Monday, 3 December 2012

10 days until my first World Cup race! What a great weekend.


This past weekend were the first races of the season, which also happened to be the World Cup Trials for the Quebec and Canmore World Cups.
Saturday was the sprint qualification and I had my best open women’s sprint result ever. Qualifying 6th (5th Canadian) I was able to maintain that position through the heats and finished off the day in the A-final.  My goal was to qualify for the distances races so this was a super exciting day for me. Not to mention it was our first day wearing out new Stoneham warm up jacket and pants. Thanks to Stoneham for making our team look so good out there.
Sunday brought more nerves as I was tired from the long day of sprinting and really wanted to secure a start in the 2 distance races in the Canmore World Cup. 10 kilometers later I crossed the finish line exhausted but once again ecstatic as I heard my name in the top 8 meaning I had secured a spot for all the Canadian World Cup races if I wanted to take them.  
Deciding to sit out the two Quebec sprints due to the long travel I am gearing up to race the Alberta World Cup from December 13-16th here in Canmore! Having not accepted my start in the 2010 Alberta World Cup, two years later I now feel ready to start my first international race at the senior level.
Lunging at the finish of my semi final ( bib #6)
Photo Credit: James Cunningham

In preparation for the World Cup I will be heading to Silverstar this week for the Sovereign Lake NorAm races. With amazing early season snow conditions and a great laid back Christmas atmosphere it is the perfect training and racing environment.
I can’t wait for next weekends races and to represent Canada here at home with many of my friends and family cheering and watching. Thank you for your amazing support! You guys are the best!
Photo Credit: Macx Davies

To Find out more about the upcoming World Cup visit the website, http://www.albertaworldcup.com/main.php?p=405 and don’t forget to be checking the results.
Till next week

Dahria 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

It's Winter! Excited about snow


If there is one thing everyone who knows me would say about me, it is that I love winter, so now that it has arrived I am as happy as can be. It has been a month now since I first skied; October 11th was the day this year. I put on my skis after the first big snowfall and skied a couple of loops of the Fraser loop trail in Whitehorse.  As per tradition my first ski of the year was with my dad. Even though there was not a set track and the conditions weren’t ideal, the amazing views and snow covered trees made for a perfect ski. Sadly the next day I had to board a plane so no skiing.
Dad waxing his skis

First Ski!

It was only a short 4 days until I was back on snow with the opening of Frozen Thunder here in Canmore. So for the past month all of us here in Canmore have been  oh so lucky as to be able to ski almost every day.  Just last weekend some of the trails above the cross country stadium were opened which gave us all a welcomed change of scenery. This past month in Canmore has already yielded cold winter days, snow storms and warm Chinook winds that temporarily brought back fall.


Winter walk with Loki, he's enjoying the snow as much as I am

On October 26th I participated in the WinSport Frozen Thunder Classic Sprint. This was a great event with an extremely competitive field made up of many top Canadian and American skiers. This was also an opportunity for the Academy to show off their great new Stoneham race suits. Big thanks to Stoneham (http://www.stoneham.se/stoneham.php ) for supplying our team with race suits and training clothes!
Knowing that only the top 16 qualified for the heats I went into the race with little expectations other than to ski as well as I could. Needless to say I was very pleased when I qualified 10th and was put in a heat with Chandra Crawford, Jessie Diggins and Brittany Webster. The heat was great practice and I learned a lot. Even though I ended up 3rd in the heat and did not move on, I was happy with how I was able to stay right in the mix until the end.
                                          Frozen Thunder Stadium

Thanks for reading, Happy trails and for those who are not yet on snow I will be doing a snow dance for you!

Dahria





Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Whirlwind September


Last night as the snow was falling and turning the autumnal landscape into a sheet of white, I thought to myself, it is time to write another blog post.  I think it is safe to say summer is now officially over, even if yesterday’s snowfall will be gone by this evening. It is amazing how quickly September flew by, it seems like I was just filling you all in on the adventures of our Whitefish camp and that is already a month ago now.
September was not completely smooth sailing for me. I caught a cold at the start of the month, which is always inconvenient but better now than during race season. It’s always the best feeling when you are feeling better and can get back into training! 
At the top of Mt. Allen, Centennial Ridge run!
Mid month Chris decided to switch up training a little and take us on the ridge run he had been talking about all summer. The entire girls team ran Centennial Ridge, up from Ribbon Creek to the top of Mt. Allen and then down the other side finishing at Dead Man’s Flats. It had snowed in the alpine the day before so we were running through a layer of white. The views from the top were breathtaking but we only took them in briefly, the wind gusts at the top were cold and strong.  Unfortunately on the way down, on the logging road not even the difficult rocky sections, I sprained my right ankle. The physio told me the next day I had a second degree sprain on all 3 of the ligaments on the outside of my ankle. So that was it, no more running for me. Instead I took to the bike for the first time since June, for the next week all I did was ride and go to the gym.

