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World Cup Round 1 and Jukola 2019

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Hello all, long time no see! I've been busy finishing up classes for the year, coaching and training for the last few months. Nothing super exciting. But, I just got back from my first international races of 2019, so I figured it was time for another blog post! Right after my exams finished in late April, I headed down to New York for the Canadian Team Trial races. I'd been doing some pretty solid training throughout March and April and I was feeling really fit and ready to race. Buuuutttttt, on the Thursday right before the races I went for a run and my left hip was super-duper sore. NOoooooOOo not another injury! I decided to still run the races to the best of my ability and hope for the best. I did pretty okay physically in all of the races. In the middle, I had a nearly perfect race on all but 1 control (.... that *one* being a complete gong show...). In the sprint I found my speed and enjoyed a really fun course at Trophy Point. In the long I navigated soundly but had to

2018 Review

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With the start of the new year, I thought that I'd take some time to reflect on what went down in 2018 for me, because it was quite the year! Training in Numbers  2018 was riddled with injuries, preventing me from hitting my training targets for the year, unfortunately. But with a focus on quality over quantity for the year, I'm proud of what I accomplished despite the consequences.  Total hours of physical training:  - 327.37.23  Top 3 activities   1. Running - 79.51.15 hours, 826.91km, 5798m of climb 2. Cycling - 64.00.06 hours, 721.69km, 4893 m of climb 3. Orienteering - 62.01.38 hours, 478.91km, 6258m of climb Running Races and PBs - 5 cross country races  - 3 PBs 5k: 18.36 6k: 22.37 8km: 30.40 - 51st place at Sports National xc champs, 1st place McMaster woman.  Orienteering Races  - 26 races - JWOC, WUOC, NAOC/COC, Venla/Jukola, etc. - 4 countries raced in (Canada, USA, Hungary and Finland) - 4x top 10 international finishes.

Riding the Rollercoaster that is Cross Country Season

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      This cross season was filled with so many ups and downs that my stomach is still doing flip-flops. I’ve not only gone through physical highs and lows, but mental ones too. But still, I somehow managed to put in my best season yet without hitting weekly mileage goals, without focusing on my times so much in workouts and without even stressing about the fact that I raced in the toughest university cross country race in Canada. If these aspects are thought of as the “key ingredients” to making a fast runner, then how did I end up being the first woman on my team to finish, and out-perform those who eat-sleep-breathe running? Heck, I only ran 4 days a week this season and I was racing against girls who probably run triple my mileage in a week. They say that those with the must guts will win a  race, but I believe it’s whoever has the brains.      I started off this season in a weird state. I was coming off some incredible summer performances and I was feeling as fit as I’ve ever b

Well Deserved R&R

It’s way too easy to make excuses for missing a training, but it’s also easy to ignore your body’s pleas for what it needs. When you feel a certain way, have a craving for something or just feel ‘out of it’, chances are your body is desperately trying to tell you what it wants.  This past week, after coming back from a week of racing at the North American Champs which was after a summer of even more races, I felt drained. My cross country coach had told me to take the week off, which I had initially planned as just some light cycling and strength. But when I woke up in the morning with the feeling of lead in my legs, and just not being able to think hard about something (even after my coffee), then I knew I had to change my plan.  Resting and recovering are different things, and what my body needed was a full sit-on-your-butt-and-binge-watch-Netflix week. And there is nothing wrong with that! There’s this whole idea that high level athlete’s have to be go-go-go all day everyd

North American and Canadian Champs

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This summer ain't over yet! My final big set of races were the North American and Canadian Champs, which were held in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. A friendly (but intense) battle between Canada and the USA for the Bjorn Kjellstrom (Sr) and Future Champions (Jr) Cups. I got to Whitehorse a few days before the races started, and my family and I (and Anton too) went on an incredible hike up Grey Mountain. The views were breathtaking... once we made it up the sketchy road in our front-wheel-drive mini van. The summit of Grey Mountain The next morning we headed out to run on the model map to learn the terrain. It was different than all of the terrains I'd been on this summer, and much hillier too! Later that day we hiked along Miles Canyon, and then stopped at Cowley Lakes to take in the view of the Kool-Aid blue water along our drive back to our accommodation in Tagish.  That water colour though!  Cowley Lake Saturday August 18th - NAOC Lon

World Unis 2018

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JWOC was over which meant it was time to relax for a bit. And by a bit I mean about 36 hours. The day after the races were done, a few North Americans and I made our way back to Helsinki and then up north to Kuortane for the 2018 World University Orienteering Champs. Let's just say there was a lot of mouth-open-head-rolling naps going on in the car... Our accommodation in Kuortane was much much nicer than in Kecskemét. We stayed at an Olympic training centre, complete with a lake, all kinds of running trails, a recovery pool centre and a sauna (obviously). We made good use of the lake almost every day, but the problem was that you had to walk about 100m out to get to the deep part of the lake - it was a struggle getting back to shore after a really tough race.  *Ooh lala* I had the pleasure of being Team Canada's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies. The ceremony was nice, and it was the first time where we got to hear the FISU anthem, something we didn't kno

Junior Worlds 2018

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After an exciting race at the Jukola Relay in Lahti, Finland, (read about it on my Attackpoint log!) I got myself on a plane to Budapest! This would be my first time in Hungary, and I was beyond excited. After a busy and beautiful day in Budapest, I made my way south to the town of Kecskemét... or the "Land of Golden Sand" as (some) of the locals might say. This was the hosting city of the 2018 Junior World Champs, and I was getting there early for a prep week or two. Anton (honorary Canadian) and I met up with a teammate, Michael, and some friends from South Africa for our official-pre-JWOC-training-camp at a cute little AirBnb that we shared. For the next week, our days consisted of lots of training in new terrain, naps, tacos and a TON of ice cream! I was nervous before coming here in terms of what the terrain was going to be like. From what I'd heard from others, it wasn't exactly a walk in the park out there. There were big, scary juniper bushes, and bran