January is usually a month where I take part in many cross country skiing races. This was the plan also this year. Somehow everything just did not work out the way I planned. The first week of the year I spent a lot of time on my cross country skis and I felt the shape coming. A 5km race in France was the start for bad luck. I finished 5th in a strong field, but I felt not 100%. I could feel my body was fighting against something. I thought the several weeks of hard training was the reason, so the planned easy week would make everything good again. I felt the strength and energy coming back and was looking very much forward to Pustertaler Ski marathon in Toblach, Italy. It is a yearly tradition to ski both the skating and classical marathons. The start went really well and I was right behind the top women. Then it happened, a crash with several people involved. Both my ski poles broke, I hit my tailbone (which I did not notice right away) and the race was over for me. I was disappointed.
In the evening sitting down and standing up was really painful. A good nights sleep would definitely make everything well again. As I started the warm up for the classical race the next morning I knew a start would not be possible. There are two possibilities in such a situation. You ignore the pain and race, which I would have done if skiing would be my main sport, or you accept the injury and rest for a few days. We packed our things and drove back home. The weekend was a disaster.
Resting a day and I started with training again. Some pain, but I knew a tailbone injury can be painful for weeks. It still is, but as an athlete you just cope with the pain. Last weekend we had a team meeting in Kleinwalsertal where I spent several hours a day on the skiing tracks. I checked out all the tracks in Oberstdorf. The World Cup track was really nice, also very tough. Unfortunately the tracks into the valleys were really bad prepared. I was surprised and at the same time disappointed. I expected very good tracks in a place like Oberstdorf. Finally, the village is known for their skiing tracks. So, it is not really a place I recommend to visit if you want to do proper cross country skiing. Yesterday I did a short trip to northern Germany. Picked up my new car in Travemünde and drove all the way through Germany back to the south. A long trip and also the fact that I started to feel sick did not made the trip easier. So now I am lying in bed with flu. Sore throat, muscles aching, and my ears are hurting. So, January is really a month to forget. Now I just have to rest, get healthy and start to build up my shape again. There are still many weeks before the cycling season starts. I hope February will be a brighter month and I can get some real good cross country skiing training done and also some racing. During the winter I do build up my shape that lasts through the whole summer.