View from my Minnewanka loop ride

After a week I eased slowly back into roller skiing, this coming week I am going to start running again. Even though my training had to be altered to consist of mainly biking for a while, I am looking at it as a head start for my triathlon training. That’s right, after meeting Rosie McLennan (Olympic Gold Medalist in Trampoline) at the Banff Triathlon last month, I have decided that next spring I am going to partake in my first triathlon ever. Watching all the finishers I have decided that the purchase of a visor will be necessary so that even if the race doesn’t go well I will look legitimate no matter what.

With Rosie McLennan! 
Another highlight from this month is that I did my first pull up in two years! I know this might not seem very impressive to many of you but for me it has been a goal that I have been working on since last summer. I am proud to say that I have been successfully doing more and more pull ups each gym workout for the past two weeks now! I also want to congratulate my teammate Suzanne who did her first pull up ever this past week; something in our gym plan must be working!

Now to wrap up my post with how we wrapped up our month, New Denver camp. On the 25th we travelled to New Denver, BC, which is on Slocan Lake a few hours south of Revelstoke. We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather, sunny everyday.  The training was great we did lots of roller skiing up the pass in between New Denver and Kaslo, including a tough but awesome classic double pole intensity session up from Kaslo on the Friday. In the evenings we had team campfires down by the lake and made s'mores and orange cakes. For those who don’t know orange cakes are an amazing camping invention where you hollow out oranges and fill them with cake batter and bake them on the coals of the fire. They turned out perfectly, another successful Academy girls baking event! 
Saturday’s bike ride also brought excitement, with my extreme talent I managed to hit a rock with not just one but with both of my tires, resulting in two flat tires. Neither Janelle nor I had ever changed a bike tire by ourselves before, so this was a process but we succeeded. We (more so Janelle than I) managed to change both tires on the side of the road and continue on for the last hour and a half of our bike ride. 
On the last day of the camp and the last day of the month, the team participated in the Kaslo Sufferfest running race. Congrats to Heidi and Patrick for winning the 10k women’s and men’s fields respectively, also to Hamilton who bravely took on the 25k and won that race.
 Janelle and I since we both still couldn’t run did a hard 10k skate TT. With 3 intensity sessions and 18 hours, the last week of the month was a hard one but also one of the best. There is just something so rewarding about that tired feeling after a great week of training.
Fresh apples everyday off the trees outside our cottage in New Denver! 


Roasting Marshmallows around the campfire

Janelle changing one of my tires
It’s crazy to think that in just two weeks we will be back on snow for the opening of Frozen Thunder! I can’t wait to ski. Until then Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and stay tuned for an update on Frozen Thunder!

Cheers Dahria 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Whitefish to Whitehorse


Hey everyone! Thanks for checking in. I have just finished a 10 day training camp in Whitefish Montana with my team and the Women’s Canadian National Team. Now I am flying home to Whitehorse for a week to do a bit of easier training and spend time with my family and friends!
I’m sure you are all reading this to hear about the exciting adventures and events from the camp so here they are.
So to start from the beginning, we began the camp with a 3 hour combination skate then classic roller ski on our way to Montana. We finished just before Radium Hot Springs. This was my first time ever in the Kootenays therefore my first time swimming at Radium. The springs were really nice after the long workout, then we were off again on route to Whitefish to start our 10 day camp where we did lots and lots of roller skiing and some running too.



core on the dock after our swim workout

 One afternoon we also did a swim workout. About 2km in total, we swam from one side of Whitefish Lake to the other, width wise, not length wise and then back. Chris and Scott were our guides on SUP boards so that we wouldn’t risk getting run over by the boats. The best part about the swim was the fact that the coaches rented paddle boards so in the evening as the sun was setting Britt and I took the paddle boards out on the lake and paddled along the shoreline as the sun set. On our way back to the dock the moon was out in full force shining down on the lake giving the water a beautiful silver shimmer.
The girls- post swim
Just one of the many sunsets we witnessed 

