Tatyana McFadden admitted to feeling jetlagged, even exhausted after flying home from the Sochi Paralympics.
She’s earned plenty of rest, but she won’t be taking much.
The 24-year-old plans to defend her London Marathon and Boston Marathon wheelchair titles in April, one month after winning a sitting cross-country skiing silver medal to complement her collection of 10 Summer Paralympic medals.
“I’m getting in my chair this week,” McFadden said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s going to be hard. … I think it will take me a few days, a week to get my mind back to wheelchair racing. To get my endurance back.”
In Sochi, McFadden won her silver medal in a 1km sprint to join the list of Paralympians with Summer and Winter medals (three of her Sochi teammates had already accomplished the feat). Each round of the 1km sprint took about 3 minutes.
Her April marathons are each 42 times longer in distance and take about 1 hour, 45 minutes.
McFadden is concerned enough about transitioning back that she won’t yet commit to defending later marathon titles in Chicago and New York and going for a second straight “Grand Slam.” But she felt picking up cross-country skiing over the last year, and the different work that goes into it, will help her on the road to Rio in 2016.
“In [wheelchair] racing it’s all shoulders and all arms,” McFadden said. “[In cross-country skiing], your core kind of drives where your arms go. … Now I’ve got a really strong core and strong lats. I can use that for wheelchair racing.”
On the track, she is considering adding the 5000m to her Paralympic schedule if she makes it to Rio. McFadden didn’t race the event at London 2012, where she bagged four medals with three golds, but won it as part of an unprecedented haul of six golds at the 2013 World Championships.
She’s not done with cross-country skiing, either.
“I sort of got addicted to it,” said McFadden, a Maryland native who spent December through February training on snow in Colorado. “My concentration is on Rio, and then during the winters I will probably go and ski. … We’ll see what happens.”