Thursday, 7 November 2013

NST camp and Frozen Thunder Training

It is now week three on snow and the skiing is great!!
Whitehorse based National Talent Squad member Annah Hanthorn (second from left)
 joined the Academy for a week of skiing!  

The first week Frozen Thunder opened for skiing, I had the opportunity to be part of the Canadian National Team Women's Camp here in Canmore. It was a great camp with NST  girls, lots of training and fun was had by all! Some of the highlights were a talk with olympian Clara Hughes, a variety of workouts with this great group of ladies, cooking classes and much more, the entire week was great.

Listening to the most inspiring talk by Clara

Merci à les filles de CNEPH, c'etait super d'avoir la chance de pratiquer mon français pour toute une semaine! Je suis vraiment excité pour notre prochain camp.

The Ladies

The week also included our first race of the season! It was great to get back into race mode with a good classic sprint against North America's top women.

This past week I had an easier week after the camp, I took advantage of the extra time to take in some films at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival as well as carve the most elaborate pumpkin I've every attempted. Here is my Kitty-bat, hope everyone had a great Halloween!

With another big snowfall this weekend the loop on Frozen Thunder has been extended and it really feels like winter. Unfortunately my trip to Whitehorse has been postponed due to the lack of snow there and the great conditions here but hopefully Whitehorse will get a snowfall soon.

 I would like to take this opportunity to introduce and to thank my newest sponsor Alkan Air, a wonderful company from my hometown Whitehorse.  I really appreciate your support, as an amateur athlete your support means so much. Thank you!

This morning I had another great classic ski up at the Nordic Center where I did 25x10 second sprints and I am really really getting excited for race season, it is just around the corner now. There is still lots of skiing and training to be done and a geography course for me to finish up.
November 30th will be the start of a new race season and a new university course, can't wait! 
Race ready with our new AWCA buffs 

Until next time, thanks for reading


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The snow has arrived, skiing on Frozen Thunder

First Ski!!!

I have been putting a lot of hour and time on the roller skis including a 5 day camp in New Denver BC where we took advantage of the mountain pass roads to work on our technique while climbing, did some great legs only arms only intensity climbing and well of course ski walked to the top of a mountain, Idaho Peak more specifically. Alysson and I were greeted at the top by big snowdrifts, our first taste of winter for the year, always exciting. We finished off the camp with the Kaslo Sufferfest running race! Thank you to Buff for sponsoring my race entry! This was one of my better running races in a long time and I was happy to be able to put in a hard effort on foot. If you ever have the chance to enter the Sufferfest I highly recommend you do, they definitely put on a first class event. The following week Alysson and I found winter again on a great recovery week hike up Tent Ridge with Chris. Snow angels were made and snowballs thrown.
This fall I have done more 3.5+ hour workouts than ever before. Putting in these big hours brought me to lots of new and amazing training locations around the Bow Valley area. I skied up to Highwood pass for the first time and ran into Skoki Lodge, roller skied all the way out the 1A and hiked a couple of new mountains.
Training has now started to take on more of an intensity focus with the Spray drag running race last week and a prologue test this past Thursday with some hard 30sec sprint workouts mixed in.
Today’s intensity was the best of them all however because it was on SNOW, real SNOW!!!!! That’s right!! Today was the opening of Frozen Thunder and my first time on skis in way too long. I am so thrilled to be back on snow and am greatly looking forward to our Women’s National Ski Team camp that starts tomorrow. It will be wonderful to have all my fellow friends, teammates and competitors to train with and learn from as we transition into our last training block before the race season begins. Be sure to check back for an update on how our camp went, till then happy trails,
Descending Tent Ridge

Ski Walking to the top of Idaho Peak

Al excited to start a 4hr roller ski

Monday, 2 September 2013

Montana for a great climbing focused training camp

Skiing up Going to the Sun Road!
Climbing up the Going to the Sun Road
My last 10 days have been spent in the recreation capital of Montana for a great climbing focused training camp. Whitefish is the perfect end of summer training camp location with its warm temperatures, great lakes, Big Mountain ski hill as well as its array of flatter farm roads to balance out the climbing. It is also close to Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road. In my opinion this last one might be one of the nicest places I have ever trained. We were lucky enough to do both of our long workouts there, a roller ski and run combo workout and then a road bike the last day of the camp.
The spectacular view climbing up to Logan Pass

Just before heading to Whitefish both our girls and guys team did a week of testing to see where we stand. I did a classic time trial up Norquay Mountain road and a skating incremental test to max on the roller ski treadmill here in Canmore. This was my first time doing a TT up Norquay so now I have a good benchmark for the future. Some good improvements were also made on the treadmill! Making progress!