As I am thinking back on the past week there are almost too many highlights to be able to recap in just one post, Whitefish didn’t only provide a great training location it also had a wonderful relaxing atmosphere that made the camp very easy to enjoy.  After every hard workout, be it either a long double pole workout or intensity up the Big Mountain road we would come back to our condos and walk a few hundred feet down to the dock where we could dive into the lake for a nice cold post workout swim.
Out of all our workouts I think these three were my favourites;



1.     Going to the Sun- Have you ever heard of Going to the Sun road, if you haven’t I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. Going to the sun road takes you up to Logan’s pass, which is one of the spectacular passes in Glacier National Park. We started the morning near the bottom of the road and classic roller skied up about 16 miles to the summit of Logan’s pass where we switched out our boots for runners and ran the lovely trail network.  
Going to the Sun Road
On the climb
Made a new friend while running in Logan's Pass
View from the Road
2.     Run up Big Mountain- The sun may not have been out in full force but the little bit cooler temperature was perfect for our run up Big Mountain, the local ski hill. The views of Whitefish and the lake were beautiful. I think that was the only day that wasn’t in the high 20’s or around 30c but it was perfect running weather.
Looking down from the top of Big Mountain
Britt and I at the Summit
3.     Highlight #3 doesn’t have a proper name however the first day of training in Whitefish we roller skied along the country roads. They were fairly flat so lots of two-skate and time looking at nice ranch style farm houses and herds of horses running off as they heard the unfamiliar sound of our poles hitting the pavement as we approached. After that workout I was about ready to pack up and move to Whitefish. It has the perfect mixture of horse country, mountains and lakes, great for summer training and vacationing!

Now I wouldn’t be doing a proper job of reporting on the camp if I didn’t tell you about the Red Caboose. I’m sure you are wondering what is the “Red Caboose”? Well let me tell you, it is the best frozen yogurt shop I have ever set foot in, delicious flavors and a cute cafĂ© style atmosphere. Words can’t quite describe it so here are a few pictures to give you a feel.
Best Frozen yogurt ever!! (it's hidden under all the toppings)
Trying to decide what flavour to choose
Along with the frozen yogurt, the arts and craft shop rates right at the top on my list of places to go, it provided us with a good hour of entertainment, painting mugs, cups and dog bowls between us. I painted a mug, so now I have my own tea mug for the cold fall days back in Canmore when I get home from training. I would have like to have had more time to make mugs for all my friends but unfortunately it takes them a week to fire the pottery so they wouldn’t have been finished before our departure. I guess that just means we will have to go back to Whitefish sometime.

Finished Product! Excited to test it out
The camp wasn’t all just fun and games, there was a lot of hard work too. On Saturday we did a 10km Pursuit timetrial. The first half was all double poling, which for me is probably the hardest thing imaginable. I have been working lots on my double pole capacity this summer but I still have a long way to go until I am at the same caliber as my older teammates. The second 5k of the TT was mostly uphill skating, it was really hard but I felt like I skied it really well and it was a good start going into the fall. I am coming out of the camp feeling pretty good, other than my elbows being a little sore from all the double poling work. I am super excited to be going home for a week before heading back to Canmore to start another hard 3 week block which will include my first double pole and prologue tests with the team.

Hope you enjoyed reading about the Alberta World Cup Academy and National Team Women’s training camp, Thanks for reading and I will hopefully write again soon as long as I have something interesting to talk about!
Till next time
Dahria

Thursday, 9 August 2012

2 mountains in 1 day! Weekend Hiking around Canmore!



This weekend my dad came down to Canmore to visit me! Saturday we set out together to hike Mount Allen and Mount Collembola . It was a picture perfect day for a 6 hour Hike. Here are a few pictures! Summited 2 mountains and visited with some sheep at the summit of Collembola. The hiking sure is great around Canmore!

getting into the sub-alpine, my favourite terrain!
Dad and I at the top of Mount Allen, some even more imposing mountains behind us, next times hike, maybe :)

On top of Collembola, 4 hours after departure




View from the top

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Sun, storms and freezing water! (Haig Update part 2)



So Haig yoyo number two was just as great as the first one, with even more skiing than last time!
 After doing a bit of roller ski intensity while being down in Canmore I was excited to head back up to the snow capped mountains to get some more on snow time. Roller skiing just doesn’t compare.

