Welcome to my blog! This is a site where you can keep up to date on my life as a full-time athlete in the sport of cross country skiing. You can expect regular updates throughout the year as I report on training, racing, life in general and maybe even some school. Sponsors, family, friends and fans: Enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Olympic Trials and open optimism.

Re-cap on last weekend's race:

Exactly 10 days ago my leg seemed to have made a 100% recovery from injury and so I returned to normal training and skiing twice per day most days.  After a few days on the leg I deemed myself fit to put it through the race motions.  And thus I committed to the NorAm skate sprint event at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre up on Silver Star mountain, BC, last Sunday.

The event was a short 1.1km.  (I love the short ones - these days sprints are more of a distance affair at up to 1.8km long)  The field was stacked with all of the top North Americans.  Expectations on the day weren't huge; I figured that if I qualified for the heats it would be a good day.  Qualifier ended up being great - left it all on the course.  Had nothing in terms of a fast top-end gear but was able to maintain momentum on every key section and so miraculously qualified 23rd.  I was elated to have qualified in the top-30 for heats after such a turbulent time in preparation for the race season.  I was 12th Canadian but the race points were totally sabotaged by the Americans who were absolutely flying.  Over 2:25 I was 5 seconds off the best Canadian.  Nothing a little actual ski training can't remedy, haha.

My heat was a little disappointing.  Off the line I easily moved to the front and eased off to settle in for 2nd.  Everyone was super-antsy and there was a lot of contact on the course.  One of the more questionable body contacts out there was when a certain G. Kuzzy grabbed my shoulder and pulled past me.  That spelled the end of the heat for me as my speed was killed and I proceeded to get thrown around pretty good on the main climb on the course.  I skied in for a 5th in my heat and a 25th overall on the day (14th Canadian).  Results.

This is the only shot I have of the weekend of racing (thx Emil Svensson).  Bringing it in for 5th in my heat.


Tomorrow kicks off the weekend of Olympic Sprint Trials.  2 Classic sprint races on back to back days on a big bad sprint course here in Canmore, AB.  Our preparations this week have been optimal and the environment relaxing - things couldn't be better.  I have some decent boards and have rediscovered how to stride so it should be some strong races for me.  I would be ecstatic if I perform well enough to qualify as one of the ten National Group athletes to represent Canada at the Feb. 6th pre-Olympics World Cup.

Among other things, what it boils down to is this: if I can find my breathing rhythm and my grip pocket out on the course tomorrow and the next day, I will be happy.  Results will come on their own if I can achieve those goals.

After the trials, its back home to YK on the 21st for some R&R and some focused training for the skate sprint event at the U-23 World Championships Trials out in Quebec.

Time to give'r berries.

Friday, December 11, 2009

OH WHAAAT!!! 100th post... That's big.

My last title should be this post’s title.  Except 100th post IS quite the landmark.

Last update I didn’t quite get all that content in that I wanted, so I’ll add that in at the beginning of this one. 

Expectalysis is the reassessment of my expectations in light of my untimely injury of shin splints and tendonitis in my lower right leg that has plagued me the past 2 months.  Through intensive physio visits, and some serious time off, the leg is finally coming around and I have been able to ski on it the past few days(!!!!).  Perfect timing since the first big race is this weekend. 

Today I did the first fast, full body skiing in over 2 months.  It felt great.  Although I had a great spring and summer of training under my belt, the fall was less than optimal.  Sometimes in life it is necessary to readjust expectations.  To tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure what to expect this weekend.  Likely not challenging the top guys, but perhaps still expressing decent fitness due to the work I have done on a few pre-existing weaknesses like breathing, core fitness and flexibility.  It should take several weeks to be back on track for where I want to be.

For now I am just extremely pumped to be out skiing normally again. 

After an interesting weekend in Canmore due to an alteration in the sprint course and my plans to double pole it, I have been in Silver Star with CVTC (aka Lee and Camille (and actually a new addition – Emil Svensson from Sweden.  He is crazy speedy)).  Things have been working very smoothly and we are all in race mode. 

Emil and Cheese doing their race prep.  I am trying so hard not to laugh right now.

This weekend will be a good opportunity to see where I am at before the big Olympic sprint qualifiers of the following week in Canmore. 

I am reservedly optimistic. 

One step at a time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Expectalysis: The Ahh-nold arms edition

Some last minute arrangements have me saddling up the Fit for an epic road trip.  Tomorrow I am leaving Whistler to embark on a very important month of racing that will not see me back in the Weaseltown until January 7th or so (potentially - depending on injury status).

Tomorrow I am heading to Canmore, AB to tag along with the Yellowknife team for Alberta Cup #1, a crazy-competitive classic sprint with all of the top Canadian sprint contenders.  It is the same course that I had success on last year at the Western Canadians where I placed 2nd.  Because of the certainty of double poling the entire course, this is conceivably the only race this month that I will race relatively pain-free with my leg injury.  Everything is up in the air in terms of training, racing and travel schedule for this period.

The leg is actually feeling excellent right now and the past few days have been the best days in over a month.  I have been doing nothing to aggravate it, meaning constantly being in the pool slaying pull buoy, heroic core sessions, the odd upper body strength exercises, respiratory training and the occasional double pole ski workout at the stunning winter wonderland paradise that is the Callaghan Valley.  Giving it some solid time to heal.  And because of this I am riding on some decent upper body fitness.  I am also 4 lbs below my normal weight range; I think my legs are wasting away.

That hut is where I live.  NAAATTTTT - I wish.

It's go time.

(this one's for you, Dougie...)

Sometimes its about intimidation:

Thanks for reading, and you can find Saturday's results on zone4.