This week was all about surprises. From having to evacuate the building during one of my final exams, to the race results this weekend, each day seemed to add an unexpected twist to the week.

Surprise #1: It’s Monday morning, and I’m halfway through the final question on a final exam when, a police officer comes into the room.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to have to ask you to evacuate the building on account of a suspected gas leak.”
Well shoot, could he not have asked us to leave 10 minutes later? I only have one problem left! In a slight state of confusion, my classmates and I quickly grabbed our exams and calculators and walked out of the building. It didn’t take long for the fire department to clear the building and let us re-enter,  but not before I took over a rock as my new desk to finish circling my final answer.

The rest of my finals went as expected. Go in feeling confident about the material. Leave feeling like my brain just got sent through a Hobart mixer and became mashed potatoes. There’s nothing quite like a good intensity workout to recover from the mashed-potato-ey state, so under the Wednesday night lights, Anna and I broke out the skate skis and went as fast as we could around the new sprint course. With the fresh snow fall, newly groomed trails and stars glistening, that ski felt like heaven.

All ready for the team dinner

All ready for the team dinner

Fueled off the of the endorphins of a great workout and being sick of seeing our house look like Godzilla came to visit, the rest of the week was spent cleaning the house. (Surprise #2: Housemate leaves for Alaska leaving rotting food in fridge and dirty dishes all over the kitchen = Not cool)

This house cleaning motivation came with perfect timing for our “congratulations-you-made-it-through-the-semester” team dinner. Friday night everyone packed into our house for some great food and company. It was super nice to see everyone outside of a school or skiing setting. There were lots of desserts, veggies and (Surprise #3) no bacon.  This was the perfect start to a classic weekend of racing.

Surprise #4: The Classic sprint. 
With beautiful rock solid tracks in the snow, magic skis in hand and our entire venue buzzing with parents and racers, I stepped up to the gate and tried my hardest to beat the clock. Since the race was a classic sprint, and after the races last weekend, I wasn’t expecting too much out of the results. However when the qualifier list came out I was sitting in 11th!

My cousin's first experience at ski races, and they're already asking if I can teach them to ski!

My cousin’s first experience at ski races, and they’re already asking if I can teach them to ski!

Surprise #5: Getting to see my family
As soon as I saw the results I called my parents to tell them the good news. That’s when the told me my two younger cousins were on their way to Houghton to watch the races! I just about jumped through the roof with excitement.
With spare cow-bell in hand, I waited anxiously for them to arrive. These were their first ski races, so I was determined to make them as fun as possible.

Closing in on the finishing stretch of the quarterfinal, I was sitting in 3rd. Due to the way we were doing lucky losers, I knew the clock was my new competition and friend.  After the heat I explained to my cousins what a “lucky loser” is and together we waited to see if any of the other girls would have faster times. Surprise #6: Making it to the semi-finals.  Both our Men’s and Women’s teams did well in the sprints and I’m excited to see us continue to improve as we race at home for US. Nationals! Fingers crossed for some more positive surprises.

Post race snowshoeing with the cousins

Post race snowshoeing with the cousins

Surprise #7: Starting at the top of the chevron in a Classic mass start
I was nervous for the race on Sunday. Not for the normal reasons (classic race, mass start, new competition loop, etc) but because I was positioned at the top of the chevron. This is a new place for me, and with it being a classic mass start my confidence levels were not at their highest. That was until…

Mass start

Sunday’s Mass Start

Surprise #8: My coaches nailed the wax on the first try! (You guys are awesome!) Walking up to the start with amazing skis for the second day in a row, I was so excited to see what we could do as a team, that I completely forgot about how nervous I was. Despite some mishaps during the race, I had a ton of fun out on the course, and might even say that I’m excited to race the 20k Classic at US. Nationals.

It feels good to be able to spend 100% of my focus on ski racing. If three days off of school allow this much improvement, I can’t wait to see what 3 weeks will do.

Saturday’s Press Release

Sunday’s Press Release

 

Side Note: Congratulations to Haakon for winning the race on Saturday! Ulrika for kicking butt both days. Deedra for qualifying second in the sprint. Lisa for getting back in the game. Ruth for making senior heats. Tom for also kicking butt both days. Sam for making semi-finals. Carolyn and Anna for applying the skating beast-mode to classic. Dave and Thomas for working together and pulling ahead. Kyle for staying strong. Sonja for coming back to us, and Scott for surprising us. Its a great weekend to be a Husky!
(If you had a good race and I missed it, I’m sorry and I’ll try to catch you next time. There we so many good results I couldn’t keep track!)

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