'Tis the Season - Race Season

Working on the double pole start. B final field

December 1 & 2 hosted NorAms 1 & 2 which means the racing season is underway! After much anticipation, preparation and perspiration I couldn't be happier that race season is here. Watching World Cup results roll in from the overseas representatives always gets me really excited to do some racing of my own.
Finishing stretch of quarter final

All season opening races are important, but this 2012/13 season had the extra motivation of World Cup spots on the line. Having been the top Canadian qualifier on Saturday in the skate sprint, it secured me a sprint start spot in the Quebec team sprint, sprint and Canmore sprint. Needless to say it was a huge relief that the first qualifier of the season went well. I usually have a healthy dose of skepticism in me before we start racing again. Silly mind tricks. By the time you start the season again, it's been so long since your last race and you really have had no opportunity to compare yourself to the majority of your competitors over the summer. Remembering to take plenty of deep breaths brought me back to the moment and reminded me of how much I genuinely enjoy racing. Even with the tactical errors I pulled in my semi, pushing me to the Bfinal, I am confident that I am going in right direction based on how my body felt and responded to racing again. Good things to come I just need to trust my training and fitness. I finished the day 7th overall.

Sunday's 10km Classic race took us around the World Cup 3.3km loop and what a track it is. I love skiing the courses in Canmore and felt really well prepared for today's race. I had a really hard time with my distance skiing last year, especially classic. I feel I trained harder this summer than I ever have and progressively saw the rewards of higher Z3 speeds and pushing that threshold farther and farther. I skied well for the first two laps of the 10km classic and although I faded big time on the last lap, I'm happy that I was able to put up a fight and grit the pain rather than have it all fall apart. A big improvement from last year! 9th Overall and a spot in next week's distance World Cups - allllright.

Start line of quarter final
A couple of days have passed since I first started this post which means I am in Quebec City at the moment preparing for the team sprint tomorrow! I'm paired up with Academy teammate Alysson Marshall and the race course couldn't be more fun and exciting than this. The organization and setup of this event is outstanding. I don't imagine it's very easy to pull of a city sprint but they make it look easy. The course is full of tight corners, a bridge feature and even a 30cm drop. Who knew cross country skiing could be so extreme? Probably no one but they're going to attempt to make it extreme anyways. I don't mind! Tomorrow will be all about keeping my feet under me and standing my ground. Good thing I have older siblings that taught me that from a young age.

City Sprint course in Old Quebec City. An amazing event so far - but we haven't even begun!
I will update with Quebec City photos and details once the racing gets going.