For the past three years the Canmore Nordic Centre has been storing snow over the summer, a project nicknamed Frozen Thunder.  Around the middle of October, several dump trucks invade the Nordic Centre to create a 2km loop of snow.  This year I skied my first loop on October 13, and have skied almost every day since.  The first few days were quite warm, with highs in the double digits.  It was spring-like skiing conditions in October.  To add to this confusion of skiing, warm and freezing temperatures, I had only returned from New Mexico a week earlier. I had no clue whether to sweat or shiver.  Hey…, Winter Is Coming.  Winter came hitting hard and fast, in a matter of a few days, the temperatures had reversed and we were experiencing negative double digits for lows.  The highs weren’t much warmer.  Winter seemed to have arrived, with Snowfall Warnings, light flurries every day, rumors flying this way and that, about Alpine resorts opening early.  All this before Halloween candies were on sale!  What a year!

Most years the skiers of Canmore have to wait until the first, maybe the second, week in November for good snow in Lake Louise.  Another sign that Winter Is Coming is the first ski on Moraine Lake Rd, in Lake Louise.  I was fortunate enough to enjoy this annual treat on October 28. The first time I have been able to do that before November.

Last week I had my first Fire and Blood session.  I was testing on the new roller ski treadmill here in Canmore.  The fire was the feeling in my legs and the blood for the lactate tests the techs were taking.  The treadmill has become an extremely useful aspect in my training.  A Thank you goes out to Own the Podium for investing in Nordic success.

Another project I’ve put some time into is the next generation of my Biathlon arm.  Apple may have just launched their MiniPad, but I’m in development of the MiniArm.  I tried to follow a simple philosophy of Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.   Its key features include; a more slender profile, a reduced total weight and a snugger fitting shoulder.  Sponsorship spaces are now on pre-sale.

With Halloween over and the calendars flipping over another month, there is a feeling of excitement.  In three weeks’ time the start wands will be set up and awaiting starters for World Cups in Biathlon and Cross Country.  For me, it’s only four weeks before I depart Calgary International Airport en route to Vuokatti, Finland for my first World Cup of the season.  Before I leave I have two weekends of racing right here in Canmore.  November 24-25 starts my Biathlon season.  The following weekend my Cross Country season officially begins.  In the meantime there is still a lot to do in terms of preparation.  I feel myself Growing Strong and fast as the winter approaches.  This is the time of the year that I will put the previous months’ training all together and fine tune everything.  It has been a great year for training.   Hear Me Roar my excitement to start this competition season.  Ours Is The Fury, Our Blades Are Sharp and I’m ready to compete.

The snow guns have begun to work, it seems that every second training session is intensity or a time trial and the ever growing section of LED Christmas lights is out at Canadian Tire.  All this leads to one conclusion: Winter Is Coming!

**If this update contains confusing sentences, I apologize and recommend reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice, or commonly known as the Game of Thrones.  Several phrases throughout this update are mottos taken from the major houses in the series.

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