Friday, September 27, 2013
As it always does, summer has flown by and I'm only two short weeks from skiing loops on Frozen Thunder and prepping for my early season World Cup opportunities. Thanks largely in part to the June flooding in the Bow Valley our training camp schedule has been anything but routine. We've just had a training camp cancelled for the fourth time this season! It's been hard to stay focused and working hard when plans are continually evolving and changing but the training has still been high quality and I feel like my coaches and I are moving in the right direction as we get close to the race season. My team and I headed to Montana to train around Whitefish in the middle of August. I really love the training in Whitefish and the National park just outside the city. My consistency was a little low at this camp compared to last year but I was still able to run a personal best 10km with a 32:52. Along with this August camp I've been working hard with my teammates in Canmore and the areas around the Bow Valley all summer. Also this summer I had an opportunity to speak at a youth conference about my journey as an aspiring Olympic athlete. Speaking at the Metis Nation of Alberta’s Annual Assembly and Youth Conference was a great opportunity to connect with the aboriginal community. It's rare that I have this type of an opportunity and I hope in the future to be able to do more of this work with youth. Here's a few photos of the past summer's happenings. Also I need to say a massive THANK YOU to all the Candians that have donated to CAN Fund and as well to the organization itself for supporting me this upcoming racing season! It means so much to have support from people all across the country and I feel so privileged to have been selected by CAN Fund to receive this support. I can't wait to do what I can to raise the profile of the organization even more! Thanks for checking in and catch ya later! jesse
Friday, August 2, 2013
The past racing season would have been a great year to document through the process but unfortunately I was too busy writing in my dream journal instead of this blog. Last year was full of unbelievable highs and my fair share of soul crushing lows. Highlights and lowlights include: finishing last in the Canmore World Cup 15km Classic, having the best race of my life two days later in the World Cup Skate sprint and finishing 9th (qualifying 2nd), missing the World Championships qualifying, racing overseas in Norway and Finland (highlight), racing overseas in Norway and Finland (lowlight), defending the Team Sprint National title with Brent, missing the podium in the individual sprint at Canadian Nationals, and winning the overall Haywood NorAm title. Erratic and over-dramatic capture that eclectic mix of results and happenings pretty well. Through it all I've come away with a sense of encouragement and excitement at what I'm capable of and that the work I've been doing with my teammates is leading us down the right path. I'll let the photos do most of the talking with this post, no promises on better maintenance of this blog's current news but I'll try. A huge THANKS to my supporters last season; Russell at E. Grubens Transport, Jamie at Nuna Logistics, Dr. Suzanne Perkins, and Shades on Caribou. I'm so grateful for your support and I look forward to another great year of working together!
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Four unfinished drafts and seven months later this seems as good a time as any to get this ball rolling again. As far as catching you up on what I've been up to, where I've been and how it's all been; May was early skiing in Oregon, June was our long bike ride in the Kootenays, July was the Haig Glacier trips for the year, August was some ridiculously hard training south of the border in Montana, September and October was my trip with the NST to Utah for altitude and intensity. How was it? It was all fantastic! Of course there are hours of long workouts, hard intensities, gym sessions, cold baths, and everything else that make up a spring, summer, and fall schedule of training but those camps were the main focus for their respective month. And here we are in November with less than two weeks until our race season kicks off Vin Diesel style. The abridged version of my training year doesn't sound like very much training when it's comprised into one poorly written sentence but this has been by far my hardest year of training to date. As repetitive as that last sentence is among athletes, it is true. I felt like I needed to be aggressive this offseason and the coaches rewarded my loud talk with hard work for the entire team. Here are few photos to capture a small portion of the training year that seemed to pass by as quickly as I wrote this post. Check back for updates as the season moves forward, thanks for reading!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
After a short two week break from racing we were back on a plane headed to our next stop for the season; Quebec City. La Belle Provence, and more specifically Mt. St. Anne, played host to our 2012 Canadian National Cross Country Ski Championships and considering the seriously summer-like weather they did an amazing job holding all the races on schedule and with relatively great conditions. I was really excited to start the championships with the Team Sprint, an event I skipped last year for the first time in eight years of travelling to and racing Nationals. I regret not racing last year quite a bit. This year I was teaming up with Brent Mcmurtry on Foothills 1. Brent won this event last year with my teammate Kevin Sandau so I was really looking forward to defending the title for Foothills. The race was held on the Plains of Abraham under hot sunny conditions of around 10C! The race played out well for Brent and I and we were able to ski away from the field with the Whitehorse team of David Greer and Graham Nishikawa. Brent skied the first leg and I was in charge of the anchor leg against Nish. Nish skied a really strong last lap and was positioned ahead of me in the final stretch before taking a small stumble that I avoided. His misstep was enough to open the door for me and I was able to close the win for Brent and I. I was really happy to win this team event but unfortunately it was the high water mark for the week as I struggled in the individual distance races under the hot 21C weather and sloppy conditions. The 10km Classic went ok, a slow start and strong finish on the two 5km laps made for a 10th place finish in some pretty tricky waxing conditions. As for the 15km Skate, that one sucked! I skied such a strong start and felt good with just over 5km to go. A few major bonks later I crossed the line in 20th and well off any type of goal I had going into the day. From here we had a rest day and a chance to prepare for the upcoming Skate Sprint. I was able to ski my best qualifier ever, however I was unable to move past the semi's and had to settle for 12th on a day that I was really excited about. After all that we still had the 50km Classic on the horizon. I am amazed the organizing committee was able to hold this race and I really need to give them lots of credit for that as the conditions were deteriorating quickly and I was definitely betting against the race being run. In the end they held it and we raced it. Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw, fresh off their amazing season and World Cup finals in SWE, skied away from the field after their butt-face antics at the start of the race. Those guys are fast and it's good to see the level of speed we need to be competitive internationally. I finished the race strongly and crossed the line 7th tying my only other result in a 50km (Whitehorse,2010). From there we packed our skis, cleaned our barn house, and jetted off to the world's longest banquet in Quebec City. Now I'm back at home finishing up the last week of training before the real end to the season on Saturday; Mt. Shark! Shark has been the site of some real pain train races for me and I'm expecting more of the same for the 12.5km Skate. Thanks for following the season so far, the end is near!
