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After Olympics disappointment, Randall looks back -- and ahead

Nathaniel Herz
United States' Sophie Caldwell, left, and Sadie Bjornsen hang jokingly on the Olympic rings during a cross country training session prior to the Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Sadie Bjornsen skis in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Sadie Bjornsen skis in the women's 10 k classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
United States' Ryan Stassel takes a jump during the men's snowboard slopestyle semifinal at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Sergei Grits
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Sadie Bjornsen skis in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Kikkan Randall skis the first leg in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Sadie Bjornsen skis in the women's 10 k classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Erik Bjornsen is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Sadie Bjornsen skis in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Sadie Bjornsen skis in the women's 10 k classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
United States' Sophie Caldwell, left, and Sadie Bjornsen hang jokingly on the Olympic rings during a cross country training session prior to the Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Sadie Bjornsen skis in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
United States' Kikkan Randall catches her breath after her women's quarterfinal heat of the cross-country sprint at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Holly Brooks is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Sadie Bjornsen skis in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
United States' Kikkan Randall catches her breath after her women's quarterfinal heat of the cross-country sprint at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Erik Bjornsen is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Kikkan Randall walks from the venue back towards the athlete's village after skiing in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
United States' Kikkan Randall competes during the women's qualifications of the cross-country sprint at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Felipe Dana
Jessica Schultz is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Kikkan Randall walks from the venue back towards the athlete's village after skiing in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
United States' Kikkan Randall competes during the women's qualifications of the cross-country sprint at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Felipe Dana
Holly Brooks is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
United States' Sadie Bjornsen competes during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong
Ann Swisshelm, left, and Jessica Schultz of the United States sweep the ice during the women's curling competition against Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Wong Maye-E
Kikkan Randall is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
United States' Sadie Bjornsen competes during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong
Ann Swisshelm, left, and Jessica Schultz of the United States sweep the ice during the women's curling competition against Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Wong Maye-E
Jessica Schultz is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
United States' Sadie Bjornsen skis with a sleeveless top as temperatures went well over the freezing point during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Team USA's Ann Swisshelm, left, and Jessica Schultz, sweep ahead of the rock during women's curling competition against Switzerland at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Robert F. Bukaty
Ryan Stassel is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
United States' Sadie Bjornsen skis with a sleeveless top as temperatures went well over the freezing point during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Team USA's Ann Swisshelm, left, and Jessica Schultz, sweep ahead of the rock during women's curling competition against Switzerland at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Robert F. Bukaty
Kikkan Randall is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
United States' Sadie Bjornsen skis with a sleeveless top during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Team USA's Jessica Schultz, right, delivers the rock as Allison Pottinger sweeps during the first day of training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Robert F. Bukaty
Sadie Bjornsen is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
United States' Sadie Bjornsen skis with a sleeveless top during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Team USA's Jessica Schultz, right, delivers the rock as Allison Pottinger sweeps during the first day of training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Robert F. Bukaty
Ryan Stassel is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
United States' Sadie Bjornsen skis with a sleeveless top as snow deteriorates during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Team USA skip Erika Brown, right, uses a stopwatch to time the throw from teammate Jessica Schultz during the first day of curling training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Robert F. Bukaty
Ashley Wagner of the United States skates at the figure stating practice rink ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev
United States' Sadie Bjornsen skis with a sleeveless top as snow deteriorates during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Team USA skip Erika Brown, right, uses a stopwatch to time the throw from teammate Jessica Schultz during the first day of curling training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Robert F. Bukaty
Sadie Bjornsen is on the 2014 USA Olympic team.
Long Photography, Inc.
Photo by Michael Smith Nina Kemppel holds a Rogers Park Elementary School banner near the Olympic rings in Sochi. Kemppel, a four-time Olympian in nordic skiing, is the aunt of Rogers Park first grader Logan Cuddy, and her banner is signed by some of the first graders and kindergartners at the school. Rogers Park held its own opening ceremony Feb. 6, 2014, and students are participating in various events during their physical education classes.
Photo by Michael Smith
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News Erik Bjornsen competing in the men's 30-K cross-country pursuit race on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, at the Laura cross-country ski center in the mountains outside of Sochi, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Ashley Wagner, of the United States, skates at the figure stating practice rink ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev
Photo by Michael Smith Nina Kemppel holds a Rogers Park Elementary School banner near the Olympic rings in Sochi. Kemppel, a four-time Olympian in nordic skiing, is the aunt of Rogers Park first grader Logan Cuddy, and her banner is signed by some of the first graders and kindergartners at the school. Rogers Park held its own opening ceremony Feb. 6, 2014, and students are participating in various events during their physical education classes.
Photo by Michael Smith
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News Erik Bjornsen competing in the men's 30-K cross-country pursuit race on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, at the Laura cross-country ski center in the mountains outside of Sochi, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Ashley Wagner of the United States skates at the figure stating practice rink ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev
