Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The title says it all, the biggest news from the Sovereign Lake NorAm/Olympic qualifier, my teammate/friend/landlord is going to the Olympics in a couple months!!! I don't think I have ever been happier for someone else, or heck, even myself, as I was when I found out that Gord had qualified for the 2010 Olympics on Saturday in the Men's 15km Skate individual start race. So, Congratulations Gord!! You're my hero, and good luck representing our nation on the trails of Callaghan Valley! It's safe to say we will now be very well represented in these games.

So, in other news (now making my races far less interesting), I also competed in the same races as Gord this past weekend, these being the 15km skate race on Saturday, and the 1.1km skate sprints on Sunday. Finishing about 5 or 6 minutes behind Gord, I managed to get myself an 18th place finish in my category of Junior Male. While I was hoping for a top 15 result, I am fairly happy with my race, and it ended up being very tight. Over the 15km of racing, I was only 4 or 5 seconds out of the top 15, and less than 1 minute out of the top 5. So all in all, not a bad day of racing.

Sunday brought with it the skate sprints, which I had been looking forward to for quite some time, with this being my first skate sprint since Nationals in 2008 (almost 2 years). So not having competed against this field in a couple of years, I wasn't too sure what to expect. Despite a slow tempo in the first half of my qualifier, I managed to pick it up and qualify for the heats in 22nd place. This put me into a quarterfinal with myself, and the 5 other guys from the Quebec ski team. I raced my quarterfinal exactly according to plan up until the last hundred metres. With the top 2 advancing to the next round, I was in a very highly contested battle for 2nd, but unfortunately came up about 0.3 seconds short, so I did not advance.

I am now back in Canmore for today, then I am off to Calgary tonight, then flying home for a 2 week Christmas visit tomorrow morning.

That's all for now, and once again, CONGRATULATIONS GORD!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alberta Cup Races

My first two races of the season are now in the books, having the Alberta Cups 1 and 2 this past weekend here in Canmore. They started off on Saturday with classic sprints, which did not go quite as I had hoped. I ended up leaving too much time between my warm up and the start of my qualifier, so by the time it was my turn to go the effects of my warm up had worn off quite a bit. So that was a good lesson learned. And then in heats in the afternoon, as there were only 3 of us in my semi final, we all advanced to the A final. This final started out very well, but I did not ski it as intelligently as I know I should have. I sprinted up to the top of the course in a comfortable 2nd place, but as we all came down the hill to the finish I learned a nasty lesson in drafting. So while it wasn't a great day for me, I learned some good lessons that I will be able to take into my upcoming races.

Sunday brought with it some very cold temperatures, so in the morning it was unclear whether or not the races would still take place or not. However, at 9:30am after delaying the races by 1 hour already, the race organizers decided that it was not cold enough to cancel the races, so I got to compete in my first distance race in the Open men category. It was a 4 lap race of 2km (8km race) and it was a skate mass start. This race was a huge improvement from Saturday's sprints. I felt great for the whole time, and I managed to finish 1.5 seconds behind the leader of Junior Men, and I ended up 10th in Open Men. Great day of racing!

Tomorrow morning I will be heading to Silver Star BC with the team for a week of training and then the first NorAm (North American) races of the year next weekend. With a 15km skate interval start and 1.1 km skate sprints, it should be another great weekend of racing!

Happy skiing!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I have just realized that it has been almost 2 weeks now with no blog post, so I figured something should be done about that. While I have not any travelling since my last trip to Lake Louise, these past two weeks have consisted of some great training here in Canmore. About a week and a half ago, we had our first Time Trial with the team at the Nordic Centre. It was an 8 lap skate race, which I believe ended up being somewhere between 9 and 10 km. This was a pretty good time trial for me, I started out a little bit slower than I probably should have, as I was trying to conserve my energy a bit too much. After about 4 laps though, Jess, one of the older guys on the team, caught me and I managed to match his speed and stay with him for the rest of the time trial. So that made me feel pretty good about how I am skiing right now.

