Welp, every single thing about 2020 has been different than every other year, so it makes sense for the training year to be different as well. With all of the craziness happening in the world, starting with the coronavirus outbreak (and nightmarish handling of the disease by the US government), followed by the protests and riots against police brutality and systemic racism in the United States, my training has felt extremely insignificant compared to everything else happening in the world. I've been very limited in my social media presence because I feel that what I am doing doesn't need the same attention as the national and international crises that we are experiencing, so if you've been wondering what my spring has been like, this post is going to be my sparknotes summary of the last three and a half months.
Starting with the end of the season, my teammate Grant and I made it home from Europe the day after Trump banned all Europeans from entering the United States. We were in the middle of Russia (literally the middle) on Wednesday when we got news that Trump was barring all travel from Europe starting Friday. With no clarity on how the travel bans were going to impact us, we both thought that we were going to be stuck either in Russia or Central Europe until the travel ban ended. Luckily, we were able to fly home on Saturday and made it home without issues. I spent the mandatory 2 week post-travel quarantine at my dads house and watched lots of Netflix and did schoolwork.
Following the 2 week isolation, I started doing some ski touring with my friends and teammates (with appropriate distancing) and some cross country skiing. This year was the first year since I started skiing 18 years ago that I haven't skied in a ski resort all year, since they were closed when I came home.
We started our training year again in April, but instead of doing team training like we usually would, almost every session was done on my own. Something new this year was that I also wrote my own training plan for the first part of the year, so it'll be interesting to see if that pays of later in the year.
Our first official team training session didn't happen until June 1, and we kicked our team training off with a brutal session: the Agony Hill TT. Any nordic athlete in Utah has probably done Agony Hill TT in their career so they know how steep and terrible it is, but if you haven't heard of it, it is just under a 1 mile course with 1,200 feet of climbing. Within the first minute of the TT, my heartrate was at 195bpm, and I peaked at 208bpm. That was the highest my heart rate had gone in about 9 months. With only 5 of us running, and each of us starting 1 minute apart so that we were never too close to each other (for Covid purposes), it was an individual TT. But, everyone set a new PR so thats a positive! My teammate Taylor was fastest at 13:28, I was at 13:51, and the rest of my team was between 14:30 and 15:50. Overall a great day for all of us I'd say!
We also got to start jumping as a team again, though that also looks different than a normal year. We all change outside from the trunks of our cars, can't share a seat on the chairlift, and aren't allowed to do normal immotation jumps with our coaches, but we are jumping at least! I'm guessing that we'll spend a lot of time jumping in Park City this summer but I think I'm looking forward to it!
And that's how coronavirus has changed the spring. We won't be travelling to Steamboat Springs for the 4th of July this year, for obvious reasons, so I get to spend the 4th in Park City for the first time in probably 10 years! After that, the rest of the summer is up in the air for travel and competitions, so we are very much playing it by ear for the summer. Oh well, stay tuned!
Follow along as I post updates about training, traveling, competing, school, and life in general.