One Athlete's Mind
Yikes! It's been WAY TOO LONG since my last post, though I must say it has been nice to kind of shut off my brain and relax for the past couple weeks. But now to pick up where I left off: the Rossland NorAms.
My second race weekend of the year came Dec. 17-18 in Rossland B.C. The first day of competition was a skate sprint, and one of the most frustrating races I've ever done. Leading up to this sprint, I was feeling a little bit nervous about the course and how I would ski it, because last year's race did not go well for me, so I wanted to make sure I skied it much more efficiently and intelligently this time around. I ended up skiing it perfectly, exactly how I wanted to and didn't feel that I got bogged down or anything anywhere. This was the up side. The down side, and the lesson of the day, was that I had picked the wrong skis. So the lesson was, just because a ski tests the fastest in zone 1 (slow/easy training) does not mean they will be fast at high speeds. After 4 days of testing I was sure I had narrowed down my fastest pair, but what I hadn't considered was that all 4 of those days were skied in zone 1, and things could be different at race speed. So a very frustrating day indeed, but a valuable lesson learned.
Day 2 brought a 15km skate mass start race, and my first mass start in the Open Men category. After getting off to a slow start for the first of four laps, my body started to wake up and I began picking people off one by one for the next three laps. I got into a really good rhythm and was feeling really good, but the slow start coupled with the 5th row starting position meant that I had a lot of ground to make up. I ended up finishing 29th Open Men, and was really wishing I would have had another lap to go, as I was reeling in a pack of 5 or 6 guys. Still my second time ever cracking the top 30 though, so not a bad day overall.
So to sum up my early season races, I may not have attained quite the results I was hoping for, but all signs point to increased fitness, drastically improved technique, and becoming a much smarter ski racer. It is with these signs of improvement in mind that I am now preparing for my next set of races, the World Under 23 Trials which will be taking place in Callaghan Valley, BC January 12-15.
On a non skiing topic, I was able to make it back to Penetang this year for Christmas, and had an incredible 9 days at home. With not having plans for every hour of every day, which is usually what happens when I go home, I was able to really take some time to myself and relax, recover from 3 weeks of travel and racing, and spend some quality time with family and friends. Even the lack of snow couldn't dampen my feelings about being home :).
I arrived back in Thunder Bay on the morning of the 29th, and have been taking advantage of the snow here as much as possible. Following a very productive 3 hour ski yesterday, I was even able to take advantage of my eligibility for free pancakes at Lappe for the first time!! Nothing like some delicious Finnish pancakes to make tearing apart your body for 22km all worth it ;). I'll be here in Thunder Bay for the next week, doing some final prep. training to get ready for Trials. Next Sunday, Jan. 8th, I'll be heading out west, and then 4 days later, the racing season resumes!
Hoping you all had as wonderful Christmas holidays as I did!
Happy New Year!!
Jordan Cascagnette, Student-Athlete, Ski Coach