There's No Such Thing As Easy Training

I never have thought that ski training was going to be easy. One of the many thrills of the sport are the numerous times you are given to push yourself mentally and physically. I have always said that one of the reasons that I love skiing is because of those chances you get. It's a sport like no other, where you are working your arms, legs, core, you have to focus on your technique, and there are only small moments of rest.
Training can bring you to amazing places: as seen in this foggy lake I found on an early morning hike

There are obvious times when it's easier to push yourself, and those times are what can create an amazing race or workout. Factors that help are being super focused, being well rested, and being in good shape. You also need to have a positive mental attitude, for when everything isn't going perfectly. It's hard to get everything to go to plan, and if you can surge and go over bumps that are in the way, you can create those good workouts and races on your own.
A metaphorical and literal bump: after a first couple rough races climbing up the Lake Placid mountain, I got 8th at Jr Nationals this year

Over the past 6 years that I have been ski racing and training, I would consider myself a positive person. It has helped that I have had a line of goals, year after year, that I have been striving for. I've been lucky to have great coaches that help me see great growth in my training, and also show me where I can improve. I've missed some goals I have really wanted to reach, but the other goals that I have achieved have helped me keep my chin up. I love training and racing, so it was easy for me to enjoy the hard work and the journey. I saw how my results got better the more I trained, so it was easy to train more.
A great confidence booster was when I got 2nd at Junior Nationals in Truckee

I have had my positivity tested many times. Especially this year. After the fall, I knew that I wouldn't have my best season. I knew I wouldn't be racing at 100%. It was conflicting because I am extremely competitive, and I want to win. I want to see improvement and I want to be better than I was the year before. My positivity was tested this winter. I didn't reach any of the goals I had set, which squashed my confidence. Although it seems unrealistic for me to be disappointed in my results, because I was coming off of a major injury, I was frustrated not to be where I wanted to be.
I especially struggled in classic skiing this year, although my striding technique has been the best it's ever been

This spring, after my surgery, I took my progress day by day. I have slowly been gaining back my range of motion, and I hiked when I could the weeks after. I was so excited that on May 1st, like the rest of the skiing community, I could start my ski training again! Granted, it is very different from what I'm use to. No rollerskiing for a while, so I've been breaking into the running miles.
I think my dogs were just as excited that I could run as I was! They were tired of waiting for me while I was hiking

I was so excited to start running, until I ran the first mile. I have been competitively training for 6 years, and since training the summer before 7th grade Cross Country, I haven't taken off longer than a week. After a month and plus some, I'm in really bad shape, and I'm learning a new, harder way to push myself. I've always loved running, and training in general. But now I really have to push myself to get out the door. I'm suffering while I'm out there, and it takes a lot of mental energy to not stop and walk.
Running breaks... aka nature picture time

I know sooner and later I will get to a point where I can run with ease again (and hopefully much faster) but I'm not really sure how long that will take. All I know for sure now, is that I have found my new challenge. Getting out the door last spring was no problem, but now I have new bumps to get over. At times, things seem pretty hopeless- especially in the middle of the first 4-mile run you have done in months.
Looking forward to standing on top of a podium, again in the near future

 I still have my goals. And right now, in the 2nd week of May, it seems impossible that I will be competitive this fall and winter, but I can't worry about that right now. I'm taking it day by day, run by run, and bump by bump,  and I'll get out of this rut eventually.


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