Last March I went to Canadian Nationals with my club team Skibec from Québec City. The first race of the week was the team sprint and there was a lot of debate about whether to do it or not. Many racers opted out, wanting to save themselves for the remaining four “more important” races. The team sprint didn’t offer FIS or CCC points, only a chance to help your club in the overall team standings. (Unfortunately for my team I couldn’t even help them there because I’m not a Canadian citizen.) So I couldn’t earn points for myself or my team, why would I bother to do the race? I talked a lot with my coaches and my teammate Marie-Eve, who was the only other senior woman on our team. I had two excellent reasons to do the race, beyond just because racing is (almost) always fun. One was to help out Marie-Eve, if I didn’t race she wouldn’t have been able to. But the second reason was that it was an opportunity to “briser la glace” or break the ice. Canadian Nationals were the biggest races I had been to and I was pretty nervous. Doing the team sprint would be a chance to work out some of those nerves.
Today I got to “briser la glace” again. We just finished up the first race of the season, a classic sprint prelim here in West Yellowstone. It was cold, much colder than I think any of us expected, but the snow was beautiful and it was sunny. I had great skis. I felt strong, though I definitely lost time on the downhills. (I’m looking forward to some remedial downhill training on those new s-turns going down to the biathlon range back home. Can someone explain to me why alpine skiing my whole life hasn’t helped me with downhill technique on Nordic skis?) It feels really good to be in the season now, not just looking forward to it. I’ll always be nervous before races, but now those first race jitters are out.
I thought this post would get up before results were in, but they just got posted. Ida killed it!! She was 6th overall and the 3rd American!! Congrats to everyone! I want to add more exclamation points but I’ll get made fun of. You get the idea.
Here are some photos from the afternoon ski: