Home Again.

Goodbye Canadian Rockies…. hello northern Wisconsin!

After a long day of travel yesterday and giving delta all of my foreseeable food money I finally made it home.  Phew.  I was greeted by snow on the ground but with another day of warmer weather skiing is looking grim.  …However, I’ve got my fingers crossed that the cold will miss us and come back and hopefully even bring more snow with it. (a girls got to dream right?)

The last few days we spent in Canmore were incredible.  The frigid arctic temperatures were finally pushed out of the valley.  It was such a relief to be able to glide again!  Heck, better yet I could feel all my fingers and toes!

A huge kudos goes out to the trail crew at the canmore nordic center, they were out there nonstop trying to give us more and more trail to train on each day!

On friday we joined up with a good mix of the canadian biathletes for a little joint time trial.  It was conducted like a normal race, zero times, bibs, penalty loops, the works.  It was great!  I was the very last women to head out on course for the sprint which was cool because I never get to go last… and we all know how I love getting to play chase!  I had my best shooting race to date, cleaning my prone stage!  I’ve never cleaned a stage in a race before so I was practically euphoric.  Skiing past our coach who was monitoring the penalty loop I let out a squeal and gave him a big frantic thumbs up.  I think he was pretty jazzed/amazed to see me not skiing into the penalty loop for once!  Standing was a little trickier.  I’ve been struggling more than usual with shooting standing.   Something about doing it on slippery skis has definitely been a challenge over the last few weeks.  I ended up missing three but I skied my penalty loops and tried to get back out on course fast.  All and all I was pretty happy.  My skiing still has a ways to go and I know I still haven’t found my race gear yet but its there and is only a matter of time before I can really use it.

Saturday morning treated us to one of our best skis in Canmore.  The sun was shining, the nordies were time trialing, it was a balmy 15 degrees, and best yet they opened up the cross country trails!  You honestly couldn’t ask for much more.   Because I don’t have a skiable range at home I made sure to get everything I could out of our last day in Canmore.  and it was excellent.

I was sad to leave Canmore but I know coming home as we move into the next phase of the year is important.  Its execution time.  We’ve done all the hard work, we’ve put in the days and the hours and now all we can do is perform.  We’ve got a long season in front of us, but I can’t wait to really get started!

Advertisements

Growth.

“We are always evolving into new, better versions of ourselves.
The comforting news is that we are never finished.
The idea of being unfinished is nice, for it always leaves room for improvement.  For trying new things, for developing new hobbies and making new friends.
Being unfinished means we can cry today,
and the next week or next year we won’t cry for the same thing, because we are moving, evolving.  Becoming better versions of ourselves…”  –unknown


Here’s to the process.  To growth.  To new days.  To surprising ourselves.  I love it.

Thanksgiving.

Growing up Thanksgiving meant the annual family trek from Wisconsin to the east coast.  Spending time in various vehicles on various turnpikes to spend time with our family that conveniently lived across the country.  I remember being crammed into a car, generally Ian Tommy and I all in a row with our blankets, pillows, and assorted toys.  I remember we each got to take a turn picking a CD and when the CD was complete each one of us got to pick our favorite song and hear it one last time before the next person got to chose a CD.  I think thats why I’ve gotten so good at sleeping in cars, it would make the trips go by faster, and I could trick myself into making the drive go by in a flash.  I remember when we would finally make it to my grandparents house in West Chester… my brothers and I would explode out of the car, impatient, tired, grumpy, and yet full of entirely too much energy.  My grandmother would have a warm dinner waiting for us and we’d cram in around the little kitchen table with our favorite glasses. finally  we would be able to catch our breath.

Then somewhere part of the way through high school we stopped traveling home.  My junior year I was gone celebrating a foreign holiday in a foreign country with a new but foreign family.  My senior year I spent thanksgiving in a knee surgery induced blur but my family was there and I was content to sit on the couch or practice tricks on my crutches.  The last two years I spent thanksgiving with an entirely new family.  My ski family in West Yellowstone.  We’d put on our finest, least stinky, not too wrinkly clothes and we’d march off across town to eat together again.

