After a busy winter with the most travel I have ever done, my spring was also full of adventure. I have enjoyed every minute of the adventure but staying put in Canmore this past month has given me a much needed chance to come up for air and mentally reset for the upcoming camps and the season ahead. Amidst the travel I have neglected my blogging, so here is what I have been up to since the end of the World Cup season, brought to you on my lovely new website!!
At the end of last season I was completely exhausted, running on fumes at Nationals I had put my final once of energy into the last WC race of the season in Quebec City where somehow I managed to place a respectable 35th on time of day in the skate pursuit.
At Nationals skipped the 10km classic to save energy for the Classic Sprint. The Nationals Classic sprint was a race of mental perseverance for me. I’m pretty sure the only reason I made it to the final was because I wanted to secure the Buff Sprint NorAm title for the second consecutive year. Finishing second I was happy to be able to do that. I also started the 30km skate mass start at the end of the week. Although I stopped racing after 12km, I kept skiing and made it to the finish line. For me the highlights of Nationals this year weren’t the races, I think I would have enjoyed myself just as much if I hadn’t even put a bib on and my season had finished in Quebec City. The real highlights were watching so many juvenile girls take the start line, sharing stories and good times at the Fast and Female event and having the opportunity to present the juvenile aggregate awards. Having won the Sofie Manarin award (awarded to the Juvenile aggregate winners) myself back at my first Nationals in 2009, it brought back many great memories from the beginning of my racing career.
And so the venturing continued, as soon as Nationals were over, I was off again. In April I did of little tour of Canada visiting my family in eastern Canada and then heading up to Whitehorse to spend a few relaxing weeks with my parents and friends. Instead of flying back to Canmore at the end of April to restart training as usual, I boarded a flight to Europe for two weeks of immersion into Norwegian ski culture. My two weeks in Norway were a wonderful experience. It started with attending a sprint race, Bysprinten in Mosjoen, which was a weekend of sprinting down main street, randonee (ski touring), amazing people and good times. It was such a well organized yet relaxed atmosphere with so many people excited about skiing. I feel very lucky to have been invited to compete at Bysprinten and was happy to come away placing 4th against some very speedy women. Following the race I hopped over to Lillehammer and spent an absolutely perfect week with the Hakenstad Braten family, skiing at Sjusjoen and enjoying the beautiful town of Lillehammer. Shout out to my awesome tour guides, Marte and Annika!
My trip to Norway was followed by a short stint in Canmore before joining the rest of the National team for our first camp of the year in Mont Tremblant Quebec. A week of training with the team in Quebec then attending a Team Canada Olympic lab in Calgary got me super excited for the upcoming Olympic season and the year ahead!
With all the excitement of the spring it has been really nice to be back in one place for the past month. After getting a bit sick upon my return home and dealing with the normal frustrations you feel as an athlete when you aren’t working at 100%, things are now back to normal and I am taking full advantage of the awesomeness of my backyard. There are so many amazing places to train around the Bow Valley, it has been great to be able to take advantage of them and enjoy the beautiful summer evening we have been having. A full training block in Canmore has also given me the opportunity to focus more closely on my personal goals, spend more quality time in the weight room with my strength coach, focus on sprint speed work on a consistent basis and most importantly baking extravagant birthday cakes for my teammates Annika and Antoine on their birthdays and my Canmore mom, Kathy. From November to June I didn’t sleep in my own bed for more than 12 nights in a row, now that I have quadrupled that, I am starting to feel ready to hit the road again.
Birthday week in Canmore!
Next week I head to Revelstoke to finish the intensity block we are currently in, before a quick visit to Whitehorse to recharge. Then the women’s National team ventures to the southern hemisphere to find winter! Last year I had such an amazing time training at the Snow Farm in New Zealand, I can’t wait to head back.
My month and a bit in Canmore also gave me the chance to get caught up on my schoolwork and make a new and improved website (which you are current on)! I hope you like it and stay tuned for updates from New Zealand in the coming weeks.