Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mid-season update

Well, I guess I'm being a slacker blogger again. I really wish I could stick to this better. Oh well, I'm here now, so here's a mid-season update.

This winter's been a bit of a challenge ski-wise. First we had no snow, then we got a bit and it all melted around New Year's. It was really scarse after that until last Wednesday, when we finally got that big dumping we'd all been hoping and praying for. So now the conditions are finally great and the weather has finally gotten nice and warm so we can really enjoy being outside.

I've had great coaching and teammate support this season, even if the weather has not been cooperating. I've been skiing with our Kanata Nordic group and my new part-time guide, Vesta, so almost every day of the week I have someone to ski with. And that's a huge help for getting out there on those dark, cold winter evenings when you'd rather just curl up with a book or watch a movie. Patti Kitler has also been coaching me long-distance by writing programs for me to follow, and I think that's going well so far.

I've also done a few more races since the last update, including the Nakkertok Invitational, Tay Valley Loppet and the Kanata Pretzel Sprints. Nakkertok's race was a bit difficult due to very light snow coverage resulting in a very bumpy course. But it gave me good experience in rinding over those bumps and not letting them throw me off. The Tay Valley Loppet was a really relaxed and fun 18 km race. The course was gently rolling - super enjoyable - and the weather was just perfect for a race: sunny and about -8. I came in second overall for women but it was just a small local race.

Today I participated in the Kanata Pretzel Sprints. Our new Para recruit Caroline and I got to race againt the sure-footed Juvenile girls' category (13-14 year-olds). There were 12 of us on the start list, which made for some interesting races. We got to do 4 sprint races each (prologue, heats, semis and finals). This was the first time I got to do that many races in one day, and though I'm now dead tired and don't know how I'm going to work tomorrow, it was a great experience. I got to practice passing, jockeying for position and trying to not let someone get away. All very valuable experience.

So that's all for the small local races this year. Now is the time more serious competition starts. Next weekend is Eastern Canadians and the weekend after that I leave for Halifax and Canada Games. Then in March, I've got Nationals, which will be my only (very slim) chance of qualifying for the IPC World Championships in Russia in April. For that, I would have to be the fastest B female in Canada, which is not likely with Robbi Weldon around. But I can always stay positive and do my best!

The other very exciting news is that Cliff and I are taking possession of our new house next Friday! We get to be homeowners and finally get out of this annoying apartment. This, of course, means that the next couple of weeks are going to be super busy, what with Easterns, getting the house ready, moving and then my departure for Halifax. But that's life. As Patti said today, it's always busy! At least my life is, anyway. And I wouldn't want it any other way!

That's all for now. Good night from Ottawa!