They’d pick a freshmen to share a thanksgiving prayer which generally included a Thanks for Taylor Swift,  spandex clad bodies, and buffet style meals.  This year is much the same.  I am once again with a new family. another ski family to share my thanksgiving with.

We are each away from our own respective families together in one place and I suppose for that we can be thankful.  We spend alot of time together, we share common dreams and common goals, we respect each others pursuits because we have a common understanding of why we do what we do…or atleast share a common love for an obscure red-headed step child type sport.

I’ve decided recently that I should rejoice more often in what I have.  Be thankful for what awesome company I have all around me and the support I’ve been given as I try to live my dream.

Today I am especially thankful for.

My family.  My team mates.  My friends.  and the Nordgren family.  because no matter how far away all of these people might be, I know they love, support, and believe in me.

My body. My mind. My soul. because they are the essence of my journey.

Playing outside every day.

Dreams.

Jone of Arc and Dark Horses.

Non sub zero temperatures.

Life and the opportunity to share it.

Goodnight.

Alive.

I am Alive.

When I wrote last wednesday I had no idea just how much freezing myself had taken out of me.  I didn’t just punish my hands that day I froze myself all the way to my insides and paid for it immensely.  It took me the entire day to stop shaking and days more for my hands to go back to normal.  My lungs were toast. My limbs were toast.  I was toast.  I slept horribly that night waking up every 40mins or so and when I woke up the next morning I could feel how tired and heavy the previous 24 hours had left me.

I went through the morning normally.  Eating, testing skis, zeroing my rifle, warming up.   It wasn’t until 5 minutes before the first starter that I decided I wouldn’t be racing.  I was dragging, starting to hack up oddly colored goo.  So after a short pow wow with the coaches I was scratched from the start list and would not race either races.

It was a hard choice to not race.  Especially the mass start, I had been very excited about the mass start and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the women’s team.  However, I know opting out of those races was the best thing for keeping me healthy.  My body has infact mended itself, and I’m feeling better on my skis each and every day.

The weather got even colder after that day and continued to plummet straight through the weekend.  I was reintroduced to classic skiing as the temperature stayed well below 0F for days in a row.  Put in some quality time on a stationary bike as I watched a string of alpine boys hop, skip, and prove themselves more flexible than I as I spun away.  And even attended yoga at the Yoga Lounge here in Canmore.  Despite my inflexibility I’m kind of hooked.  Its the calmest I’ve felt in a long time, which I’m sure makes my team mates happy.  (A non-stir crazy corrine = a happy team)

We finally got back on the skate skis yesterday morning which about 6 hours to soon.  The track (which there is probably about 5km of race grade trail now) was sand paper.  I had to walk up a few hills because gliding simply wasn’t an option.  You would push off and your entire ski would just kind of stick there, I began to wonder if someone had kick waxed the bottom of my skis.  The afternoon was a little better I actually felt like I was skiing again!

Our days here in Canmore are drawing rapidly to a close and despite the wonderful coffee shops and mountains that I will leave behind I’m looking forward to being home for a little while before we jump into the next set of races.  Only a short intensity block and a handful of distance skis stand between me and the plane in Calgary.  We’ll talk again before I hit the midwest.

Here are some pictures from the race I did get to do!

So this is winter?

Yep the seasons have changed and dayum it is cold!

I’ve been in Canmore for one week now and I keep asking myself… “why is this my first time here!?!?!”

Last week I got picked up after a painless flight from Minneapolis to Calgary and off we went towards the mountains towards Canmore.  …and let me tell you, it was love at first sight!  Canmore is nestled in a valley with the Canadian Rockies on all sides (and we all know what a sucker I am for some mountains).  Although there was little snow when I arrived some of the peaks were covered with a dusting from the previous two nights and that was all I needed to continue my dreams of snow.