And yesterday we had another time trial, except this time it was the U23 athletes from our team, as well as members of the Banff Ski Runners, Canmore Nordic, and Foothills ski clubs who took part in this time trial. It was a 9.2km classic race and it took place up at Mt. Shark, which is about a 40 minute drive from Canmore. Unfortunately, I did not have the results I was hoping for in this time trial. I learned after the race that I did not prep my skis quite the way I should have, and this little mistake ended up costing me my grip for the last 3 laps of the 4 lap race. But despite that, for the one lap that I did have good grip, I felt very good and strong on my skis, so I am still happy with how I am feeling leading up to race season (for those who don't know what I am talking about when I say "grip" on my skis, in classic skiing you need to have grip wax on the part of the ski right under your foot so that you can run up the hills without slipping backwards).

So with the time trials in the books, I am now looking on to next weekend when my first races of the year will take place. These will be a classic sprint on Saturday, and a 9.3km skate mass start on Sunday, both taking place at the Canmore Nordic Centre. From what I hear, the competition should be fierce, so I am really looking forward to it. And the Tuesday following that weekend, the team will be off to Silver Star BC for another week of skiing and racing, then I'll spend two weeks at home in Ontario for Christmas, then off to Quebec for one week for World Junior Trials! Time is about to start flying!

Happy Skiing Everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lake Louise Camp # 2

Last Thursday the team decided that with all of the great snow that is now in Lake Louise, we would go there for a small camp from Saturday through until Monday. We left Canmore Saturday morning around 11am, and arrived at Moraine Lake Road in Lake Louise around noon for our first workout. It was a very good intensity workout, as the conditions were great, it was my first classic skiing intensity session of the year, and to top it all off, I felt fast that day :).

The rest of the weekend was spent doing longer slower workouts, during which I got to test my new skis. This was definately one of the highlights of the weekend, as I have been looking forward to the arrival of these new skis since the end of last season, and they did not disappoint. After about 15 seconds on my new classic skis, I knew immediately that they were perfect for me, so that was a great feeling. It also made me feel pretty good when I tested my new skate skis against my fastest pair from last year, and the new ones were faster. Even more reason why I can't wait for race season! 19 days until the first race!!!

Another highlight from the weekend, while it wasn't quite as productive or beneficial to my training, it was incredibly delicious :). The Lake Louise Inn (where we stayed for both this camp and the previous one) has a restaurant that offers an amazing buffet every Sunday night. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it. While I am actually still slightly full from my meal (24 hours later), the food was absolutely amazing, and I made sure that I got at least 4 times my money's worth. So while I may have been dangerously full, it was another successful "all you can eat" buffet experience.

Great skis, great skiing, great food, what more could I ask for in a weekend? It was an awesome time, and here are a few more pictures from my time in Lake Louise.

Take care everyone!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lake Louise Pictures

This morning a few of us made the trip back to Lake Louise for another great 3 hour classic ski. Once again, the conditions were incredible and there was even more snow than just a few days ago. While it wasn't a great day for pictures, with batteries dying and the cameras not cooperating and such, we did manage to get a couple pictures and videos. The sprint video is quite short, but it was fun at the time. It sounds like this won't be the last time we ski in Lake Louise, so I will keep adding more pictures to this album as I get them. Enjoy!
Lake Louise skiing

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Great snow in Lake Louise!

I am very happy to say that by today, November 5, I have already been skiing on snow for 3 weeks here in Canmore. Being from Ontario, I can't say that I have ever been quite this privileged. This morning however, I traveled with my team to Lake Louise for my first bit of good classic skiing. It was also my first time skiing in Lake Louise, so that in itself was pretty cool. Being the occasionally forgetful person that I am, I did not bring my camera along for the trip, so I unfortunately cannot share the experience by means of photos.

