World Cup no. 3 was in Astana Kazakhstan. I had pretty low expectations for Astana, based on what I had heard from other people. The place was supposed to be a little boring and the food wasn’t that good. But I guess that’s how those not from Europe feel about going to Europe. We are all used to different scenarios and food.
Contrary to what I’d heard, Kazakhstan was pretty cool! Besides it being cold as h***, the architecture was amazing. They had so many pretty buildings. One of the things that were not so cool, was that almost no one spoke English. But based on the other two World Cups, we should be used to that now.
The first race was, as always, the 3k. The whole week leading up to the World Cup, I had been feeling really bad. Not like I was sick, but I had headaches and my legs were tired and sore. So expectations were low for this weekend.
The fact that my legs were feeling terrible made me even more nervous before the race. But it disappeared a little during my warmup – which was kind of strange since that’s when my nervousness usually increases.
The race was essentially not that bad – it was 4.22,0 which is not that bad. To be honest I know I have a better time in me and I had hoped for a better time, but something was just not right the week leading up to the race.
The 1500m was the same day as the Mass Start. With my legs feeling like they did, I was considering skipping this race in favour of the Mass Start. But being who I am, it just didn’t feel right, and also I think it would have put too much pressure on the Mass Start. Knowing myself, I know that would have made me way too nervous to good for anything. The tiredness in my legs were definitely reflected in my lap times. The finishing time, 2.03,6 was alright, but the 2 second drop between the laps was just not like me. I usually don’t drop that much.
In the end the decision to race it was the right one even though the drop was pretty bad.
I didn’t have a lot of expectations for the race. I did know that I wanted to try and go for a point, and try better than I did in the last Mass Start. The race pretty much went perfect, I felt relaxed, found a good position, especially before the point. I was in third position 2 laps before, and I was really patient and didn’t accelerate before the last straight, and I got 3 points, giving me a 9th place – first top 10! I did mess up on the last lap though. I don’t know if I was tired or unfocused, but when I passed the lapboard I saw 2 laps to go, thinking: okay I need to relax and be ready for the next lap, and as we passed the finish line next time everyone stopped, and I was really confused and little mad – I still had powers for one last sprint, but I didn’t get to use them. Apparently there was no more laps, so next time I’ll be ready.
Next up: World Cup 4 in Heerenveen, The Netherlands.
– Love Elena