The run up this time was way better than the first week. I felt really good and had lots of energy. Upon arriving at camp we had the place to ourselves, just me, Brittany, Suzanne, Katherine, Chris, Darren and Joel. Peace and quiet all around. So we decided to go make some noise. We ventured down to the partly open pond (which in reality was 90% ice and slush and only 10% water as you can see in the pics below.) Anyway we crossed the glacial creek and then stood on the rocks for a few minutes to build up the courage to hop onto the ice flows and go for a nice chilly dip, coldest ice bath I have had in a while. It was lots of fun but not something I will do on a regular basis. 
A little chilly on the feet…



Ice Bath!!!
So now back to the ski training, the reason for me writing in the first place. The next morning we hiked up to the glacier in beautiful sunshine, just us 4 girls with the glacier all to ourselves. It was really quite amazing to look up at one point when I was skiing near the top of the loop and not be able to see anyone. It was like I was alone on the glacier, just me the snow and the sky.  Just as we got down from the glacier a freak storm erupted over the mountains. What can I say we had impeccable timing, we were able to enjoy the storm from inside with a warm bowl of soup in hand.

Group shot on the Glacier

The Haig brought a great training block to an end, skiing 7.5 hours in 3 days, I wish I could have skied more but I was a busy 4 day yoyo as is, with almost 15 hours of training.  Then it was back down to Canmore to rejoin the rest of my team. It is great to have such a big group of girls to do intensity and train with, so many people to help push me.

Sunset the other night here in Canmore! What a beautiful place to live


This week is my first real rest week since arriving in Canmore and I am filling my time with lots of Olympic viewing. Enjoying all the sports. I am especially excited to watch fellow Yukoner Zach Bell compete in track cycling over the next few days!
Next week training is back in full swing as we prepare for our dryland camp in Whitefish, Montana August 16-26th. Then it will be back home to Whitehorse for a week to visit family and friends. 
Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics as much as I am, Thanks for reading!!!

Dahria 

Friday, 13 July 2012

New blog, New town, New team… Living the Academy Life!



First of all Thanks for checking out my blog!
This is my first post ever so suggestions for improvement are greatly welcomed! I have been in Canmore for 2 weeks now and absolutely love it. As soon as I got here I joined right in to the activities, taking part in the annual 8k Canada Day run along the river. It was my first running race of the year. What a wonderful atmosphere with lots of amazing athletes to try to keep up with.  I managed to win the 18 and under category but had lots of fast women in front of me that I couldn’t quite keep up with, motivation for next year when I move into that older category.
The race was followed by the Canada Day Parade in which the Academy participated. Only in Canmore do you have skiers roller skiing down Main Street in their race suits doing sprints and throwing out candy. The day was topped off with a lovely fireworks display that I watched with my mom from the balcony of my wonderful host family's house, the Davies. Thank you so much for taking me in for the summer, what a wonderful place to be while settling into Canmore life.
                                           Canada Day Fireworks 

My first week in Canmore was full of exploring and adventuring. Each day seemed like a new training location. Some of the highlights from the week were hiking Ha Ling, with wonderful guide Annika, one of the many peaks overlooking Canmore as well as my recovery ride on Saturday where I had no planned route and ended up in these lovely meadows above Three Sisters. Training in Canmore has been full of new experiences, learning an entirely new strength workout and doing an incremental test, but I am managing to figure things out and am getting used to the Academy life.
                                                                           
At the Top of Ha Ling with Loki!
      
              Perfect spot for a water break
            



Week two here in Canmore brought more exciting adventures, it was off to the Haig Glacier for 3 days of wonderful skiing. This was the first time I've been up there that it has been sunny every day, how lucky were we. There is still tons of snow, which made the run in a little more adventurous than normal. Wet feet and all it was a great 4 days, with 3 skis and lots of time to work on technique. The last night Heidi had the wonderful idea of having dinner on the heli pad, so we transported the tables out and had the most beautiful patio view anyone could ever ask for. We even had dinner entertainment as we watched Peelix, the resident goat; traverse the cliffs nearby in search of dinner. Being in the mountains is truly spectacular.

Hiking down to base camp from the Glacier
On the run out!


Now I’m back down in Canmore enjoying my rest day, looking forward to a week of training around here before I head back up to the Haig again with Suzanne, Brittany and Katherine for another 4 days of skiing!

Can’t wait to tell you all about our next yoyo up to the glacier!
Thanks for reading, till next time
Dahria