Here's the (very) short of the long: I got my act together and head in the game, raced two NorAms (Jericho and Lake Placid), won all three races that happened (one was canceled due to cold temperatures combined with chilly winds), and was named to the US Team competing at IBU Cups 7 & 8 in Canmore, Alberta. I'm in Alberta now and have already done 3 of the 5 scheduled races here.
I had a bit of a hard time leaving Maine when we have had such great skiing there of late.
Someone wanted to come along…sorry Luna. I think you might like airplanes less than I do.
Feet up during my layover at Dulles before heading to Dallas. Kind of a round about route for getting to Calgary!
Luckily we had a clear day for traveling and got lots of nice views from the planes.
MWSC teammate Kelsey Dickinson and I came out almost a week before the races started to acclimate and thaw our frozen bodies in the warm weather they've been having. The first few days we had here were awesome…full sun and hardly any wind.
Just a little warmer here in Canmore than in Maine….
We did a lot of crocheting while watching the US XC team killing it in Falun. I made a German-colored hat for our wax tech Matthias. He loves it.
The scenery here leaves little to be desired. This shot was from an afternoon jog along the Bow River.
Kelsey basking in the sun and scenery. She's a big fan of the mountains here.
Our host for the first week, Melanie, got to compete in the first three races with us and was super gracious in welcoming us into her home for a few days. She even shared a delicious dinner with us….she's an awesome cook despite some severe diet restrictions.
Sun in the nordic stadium at Canmore Nordic Center.
Training during the week before the races got started. More sun….probably my first days training in just a ski suit since our trials back in December.
Another view of the Bow River, this time from above.
The railroad trestle that I'm in love with…this time I managed to take a photo from a different angle.
Perfect classic tracks on the touring trails…too bad I only have skate equipment with me!
The sun feels so good!
Another great thing about Canada…everything comes in Maple flavor. Even the yogurt.
They don't mess around with skating up here…the Zamboni even takes care of the local ponds.
Some more shots from the venue.
During our first official training day my teammate Casey had a really bad crash and ended up in the hospital in Calgary. While his injuries were bad, he's making strong steps in his recovery and might be able to go home in the next few days. He suffered a broken scapula, multiple broken ribs (more broken than not on this left side), and a punctured lung. We got to go visit him on our first rest day. He seemed pretty drugged-up then still but has gotten a lot better since. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he keeps recovering as quickly as he has this week. It's hard to see a friend in so much pain and not be able to do much more than make him smile and feed him cookies.
Official training on the range.
Ready for opening ceremonies with our Canadian friends and our flag bearer, Thor.
Posing for a picture with the RCMP and native dancers after the opening ceremonies.
Photo credit: Pam Doyle
The first weekend (IBU Cup 7) was two sprint races. For the first race I didn't feel awesome on my skis and didn't really do anything amazing on the range. I missed four, finishing just out of the top 30 and wanting more. The second day I felt much better on my skis but still missed 3 shots, leaving me just outside the top 20 in 22nd. A good step up but I've been shooting much better so I still wasn't satisfied.
My leg numbers from the first race that coincidentally became my finish place in the second race.
Early starter in the first race. Photo credit: Janice Dickinson
Felt much better skiing in the second race. Photo credit: Janice Dickinson
Coaches Betsy, Matthias, and Jean making fast skis for us!
A pano of the stadium and range on a sunny training morning.
Yesterday was an individual, the first race of IBU Cup 8. I felt really good on my skis but really did terribly on the range. In the individual the course is longer (15k for women and 20k for men) and you don't have to ski penalty loops, instead incurring 1 minutes of additional time added to your total ski time for each missed shot. I missed seven shots which put me much further back in the results than my ski time would have. I skied the 20th fastest course time but ended up 29th. Again, leaving myself much less than satisfied.
Tomorrow we have another sprint race before the final event of the 2015 IBU Cup season on Saturday, a mixed relay. I'm hoping I get named to the relay team for the US but for right now my goal is to shoot better tomorrow…I'm looking for 80% or better on the range.
Check back soon for another update. This weekend will be busy with two races and a travel day on Sunday. I'm heading to California for US Nationals with teammates Maddie and Kelsey. I will try to update sooner this time though, I promise!