A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Clare Egan finished her season in Nove Mesto na Moravě, bid her teammates good-bye, went home to Lake Placid, New York and has been there almost every day since March.

With the USA under the grip of the Coronavirus, there have been no training camps for Egan and her teammates, no in-person contact with the coaches. Her life remains simple, centered on daily training in the Adirondack Mountains. “That is one thing that makes me lucky here: there are so many nice places to train…I have always been able to go out and get into the mountains.”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Missing Teammates, Coaches

Yet at times in this coronavirus pandemic, the 32-year-old feels like she is on a mental roller coaster, thinking, “There are two ways to look at it. I can look at the fact that I have not seen Susan (Dunklee) and other A Team athletes since the winter… That is tough; those are the people that would push me on the skis. Or I can say I am training here with teammates and we are doing fine. Or I can fret that no one is helping me and I have not seen my coach in person since World Championships, except on the computer screen. Still we talk every day. It is not that I do not have coaching; it is just different. I have to look at it in that positive way. Of course some days I manage that and some days I do not…”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Sunrise and Up at 7:15

It is early August and Egan is just starting a new training block after a rest/holiday week, which followed a 28-day July training block. An easy training day is on tap, with the first intensity of the season scheduled for the next day. “I got up at 7:15 which is the norm, greeted by an amazing sunrise over the lake. When it was super hot here, I was getting up earlier because we were trying to start by 8 at the latest. Today I did not start until 8:30; it was about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius) last night. For breakfast, I had cereal with milk and fresh blueberries. I am not one of those people who wake up with a ravenous appetite and have a typical giant endurance athlete breakfast. I go with what works. I always take a bar or something to training as a snack.”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Solo Day

Today I was training solo, but we have two coaching interns and one was helping me today. For most of the summer, I have been training with Maddie Phaneuf, a B team athletes and Chloe Levins from the Development team. Today they went to Vermont to a time trial that I was not allowed to go to because of travel restrictions in Vermont, because I had travelled outside of Lake Placid on my break.”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Not an Easy Summer

Training his summer has been a challenge for the US Biathlete, who had the second best day of her career last season shooting clean for 6th place in the Pokljuka 15 km individual. “I have been lucky to always not train alone; Maddie has been here most of the time, a real blessing since we have not had any team camps. Some of my teammates are completely on their own with no coaching support and no teammates. I worry about them. It has not been an easy summer.”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Classic Rollerskiing and Shooting

“This morning, I started with some shooting drills and tests; then an hour and half of classic roller skiing with shooting. Shooting today was good; I actually hit all the targets in my test. I did 2 X 20-shots, hit them all. I was really happy about that! Tomorrow will be my first test race and intensity. We got a late start on shooting because we could not use the range until the second week of June. So we are about a month behind in the normal progression.

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

No Six-course Lunch

After training, it was 3.5 km back to town for another non-athlete meal, lunch. With a slightly embarrassed laugh, she said, “I had a sandwich for lunch; a turkey and cheese sandwich. It is usually that, leftovers or whatever I have in my house…but I almost always eat twice. I had another sandwich at three. What you are learning about me is that I do not usually sit down and eat a ton of food at once! Of course if I am at a hotel (like in camp in France last year) and they prepare a six-course meal, I eat that. But I am not preparing a six-course meal for lunch!”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Busy Afternoon

Post-lunch is for many athletes nap time, but Egan, an Athlete Representative on the IBU Executive Board said, “I am typically not a nap person. But this summer, I have. I hate to think I am getting old, but I actually think it is good for me. Also when it is so hot, the heat takes so much out of you. I took a 45-minute nap and then did some IBU work for an hour or so. I do not do that every day, but several days a week. Most other days, I do my personal athlete admin work, like training logs, and communicating with sponsors and coaches. That all takes lots of time; most people think we only sleep train and eat, but there is more.”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Easy Trail Run

Although it was an easy day, there was still a second training session. I went for an easy 1:15 trail run. I was lucky to go with my boyfriend which does not happen very often.”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Private Outdoor Gym

Continuing, she added about her afternoon plan, strength training for the next day after the morning intensity test, “Before the virus hit, I wanted to experiment with some strength work and shooting, so I moved a whole strength set-up to the range under the cover. Even though gyms are still closed in New York state, I have everything I need out at the jumps (where the shooting range is located).”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Pizza and Cocktails

A late dinner followed her pleasant run that ended near 7 pm. “We made pizza and a salad which we do at least once a week…so easy. I am always looking for quick food ideas; quick and caloric are the key words. My boyfriend is really into cocktails; he made me a cocktail. It has to be weak for me. We do regularly have drinks with dinner. I think it is important to have a balance with some normal life. What we do makes it so hard to find those little things, like having a normal dinner with a glass of wine. I try but do not always succeed, to make the evenings a non-biathlon time.”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Million Dollar View

"We live in an apartment right on Main Street, so I have this kind of urban lifestyle. We have a deck overlooking the lake where I spend as much time as possible. So every Friday, the evening is spent watching the fire show at the hotel next door. We are so lucky to have this view and outdoor space. It is a million dollar view.”

A Day in the Life of…Clare Egan

Glass Half Full Optimist

With the sun long gone behind the mountains, Egan was philosophical about her life and the current situation. “It is the glass half full scenario; we have to be optimistic, by just doing our jobs, not quitting. Every single day when I step out there, it is a commitment to optimism, because otherwise what I am doing does not make sense. Optimism is that I am not doing this for nothing and I will be able to compete this winter.”

Photos: Clare Egan

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