Wednesday, April 27, 2011

HOME SWEET HOME!

Kevin and I enjoyed our final days in Burlington, then I headed home for the first time since the end of January.


It was good to be home, but it seems like whenever I am home there is So much to do! Unpacking, laundry, banking, family dinners, visiting friends, fixing bike gear, and on and on!
On Easter, my family decided to hike up the Peaks and get one last feel of snow, even if we weren't wearing skis.
Oh how treacherous that 20minute climb was...


Just kidding... everyone was smiling. (My Momma)

 Even though we were sweaty! (Jenna and I) 

 Even my Dad came, although we didn't let him take his camera. 


Jenna and my mom... or are they sisters? 


Avid hikers, although Clay is pushing for... "avid bikers"!


Hayley... I've never met a dog more afraid of it's own shadow... Somehow I still love her though.
 

The Peaks' Badlands! 

What my skin will eventually look like.


I hope that I have a dog with paws this big someday.

 The view and why I love Georgian Bay!

We just missed chairlifts too much, so we had to say one last goodbye. 

I'll miss you skiing!

I'll miss you refreshing air... (I like Jenna's hair in this one!)


Goodbye snow!


Oops.. I just heard that there are still snowbanks in Canmore. I guess winter is a very long season for us!

Therefore, today I headed back to Burlington, and enjoyed the sun and warmth. I went for a jog by the water, trying to avoid flooded parts. However, I think I need to gradually get used to this warm weather, my system defiantly didn't condone the shock. My feet blistered, my face sweat and it was hard to continue. Yet, I soaked up some vitamin D and feel great now! I realized just how competitive I really am when I tried to catch up to two girls in front of me, and sped up to try not to let a man pass me, to no avail of course.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Series, Testing and THE END!

First of all. I just found these pictures from the Nationals, which I took at our hotel. Do you see anything out of the ordinary?
 

These were just waiting outside my window to make my day. When I went for trail runs after skiing, I ended up following deer tracks. It was just me and the deer up in the mountains!


After the Nationals we headed to Quebec for the last four races of the year. The Spring Series are always fun because I get to see people that I haven't seen all year. We stay in Quebec city and the weather is usually nice!
After these races we headed to Mount St. Anne for two days of ski testing! The Rossi girls were trying 6 different set ups of slalom skis. We finished 11 runs in a short course with video and timing. However, it was hard to see the difference because out of those 11 runs, my times only varied by 3 tenths. That night Tim cooked us our last "team" dinner, although only Eve and I remained to test on the final day. The next day Marco (my tech) narrowed the skis I needed to test to 3 pairs. Again my times only varied by .16 between all 6 runs. However, Tim and Marco figured everything out and we chose the skis that I will use for next year!
After the last day of testing I quickly changed and headed on the road to Burlington, VT to visit Kevin. He left me his car, or should I say HUGE SUV, after the Quebec races, so I hit the road and hoped for the best. To be honest, I've never driven that far in one shot because I am never home to drive. Yet, after one missed exit I was good to go!
Now I am in Burlington and it feels amazing to have some time off! I don't even know what 7am feels like anymore. Kevin and I are hitting up all of our favourite restaurants, coffee shops and... free sample booths.
I guess I'm still a little tired....

Could I fit in in the city? Maybe if it is as small as Burlington...


Kevin walks around with his purple phone that they gave him after his black one died... We decided that he would try to convince people that he honestly thinks the phone is blue. What do you think?



Brad (Kevin's friend) and Kendra came up for the weekend last weekend and brought their new puppy! This picture below, is my Heaven.

On that note, as well as relaxing, playing squash and enjoying some time in one spot, I have been getting somethings ready for Canmore. I've applied to be a volunteer at an animal shelter and a veterinary office.  We've completed Kevin's resume, but we still have to find him a solid job. Also, the furniture hunt is ongoing. I think I've become best friends with the online classifieds. It is like my weekly tv show, "Oh, guess what? The classifieds come out tomorrow!"
However, I might be able to do a little waterskiing this summer. There is a lake near Calgary called Predator Bay, that I want to visit a couple of times when I am in the West!
I still miss all of this!


 And especially, this!

