Friday, August 26, 2011

Long Time no see

It has just been over a year since I have updated, I guess I just fell out of the whole blogging thing.

But, A lot has happened over the year and I'm sure there will be more news to come.

This year has been a big one. After racing in Mexico for the Pan-American Championships in January 2011, it was race prep for the 2011 National Team Trials which decides who will go to Europe for the World Cup Series and World Championships in September. I was a top contender to make it this year after my 3rd place finish last Team Trials(unfortunatly I didnt make the percentage to get on the team).

This years Team Trials was originally going to be held in Jonquiere, Quebec but due to high water it was changed to Valleyfield, PQ. I had an all-right week leading up to the race but I still felt determined to make the team. The race scheldue was a two day event with 2 runs on each day. Each run was a little mini race so you had to do well on all of them but if you did mess up on one, you could throw that one out as only three counted.

The first day went excellent for me. I felt great and I was able to transfer all that energy to my 2 runs. My first run I was only 10th's of a second off the top women and I quickly made percentage. For my second run I pulled through and won that run. I felt great the rest of the day and felt really confident on making the team. Thank you to the Daniels for the great sushi dinner, maybe sushi's my secret pre- race winner dinner!

I had a good sleep and the second day came around. I saw the new course set the night before so I was already visualizing my race run. I felt great, just like the day before and I knew I was going to make the National team. First runs came and I didn't do so well. I hit a lot of gates and the time was slow. I reassured myself that this run would be thrown out and I would have my second run to make it. I still felt physically good but I think mentally, I was not. Second runs came and went within a minute. Again my run wasn't the greatest, I still hit gates even though I tried my best not to hit them and because of that my time was slow. I felt un-focused and I felt exhausted without being physically tired.

I did not make the National Team, even though I had a stellar first day. I felt confused and frustrated on why I couldn't hold onto that focused, positive energy I had on the first day and pull through to make the team. I am now holding on the fact that I am 17 and had my first, real international experience last summer at the 2010 Junior World Championships and that I do not have that high intensity and and stressful race experience that many of the other girls have. I will not have that age/maturity gap be my excuse, it will only empower me to get better technically, mentally and physically stronger from what I am now to where I will be the top woman in Canada.

So anyways, I had a moment to myself to let out all the emotions and to look back on my race runs. When I came back to the racesite to socialize again I found out by my club coach Jon Allen that one of the women weren't going to 2 of the world cups and because I was 4th boat I had a chance to go to these races in place of her. I was extremely happy about this. I left that Team Trials witha low note of not making the National Team but also with a high note that I would still go to Europe to race a couple of World Cups.

My first ever World Cup was in L'Argentierre la Besse, France. It was a great experience in racing in a international race. I ranked 37th, 7 places out from semi-finals and was the 2nd best Canadian woman. The next world cup I attended was in Markleeberg, Germany. It was an artificial course and very different from the natural river racecourse in France. I ranked 42nd, I had missed a gate on my second run and my first run was slow. It was a great training trip, I learned a lot by going to these races in where I can improve on to get in the semi-finals and finals.

Our Canadian National Championships were held in my hometown of Chilliwack, BC. It didn't feel like any other Nationals because most of the National Team was racing in London for the Olympic Test event. It was an exciting week of training and racing, the river was very high for August but it was still race able. The courses that were set for the race were very challenging, exceptionally the Senior day. On my first run of Sunday I missed the gate that was the most challenging offset of the course. I knew I had to make some changes for my second run If I wanted to be Canadian Champion for the second time. I pulled off a clean run and was very pleased. It was a close race but I managed to get on top to name myself Canadian Women's Senior and Junior Champion for the second year. It was a great race put on by our local club and I say thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors for the event.

I am training in Ottawa this fall and I will be taking a month long training camp in Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of the 2012 Olympic Team Trials. It is important that I get as much training time as possible on the course as it could decide who will go to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. That is my dream, my goal to go to the Olympics and this is one of my chances. I am training hard and getting as much workouts as I can to get myself ready for these upcoming Trials. It will be a very busy year!


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