Saturday, December 19, 2009

O-Cup #1: The Thunder Bay Fiasco

Well, today's race was a complete disaster no matter how you look at it. It was not enough that the conditions were "marginal" at best, as Alex very aptly put it, and that the Para-Nordic category was last out at nearly 3 p.m. in the afternoon, but I was also misinformed about the distance I was supposed to ski. So not only was I dead last out of the gate, I was also dead last to cross the finish line! I was told that I was only doing one 3.4 km lap, but actually I was supposed to do two for a total distance of 8.8 km. You can imagine I was not a very happy camper as I ended up finishing my one lap and going over the finish line only to be told that I was supposed to go through the lap lane and do a second lap. So I did after a few choice remarks. I went for a leisurely second lap, and was the last person across the finish line for the day. And there are no words to describe how upset I was. I apologiize to anyone I may have been rude to.

This trip is turning out to be a very expensive nightmare. To add to all of this, I also forgot to pack a whole lot of stuff, such as pajamas and toothpaste. I'm the only girl on the Kanata Nordic team so I get to pay for an entire hotel room by myself. We have had to eat all of our meals at the restaurant downstrairs, which is not exactly ideal pre-race food nor is it cheap or quick. Well, I think I will stop there. You get the picture.

I was trying to find something positive in this situation. And the only thing I thought of was that at least this was not an important race in the scheme of things. You can let me know if you think of anything else.

Now I'm sitting in my huge hotel room and waiting for the rest of my teammates to come back from their very long trip to Fresh Air Experience. They've been there since 4 o'clock! We're supposed to go to some FInnish restaurant for supper, and I'm starving.

I shall still wish YOU a good evening from Thunder Bay thourgh. Have a good one for me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December training update

We've now got lots of snow here in Ottawa, and the skiing up in the Gatineau Park has been awesome. I just went for a nice classic ski tonight. It was a little chilly out there, but the park's got lots of trees to protect us from the wind, which is the worst part of the Ottawa winter. Classic-ing felt weird after all that time spent on skate rollerskis this summer and fall. I couldn't really engage my grip zone on the uphills because either (a) I didn't have enough grip wax or the right kind of grip wax or (b) I've got to get my classic technique back! Either way, it was good to do some classic hills in anticipation of some classic racing this weekend.

I'm off to Thunder Bay on Friday. It's kind of ironic that we're going there considering that they hardly have any snow and we've got lots of great snow. Oh well, as my coach Patti says, it'll be good experience in preparation for our trip to Europe this year. With Europe, you never know what kind of snow you're gonna get! Could be white and fluffy, could be icy, could be brown and puddly. So you've got to be prepared for the worst.

On a training note, I'm still having some trouble getting out for a ski. Mooney's Bay hadn't been groomed yet on Monday, so I ended up just having to do some shooting at home. Yesterday, my dad and I did get out for a ski at Mooney's Bay, but it was kind of similar to doing moguls. Very bumpy! But I must admit, it's better than nothing. Thankfully, we were able to get out to the Gatineaus with my guide, Robert, today, but tomorrow it's back to Mooney's Bay. Though we'll have to wait and see: so far the forecast is for -15 with a wind chill of -22 tomorrow afternoon. And who knows what it'll be like in the evening!

That being said, I'm almost done working for the winter. I go on International Sporting Event Leave starting Dec. 24, and then I'll be able to ski during the day, granted only at Mooney's Bay, but hey, I'll be out in daylight!

Alright, this entry is getting a little long, and I'd better go to bed. So good night from Ottawa!  

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow is finally here!

I haven't updated this in a while, but I'm so much busier when I am at home. Between work, training and all the "paperwork" involved in skiing (I know it sounds weird), I have no time to write anything down. I kind of miss it though, even though I just started!

Today was Ottawa's first snowstorm of the season. It was something: the snow was coming down hard and blowing everywhere. We were scared to go out at lunch, so we all hung around the office all day. I wasn't able to go skiing just yet, but I'm hoping I can tomorrow.

Last weekend was our last time rollerskiing for the year. We're all happy about that! No more wheels, and NO MORE PAVEMENT! Only soft fluffy snow to cushion our falls. Now all we need is some grooming up in the Gatineaus and at Mooney's Bay and we'll be hitting the trails in no time.

Yeah, I really don't have much to say today, other than that I'm so looking forward to "real skiing" again. I have some Ontario Cup races coming up in Thunder Bay on Dec. 19 and 20, so that should be more exciting.

And on that positive note, good night from Ottawa.