Tomorrow I am going home to visit my family and friends! YAY!! A kitchen to cook in, my little cat, and my own bed, for the second night since Dec 11th. But Tim is right, it is all my choice.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NATIONALS

At our Nationals in Nakiska, we decided that it would be a good idea for me to pick up my speed career where I left it 3 years ago. I put on downhill skis for the first time in three years and started getting ready to go. I started 46th with 350 points, making me the last person in the race with race points! I guess points really do bump. On the course report I heard, as long as Erin is still okay doing this, we are good to go. Also, closer to my start I heard, if you want to stand up or sluff some speed off before the jump that's okay. It was only a training run after all. I stood in the start and told myself to be calm, feel it out and... not to break before the jump!

 
 The course was flat, short and easy, however it felt amazing to be in the air again, to feel the long skis on my feet (even though I crossed them during inspection a few times), to feel the wind on my face again. I placed 7th and 9th in the training runs, and placed 7th on race day! 

After the three downhill days, I felt more prepared for the super combined and super g. I came 11th in the first super g and didn't finish the super combined. I placed 9th in the second super g.
I hope I was just getting into my tuck in this picture.... I don't think my hands should be that low...

Finally, after the two super g days, we got a day off. We woke up late, meandered over to the breakfast buffet, and then headed to the car for fitness testing. And no, I did not make a mistake, we did fitness testing, to max.

The next day was GS. My coaches, tech and I decided that I would try to race on a pair of 189cm skis as opposed to my usual 185cm skis. I rushed in the morning to put on my stuff, so that I would have quite a while to warm up and get used to them. I made it up the first chair, dropped my bag at the bottom of the second chair, saw that it was closed, waited for a minute while they moved the closed sign, and then headed up to the top. However, about a third of the way to the top of the hill, the chair stopped. It stopped for quite a while before Mulli and I began to worry. We radioed down to Tim and realized that they were talking about evacuating the chair. Several minutes later, we found out why. Due to the wind and snow conditions, there had been a mini avalanche at the top of the hill where the super g start used to be. However, to my relief (since I'm scared of heights), they started the chair and slowly started evacuating people that way. I was picturing being taken down by a rope and pulley of some sort. After a few delays and a lowered start, we began the race! My first run was a bit of a struggle, I placed about 10th. However, my second run felt much better. I came 4th for the run and ended up 8th overall.
Of course, my eyes were closed in this picture, so my Dad photo-shopped eyes onto my face from another picture....


Our final day of Nationals was the slalom. I felt pretty drained from all the events during the week, but I knew I had to give the slalom my all. On the first run I went full force out of the gate. I made a pretty big mistake at the top, however the rest of the way down I tried to make up for my mistake. I ended up in 3rd, in a good position to attack. However, my second run was a struggle for me. I tried to give it my all, but my all wasn't good enough. I felt drained after the race and felt the events of the week catch up to me. I ended up in second, however Mitch killed everybody!



After the slalom race, we packed up the cars and headed to Calgary for the Provincial Dual Slalom. Each province chooses four girls and four boys to race the other provinces. Ontario and Quebec race each other first, along with Alberta and British Columbia. After a cup of coffee (which I usually tried to stay away from) I was ready to go. Our team got together, practiced our starts and went over the rules. Finish.... ALWAYS FINISH!! You still get points for finishing. After we raced in the blue course, we switched to the red course. We were down by a couple of points, so we needed to bring up our energy a notch. We came up with a cheer, which was quite simply "CRUSH!" We ended up doing this. We won against Quebec for the first time in a year or two. We moved on to race Alberta, the masters of dual slaloms. I am positive that people from Alberta must practice duals! Our team definitley had the most heart and we were all proud of each other. However, Alberta took the title once again. 

Nationals ended on a high note and we headed to Quebec for the "Spring" Series.

I was glad to have my parents and Clay at the Nationals watching!
Most of you probably don't know, but our team is centralizing to the Calgary/Canmore area for the summer. We were allowed to chose between either Calgary and Canmore, I chose Canmore. I was lucky enough that Kevin said he would come with me!!!  I love the mountains. I love being at the top of the mountain and having a bird's eye view of the world. I couldn't stand the thought of spending my summer constantly fighting crowds and traffic. Thus, I found a place in Canmore, to serve as my new... home sweet home. I guess I will be there for a longer period of time than I have been in one place in... who knows when. Years at least. If anyone knows of anyone selling house appliances, hiring (for Kevin) or anything in general please let me know!
See... mountains or city? I guess that is the new question I pose to you.