The first few days up at the venue were mostly on foot and rollerskis but the temperatures were continuing to drop and there were crews out in force getting the snow blowing operation under way once again.  (the canucks attempt to reverse project “frozen blunder” which had since melted off to a track of sawdust, gravel, ice, and dirt)

Alot of people hate the inbetween season.  The season of not enough snow to ski bur too much snow to rollerski safely… however I love running and have always excelled at the art of dryland training especially when the weather takes a turn for the worst.  Generally the inbetween season last a few weeks with warmer days you dare to rollerski or an extra dusting that you can rock ski on but this year, this year has been different.  Here in canmore we have managed to almost seamlessly merge from one season into the other with limited casualties and almost no “plan to ski be prepared to run”.    It was as simple as one day I was running around and the next minute I was being handed new skis and being pushed out onto a man made loop of white stuff.

What followed was several days of skiing and waxing and skiing and waxing the new fleet while dodging flocks of small canadian children on an 800 meter loop.  It was definitely too many people for me in such a little space but I managed to pull it together, not run anyone over, and remember what real skis are suppose to feel like…sort of.

After a few days on skis, and one attempt at going hard (while not falling over) I jumped into the race with the Senior Women’s team yesterday.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either.  My skis felt fast and asides from a windy stretch into the range the 1.2kms they put together for us skied really nicely.  I still felt pretty awkward on my skis and so concentrated on skiing relaxed and calm.  What that translated to was me enjoying myself far too much instead of skiing fast and shooting well below average.  However, its my second time shooting on skis this year, my fourth biathlon “race” ever, and I’ve got five more months of racing infront of me.  With each race and time trial I hope to gain experience and confidence in my abilities to be a competitive biathlete.

As for right now.  I will continue to sit in the front window of Beamer’s in downtown Canmore drinking more coffee than one person should and trying desperately to coax life back into my brutally thrashed lifeless hands after this mornings ski. (thank you winter?)

We race again tomorrow and friday.  The goal.  Hit more targets. Ski more faster? sure.

 

Shout Outs: First Edition.

I’ve been inspired over the last few days out on the roads and trails and have decided there are a few people that need some recognition for everything they do…

First I would like to give a shout out to the truck driver with the bushy beard who not only honked but waved and smiled as he tried to run me off the road yesterday.  Seriously, thank you there is no other way I would rather start my workout…ditch diving.  “Perfecting my form”  That’s actually why I wear neon when I rollerski, so that the gravel knows I’m coming.  And when I finally got myself back on the road and I waved after you and let out a few choice words I was not being cordial.  Don’t get any funny ideas buddy we are not friends. really.

On another note.  I saw three rollerskiers out on the road today.  Three!!!  …and here’s the kicker, I did not know any of them!  Way to go Hayward, congrats on the eagerness to be out on your skis, I’m both proud and impressed.  Keep up the good work, I know you guys will do your very best to congregate at any and all major intersections in West Yellowstone in a few weeks.

Finally.  I would like to give a shout out to Day Light Savings.  You tricked me again you little bugger!  Although I did greatly appreciate the extra hour of sleep last night you still managed to do your best to creep up on me!  The day was beautiful it was sunny and warm and ever since I left the West coast I’ve really been running on Mountain time anyway so the change really wasn’t anything new…  However you do make my afternoon workouts a little darker than they used to be.  I’m not prepared and won’t get tricked into starting a workout at 3:45.  You may have tricked me once good friend but I will not be suckered into unknowingly finishing my rollerskis in the dark anymore.  Pebbles are much more frightening when you can’t see them coming…

PROgress

My life as a semi professional/currently meandering non student athlete is a work in progress.  baby steps.

itty bitty baby steps:

-drop out of school

-move across the country

-get set up with a rifle that works better…better than the old russian thing

-decide that I don’t need a man sized rifle

-live in a world of hand-me-downs and buy a better stock off a older/wiser lefty.

-have a boyfriend who has a father who is very crafty and has a woodshop.

and….PRESTO! one “custom” stalk!

 

Its now “corrine-sized” I can reach the bolt, the thumb piece, and the trigger!  The pistol grip is no longer gianormous and my standing extension perfect, i shot like a normal person again!  Life is good, and my rifle looks like it was never sawed, chopped, sanded, and widdled into its current state.

Thanks to “Carl and Son” custom rifles I couldn’t be happier.

isn’t she a beaut?