Camp wrapped up today in Canmore with a classic sprint time trial and strength. My warmup for strength was somewhat more embarrassing than usual since I lost a bet in the race and had to wear my underwear over my tights. But that’s not all that crazy.
The crazy part of this time trial/pre-season race was that there were actually some of the very best sprinters in the world in attendance; an Olympic Gold Medalist, World Champs Gold Medalist, multiple World Cup race podiums scattered throughout the start list. It’s cool seeing so many North Americans kicking butt. And it’s cool training with them and learning from every session, time trial and race experience!
I’d almost forgotten some of the sensations that accompany sprinting: the lactic acid and nerves seemingly boring a hole in my stomach (maybe I’m slowly developing and ulcer and don’t know it?) the trying to stay warm while not sweating too much so I don’t freeze once I finally do take my jacket off, the trying to dial in kick and not knowing when to add more or go with better glide. It’s a circus, all right!
And today was the best practice ever, thanks to Cross-Country Canada for hosting! I know classic sprinting is my biggest weakness and therefore I’m super thankful for any good chance to work on it that I can get. I felt a little like I was spinning my wheels, going nowhere during the race, but I worked hard and even when I totally ran out of energy (and technique!) in the final, it was a sweet learning experience. Slowly but surely, it’ll get better!
The interesting thing about racing is that while there is one person who wins, there is also someone who pushes the hardest, someone who dials in their skis the best, someone who has the best technique, someone who hurts the most and someone who uses the smartest tactics.
Whenever I get nervous, I focus on trying to be everything but the person who wins, and focus on the things I can control. Then, sometimes, things pull together and form a good race. And sometimes not. But sometimes!
Tomorrow I fly back to gool ‘ol Minnesota, and I’m super pumped to get in a WHOLE TWO WEEKS there! Yes, that’s right, you heard me. 2 weeks in one spot NOT for a training camp. It’s a rare, beautiful thing.
However, I will be sad to leave all my teammates, especially since I won’t see my SMS crew for a month and a half! It’s been an amazing summer and fall, and I know we’ll have even more good stories when we’re reunited in Quebec.
Also, I have a couple of the One Way shots Reese Hanneman took (Engine Room Media; http://engineroommedia.net/) We had a fun time taking some goofy shots (I can’t help myself) and some better ones, too. I can’t put them all up but here are a few skiing/lifestyle shots (because my grandparents, aunts and uncles wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t post!):