We skied on Moraine Lake road, which is pretty much a long uphill road up the side of a mountain. There were two very cool things about skiing at this location. First, it is a well paved road in the summer, but they close it down as soon as they get snow and it gets groomed for both classic and skate. And second, only about 1 month ago I was rollerskiing on this same stretch of road doing intensity. I thought that was pretty cool.

And to top it all off, it was a beautiful day in Lake Louise, and absolutely perfect classic skiing conditions. Being about -3 degrees, it was not difficult to find a grip wax that would work, so it was smooth skiing all the way up, and then loads of fun coming screaming back down (Bob's heartrate monitor had us clocked at a little over 50km/h on the descent).

By the sounds of things, I might get a chance to go back to Lake Louise on Sunday for another ski, so if that is the case, I will be sure to bring my camera. Hopefully conditions will be just as good as today.

That's all for now, cheers!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Inspirational/Motivational Video

This afternoon I had a bit of down time, during which I found this awesome video on Youtube. I highly recommend watching this video to anyone who is looking for some motivation to get something done, and especially to any athletes who are looking to either get psyched up before a big race/game, or for the motivation to just get up and go train. When I found this video I must have listened to it 5 times, it's definately going on the ipod.

Hope it has as great an effect on you as it did on me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Testing and Snow in Canmore!

Last week was the team's fall testing week where we do some of the same tests that we did in the spring in order to see how far we have come with our training over the summer. So last Wednesday I went in to Calgary to the sports lab and had my VO2 max tested again to see if I am any fitter than I was 3 months ago. A VO2 max test, for anyone who has no idea what that means, is a test to see how efficient you are at using the oxygen that you inhale while you are exercising. So in order to test that, I was put on a treadmill and had to breath through a tube which measured the amount of unused oxygen that I was exhaling. They had me run at a speed which increased by 0.5 miles/hour every 3 minutes until I reached my anaerobic threshold (the point where lactate begins accumulating in the blood), and then I ran at 9.5 miles/hour with an incline that increased by 3 % every minute until I could no longer run. I ended up running until 15 seconds into the 13% incline, which was better than my 10% from last time. I also learned that I have gained a little over 3 lbs in muscle over the summer, so that made me feel pretty good.

Normally our 2 other tests that we would do would be a double pole test and an uphill time trial (both on rollerskis), but thanks to the snow that we received last week and the week before, we could not do those tests as the roads are no longer all that safe (what with all the gravel that was put down). So instead, we did a 7.5km uphill running time trial. It wasn't the greatest time trial for me, but it could have been worse. Looking back I really should have ran the course the day before or something, because I did not know that the last 3 km's were the steepest part of the course. So as a result, I bonked pretty hard around the 4 or 5 km point. But the first 3 or 4 km were pretty good :).

And the big exciting news, as previously mentioned, we have snow in Canmore! While all of the natural snow is now gone, it did get cold enough a couple weeks ago for the Nordic Centre to make some snow, so there is still a short loop for us to ski on. Being from Ontario, never before have I been to say that my first on-snow ski of the season on October 14th, so I am thrilled about that.

So ya, that's about all the excitement from the past week. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Visit to My Home in Ontario!

Last Sunday, Oct. 4th, I travelled home to Ontario and arrived at Pearson airport just before midnight. My lovely parents and beautiful girlfriend were waiting for me to pick me up and bring me home, and what a great thing it was to see them all again. It was an amazing week of getting to spend lots of time with Jacquelyn, getting to be with my family again, seeing some old friends, and of course, eating delicious meals all week. Mmmm.... Home cooked meals... :)

I also got to play a good amount of volleyball over the course of the week, which was a very nice added bonus. The Turkey Tourny (PSS's annual Thanksgiving vollleyball tournament) did not disappoint, as it was a great morning of volleyball with lots of old friends. And another added bonus, I didn't lose this year!