Then it was off to Whitefish where we did 4 days of uphill focused work, some arms only and legs only intensity (a new addition to our training), a local running race, lots more roller skiing and of course lots of swimming since our accommodation was on Whitefish lake.
The rest of our time was filled with pottery painting, enjoying the local shops and the town, ie: Sweet Peaks Icecream and Montana Coffee Traders, an afternoon of stand up paddle boarding and strategic planning to incorporate the delicious Whitefish peaches into as many meals as possible.
This years addition to my Montana pottery set
Em in downtown Whitefish
Emily in downtown Whitefish
It has been a great 3 weeks of training with lots of gains being made. Now it is time for a week of easier training here in Canmore before we head into our next big block. Race season is fast approaching, less than 2 months until Frozen Thunder! I can’t wait to ski,
Thanks for reading

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Patience has never been one of my strong suits

Post workout recovery
Patience has never been one of my strong suits except when it comes to being stubborn, and that doesn’t help my case.  My last 7 months have been a bit of a roller coaster, forcing me to learn to be patient with my body and training.
After a rough February and March with consecutive days where I didn’t even want to go out and train (a feeling I had never really experienced before), April brought time for fun activities like kayaking, surfing, ski touring and mental reframing.
Come May I was all set to start back up with the training regime but boy oh boy was I out of shape. That’s where this so important patience thing comes in. Today is July 24th and I am finally feeling like my fitness and body are back a the level they should be, however it has taken me ever single day since my return to Canmore on May 7th to get to this stage. The last 2 ½ months have been difficult at times but also very rewarding. I feel as though I have learned so much about my body and my mind as well as have matured as an athlete.
Here are some of the things that I have learned along the way that might be useful to you all one of these days.
1.Most importantly is to be patient, which means not forcing the process. You and your coaches have made a plan, stick to it and believe in it. If you think it is the right one it probably will work for you. You may not see the results instantly but give it time and your improvements will start to become more and more noticeable. This is something that I think applies to all aspects of life and is something I will probably struggle with again in the future but for now I think I have a good handle on the situation!
2. Listen to your body. It knows when it’s tired; respect what it is telling you. Some days it will tell you do the extra half hour, other times it will say, you’re skiing too fast, slow down and take it easy.
3. Respect your zones! This was and still is a hard one for me and I have had to focus a lot on it. Being the youngest on my team by 2 years my zone 1 often just isn’t fast enough to keep up with the other girls during distance workouts. I have done many of my distance workouts alone off the back of the pack this year but I know it is the smart thing to do. Respecting my zone 1 has allowed me to rebuild my training base well and has given me energy to be right with all the rest of my teammates when it comes to an intensity session. You’ve got to know when to hit it and know when to leave it, we are doing all this training to win races right, not training sessions, so train smart.
4. Finally be happy with what you are doing. Enjoy the scenery on those beautiful long workouts, relish in the pain after your last interval and take those rest days and do something fun! I know that I am here because I love it and there is nowhere else I would rather be.
Over the past month I have been seeing continuous improvements in my training, which makes it easier again to be happy and excited about training. We AWCA girls just did out last intensity session of our large volume block yesterday and are now heading into a recovery week starting Sunday. Unfortunately we were not able to go up to the Haig Glacier for our volume block due to the terrible flooding that happened last month. We still had a great “camp like” training block around Canmore and on the positive side I had the opportunity to roller ski on new roads and do a couple new mountain runs! Here are a few pictures from our last 2 weeks of training. The Alberta Ski Team joined us for the first week, it was so nice to have them around!
Emma and Ember at Moraine Lake
On our way up through Gibbon pass on our 4hour run!

Remember, don’t get caught up in a training frenzy, train hard, train smart and listen to what your body is telling you.
Thanks for reading

Monday, 17 June 2013


Yesterday was the last day of our great week long training camp in Jasper. If you were wondering what we got up to, well the answer is a little bit of everything.
Leading up to the camp we had two solid weeks of running, biking and roller skiing in and around Canmore. Highlights from those two weeks were a long run at Minnewanka, a really fun agility, ladders and sprints workout at the Nordic Centre and the Barebones orienteering races that I raced in here in Canmore. I hadn't done any orienteering in over a year so I was pretty worried that I would end up getting really lost. Thankfully I remembered how to use my map and compass and was able to race the womens elite course with only a few minor mistakes along the way. It was lots of fun and I hope there are more FWOC orienteering races in the Bow Valley this summer that I can join in on! If you are in the Calgary region make sure to check out the Foothills Wanderers website,, orienteering is a great fun and challenging sport, mentally and physically.

