Since I have returned from Europe 2 weeks ago, many people have asked me about my experience. To most I simply responded “It was fun”, or “it was a great experience” but this does not truly summarize my time spent in Europe.
|In the pain cave in the 10km skate in Nova Mesto|
One thing that is very different about racing senior as oppose to junior is the depth of competition. When you have a mediocre race, it is a lot more obvious when you look at the results. In Europe on the OPA cup and on the World Cup, where the competition is even higher and the time gaps are even smaller, it is even more obvious. I have always been a very consistent racer. This year however, consistency has been a big struggle. One advantage of having not so great races is that, as I’ve discovered, it is much easier to learn from bad experiences than from good experiences. Although it is good to evaluate the things that need improving, I also realized that it can be pretty discouraging. When after every race you think “that was terrible, I could have done this better, and this and this and this…” it becomes negative rather than positive. This negative attitude was lowering my self-confidence instead of making me faster. The difficult races I have had has helped me see the importance in picking out things that went well, no matter how terrible you felt, and to celebrate those little achievements.
Overall, all I can say is that there are no regrets. I was provided the opportunity to race 5 highly competitive European races and the chance to train and race with an amazing team!
|Watching the WC heats in Planica|
|We stayed in Ranmsau Austria between the 2 WC weekends|
|Water break on one of our beautiful skis in Ramsau|
|Sprint qualifier in Planica|
|Taking in the beautiful scenery in Toblach, Italy|
|On our way to go skiing in Toblach|
After the race in Nove Mesto, I headed home to Chelsea for some rest and a short volume training block in order to get ready for Eastern Canadians . It turns out that the comfort of home was just what I needed. The endless Km’s of groomed trails in the Gatineau Park was a nice change to the short loops of man made snow I had skied on in Europe. Over the week I also got the opportunity to help out at a Nakkertok ski practice and meet the next generation of Nakkertok skiers.
After a rough first 2 races at Eastern’s, I was glad to finish off the weekend on a high note with a 3rd place finish in the 15km classic race. Over the weekend, I was absolutely blown away by the amount of support I got from my home club. The endless words of kindness and encouragement really made me feel at home. I want to thank all the volunteers who came and helped out, thanks to you the weekend was an absolute success.
|10km Skate. Photo: Phil Daoust|
|Thanks to Fischer and the NDC wax techs for the wicked fast skis!|
Up next are Western Canadians in Prince George, BC.
Here’s to moving on and up!