After the race on Sunday, December 13, in Silver Star my coach Kaspar, teammate Colette and I drove back to Canmore. It seemed that all the cars on road were Nordic skiers from Silver Star trying to get to either Canmore or further onto Calgary. I trained in Canmore for the next five days; training was pretty light that week to recover from the previous three weeks of heavy training and racing. Then on Sunday I traveled to Halifax so I could shot a commercial with Bell Aliant on the Monday and flew the last 25 minutes to Charlottetown on Tuesday morning. I spent Christmas and New Year’s at home on the island with family and friends. Unfortunately the snow that my brother said was there on Saturday had all melted when I arrived on Tuesday. But that didn’t stop me from training; I would then just have to run which was alright for the first four days but I was getting a little bored and I needed a change of scenes by the fourth. On Boxing Day I think I had one of the best runs that year. I ran on Brackley Beach. It was Awesome (note the capitol ‘A’)! It wasn’t the warmest but it felt great, except for the calves later that day, they were hurting just a little.
With the holiday season behind us and the New Year rung in, the final stretch towards the Olympics and Paralympics begins. The holiday season is the last opportunity to fully recharge the batteries and prepare for the bulk, and in most cases the most important races of the season. This year is no exception, with the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics in 32 days (we should almost start counting that in hours) and the Paralympics begin in 60 days! For me there is a lot that will happen in those 60 days.
On Thursday the 14, I fly from Calgary to Zurich, where the team will have our Annual Official Pre-World Cup European-Acclimatization Training Camp in the Goms Valley. After ten days spent in the always beautiful Goms Valley the team buckles in for a lengthy drive to Bessans, France for our first World Cup of the season. Following a week in France we head North again to Oberried, Germany for the second World Cup. We will race four races in France and only three in Germany. The reason for only three in Germany is because there is some kind of gigantic event happen in Canada in the middle of February and many Europeans seemed to want to attend (go figure)! No, seriously we had to either fly out on February 7 and miss the last World Cup race or wait until the 15 to fly home, because every possibility going anywhere in Canada from Europe is completely booked solid, no joke!
The return to Canada will signify the start of the last training block before the Paralympics. I will be in Canmore training from February 8 to the 24 on my lone. Then the remaining members of the Paralympic Team will arrive in Canmore to begin our Pre-Paralympic Training Camp. Mid-way through this camp we will be joined by the Russian Paralympic Team, and there are plans to hold a couple of training races with the Russians during our time together.
On March the 8th, the majority of the team will fly from Calgary to Vancouver and then get settled into the Whistler Athlete’s Village, to be followed by a few days of training in the Callaghan Valley. On March 12th, the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Paralympics will be held in Vancouver. My schedule for the Paralympics is as follows;
March 13 Biathlon Pursuit
March 17 Biathlon Individual
March 18 Cross Country 10km- classic
March 20 Team Relay
March 21 Cross Country Sprint- classic
That is what the next 60 or so days look like.
I wish everyone a Happy New Year.