Getting ready for Quebec World Cups!

Erika shares her past few weeks

Reporting live: Erika’s world champs re-cap. I thought I’d share World Champs from the other side. What it’s like watching World Champs on the computer screen…the drama, the excitement, the nerves. A different side of racing and one you might not be so familiar with. I’m totally kidding. But if you can’t tell I may be losing it a bit after spending a few weeks on my own in Craftsbury, Vermont. To be fair I haven’t been completely alone. After low snow, rain and warm temps forced a cancellation of the American Birkebeiner most of the SMS domestic squad headed east to Craftsbury, home of the infamous snowmaking wizards who manage to make skiing possible in any weather.

Training with Liz Guiney GRP

I headed to Craftsbury to bide my time in skier purgatory, caught in limbo while waiting to hear where I would race next. Unfortunately I had found myself on the bubble for both OPA Cup trips and the Canadian World Cups and my fate was to be determined by a series of other people’s races. Note to future self: don’t be on the bubble.  Fortunately I had a great place to stay (Thank you Elizabeth and Zander!) and great skiing almost out the door so I focused most of my energy on logging good training sessions and tried not to think too far into the future. Last Saturday I found out that I qualified to race in World Cup finals in Quebec City, Canada and I could not be more thrilled. I’m on cloud nine…CLOUD NINE (for all you bachelor fans out there).  The invitation to race was followed by 3 days alone in Craftsbury Vermont where I enjoyed great skiing during the day and some solo karaoke sessions by night. When in a house by yourself, solo karaoke is always a good idea.

Snowmaking wizards hard at work
Post intervals with Kait, Anne and Liz

Although I may have started talking to squirrels once my teammates left (Paddy to Lyme, Julia to JOs, Pat to Stratton, Ben and Annie to Europe), I was fortunate to train with the Craftsbury Green Team during the day. I love my SMS teammates but it is rather refreshing to jump in with people you literally never train with and experience a whole new set of warm-ups, rituals, and ski styles. Annie and Julia and I train well together but I also know where Annie’s going to push the pace in intervals and where Julia is going to stride it out on a long distance ski. Skiing with the green team was like joining a new sorority (a really fit one). Everything was new, including the coach (thanks Pepa), the structure of the workouts and the strengths of each skier. I learned to push the V2 skiing behind Caitlin Patterson and lengthen the double pole chasing down Liz Guiney. I practiced jumping off the line with Kaitlyn Miller and jump skating behind Ida.  We are all getting ready to crush some ski races up in Quebec and had fun pushing each other in workouts as we prep to race the best in the world next weekend!

Not much snow but pretty pretty
So Vermonty

On Friday much of my team (finally) returned to Craftsbury and the house is in full buzz mode as we gear up for Quebec next week. Check in for updates from the team and follow along as we compete at World Cup Finals! I will for sure be the one jumping up and down to see Marit Bjoergen and casually obsessing over my first official World Cup bib. It’s the little things.

Ciao for now,

Erika

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