The Thanksgiving weekend was lots of fun, I got to meet a good portion of Jacquelyn's family on Saturday night for the first time, and then Sunday I got meet some parts of my own family that I had never met before, so that was pretty cool. Then after that we went back to my grandparents place for another Thanksgiving dinner with just my immediate family, who it was great to see again. Might have eaten a bit too much that night, but it was Thanksgiving, so it was worth it.

With my flight back to Canmore being at 7am the next morning, we needed to leave my house by 4am in order to get there on time (so side note, huge thanks to my parents for getting me there, as well as to Jacquelyn for gracing me with her presence for a few more hours). My flight back was a good one, I didn't have anyone sitting next to me so it was easy to get some much needed sleep.

So, all in all, a fantastic week returning to Ontario and spending quality time with family and friends. Now I am back in Canmore and about to resume my usual working and training schedule, and looking forward to this next week of what should be a great week of testing!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lake Louise Camp, Moving Day, First Snowfall and Calgary Running Race, What a week!

In all the excitement of this past week, it's been tough to keep up with my blog, so here's a an update of what an awesome week it has been!

It started off last Sunday morning when the Juniors and U23's of the team jumped on our road bikes and rode from here in Canmore to Lake Louise. A little over 80 kms and 3 hours later, we arrived in Lake Louise and got settled in to what would be our new homes for the next 4 days. That afternoon we had another 2 hour workout, and then went out to a great all you can eat buffet, which was a great way to wrap up Day 1 of our camp. The rest of the camp went by in a similar manner, the notable workouts being the 28 km 4.5 hour run (it was only supposed to be 3, but it took a little longer than expected), and the intensity workout (5 x 8 minutes) was also another very fun training session. Thursday morning we got up, packed and cleaned our rooms, then rollerskied for 2 hours towards Canmore, and then switched to our bikes and rode the rest of the way. We arrived back in Canmore around 2:30pm Thursday afternoon, and after getting all of our gear back to our place, Bob and I pretty much just crashed as we were incredibly exhausted.

The next day, we woke up, packed all of our belongings, cleaned our house from top to bottom, then moved into our new place in town! We have been looking for the past couple months for a place to live in town, as living up in CODA (where we were living) through the winter really would not have worked for us with the freezing cold temperatures and such. So despite the fact that I am currently looking for something to sleep on other than my nicely carpeted floor, this place is very nice, and the location couldn't be better. I am now only a 10 minute walk from my work, and 15 minute walk from the grocery store! Very happy about that. And I have teammates living below me (also my landlords), next door and across the street, so I'm pretty excited about that too.

When I woke up this morning, I realized just how perfect the timing was for our move. When I looked out the window, the mountains were (and still are) covered in snow, and it has been snowing all day here in Canmore. And it was also snowing for most of the day in Calgary, where I had my first race in a long time. It was said to be a 8km running race, but I believe it was more like 6.5km. Despite having to run through a river twice, it was a very good race, and I am very happy about my outcome. My legs weren't a huge fan of having run through water when it was already only around 3 degrees, but they seemed to get me to the finish line in a timely manner, so it was a good race.

Tonight I have managed to find myself at least a pillow, and I have some leads about some mattresses, so I'm hoping to get one of those for tonight as well. Tomorrow morning I will be doing some trail work at the Nordic Centre, and then I will be off to the Calgary airport, and then I should be back in Toronto by midnight (Ontario time) tomorrow night!

So seeing as I have just moved into a new place, my address is no longer 11 Spray Village. So that being said, if anyone would like my new address, please feel free to send me an email and I will get back to you ASAP.

Here are some pictures of my new place, in case you are interested.
That's all for now, and if you're currently in Penetanguishene ON, I will see you in a few days!


Friday, September 25, 2009


While I haven't gone on any trips or adventures since my Ha Ling climb a few weeks ago, these past couple weeks have still brought some excitement with them. Firstly, as of a couple weeks ago I am now good and healthy again, and back to training full time, which I am very happy about. I had a 4 hour rollerski the other day and it was lots of fun. I skied most of it with my teammates Joey, Terrell, Bob and Lucas, and we explored some of the trails in Canmore that I have never seen before, so that was quite fun. And we located a playground which I intend on revisiting before the snow arrives, as it looked like a very enjoyable playground :).

