Going into this past week of racing, my confidence really wasn't too high. After a long season of travel and sickness, I have been unable to sneak in any solid weeks of training since Christmas, resulting in my fitness not being where it usually is at this time of year. So after deciding to sit out the team sprints last Saturday in order to try to conserve some energy, my first race was last Sunday, a 10km skate individual start. My goal for my races at Nationals was to get that feeling of desperation and ability to really push myself past my limits back, because that has been something I have been really struggling with for the last 6 weeks or so. So on a positive note, I was able to do that in every race this week, so I am relatively happy about that. Unfortunately, my lack of fitness means that even pushing myself past my limits isn't enough to achieve the results that I know I am capable of. So I ended up finishing the 10km last weekend in 18th in my category, which is considerably further down the results than I would have liked/expected.
My next race was the 15km classic individual start. This race was a similar story, though I was feeling a bit better than the previous race. I managed to ski my way to 7th place, which, given my current state, I was not overly upset about. The following day was the classic sprint, and a very difficult day for the wax techs. The conditions made it nearly impossible to have both fast skis AND good grip. So with the conditions coupled with my fatigue, I fought my way into the B final, and finished 11th on the day.
After the sprints I had two days off to recover and prepare for the final race, the 30km skate mass start, which took place yesterday. Having never done a 30km skate race before, I was a little bit nervous about how it could go. It was a very tough race on a challenging course, and I skied my way to a disappointing 20th place. While the result was really not what I was hoping for, I felt that I raced it as well as my body could have done. With about 2km to go, the muscles in my legs started spasming a bit, and on the last downhill I very nearly blacked out. So I clearly could not have pushed my body any harder than I did, so that was the positive aspect that I was able to take from the race.
Last night was the Nationals Banquet, which was held at the Banff Springs Hotel, and I can easily say that this was by far the best Nationals Banquet I have ever attended. The awards went smoothly and in a timely manner, the food was fantastic and plentiful, and it was very well organized. Great job organizing committee!!!
I am now taking a day off to recover from this past week, and am actually awaiting a phone call that will decide what my plans are for the next couple weeks. There is a chance that I may be heading over to Sun Valley, Idaho next weekend for the Supertour Finals, which would be 4 more races to finish off the season, before returning to Canmore a few days into April. If I do not go to those races, I'll likely stay here in Canmore for another week or so and take advantage of the great skiing we have here before heading back to Ontario for a few weeks.
That's all for now. Once I figure out what my plans are for the next couple weeks, I'll be sure to throw an update on here to let you know.
Until then, cheers.