First of all, I am continuing to call this the weekly update. Why? Because its ironic. And ironic is funny. Right? Oh well.
Well, just like that here we are. Olympic trials are upon us. Tomorrow marks the start of 5 days of competition spread over the next 11 days that will determine Canada’s 2014 Olympic Short Track team.
I could get into a big song and dance about how I’ve prepared, how fast the last four years have gone etc, but I’d rather just say this. I’m ready. I’m ready to attack this set of trials like I have attacked every set of trials I have ever raced. There is nothing new here. Its just time to race.
The team and I are now in Debrecen, site of the 2013 World Championships putting the final touches on our form for this weekend’s competition.
Like I mentioned in my last post, we spent a week in Budapest acclimatizing to the jet-lag and getting a last bit of training under our belts. Despite having trained in Budapest this summer, I had completely forgotten how cold the rink was. Maybe it was the fact that when we were there in June it was above 30C almost everyday or my mind had erased bad memories of the cold, but I was shocked. Most of the team struggled a bit with not being able to feel our feet after 30 or so minutes on the ice. We also had to resort to extra layers over our skin suits. I like to consider myself a hardy northerner, but even I had to wear a toque under my helmet a couple times. Pathetic!
I love dried dates and figs. I picked some up at the Budapest market.
Olivier was pumped to buy his weight in sausage at the market
On Sunday we hoped on a bus with the Hungarian team and travelled the 2.5 hours to Debrecen. We are staying at a very nice hotel only a few minutes from the rink. Its been gorgeous here every day. Today, Val, Gabby and I rented bikes from the hotel and went for a little tour around the hotel. The area around the hotel is a big park/sports complex/water park, and the local university is close to, so that made for a nice short tour to shake our legs out on our afternoon off.
Our hotel in Debrecen.
Afternoon bike ride
University in Debrecen. According to Gabby, it has a good medical school.
Some off path riding…
…And some off roading
Tomorrow is the last day of practice of the season. I’m ready to get this competition going!
Well, a lot has happened since I last posted about our team’s crazy travel day from Sochi to Dresden. First of all, I’m already back over in Europe, having just arrived in Budapest today for a week long training camp before we do the short drive over to Debrecen for the World Championships. So since I’m back in a battle with my good friend jet lag, I figured I’d do a quick summary of the last couple weeks to help me fight the urge to sleep and give my few faithful readers something new to peruse.
So, the last few weeks went like this. First, I competed in Dresden. I started out shakily, not unlike I did in Sochi, but was able to pull out a decent 6th in the 1000m and 4th in the 1500m. Not my best results, but closer to my capabilities after the train wreck that was Sochi.
Following Dresden, the team flew home and brought with us an extra passenger that a few of the team picked up the week before. A nice little cold virus. I was one of the majority who got it on the trip back and I spend the better part of the first week back getting over that. It only stopped me from training for one day, I maybe could have taken a second, but training calls and we needed to put in some good strong training in order to get ready for Worlds.
By the middle of last week, I was feeling much more closer to my normal self and it started to show in training. I’m interested to see what type of form I can bring to Worlds in two weeks. It will be my first individual World Champs and I’m excited!
First up though, like I mentioned above, we have some training and time zone adaptation here in Budapest to do, so keep watching back here for updates from Hungary.
First off, Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there and in particular mine! If you are reading this blog its probably because I am a short track speed skater and one of the biggest reasons I am what I am today is my Dad. He was my long time coach and continued supporter and believer in me and the sport of speed skating (you too Mum!, but it is Father’s day today…). Happy Father’s Day old man!
This past week, as I mentioned in last weeks update, was spent in Budapest. It was a week that was all about train, eat, sleep, repeat. We’ve settled into our surroundings here nicely. The rink is situated a few minutes by foot from our hotel at a massive sports park that houses a soccer stadium, velodrome, massive outdoor hockey rink, tennis courts and other facilities. Its all a bit dated, but really, its a fantastic environment to train.
Personally, this week has been a good one for me. We had some adaptation sessions early in the week before getting back into speed and speed endurance work. After being off the ice for nearly three months due to my shoulder injury, and having not done either speed or speed endurance for almost five months it was quite a shock to my body. Wednesday’s speed endurance session was particularly painful. But I made it through and was a lot better in our second similar session on Friday.
After a tough volume program on Saturday, we wrapped up the week with an afternoon off. Liam and I toured the city a bit on a scooter and checked out the view from Citadel Hill at night.