Monday, January 18, 2010

Super Tour races in Washington

Last Thursday part of the team and I traveled to Washington where I competed in my first ever races in the U.S., which were also my first ever Super tour races. The Super Tour is an American race series that goes on over the course of every season (in case you were curious). This was an awesome weekend for me, with Saturday being my first of the season where I actually felt really good.

So the weekend started off on Saturday with skate sprints. Being my first time racing in the U.S., and being one of only three Canadians in my category, I really had no idea what to expect after my qualifier. It felt pretty good, and I ended up qualifying 4th in my category (1st of those 3 Canadians). This gave me some good confidence going into the heats in the afternoon. Lucky for me, as the day wore on the icy race course became a little softer and by the time my heats started the snow had turned into my favorite kind of snow for skate sprints. I was pretty happy about it. So my heats started with my quarterfinal, in which I was able to let up with about 100m to go to take the win and advance to the semifinals. The next two heats, the semi and the final, required a bit more effort on my part, but I managed to keep the trend going. I ended up leading all three of my heats on Saturday from start to finish, and capturing my first Super Tour gold medal. As you can see from my new Blog picture above, I was very happy about it.

Sunday's race was a 15km classic individual start. I wasn't feeling quite as hot as I had been the day before, but I was still hoping for good things. The course was 3 laps of a 5km course, which was basically one long grind of a climb for a few kilometres, followed by a fast, technical descent back to the stadium. Sadly for me, I managed to crash on not 1, but 2 of my times going down that descent. Not my best day. Despite my crashes however, I did feel pretty good for the rest of my race. So when I saw that I finished 3rd in my category, I was pretty happy about it.

After Sunday's race and awards had ended, we started the drive back to Canmore, spending the night in Vernon, BC. We ended up pulling into Canmore around 3:00pm this afternoon. So now that I am back, I'll spend the next 10 days training and working, and then I'll be off to Ottawa for the Eastern Canadian Championships. I have had some great times racing at Nakkertok over the years, so I am really looking forward to it.

Here are some pictures from this weekend.
That's all for now, cheers!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Best Smoothie ever made

So I got home from training about 20 minutes ago, and, like I always do now, I took out my magic bullet and started contemplating what kind of recovery drink concoction I should try out today. As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I am very happy with the result, so happy that I am sharing it with anyone who reads this blog. So for anyone who enjoys trying new things, I strongly recommend this:

- Frozen berries (I used strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)
- Plain yogurt
- 1 egg
- Chocolate milk

Very simple, yet crazy good. As you can see I never measure out how much of anything I put in my smoothies, it makes it more fun that way I think.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas and Trials

A little late I know, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays as much as I did mine. I had a great 2 week visit with Jacquelyn and my family, it was so nice to see everyone again. And a huge thanks to everyone who came out to the Snow Dance on the 19th!! Not only was it a great night of music (big thanks to all the musicians who played) and getting to see everyone again, but I can't stress enough how much I appreciate everyone's support in what I am trying to accomplish. And on an organizational side of things, thank you so much to Jacquelyn, the Parent family, and of course my parents. This event never would have happened without you guys, so thanks a lot!

As I mentioned before, I had a very nice visit home. Christmas day was definitely a highlight, what with having both my family's and Jacquelyn's family's Christmas dinners in one night. And just getting to eat my mother's home cooked food every night was a very nice change of pace.

After my visit home I traveled straight to Val Cartier, Quebec for World Junior Trials. This event consisted of three races, a 20km pursuit, skate sprints and a 15km classic race. While none of these races were very spectacular for me, they weren't bad races either. I ended up 16th in both the 20km pursuit and the 15km classic, and qualified 14th in my sprints.

With the last of these races being this past Tuesday, my journey back to Canmore began Wednesday afternoon. With a 3 or 4 hour lay over at the Montreal airport, my flight didn't arrive back in Calgary until just before 11pm Wednesday night. From there I said farewell to my teammates and found my way to one of the hostels downtown Calgary. This was my first time staying at a hostel, so I was hoping for some excitement. However, I was only really there from 1:30am - 6:45am, so needless to say, it was pretty quiet. I then made my way to the Passport office to take care of some better-late-than-never business, then I managed to catch the early bus and be back in Canmore by 10:30am. It was a very busy, yet fun and productive morning.

So I am now back at my place in Canmore, and my newly constructed mattress bed, our new couch, and of course my new can opener and magic bullet, are all making it feel even more like home. I am going to be staying here for another 5 days, and then I am off to Winthrop, Washington for a couple Supertour races! Being both my first time to Washington and my first Supertour races, I am very excited.

So, I think that about covers this past highly eventful month. That's all for now, Happy 2010 everyone!!