Highlands

How time flies! I recalled today that I subtitled my website “10 months in the life of an Irish cross country skier” – we are now coming to the end of the 9th month, and my dream is very close to being realised.

December and the first half of January were full of travel for me. There were lots of logistics to take care of, race preparations to be made, and good amounts of rest needed after racing. With the qualification races behind me it was time to return to some solid training. Before hitting the road again I made a quick stop to visit my parents, and to repack my things – possibly for another 8 weeks of travel!

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Good Morning! Time to get out of bed and train.

I was able to spend a week training once again at Highlands Nordic. I was incredibly fortunate to have some friends lend me a house near the ski trails so I was able to cook and live in comfort nearby.

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It was cozy inside, but things were chilly outside – that’s -19C on the thermometer.

Generally at this point in the year I would have skied perhaps 400km, and would just be preparing for the bulk of the race season. This year is entirely different – I have skied about 2500km, I have raced most of my important races for the year and now I will have a full month to prepare for one really important race.

My lack of website updates can be attributed to poor access to internet, and the fact that I’m needing to sleep more during this period of intensive training to make sure that I stay healthy in the weeks ahead.

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A church which I will certainly not be attending – you may need to click on the photo to enlarge it to understand why.

While training, I received confirmation that I had met Olympic qualifying standards. Next I was informed by the Snowsports Association of Ireland that they have nominated me to the Olympic Council of Ireland to join Team Ireland in Sochi. An official confirmation and announcement should be coming sometime this week.

This news brought lots of excitement and requests for interviews – something which I have never done before. I did one interview for a local branch of the CTV network. I have never done a TV interview before – in the end I’m glad that I did – it was an interesting experience.

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No shortage of snow on this interesting boulder.

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Perhaps the greatest reward on my journey thus far has been the ability to ski everyday – often in beautiful conditions like these.

I have now travelled to Austria for a week of training. We chose Austria because it has a good supply of snow as opposed to some other locations in central Europe right now. If we travel on to Sochi this is a good intermediate location the break up the change in time zones, and to adjust to a slightly different diet.

Good luck to anyone training these days – especially to everyone preparing for the Canadian Ski Marathon!

7 responses to “Highlands

  1. Congratulations Jan! I will be racing a 50 k skate in Michigan in your honor next weekend while the Olympics will be starting (the North American Vasa, in Traverse City). Too bad I don’t own a Team Ireland hat, if that even exists, though I will wear my USA Nordic hat to keep it in the olympic spirit!

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