So it's August. To draw on the most overstated blogging fact, I've been meaning to update this for awhile!
Since we last spoke, there's been a good amount of roller skiing, running and biking. There's been some races raced, delicious summer picnics, cottage time and mountain hang outs.
The Academy/NST ladies have mainly been based out of Canmore this summer but we managed a great escape to train in Invermere last month. Generously supported by the Renner family!
I headed to Revelstoke after some time in Invermere to watch Brent and the Threelay take on the Trailstoke trail running race. I raced the mini version, 10km 5Peaks trail race the following day. As well as being a title sponsor of the 5Peaks running race and Trailstoke, Buff Canada sponsored my entry. Their support of cross country skiing and Canadian events across Canada never seizes to amaze me!
With my sister's upcoming wedding, my mom's friends organized a bridal shower themed 'Pretty in Pink' in Banff. I'm still new to this whole wedding thing, and wasn't too sure what to expect at a bridal shower. But it is literally that. Showering the bride in gifts! Plus some trivia about the groom and a whole lot of pink. The wedding is less than two weeks away and we are getting really excited to see Ange and Louis tie the knot at Lake Minniwanka in Banff on August 23rd.
Another summer highlight was biking to Lake Louise with my family. Spearheaded by my dad and his dream of riding his 1943 Swiss Army bike on a little 130km cruise. It's a single speed!
When the weather is nice, your body feels good and things are going well - training is easy! By the end of July I was really happy with the work I had put in to date, but I definitely needed some rest. I started working with sport psychologist Cal Botteril last fall when I was processing my concussion symptoms and needing to realign my perspective. He is just the guy to give you some comfort and confidence in order to trust the process that will get you back on track! Cal also 'cyber-introduced' me to Brittany Schussler, Canadian long track speed skater and multiple World Championship medalist in the team pursuit. Along with Megan Imrie, Canmore friend and 2x Olympic Canadian biathlete, Cal coined us the 'cyber trio'. All three of us had yet to qualify for Sochi and through a series of email exchanges and conversations, we shared our Olympic experiences. It was so inspiring to follow their season's and have personal recounts of how their qualification process and emotions played out and then to be able to join them in Sochi was really special.
This brings me to summer 2014, with a pending invitation from Cal to his cottage in Manitoba on West Hawk Lake. West Hawk is a short drive from Megan's home stomping grounds of Falcon Lake. I took Cal up on his offer and although Brittany wasn't able to join us, it was great to get to catch up with good friends and really relax in the warm weather. I often don't realize how tired I am until I slow down, so being able to truly unwind, enjoy good food (Home 204 Kitchen) and good friends felt amazing. Cal, along with Jason Brooks and Aman Hussain, has recently released a new book, Sustainable High Performance. The book features numerous case studies and lessons of sustainability and under-recovery. The book uses examples primarily from the medical field of professionals but also from high performance athletes, of how using efficient energy management and proper rest leads to improved and sustainable high performance. It's the difference between being obsessed versus possessed by your profession, being driven versus being drawn to your goals. The latter of each meaning that you are able to have efficiency and perspective for the process. Becoming more in tune with process goals versus the ultimate outcome. Results are what rank our performance in sport and are motivating goals. That's the whole reason we go after the gold medals! However, as I pursue bigger goals and results, the process can get lost and become forced. A 'have to' rather than 'want to' situation. By focusing on the process, I find the most success. I achieve the best mindset and results when I find this efficiency in my thoughts and energy. Cal has literally 'written the book' on these concepts and has definitely helped me understand just what flow and efficiency means and how it can help me ski faster. Thank you Cal and Doreen for hosting me at the cottage and of course the Imrie family who pretend my jokes are funny and let me eat from their garden.
I left Manitoba feeling rested, recharged and a couple shades darker. Not to mention well fed! I'm back to training in Canmore and the women's team heads up to get on to snow in just over a week's time on the Haig Glacier. I'm looking forward to putting some pavement practice to work on the real snow!