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!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Illness and skipping the 10 km skate

Sorry that it has been 3 days since my last post - I wasn't able to get on the internet at all yesterday. 

Unfortunately I had to skip the 10 km skate race on Tuesday. The few days before I had a sore throat and a bit of the sniffles. My resting heart rate was 75-85 bpm the days leading up to the race instead of my usual of around 50 bpm or just under. Usually it is not advisable to race when you are not healthy, but I have raced once before while having a weird sore throat and had a great race. This was at Canada Winter Games in 2011 in the 10 km skate. I was hoping I could repeat that performance on Tuesday despite not feeling 100% healthy. So I tried a usual warm-up. My zone 1 heart rate was really high while skiing to the race site on the Marcialonga trail. After struggling to ski at a zone 3 pace for 5 minutes in my warm-up, I knew that racing would do more damage than good. Racing while ill can jeopardize the rest of a season. So I turned around and headed home and watched the race on TV. That night the cold symptoms hit me full on and I have been pretty congested since.

I am hoping to suddenly feel better for tomorrow so that I can assess for Saturday's 30 km. At the moment I am pretty disappointed to come all the way over here to Italy to race for less than 4 minutes in a frustrating sprint preliminary round. Luckily, I was talking to a Swedish wax tech yesterday who mentioned that there is a race close to where I will be staying in Sweden during the holidays. My aim is to recover from the illness to get a good race under my belt before heading to Canmore for the NorAms in the new year. 

In the region where we are staying, a lot of food is grown closer to home, as shown in this garden plot in someone's yard. Even in the middle of downtown areas, there are garden plots squeezed into people's small yards. In general, while staying here in Italy I have been amazed at the different way of life compared to North Americans. In the area where we have been staying, people work for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the late afternoon, and that's it. Kids attend school for half days every day. It seems to be a leisure-based economy that is very family-time oriented (read my last post about Italians hitting the slopes midday, leaving towns eerily quite midday. Those who don't ski head home for an extended family lunch and rest). 

The quality of food here is also far, far better than in North Bay (probably better than the West Coast of Canada too). A lot of food is grown locally and naturally. Here is someone's backyard pen full of white front geese, ducks and chickens. 

Locally sourced energy: the primary source of heating in Val di Fiemme is from wood. Each building has a well-stocked firewood shed. 

Getting out for some fresh air with Harry Seaton, with the Tour de Ski's Alpe Cermis in the background. 

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