Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NorAm Cups, US Nationals, & Canadian Nationals

The season was a success. It's been a while since I last updated my blog so I'll try to give a somewhat inclusive rundown of the latter half of the season. After returning from an educational and successful trip to Germany and the Czech Republic I had a few weeks with no scheduled races. I spent the time getting in a solid block of training to keep my fitness levels high for the second round of big races, mainly a few North American Cup races as well as the US and Canadian National Championships.
Snow in the east this year was better than average (read – there were only a few sessions that outside training was rained out completely and only one warm front came through that melted most of our snow and put us out of business for a few days until the next snow storm). Life as a skier based in the eastern states is characterized only by the need to be flexible. Negative 20 one day and 50 above the next seems to be the norm although, much to my dismay, we saw many more of those dreaded negative temp days this season. I don't know if El Nino or global warming had anything to do with it, but this was one of the oddest winters in which I've had opportunity to train and race. That's beside the point though. Following the mid-season break from racing I had a couple weeks of North American Cup competitions that went well despite a flue that I was fighting. I managed to stay marginally healthy through the two weeks of racing and was really happy to have had a couple of podium finishes. Unfortunately, the day after the last race I got really sick and took a not so lovely week-long vacation in bed. I wasn’t initially happy to have the unexpected down time, but it was probably for the best because it forced me to rest. The down time ended up being a great mental break that set me up well for the US and Canadian Championships.
We raced the US National Champs in northern Maine. I had some bad luck on the range in a couple of the races, but then turned around and had great shooting during the sprint competition and landed myself in third place, just one shot from a National Title. I was very happy with the result and am confident that my training is on the right track. The last weekend of racing in the season happened just outside of Quebec City. The weather was in the 40’s and 50’s every day so conditions were wet and challenging. Mental fatigue is always an issue for racers at the end of the season, but I was very pleased to perform well in the last races of the season.
I’m looking forward to the coming season. I’ve been renamed to the National B Team again this year and I feel like I have the tools at my disposal to continue seeing big improvements throughout the summer and fall training periods. I'd like to say a huge thank you to all of you who have continued to support my athletic endeavors. The Olympics are only 9 months away and the trials process starts even sooner so stay tuned for updates on my training and racing as the season progresses.