Kikkan Randall Blog Banner

Archive for November, 2008

Getting ready in Kuusamo

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Greetings from Finland!  My apologies again, for a long lapse since my last post.  Since my last update from my training camp with Chandra Crawford in Canmore, I returned to Alaska where I have been training for the last six weeks.  For the first three weeks, I was able to ski an hour’s drive away at Hatcher Pass.  The skiing there was excellent with solid grooming and nice classic tracks.  About three weeks ago, we got enough snow in Anchorage to start skiing on the local trails.  There wasn’t quite enough snow to groom but it was nice to be able to ski twice a day a few minutes from home.  Minus battling a cold/flu bug for about a week, the training block went well.

On Saturday I packed my bags, said good-bye to my APU team, and headed off to Europe to start the season.  I flew through Seattle, Amsterdam, Helsinki and then Kuusamo, to arrive a day and a half after I started.  My duffle bag greeted me in Kuusamo but my ski bag did not. Thankfully, the US Nordic Combined team was already in Kuusamo so I was able to borrow gear from them, and later the Canadians, until my ski bag finally arrived today, Thursday!  (Got a little scare this morning when I went to pick up my ski bag from the hotel reception.  Only my pole tube, which had been strapped to the top of my ski bag, was there, no skis. Yikes!  An hour or so later however, I was informed that my ski bag had been delivered to the US wax techs after the Fischer crew had accidentally picked up my ski bag by mistake at the airport.  Whew!).

The first few days here in Kuusamo have gone by fast.  My first night I only slept five hours, despite the long travel I was wide awake at 3:30am.  The second night I conked out for a solid 11 hrs.  Gotta love jet-lag!  The trails and dining hall have been getting steadily busier as all the teams, techs, industry folks and media arrive.  It’s great to be back in the World Cup scene again after a six month break.

I’m happy to report that my health is still very good.  The blood clot incident is now seven months in the past and I’m off the blood thinning medication.  I did take a theraputic dose of the blood thinner for the long flight over and wore compression tights during my travel, as well as making sure to get up and move around every couple hours.  Hopefully taking these precautions will help me avoid future clotting incidents.  Being down and unsure of what the future would hold gave me a greater appreciation for being able to ski race, and I’m not taking that for granted.  I look forward to an exciting season with lots of sprint racing and a few distance starts!

This weekend officially kicks off my racing season with a classic sprint on Saturday and a 10km classic on Sunday.  Right now the body is untested.  It feels a little bit like starting a classic race without having tested the wax.  All the indications are pointing towards good fitness and I’m psyched to get out there a see how it works.

Cheers for now!