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.