U.S Nationals

by Jennie

CXC has been ROCKING THIS WEEK. I am so proud to be apart of this group, and have these girls and guys as teammates. To dominate the woman’s skate sprint podium, and have two women from CXC on the podium for both the 10k and 20k is such a good feeling. The support and encouragement from friends, community, family, fellow competitors, and fans has been awesome. Thank you.

Nationals Skate Sprint Podium

My goals for this week were to podium in a sprint, and be top five in the distance races. When I first made them, they felt ominous, but a good goal has that effect. However, ever since my  A- final skate sprint fall in the finishing lanes, I got the taste of much higher ambitions. This is great fuel for the fire.

Nationals Skate Sprint

Our team has been staying in a house  20 minutes past Mexico, and Peru. Apparently those who named Maine towns wanted to pretend they weren’t in Maine, because some other town names here include Columbia, Norway, Paris, Sweden, Rome, and Vienna. We have no cell service or internet at the house, so other than reading, waxing, a little tv, and typing up some randomness, I couldn’t tell you what I have been doing. Time flies faster than you might think.

For a little race re-cap, during the skate sprint, Caitlin Gregg and I worked to control the field in the quarterfinals and semifinals since we were together in both. There was a strong drafting effect on the downhill, so at times we let others lead in order to swing past into the finish. I have been making myself pay attention to tactics, since in past races I have sometimes let my competitive instincts turn into negative outcomes.

The individual start skate 10k is an area I am working on, and was happy with my 6th place. Many times I think I’ve found the trick, but then either get frustratingly creamed, or can look back and see where I might have picked up or lost  seconds. They add up, and it’s always a learning process. My teammates have said it’s like skiing a 5k….but longer….so basically still go hard as possible without sprinting and hold it. Great.

Photo Ian Harvey Toko

This was our first classic mass start 20k of the year, and as much as people don’t understand when a Nordi says this, I thought it was pretty fun. I wanted to stay in the top 5, but made sure to switch up leads. Six laps later (which actually was also kinda fun) I came in 3rd. I actually didn’t notice it was snowing until I saw this picture – FlyingPointRoad

Nationals 20k Classic

There is a great video of the race from FasterSkier HERE

As I write this, I should be warming up for some classic sprint quarter final heats. I am not quite laughing yet, but it’s funny, because I was initially thinking that the classic sprint today was going to be my one chance to podium this week. In the past, it has been my most successful and favorite event. (Which came first; the chicken or the egg?) However, I am ready to not be just a sprinter anymore. I have prepared to be a contender, and not just a participant.

Now I am tending my wounds and getting healthy before I head back to the Midwest. It has been awesome being home for a bit, and re-visiting my favorite places in the East. I like Black Mountain when they have snow, but sorry Rumford, that doesn’t include you.

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