Monday, September 24, 2012

What are you doing on Oct 16th?

If you are in the Ottawa area you should come to the Britannia Yacht Club!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Five Months Nine Photos

The last five months in nine pictures. So many great things have been happening on all fronts that it was hard to narrow it down to just these photos, but here’s a tiny bit of what I’ve been up to since April:
We kicked the training year off with yet another training camp in Bend, Oregon. Great skiing, great food, great to be back with the team, and great tandem riding by Lenny, Devon and Joel.
The second annual NAWTA (North American Women’s Training Alliance) camp happened in Alaska. It was awesome last year, but this year it was even better with the addition of our entire Canadian women’s team, Finnish superstar Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, and a Michael Franti concert on the Summer Solstice we all came back home tired but really really happy.
Then Joel and I got married. It was really fun. We highly recommend it.
Seriously though, it was awesome.
I got out for a totally amazing mountain run at Lake O’Hara with my totally amazing friend Mallory.
We did a camp in Whitefish, Montana with the Alberta World Cup Academy, had some really productive training sessions, but also painted pottery! It was pretty much the best day ever for this crew- nothing could break the extreme focus at the crafting table.
We got a new treadmill in Canmore! It’s really cool, and will allow us to some really cool training sessions.
We’ve spent some serious time together as a women’s team this year, be prepared to be amazed by this group of ladies this Winter!
Because we mean business, and so does our coach- don’t mess with a guy in a pink jacket. That’s it, for let’s be honest- probably another few months. Nine photos, five months of sweet training, and a bit of other stuff. Thanks to Chandra, Charlotte, Noel, Matt and Mal for documenting things. Photos are always better when I don’t take them!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It’s that time of year again!
Spring! The end of the season when we all take some time and reflect on the season past, and think about the season ahead.
It was a great season for me, as always it had it’s ups and downs, but the ups were better than ever, so I have to consider the 2011-2012 season a success.
Now it’s April and time to do things I don’t get to do all year. I had a great visit with Crawford and Company Canada Inc, my title sponsor. They are the most supportive group of people, and I’m so grateful to have them on board.

I also made it to my cousins wedding, and had a great day seeing family I haven’t seen in far too long.
Spring is also time for adventuring on skis of all kinds, and on foot. The month is only half over, and so far it’s been a blast, but I know in a few weeks I’ll be chomping at the bit to get back to normal training.
But for now I must get back to adventuring...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Seiser Alm(azing)!

Well it isn’t officially Spring yet, but it sure feels like it here in Seiser Alm, Italy where we have been hanging out for the last ten day basking in the sun beneath the jagged Dolomites. The skiing has been exquisite, as has the food, and company.

At around 11am everyone pulls out a chair and soaks up some rays! Photo:Scott Yount

Our hotel is located at the end of a road that crosses no less than six alpine ski runs, which has made for some interesting afternoons, provided some entertainment, and a few frustrations (mostly for the drivers).

Joel is the chain expert, we were lucky he was with us this week! Photo:Alysson Marshall

The skiing is hands down some of the best I’ve ever experienced, which I think is saying something. As someone who spends the Winter and a good part of the Summer bouncing from one nordic ski destination to the next I’ve skied in some pretty amazing places, but I’ve never fallen out of the track as many times from looking at the surrounding scenery as I have this week. Not to mention the fact that it’s been above zero and sunny almost every day…

Not too Shabby. Photo:Alysson Marshall

Ok, I’ll stop gloating about how fantastic things are here, and in a few days when I’m in Lahti, Finland struggling to spot sunlight I will be even more grateful that we were able to spend ten days here topping up the vitamin D levels.

Back to racing, I only have two weekends left of World Cup racing! This year has gone by faster than I could have ever imagined. It won’t be long before we are all in Quebec, racing of our respective clubs and provinces, and eating maple syrup! I can’t wait!

Louis our fearless leader out for a ski! Photo:Scott Yount

Friday, January 27, 2012

Milan: cross country ski racing meets couture

I realize it’s been it’s ben approximately 75 days since my last blog post, and that is an absurdly long time. Truthfully, I have very few excuses other than I’ve been on the road for a long time, and sometimes the internet is hard to come by. But now we are in Ramsau, Austria, and I have a break from racing, and a decent internet connection, so I’ll take a few minutes and fill you in on what’s been happening!

Briefly I should recap the pre-Christmas period - for me personally, it was largely unremarkable. I had one top 30 result in Davos, Switzerland, and then promptly got sick the next weekend in Rogla, so I headed home to Canmore for Christmas wanting more. Christmas was a nice break from World Cup life, but I was chomping at the bit to get back on the start line and turn things around.

The first World Cup weekend for me following Christmas was the City Sprint in Milan, and it turned into a pretty good weekend! Saturday I qualified in the top 30, and advanced into the semi-final, finishing 12th on the pancake flat 600m loop that we zipped around twice before barreling towards the finish line. I learned lots on Saturday, and was excited to put that to good use on Sunday when Chandra and I teamed up for the Sprint-relay.

Here I must point out that sprint relays are probably my absolute favourite event. They are unbelievably hard, since you only get to rest while your partner is on course, and then you have to go again, but I love the format along with the excitement in the pit between legs more than anything. This I believe is at least partly due to the hundreds of relays I did at Nakkertok in my earlier years on Wednesday nights under the lights. If there is ever a World Cup on super narrow winding trails in the dark, I will be ready.

That being said, Chandra and I knew that this was going to be a chaotic day. We needed more than anything to stay out of trouble. In our semifinal we had the absolute best tag-off spot, and were making up positions each lap. I got in a bit of a bind, and almost ended our day early by crashing on one of my first few laps when my ski got stuck in the wrong spot (underneath someone else’s ski) and I ended up on my rear end. Luckily I was able to right myself pretty quickly, relax, and put my head down and catch the rest of the group before tagging off to Chandra who took care of it from there.

We squeaked through to the final as the only lucky loser team coming from our semi-final. New rules in the team sprint now take the first 2 teams in each heat, plus the next 4 fastest times. Our heat was the first semi, therefore we had no idea that the next one would ski much faster than we did!

In the final our strategy was much the same, we crossed our fingers that no one had noticed our amazing tag spot and tried to snag it from us, and agreed that we just needed to stay out of trouble and in a good position so that Chandra could make a move on the finishing stretch. Luckily all of these things happened. We used the same spot to tag, making up spots in the exchange zone, and staying out of trouble at the same time. We were hyper aware of our surroundings at all times. On my first lap (right off the start) there were poles breaking left right and center, at on point there was one flying through the air towards me, so staying relaxed and able to react to whatever came our way certainly helped us. The other thing that helped us was Chandra’s super fast sprint at the end of the last lap which took us to the podium behind the Swedes and our Americain friends Kikkan and Jesse!

It was an awesome day all round, and a great weekend to kick off 2012 on the World Cup, and get my first World Cup Podium.

We are now in Ramsau for a little camp before we head off to Moscow for our next City Sprint!

Special thanks to Scott, and Nordic Focus for the photos! I’ll aim to get the next blog post up in 74 days or less.