Being an athlete isn’t always easy, but with all the fresh snow that has fallen in Canmore over the past few weeks, I’ve felt as though I have the best job in the world. Two week ago, we were lucky enough to get a huge dump of snow, and since then every single trail at the Canmore Nordic Centre has been open and beautifully groomed for skiing.
Training-wise, November has been all about getting off the wheels and back on the skinny skis. Frozen Thunder has been open since the end of October, and although the track this year was pretty short, natural snow fell early enough that it wasn’t a problem. Unfortunately, small cold knocked me out of training right before the Frozen Thunder sprints, but being a spectator for a day is pretty fun when you have lots of teammates and friends to cheer for! Although getting sick right before the racing season is frustrating, I try to think of it as my body telling me that it needs rest and recovery.
As snow started coming down in Lake Louise, skiers from across the province came to enjoy the tracks. Luckily for me, my parents and younger sister had a week off school and came to ski and visit my brother and I! Skiing has always been a family activity for the MacIsaac-Jones clan, and training with my siblings is extra motivating for me, especially when I see how hard they work. It was also great to see some young Athabasca Nordic skiers racing around Frozen Thunder and up Moraine Lake road.
With so many athletes in town, I was lucky to have the opportunity to speak with some skiers from Red Deer Nordic during their Lake Louise camp. We talked about the importance of mental health as an athlete, as well as how to balance school with skiing, and it was fun to see how motivated and excited they were to ski!
These past few weeks, my teammates and I have been doing a mix of long adventure skis and Time Trials. For me, a big key to being physically and mentally ready for the season is getting some solid max effort workouts under my belt, and TTs are the easiest way to do that. Having such a big group of girls on RMR has been great because we support each other and push each other to new limits during every intensity session.
With only a few days (literally) left until the season starts, I’m winding down my training and focusing on the upcoming races. Coming up on the schedule are the Canmore NorAm races this weekend, followed by the Sovereign Lakes NorAm races the weekend after that. This year will be my first year racing as a senior athlete. With a competitive field and lots of racing to be done, there will be many opportunities up for grabs.
On a final note, I would like to send a huge thank-you out to two of my personal sponsors, Jamie Coatsworth and Athabasca Home Hardware, helping support me throughout these upcoming NorAm races. I’m excited to see what the start of the season will bring!