2023: A lot of bumps in the road

The season 2023 was a season with a lot of bumbs in the road. It started well enough, and I felt quite strong in the early spring and looked forward to the season to come, but already before it had started for real I got quite bad tonsillitis, and was down with a fever for longer than I would have hoped for. After that it took some time to get back, and most of the spring season I felt that I wasn’t really at my best and that something lacked physically. There were some highlights for sure (I am happy with my performances at the World Cups in Østfold, Norway, for example), and I felt that my shape was on the rise going into the summer.

My preparations for WOC went really well until one week before the races, when I got a really bad lumbago. I have had much problems with my lower back throughout my career, but this was worse than for several years. The last days before the competitions was a race against time, and it was really unclear if I could stand on the start line to the very last hours, but in the end I was able to. My good shape, however, was gone. I really struggled physically during the whole week, and mentally it was one of the toughest challenges I have ever experienced in my career. I am extremely proud of my technical performances, but what a frustrating and draining week. In the end I am very happy with getting the bronze medal in the relay, but I know I had so much more potential in me, so it is difficult to be completely happy when thinking about it.

My bad back actually got better quite quickly, and already a few weeks later I was back to decent fitness. The world cups in Česká Lípa in Czechia in the begining of August went really well, and I could run unaffected by my back. Then the training went smoothly for a few weeks, until the Swedish champs in the end of August. I could not race as I wanted, because I had some kind of infection in my body, and that kickstarted an extremely messy period for me, that continued the rest of the season.

During September I struggled with continuity, and I was always on the verge of being ill. I never got more than 5 days of training done in a row before I had to step back because of a sore throat or something similar. That ended in me going to the lake Garda EOC in Italy in what is probably the worst shape of my life. If it wasn’t for the overall world cup I would have stayed at home, because I had no chance at competing close to my best. In the end it was another tough and frustrating week, but I managed to secure the third place in the overall world cup, which was my main goal for the week.

All in all not the smooth and succesful season I was aiming for, but I am still proud and happy to get a WOC medal and to be top 3 in the overall world cup despite all the bumps in the road!

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