And the big news of these past couple weeks would be that my roommate Bob and I have finally found a new place to live in town! So we will be moving into a 2 bedroom second floor apartment on Oct. 2nd, and we are thrilled. No more biking up mountains with groceries!! It also means that I will be no more than a 10 minute walk from my work, and probably about a 15 minute walk from the grocery store. Big thanks to Gord and Rhonda Jewett for offering this place to us, as it was beginning to look like we might be spending the winter in CODA!

In other news, I will be headed to Lake Louise this Sunday to begin my next training camp with the team. While this camp is a shorter one, only lasting 5 days, assuming my training plan doesn't change, I will be completing almost 22 hours of training in those 5 days, so I am very excited about it. And the cool thing about this camp is that we will not be driving to or from Lake Louise. Instead, we will be training. So on Sunday, we will get up in the morning here in Canmore, jump on our road bikes and ride to Lake Louise (we plan on it taking 3 hours). And then we'll have a little break, and then do a 2 hour rollerski in the afternoon once we are there. So 5 hours in day 1, always a great start to a training camp!

After this camp, I will arrive back in Canmore sometime Thursday afternoon, and then all day Friday will be spent moving into our new place, as well as packing what I need for my trip home. And the next day, the team is doing a running race in Calgary, so while I know I will be completely exhausted, I am still very excited about that. Then Saturday night it looks like both Bob and I will stay in Calgary, and then I'll be flying home on that Sunday night. It's going to be a very busy week! And I can't wait!

That's all for now! Cheers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ha Ling Descent video is finally up!!!

After lots of trying and failing to get our video up somewhere online for everyone to see, Bob has finally managed to load it on youtube! Follow this link to check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m86zXusj5qk

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Canmore Map

So it was brought to my attention that the last picture from my Ha Ling Climb album doesn't make a lot of sense without a bit of legend, so here it is...

Red arrow - Safeway, where I do all my grocery shopping
Blue arrow - Black Rock, my work
Brown arrow - Canmore Nordic Centre
Green arrow - My house

And that is my map of Canmore. I figured this would help everyone get a feel for where I live (although it all looks flat, so that part's a little deceiving).

Ha Ling Climb

So as I mentioned in my last post, yesterday morning Bob and I decided to go for a hike up the Mountain in front of my house called Ha Ling. We weren't really sure what to expect, as we had never been up there before, but we knew it was going to be quite the adventure. And it did not disappoint.

We left the house around 7:45am to begin the hike to up to the start of the trail which we were told led straight to the top. After probably a little under an hour, we broke out of the tree line after doing switchback after switchback, and we could see the top (it was still very far away, but we could see it). And as much fun as walking up a cleared trail was, we figured it would be way more exciting to make our own trail and just hike straight up instead of winding our way on the trail. And with the combination of the loose rocks and incredible steepness, it was quite the adrenaline rush to say the least.

After about 30 minutes of climbing through the loose rocks on our hands and feet, we reached the top. It was so sudden, neither of us could believe it. I just walked up to a big rock and peeked over to see what I thought would be a flat surface before the cliff. But to my surprise, that rock was actually the start of the cliff. I can't begin to describe how beautiful and "unreal" if you will, the view is from up there. I was firing pictures left, right and centre, trying to get as many as I could to hopefully help everyone reading this to get a feel for just how incredible it was. From the top we could see all of Canmore just sitting right in front of us, to our left we could see the snow covered mountains on the other side of Banff, and if we looked towards Calgary, we could actually see some of the towers from the city. Being 110km away, that was truly spectacular.

