All pics from Jesse Winter (www.jessewinterphotography.com)
After a disappointing sprint qualifier in Canmore last Saturday at Alberta Cup #1, where I placed 12th, I regrouped and had a career best 10th place (3rd Canadian senior) qualifier at the Sovereign Lake NorAm sprint the following Saturday (Dec. 10th - results).
Transitioning from chicken-run to double pole in Saturday's classic prelim.
No doubt, going from a 12th place finish in a lower-key western Canadian race in a race that I normally excel at, to placing 10th at the premier North American race circuit, in an event I normally struggle at, in less than a week, is no small feat.
In AB Cup, where a number of variables negatively affected my performance, I made sure to control these same variables for the next weekend.
Leading up to the first NorAm, I made sure I had proper preparation by:
- rising early all week to be prepared for the early race day wake up call (and being asleep at 9:00 the night before)
- spending an extra few days at altitude in Silver Star to acclimatize to the elevation (Thanks to the Sellars)
- going back to basics by writing out a detailed race plan (complete with a new breathing strategy that helped a lot)
- completing key training sessions and feel-good sessions on course
Having everything come together on race day, it is nice to see it produce a good result. However, being 8 seconds out of the top spot in Canada, there is a lot of work to be done. World Cup qualifying rounds are pretty much never 8 seconds for top-30.
Heats didn't go quite as well as the qualifier. I think more aggression is needed next time.
I am now in Rossland, BC, for the second stop on the NorAm circuit, and a skate-ski-only weekend, with a sprint and 15 km mass start. Having a few weeks of break from racing after this weekend, I am even planning on racing both Saturday and Sunday.
Enough blogging, it's time to dust off the old skate equipment and dial in Saturday's course.