Photo by Michael Smith Nina Kemppel holds a Rogers Park Elementary School banner near the Olympic flame in Sochi. Kemppel, a four-time Olympian in nordic skiing, is the aunt of Rogers Park first grader Logan Cuddy, and her banner is signed by some of the first graders and kindergartners at the school. Rogers Park held its own opening ceremony Feb. 6, 2014, and students are participating in various events during their physical education classes.
Michael Smith
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News Erik Bjornsen competing in the men's 30-K cross-country pursuit race on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, at the Laura cross-country ski center in the mountains outside of Sochi, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Ashley Wagner, of the United States, skates at the figure stating practice rink ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev
Photo by Michael Smith Nina Kemppel holds a Rogers Park Elementary School banner near the Olympic flame in Sochi. Kemppel, a four-time Olympian in nordic skiing, is the aunt of Rogers Park first grader Logan Cuddy, and her banner is signed by some of the first graders and kindergartners at the school. Rogers Park held its own opening ceremony Feb. 6, 2014, and students are participating in various events during their physical education classes.
Michael Smith
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News Erik Bjornsen competing in the men's 30-K cross-country pursuit race on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, at the Laura cross-country ski center in the mountains outside of Sochi, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Ashley Wagner, of the United States, skates at the figure stating practice rink ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev
Nina Kemppel and husband Michael Smith hold a Rogers Park Elementary School banner in Sochi. Kemppel, a four-time Olympian in nordic skiing, is the aunt of Rogers Park first grader Logan Cuddy, and the banner is signed by some of the first graders and kindergartners at the school. Rogers Park held its own opening ceremony Feb. 6, 2014, and students are participating in various events during their physical education classes.
Photo courtesy Nina Kemppel
Ashley Wagner of the United States competes in the women's team short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Vadim Ghirda
Ashley Wagner, of the United States, skates at the figure stating practice rink ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev
Nina Kemppel and husband Michael Smith hold a Rogers Park Elementary School banner in Sochi. Kemppel, a four-time Olympian in nordic skiing, is the aunt of Rogers Park first grader Logan Cuddy, and the banner is signed by some of the first graders and kindergartners at the school. Rogers Park held its own opening ceremony Feb. 6, 2014, and students are participating in various events during their physical education classes.
Photo courtesy Nina Kemppel
Ashley Wagner of the United States competes in the women's team short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Vadim Ghirda
Ashley Wagner, of the United States, skates at the figure stating practice rink ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev
Ann Swisshelm, left, and Jessica Schultz of the United States sweep the ice during the women's curling competition against Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Wong Maye-E
Ashley Wagner of the United States competes in the women's team short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Bernat Armangue
Ryan Stassel of the United States takes a jump during a snowboard slopestyle training session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Andy Wong
Ann Swisshelm, left, and Jessica Schultz of the United States sweep the ice during the women's curling competition against Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Wong Maye-E
Ashley Wagner of the United States competes in the women's team short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Bernat Armangue
Ashley Wagner, of the United States, skates at the figure stating practice rink ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev
Germany's Nicole Fessel, left, and United States' Sadie Bjornsen ski on the finish straight during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Ashley Wagner of the United States waits for her results after competing in the women's team short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, Pool)
Darron Cummings
Ryan Stassel of the United States takes a jump during a snowboard slopestyle training session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Andy Wong
Germany's Nicole Fessel, left, and United States' Sadie Bjornsen ski on the finish straight during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader
Ashley Wagner of the United States waits for her results after competing in the women's team short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, Pool)
Darron Cummings
Ryan Stassel of the United States takes a jump during a snowboard slopestyle training session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Andy Wong
Ida Sargent (left) and Holly Brooks ski in the women's 10 k classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Sara Studebaker of the United States skis during a biathlon training session, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man
Ryan Stassel of the United States takes a jump during a snowboard slopestyle training session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Sergei Grits
Ida Sargent (left) and Holly Brooks ski in the women's 10 k classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Sara Studebaker of the United States skis during a biathlon training session, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Kikkan Randall skis the first leg in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Ryan Stassel of the United States takes a jump during a snowboard slopestyle training session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Andy Wong
Holly Brooks skis in the women's 10 K classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Sara Studebaker of the United States shoots during a biathlon training session at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Kikkan Randall skis the first leg in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Holly Brooks skis in the women's 10 K classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Sara Studebaker of the United States shoots during a biathlon training session at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Kikkan Randall skis the first leg in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Ryan Stassel of the United States takes a jump during a snowboard slopestyle training session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Sergei Grits
Holly Brooks skis in the women's 10 K classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Sara Studebaker, of the United States, center, gets ready to shoot during a Biathlon training session, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Kikkan Randall skis the first leg in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Holly Brooks skis in the women's 10 K classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
Sara Studebaker, of the United States, center, gets ready to shoot during a Biathlon training session, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Sadie Bjornsen skis in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Nathaniel Herz / Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com Kikkan Randall skis the first leg in the 4x5 relay Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Nathaniel Herz
Sadie Bjornsen skis in the women's 10 k classic individual start race at the Olympics on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Nathaniel Herz
United States' Ryan Stassel takes a jump during the men's snowboard slopestyle semifinal at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Sergei Grits