After taking pretty much all the pictures we could from Ha Ling, we decided it was still early enough that we had time to hike back down a little bit and then back up the peak next to it. I'm not sure what this one is called, but it was very cool, and definately tested my fear of heights (I won't get into details). So we sat down at the top of that one and ate lunch, then began our journey back down the mountain. We definately had some fun with this, taking videos of ourselves attempting to run as fast as we could down the mountain, while still being in control of course. Bob has those videos, and we're currently working on editting them and they should be up on our facebook pages in the next few days.

So that was our Ha Ling climb experience in a nutshell, another one of Bob and Jordan's great adventures. I have put most of my pictures up in a new album on picasa, so if you're interested feel free to follow the link below. Take care everyone!

Ha Ling Hike

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

27 Days!

I couldn't think of a title for this one, as it is just an update of the past week. The 27 days is in reference to the number of days before I come home for my Thanksgiving visit, which I am very excited about.

So anyway, this past week has definately had it's ups and downs. It started off last Monday when I woke up and realized that I was sick. It's just a cold, but it has still prohibited me from training all week, which was very upsetting. However, looking on the bright side, it allowed me to take some time to relax a little bit early in the week, and it also allowed me to work 40 hours in 6 days. While this might not have been a big help to my sickness, it means a nice pay cheque :) . And it also took my mind off the fact that I was sick, so that was a little extra bonus. And I seem to be getting better, slowly but surely, as now my only real symptoms are congestion and my senses of taste and smell are coming and going. And my energy levels seem to be getting back to normal, so I plan on doing my first bit of training tonight, that being an easy strength workout. So we'll see how that goes.

While being sick was the definate down side to last week, Jeremy, a good friend from back home, spent all last week driving across the country to go to his new school. And with Canmore being right on the way, he was able to stop in for a little visit on Sunday to recharge before starting the last long drive to his new school. Jeremy showed up at my house around 9:30am on Sunday morning, and unfortunately I had to work 10am-5pm, but he managed to keep himself occupied for the day by going for what was, by the sounds of things, quite the hike. So Sunday night we kind of just roamed around town looking for something to do, and after spending a bit of time at the HOE (Canmore Hotel) playing pool and waiting for the band to start, we decided to just come back to my place and go to bed, as we were all pretty tired. Jeremy left the next morning around 9am to finish off his long journey to BC.

I don't know if it was just the fact that he brought me some of my own stuff from back home (just kidding), but despite the fact that we didn't do anything overly exciting, it was really good to see him again (more so than I thought it would be that is). I got to hear all about the adventures that he had had over the past week with all of his travels, and I don't know, I guess just the fact that we both new what the other was going through/had gone through with leaving home for the first time and going to a new place... I have no idea, kinda just making stuff up now, but I had a great time hanging out with him again and look forward to his return in a couple weeks. All the best in BC Jeremy!!!

So, that's about all that really happened last week. Got sick, worked a lot, saw Jeremy, getting better now... yep I think that's it. Bob (my roommate) and I are planning to hike up to the top of the mountain in front of my house on Friday, so if that actually works out I should hopefully get some good shots of the whole area and I'll post them when we get back down. That's all for now, thanks for reading!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sam Came to Visit! And She Brought Puppies!

The past three days finally brought some real excitement to our house. My sister, Sam, graced us with her presence along with her boyfriend, Marc-Andre, and they're friend Richard. The three of them spent their summer way up north working in Inuvik, NWT, and they are on their way home to Ontario. And while it was great to see them all again, it was also a huge bonus to get to meet their 9 week old Husky puppies. They. Are. Adorable.

So during their stay, we obviously spent lots of time with the puppies, playing with them, cleaning up after them, watching them burn out and crash into things thanks to my incredibly slippery floors, but we also explored the town and went to places and did things that I haven't even done here yet. On Thursday night we went to the Canmore Hotel and got to see the "Dreadkneaughts" play. It was really cool, they are a celtic punk band from Vancouver with lots of energy, so it was really fun to watch.

