Ahh… Switzerland

Sometimes recovering and recharging from a rough racing weekend can be difficult, but in other cases a change of scenery makes all the difference.

The Slavic Cups in Nove Mesto definitely fit into the rough racing category as both races I performed well below my expectations.  The first day of racing, a skate sprint, was not that bad.  I qualified reasonably well in 13th and got myself psyched up to move on into the semifinals for my sprint heat. However, I was not fast off the line and timid through the first downhill.  Although I moved to the front for the final climb, not enough of the course had been at a fast pace for me to be able to work endurance rather than speed. Thus two people blew by me on the climb.  I attempted a last minute charge into the finish to move myself into the top two.  However, this was not to be and I ended 13th on the day as the first one out of the semifinal heats.

Ladies A final in Nove Mesto.
Ladies A final in Nove Mesto.

While getting bumped early in the sprint was disappointing, the second race was even worse.  I started as the top seed in the last start position and left any energy I had right at the line.  For four laps I struggled to get around the course attempting to pull a little more energy from a seemingly non-existent store. On the bright side, I have several good explanations for why my energy was low and know how to counter them for racing this coming weekend.

And thinking of this coming weekend, things just improved significantly.  We made the long drive from Nove Mesto to Campra yesterday and arrived in the dark.  Today showed us that we finally were entering skiing paradise.  Sun, mountains, snow, and awesome grooming all collided at the venue to give the best skiing I have seen this year.  Also, we had over 20k of groomed trails to make a training session into an enjoyable chance to explore a Swiss alpine valley.

Thomas enjoying the skiing
Thomas enjoying the skiing.
And again. This time in the stadium.
And again. This time in the stadium.

And just because they were nice:

Snow moving equipment number 1 used to keep the pass clear even though it isn't open.
Snow moving equipment number 1 used to keep the pass clear even though it isn’t open.
Snow moving equipment number 2.
Snow moving equipment number 2.
And the old school snow moving equipment.
And the old school snow moving equipment.
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