Friday, March 2, 2012
To me Turkey seemed almost like a place made up and stuck in my atlas to fill the pages alongside all the other far off, mysterious lands of the Middle-East. I never thought I would end up visiting this country and getting a chance to see their culture first hand. A couple days home now and I can appreciate lots of things about the country and the people but it feels great to be back home sleeping in my own bed and skiing on familiar trails with my friends. As for the racing of the past four weeks; it's left me wanting more to say the least. Although this trip started great with my third NorAm win in Ontario at the Eastern Canadian Championships, my main focus of the season was over before it ever had a real chance to get going. I had been dreaming of the U23 World Championship Skate sprint for the past six months and had envisioned a great day skiing my best race of my season and finishing on the podium. Not even close. I failed to qualify for the heats finishing 10 seconds behind the winner and sitting in 39th place. Leading up to these races my coach, Mike Cavaliere, and close friend/teammate Graeme Killick and I travelled from Ottawa to Italy for a preparatory altitude camp in the town of Livigno near the Swiss border. This small camp went very well with lots of great skiing, strength workouts and lower altitude intensities to bring the body up to top level. To me the preparation seemed perfect and I was confident in my speed and improved qualifying from previous seasons. The course was strikingly similar to the sprint course in Rossland, BC. I had a great race in Rossland earlier this season and felt ready to find that same feeling come sprint day. In the end I came up short but the great thing about ski racing is that there is always another race and another chance to be competitive and the next chance came two days later in the 15km Individual Classic. Unfortunately it was another hard day for my body and I was only able to finish 47th, well off the pace. By now the high altitude, hour long bus ride to and from the site, and the 200 person buffet had taken it's toll on my body and I was battling a serious cough deep in my chest. With one race to go, the 30km Skiathlon, I focused my best to try to come up with one good day from my body and to find the feeling I had racing in Canada in so many previous races this season. I skied a strong classic leg for the first 14.5km and was positioned in the lead group sitting top 15 when I crashed on the high speed downhill leading into the stadium. From here I struggled to find my rhythm until well into the skate portion and by this time it was too late and I had lost too much time to the leaders to stay competitive. I finished 29th on a day that my body felt close to the level I know I can ski at. Sorry for the whiny update but these championships were one disappointment after another for me. Thankfully we've still got some important racing to do this year as we are heading out in two weeks time to race National Championships in Mt. St Anne, QC. I'm really excited to have some more races to redeem myself for the poor results from Turkey. Here's some photos to enjoy, I don't own the U23 photos and I also don't feel like spending any money on them so all I have is the silly watermarked versions. See you in the 418!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Just five short, cold days after getting home from Whistler we were back at it racing NorAms in Canmore this past weekend. After a year packed with mini tours last season, the NorAm schedule only includes two this season with this weekend's Western Canadian Championships being the first. A serious cold snap rolled through Canmore bringing the temperature down around -30C. Training sucks when it's that cold so the prep was not ideal going into a weekend of NorAm racing but everyone was in the same boat and we made the most of it by keeping workouts short and doing as much indoors as possible. First up on the schedule was the individual 10km Classic. I love racing 10km Classic races, I've always thought of it as my favorite race. Too bad that love didn't translate into a stellar race. I went out hard and paid the price on the tough continuous climbs of the Canmore World Cup trails. Finishing the day in 13th nearly two minutes back was not how I imagined that one going, thankfully there's always another day in ski racing and I was excited to race the next day's Skate sprint.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Here we are again, Whistler BC for the third time this season and this time it's for some pretty meaningful races. Trials are always a stressful time of year and this year was no exception to that as we were met with some pretty hairy conditions on the sprint day, the day I was focusing on as we left for BC. But first things first, the 30km Pursuit.