!


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