We also hiked up to the Grassi Lakes rock climbing area to show them just how beautiful it is up there, and while the puppies did seem to enjoy themselves on that long journey for them, they were pretty pooped by the time we started walking back down. And Richard, Marc-Andre and myself went for a little dip in one of the lakes up there, despite a long period of time spent standing at the side waiting to see who would have the guts to dive in first. This water was easily the coldest water I have ever found myself in, so I was very proud of myself for being the first one to take the plunge.

The three of them departed from my house sometime between 7am and 8am this morning, and are now finishing off the last few days of their road trip heading back to Penetang. It was a great few days hanging out with them, and I wish them all the best on their journey home. And now that I'm back on my own again, I am back to my usual daily routine of training, working, eating and sleeping, until next week when it sounds like I'll be having another house guest. Assuming all goes according to plan, I should get to spend some time with my friend Jeremy, as he is going to be driving through Canmore on his way to BC. So I am really looking forward to that, seeing all these familiar faces is a nice little change of pace.

So I didn't get many, but here are a few pictures that I got with the puppies from the past few days. That's all for now! Cheers!

Sam's Puppies!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Crankworx '09/ Whistler training camp

Here are the pictures from my trip to Whistler! I couldn't upload the videos that I took from Crankworx on the picasa site like the rest of the pictures, so I will put some up on my Facebook page for anyone who is interested. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510412683&ref=name#/profile.php?id=510412683&v=app_2392950137&ref=name There's a link to the videos. Enjoy! :)

Crankworx '09/ Whistler training camp

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Whistler Update - Mid-day of Day 5

So with a couple of hours before my next workout, I figured I would write a little update on what I have been up to these past few days here in Whistler. With Crankworx going on all week, there is always something exciting going on somewhere around here, and as a team, even without that great event, we seem to be keeping pretty busy.

The other night (Wednesday I think?), we had our first baseball game between the two teams into which we divided ourselves, those teams being Team Salt (my team) and Team Pepper...Can you tell we made these teams while sitting in a restaurant awaiting the arrival of our food? So anyway, it was a very fun time, especially for those of us on Team Salt, as we took a pretty comfortable win over Team Pepper. Although we have a rematch scheduled for Sunday night, so we will see if Pepper has what it takes to redeem themselves...unlikely... haha just kidding...kinda... we'll see.

So while we have been having some good recreational fun like that, we have also been training pretty hard all week. We did a long road ride the other morning, and I'm not sure, but I think it must have been no more than 5 degrees when we started our ride in the pouring rain. But after the first 30-45 minutes or so the rain died down and we were no longer feeling hypothermic. And my bear sightings count since coming out west is now up to 2, as I saw another small black bear wandering around a drive way during our ride. For myself, Bob, and Annika, this ride lasted about 2 hours and 40 minutes, as at that point in time we needed to get back into town for our massage appointments :). The perks of training camps with the Academy haha.

Another morning (Thursday maybe? Yes, Thursday), we had an actual sprint race simulation up at Whistler Olympic Park on our skate rollerskis. While it was definately not my strongest day as a rollerskier haha, it was still pretty fun, and talk about a good eye opener, having to do heats against guys like Gord and Jess...they're fast haha.

So yesterday I got to experience some actual Crankworx excitement for my first time since we arrived. I watched some guys practicing for the slopestyle competition which is taking place tonight, and I also got to see the Finals of the Slalom race which was very cool to see. I took lots of pictures, as well as some video, but I think I am going to wait until I get back to Canmore so that I can upload everything all at the same time, because I intend/hope to get some more footage from tonight's festivities.

That's all that comes to mind at the moment, so time for a power nap before the day's next workout!

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aug. 11 – Day 1 of training in Whistler

After arriving in Whistler around 7:30pm last night, it took about 3 hours to eat dinner, track down some groceries and get settled in to our room. The team is staying in a pretty nice Hotel called Wildwood on Blackcomb Mountain, and I am sharing a room with the other three Junior Men on the team (Joey Burton, Bob Thompson and Lucas Jungmann).

