Spring time, really? Since my last post I’ve completed a week of racing at Nationals in Canmore as well as the Sun Valley minitour. It’s weird to think that I’ve finished off my last year of Junior racing but I’m so excited to join the rest of the fish in the big sea as a U23 racer next season! Here’s a quick recap of the past couple weeks.
But first! A big ‘thank-you’ to the staff at Shades on Caribou for hooking me up, check them out here http://www.shadesoncaribou.com/
The Canadian National Championships were on home turf this year which meant it was great that we didn’t have to travel, but that lack of travel time = no time for blog update. Whoops! Here’s a quick summary of my not so nash-tastic week (March 13-19)
I was feeling great for the first lap of the 5km Skate race… but not so much in the last 2.5km. I finished 22nd overall and 8th Junior. Big shout-out to EmNish (winning first Open Canadian Champs medal) and Annika (won Junior category and 3rd Open!!). I hit up some Zumba dancing in the afternoon with the Fast and Female crew, check out the event photos here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrSETibpI8E
Canmore’s weather was far from typical for the 10km Classic Individual and there were few, if any, who had consistently good kick around the whole loop. Today, I hurt, real bad. I ended 50th overall and 22nd Junior. Eeeek! Learn and move on.
My last nationals as a Junior racer wasn’t what I wanted but there are always lessons to be learned and teammates to be inspired by on my down days.
After Nationals and a wicked banquet (photobooth pics here https://picasaweb.google.com/116437229458729469984/2011SkiNationalsBanquetPhotoBooth#) I chilled out in Canmore to rest up as best I could before travelling down to Sun Valley, Idaho for MiniTour.
The 2.8km prologue kicked off this MiniTour and what a difficult distance that is, short enough that you have to hammer, but not long enough to get into a distance rhythm. I finished the day off 28th overall and 3rd Junior, not a bad start to the week.
Women's Junior podium. Myself, Jessie Diggins and Annie Pokorny
I would love to pretend that the next race never even happened, but the following day I suited up for the 10km classic race. Each lap of the 3.3km course demanded more and more from my empty tank and turned my body into ‘cinder block’ mode. I ended the day 66th overall and 12th in my age category. Moving on.
10km Classic day Credit: Dan Roycroft
Relaxing creek side Credit:EmNish
Day off! Yahoo, tested some classic skis at the Lake Creek race venue and primed for tomorrow’s sprint day.
Sprint day in the SV. The qualifier went ‘just ok’, I had commitment issues with my kick on the main climb of the course, which meant I had to get out of the track and lose some time. Once the sun rose over the mountains in Sun Valley, it was game over for the hard classic track. The track had taken on more of a mushy form with water log in the bottom of it by the time of my quarter-final. I counted on my hairy skis to get the job done. I ended the day 24th overall, 5th Junior.
Qualifier in SV Credit: Dan Roycroft
Oh the hill climb. One of those surreal races where you think ‘there is no way they’re actually going to make us do that’. But climb that hill we did. The Sun Valley alpine resort opened up their pistes so this hard core racing crowd could race UP what they live to come DOWN. The course wandered around the bottom section of the course before leading us up the steepest section. When I rounded the corner of what I thought was the toughest part of the course, I was feeling pretty good. Little did I know that the course had a lot more to throw at me! Every meter of the top section of the course seemed to last for ages and I had already hit the wall. Thank god for my teammates at the top of the hill yelling at me to pull it together. In my mind, their cheering resembled the enthusiasm found in a finishing stretch. However, I STILL wasn’t quite there but the very instant I did find the finish line I collapsed. It was a good way to end the season and Junior racing career because it demanded everything from me from start to finish.
Skiing down after the race, this is the steepest section. The photo really doesn't do it justice!
The finish line Credit: Dan Roycroft
The blistering Sun Valley rays made for some awesome spring series races as well as plenty of hilarious ‘delissio’ sunburns. It was an awesome experience all round. I’m heading down to California for some music and sun but I’m already anticipating one of my favourite ski camps, spring skiing in Silver Star!
A HUGE thank-you to all my family, friends, teammates, coaches and sponsors for your support! Much love.