Editor's note: Two days after she faltered in her bid for Olympic gold, Anchorage cross-country skier Kikkan Randall spoke with reporter Nathaniel Herz, who is covering the Sochi Games for the ADN and FasterSkier.com. Randall talked about the aftermath of Tuesday's freestyle sprint race, and how an 11-year-old Anchorage girl's email the day after the race buoyed her spirits.

Q. What have you been up to since the race?

A. Randall: Well, we were just kind of hanging out, skiing a little bit -- just hoping to come up and watch the race with my family today. It's kind of funny -- everything was really focused on the sprint race and getting through that, and after that there wasn't a whole lot of a plan.

Q. How are you feeling?

A. There's been a lot of thoughts running through my head. It kind of comes and goes. I think Tuesday was definitely just like kind of in shock. I don't think it had really sunk in yet. And, yesterday was definitely a roller coaster. I feel like I have a good perspective -- it didn't go the way I wanted but I was happy with the way I came into the race and the effort I gave. And then there's just times it catches up to me a little bit, and I just almost feel sick to my stomach. But thankfully, those moments pass and I just get back to focusing on my next shot.

Q. You said the feedback has been great. Can you describe it?

A. It's been emails, it's been messages through my website. It's been Facebook, it's been Twitter -- just, everybody reminding me that they were really impressed with the journey, and sad that it didn't go as well as we'd hoped but that one day isn't going to define my career, and that I've done a lot of good things and inspired a lot of people.

One of the coolest ones I've seen was an 11-year-old girl from Anchorage who wrote me to say she wore her Fast and Female T-shirt to school on Tuesday because I still had a smile at the finish. She said she was inspired, and it's messages like that that are incredible, because you're so focused on your performance you forget the impact it has.

Q. Do you have any new thoughts about the race now that you've had a little time to digest it?

A. A few little things -- some observations from some other people. You know, I just happened to land in a really tough heat. And it was kind of an uncharacteristic day out there, just with the way conditions are and the course, and the fact that three of the big favorites weren't in the final.

It just came down to such an incredibly close margin. In wondering, 'Why couldn't I just have found a little bit more, and lunged a little bit more at the line?' ... No matter what, you're going to feel that way. And that's just sprinting, man, it's so fast. If you're in shape to win a 10 (kilometer race), you've got 30 minutes to go through things out there. And in sprint, it's a blink of an eye. It's just the nature of the event.

It's tough when you get one shot and one chance like that but I still know that everything is good in my life, and I think -- it's definitely hard but every time it gets hard I just remind myself of all the good things that came into getting here and all the good things that'll still come out of what I've done.

Q. You mentioned on social media that your family has been around. What's that been like?

A. I got to go hang out in the stands with them (on Tuesday). We watched the flower ceremony, and I got to see them that evening. It just helps ground you and reminds you it's just a race. I'm still the same person I was before the race. I've got incredible support, and to have that kind of support directly around you -- my family's been amazing. Having coaches here, having (husband Jeff Ellis) here -- everybody's definitely just been great.

And I'm so glad they were here. If it had gone exactly as we'd hoped, it would have been amazing. But it's almost more important to have them here if it doesn't go well. They love me no matter what, so that means a lot.

Q. What's your plan for the rest of the Olympics?

A. My hope is to race everything from here on, outside of (Thursday's 10-K classic). ... My next most important goal is the relay, and I wanted to make sure I had the best race possible. I did some good intervals out on the course today. I'm really excited.

Q. How did you feel?

A. I felt good. I had a good, strong workout out there. I can tell that my fitness is still really good. My shape is good. So I'm looking forward to the relay with a whole lot of confidence. It was good to be able to kind of switch gears immediately after the sprint and have something new to focus on.

Q. Even though the sprint didn't go the way you wanted, are you feeling relieved?

A. A little bit. For sure, there was a lot of anticipation and a lot of mental prep going into the sprint, so when it switches gears to team events it definitely is a different preparation. I still think about the sprint race a lot, and that brings its own emotions energy. But yeah, it's done, and I'm looking forward to the next thing.

Email: nherz@adn.com. Follow at twitter.com/nat_herz.

 


By NATHANIEL HERZ
Anchorage Daily News / FasterSkier.com