Our day began at 7am this morning for breakfast and to get ready for our first workout in Whistler. We met up with the rest of the team at 8am, and were then driven out to our starting spot for our 2 hour skate rollerski workout. I didn’t really know where exactly we were (I knew we were somewhere between Whistler and Squamish), but after 50 minutes of legs only skiing up this constant climb, I ended up reaching the Whistler Olympic Park. I must say it was quite the pleasant surprise, not only because of how cool it was to be back there, but also because it took my mind off how absolutely dead my legs were feeling (but in a good way of course haha).

For anyone who does not know, this is where the cross-country skiing, nordic combined and biathlon events are going to be taking place for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Having been there a little over a year ago for the Canadian National Championships, it was very cool to see how far they have come in preparing for the Games. The buildings appear to now be completely finished, some of the ski trails have been paved (made for some very nice rollerskiing), and there are a few massive screens in various locations which I would assume will be for showing constant footage of the races as they take place.

So after the workout this morning, we returned to our hotel for lunch and some down time before our afternoon rollerski workout. I took this time to wander over to the Whistler Village and check out the whole Crankworks scene, have a nice little chat on the phone with my girlfriend, and of course, make a stop at the grocery store. Once I got back to my room it was time to get ready for our afternoon workout, which was an easy 1 hour rollerski around the trails that run throughout Whistler. There was a plan on where we were going to go, but by the time we found it, it was time for me to turn back and head for the hotel.

And now it’s time for supper, not real sure what it’s going to be yet, but I need to help make it. So that’s all for now!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The First Few Weeks

Wow, talk about a big time life change. You don't realize how much food you eat until you're buying it yourself hahaha. These past few weeks have meant some big adjustments in my life, but now that I've been here for a while, I'm starting to calm down and get used to being on my own.

For anyone who doesn't already know, I was recently (May 1st) named to the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) Ski Team for the 2009/2010 season, so I have moved out to Canmore AB and am now living in a 3 bedroom house with my friend/teammate Bob Thompson. Having been out here three weeks now, I have already done some of the best training of my life, both here in Canmore as well as on the Haig Glacier, and I have also found myself a job at one of the local gift shops.

So as I just hinted at, I just returned to Canmore from my first training camp with the team, which took place on the Haig Glacier. It's about a 1 hour drive from Canmore, followed by a 2-3 hour hike. With an elevation of around 2300m, the only means of accessing this beatiful piece of land is by hiking in like we did, or by helicopter. This was my first time ever being able to ski on snow in the middle of July, and what a treat that was. In the 6 days of skiing that I did, I did a total of 25 hours of training and skied about 150km. So it's safe to say I am now completely exhausted, but talk about an amazing experience.

A typical day up there started out around 7am with breakfast, then we would all hike up another 300m in altitude to the glacier where we would ski for the morning. Once we finished our ski, we would hike back down to the camp, eat lunch, and then relax for a few hours of the afternoon. This time would be spent either napping, lounging around, eating, and of course, playing/competing in the annual disc golf tournament that the team holds every year at this camp. Being the rookie that I am, I didn't go too far in the tournament, but it was very fun and got pretty intense watching some of the final games. Most days we did another small workout around 4pm, then we would eat dinner, followed by watching the Tour de France and going over the technique video that our coaches shot of us from our ski that morning.

Being my first time up on the glacier, I had an amazing time, not to mention one of the best weeks of training I have ever completed. Now, with my first AWCA training camp under my belt, I am looking forward to our next team camp taking place in Whistler from August 9th -19th. Between now and then however, I have lots of training and working to occupy my time.

That's all I really have to say at the moment, but if anyone is curious about anything else that's going on out here, feel free to contact me and ask.

Monday, July 20, 2009

So...How does this work?

So I now have a blog, but I haven't quite figured out how it works yet. Hopefully I'll figure it out soon and be able to get some pictures up and such.