It’s raceday! We’ve begun!
This was kind of a long day, since the 3k didn’t start until 2.20pm. Stefan and coach C went to the ice rink to train early in the morning, so it was only Viktor and I left at the hotel. We knew the travel to the rink would take a long time, not only because of the usual traffic but also because of the weather condition. It had been snowing all night and all morning and it seems like they don’t know the concept of trowing salt on the roads to prevent the snow from turning into ice, which resulted in the roads being completely covered in ice. Not the best conditions for driving.
So I decided to take an earlier bus with Viktor. His race was before mine, so he was taking that bus anyway. Also it was a little more fun to take the hour long bus together rather than alone.
At the track I just relaxed until I had to start warming up. I usually warm up about 40 minutes off ice and then 10 minutes on the ice. Sometimes more, sometimes less, it all depends on how they keep the time schedule.
Before the race I was quite nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. The ice seemed fast, but during the guys’ 5000m a lot of skaters blew up during the last couple of laps. But we had a plan for the race. Going a little faster in the opening and keep that speed in the first lap and then going on pace, which would be 34’s. Thinking about the plan and the fact that this is still a training for when I really have to be good – in the Olympic season – made me a little more calm. It was looking quite good during the first laps of my race, but I had a hard time finding and keeping the speed. I had no feeling if I was doing a 32′ or a 36′ lap. But the more I race the more I learn how to find the speed. Finishing time was 4.28,00 which is alright for this track. I’m happy with the race. It’s nice to have started and to have shaken off some of those nerves. Now I’m ready for the fun part, 1500m and mass start! But first a ‘rest day’ – no races tomorrow, just training.
– Love Elena