Saturday, January 18, 2014

World Junior trials

I arrived in Canmore about two weeks ago for world junior trials. Even though I had already made the team from the NorAm races in December, trials have the exact same events as world juniors so they are good practice races for Val di Fiemme.

 My team and I stayed at the Rocky mountain lodge. The lodge itself is pretty nice but we had to fit 6 people into a 3 bedroom house with a tiny kitchen... it made things interesting. 

Photo creds to Graham Perry

We spent the first few days in Canmore enjoying the mountains, the warm weather and adjusting to the altitude (1400m).

With the girls

And the races began. I know that trials should of been a stress-free competition for me, but no matter what the circumstances are, I always seem to find a reason to be nervous. All week people would tell me that I had no reason to be stressed out, and I knew they were right. Why was I nervous?   I thought it through, and realised that I felt the need to prove that I had deserved the spot on the team. I had put pressure on myself to beat others. I am not saying this is a bad thing. I am a competitive person, it runs in the family! But before focusing on the outcome of a race, it is important to rethink about your goals. My goals for the 3 races had nothing to do with how I finished. These races were a perfect learning opportunity because I could work on things without having to worry about the outcome. I was happy with my results from the 3 races, taking home silver in the 5km, 1st in the sprint and 3rd in the pursuit. It was only after the first two races that I was able to settle down and focus on skiing well instead of just skiing fast. So what did I take away from trials? It is okay to be nervous, as long as you are able to put your focus at the right place.
Pushing hard

Sprint podium
While my team headed home, I stayed in canmore for an extra 3 days with the rest of the U23/Junior team to train before leaving to Europe.

After the wind storm is Canmore

To finish off, I would like to say good job to my sister Emilie who raced two very solid races after not racing for almost two years. If you have not already done so, go take a look at her blog:

I'm now in Seefeld Austria skiing and taking a lot of pictures, so expect an update soon!


Monday, January 13, 2014

October-December recap


In October, I flew out to Canmore, host of the earliest on snow skiing of the season in all of North America. Piles of snow are saved every year after the ski season and are then rolled out into a 2km loop called Frozen thunder. I was there for a training camp with the rest of the junior national team and the senior national development team. Thanks to the woman’s comity, we stayed in the beautiful Paintbox lodge (owned by Olympian Sara Renner and her husband) in downtown Canmore. The week was filled with many activities including cooking with the cook that will be going with the Canadian team to Sochi, a talk with the national team’s sport psychologist, a rollerski treadmill test with a physiologist and not to mention a very inspirational talk with one of my idols Clara Hughes.
Group picture of the woman's camp. (I am on the bottom left)


At the top top of silver star mountain with the team

First stop was Silver Star in British Columbia. This year was my 4th consecutive year going out to Silver Star. Before leaving, the snow conditions at home were decent, but we had only been skiing for about 5 days so we decided to take advantage of the on-snow skiing and focus on training instead of the races.  The only downside of this trip was the extreme cold. It was about -20 every day. The race on Saturday almost got cancelled but after being delayed a couple of hours, the race was on. I was really satisfied with my first weekend of racing with two podium finishes, first in the 10km skate and 3rd in the classic sprint.
Podium for the classic sprint

After Silver Star I was off to Rossland while the rest of my team headed home. I stayed with the Alberta world cup academy for the week. In Rossland it was warm, humid and very hilly, a combination that makes it difficult for wax technicians.  We raced on a mix of klister and hard wax which resulted in many face plants.  Although I managed to stay on my feet, I was a bit disappointed with my result (5th Junior) but was glad to take away gold in the skate sprint.

Good news! After those two weekends of racing out west I earned the pre-qualifying spot for world juniors in Italy!!