December 26, 2009


Sounds like a whirlwind, doesn't it? So far, it has been, but it's also been a great trip. Currently, I'm home for the Holidays, but only briefly. I arrived late Monday night and leave Sunday afternoon. It's been so nice to be home to re-charge before trials; but I'm getting ahead of myself-let's rewind back to World Cup 2 in Hochfilzen.

Hochfilzen was an interesting, if short, race series for the US women. With slushy, slow conditions on race day, it was one of the toughest races I have done. Though I had the top US result, it was not good enough to make the pursuit. Putting that aside, I hoped to make Pokljuka and the final pre-Christmas World Cup better.

The women's relay in Hochfilzen with fans lining the course.

Conditions in Slovenia were much better than Austria. Though it was cold, and at times fairly windy, the snow was pretty fast and hard, so I was looking forward to three good races. In the individual, things went pretty well-right up until the last stage. I had one miss in my first standing stage, and then added three more in my final stage. Even with a pretty fast ski time and an excellent last loop, four misses (and subsequently 4 minutes of added time) were too many. It was slightly heart breaking to see that if I had been able to hold it togther for that final stage, I would have been top 30. But I still had the sprint to think about, so I moved on. Unfortunately, it was not in the cards for me there either. With a very rough prone shooting stage, I put all my effort into simply finishing the race and skiing well. I had a solid ski time, which was a small silver lining, but the week overall was disappointing. Luckily, I had home and a week of down time to look forward to, and to help me get ready for Olympic Trials.

Which brings us back to the present. Being home has been great. I've been able to mentally move forward from tough races in the last two World Cups, and am feeling ready and excited for trials. Sunday I will travel to Germany for a week long camp in Ruhpolding with some of the other trials qualifiers. Then we travel to Altenberg for a time trial and two IBU Cup races that will decide the Olympic Team. Team naming happens on January 11-just over two weeks from today! It's crazy that all the preparation and all the hard work is finally culminating in this. So, here's keeping my fingers crossed for the results I know I am capable of. Keep checking back, I'll be sure to update as often as internet access allows! Happy Winter!

Haley Johnson looking out onto the town of Bled, Slovenia from the castle above.

A view from Bled (the town we stayed in-about a 30min drive from the venue in Pokljuka).


Anonymous said...

Hi Sara it's your Uncle Al's friend Scott. Best of luck in the trials coming up. I know it is a very exciting time for you and your family.

Sara Studebaker said...

Thanks, Scott!! :)