Gorgeous day with a gorgeous view on one of my rides in Canmore!
My nice new Kuota road bike completing the picture

As for our training camp, we ran on some great trails, finishing our sprint workout on a ridge overlooking Jasper and its beautiful surroundings. We roller skied up the road to Maligne Lake, not once but twice, skating the first time and double poling the second. We didn’t make it the entire 40km to Maligne Lake, however we did get to roller ski alongside Medicine Lake and take in its breathtaking views as we finished our workouts.

Janelle and I on the final stretch
Uphill one-skate day
Janelle and I post double pole workout, not a bad view!

And that’s not all we also went on two road bike rides. These were a nice change for the muscles and a nice increase in speed. We were able to cover more distance and saw lots of roadside wildlife. A black bear the first ride and some cute baby elk on the second ride as well as a couple deer.

Team bike pic! 

On Thursday we even hit up the gym. Jasper has a really nice new recreation centre with a new gym in it. This camp was my first time coming to Jasper but I can definitely say it won’t be my last. When we weren’t busy out training we had some time to explore Jasper’s quaint little main street.  

The weekend brought some sweet striding intervals up towards Marmot Basin followed by an afternoon recovery run (tree climbing adventure) and we finished off our camp with a great 3 hour plus run on the Saturday Night loop trail!
Annika and Chris  all smiles at the 2 hour mark of our 24.5k run.
Thanks for the chocolate feed Chris! 

The Jasper training camp was the end of this training block so I now have a week of easy training to recover before we start our testing week which includes: a prologue test, a double poll test and the Canada Day run in Canmore. As for our next camp, we head up to the Haig Glacier for some on snow action July 11th! I can’t wait to ski again!

Finally I would really like to thank our coach Mike Vieira who has recently taken a job with Cross Country Canada as Manager of Coaching Development. It was amazing to have had the opportunity to work with him this past year! We did lots of technique and video work at this camp so I am confident that I have absorbed as much technique advice from Mike as I possibly can. I wish him the best of luck with his new job, he will be greatly missed by our team.
Mike showing off his athleticism and enthusiasm during our team recovery run Saturday.
He's got some mad hops!

With that here is a photo from the fireworks last Canada day, I am coming up on my one year anniversary in Canmore, it’s crazy how much I've done in a year and how quickly the time passes. I am really excited for another year of amazing adventures.
July 1st, 2012

I hope everyone is enjoying the summery weather! Especially all my friends in the north, I wish I could be there for summer solstice with you all! 

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Camp #1- SKIING and some other stuff

Last week was our first training camp of the new season, the team headed off to Vernon for a great 7 days of training. We skied a total of six days up at the Sovereign Lake trails. I had only ever been to Sovereign Lakes for the December NorAms, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Needless to say it was amazing! Freshly groomed trails every morning and lots of skiing options. I have always loved the trail system at Sovereign and now that I have had a chance to explore it more, well, I love it even more! It is always a great camp when you can be on snow for over half your training time!

Mid week we took a break from skiing and did a 107km road ride. We road from Vernon to Alysson's family home in Salmon Arm. It took us just over 4 hours and I used my new road bike that I just acquired. ( My first road bike ever!) I am pretty excited about it. To add to the firsts, this ride was also my first ride ever over 100km. I would like to thank Alysson's mom Eleanor for the amazing lunch she made us after our exhausting bike ride. It was fantastic!

We also hit up the gym a couple of times and did a few runs around the Ellison Park trails near Vernon.
It was a great first camp, 20 hours of training, lots of on snow volume, beautiful condos to stay in and some recreational cliff jumping a minute from our door step. Did I mention we were staying on Okanagan Lake?

I apologize for the lack of photos with this post. I had full intentions of taking pictures during the camp but it just didn't happen. That will be my goal for our next camp, more photos for you all to see.

View from our door step

Prior to our after workout cold tub in the lake

Friday, 10 May 2013

New season, new sponsors, welcome Skookum Asphalt Ltd.

I am back in Canmore to kick off another season. My 2013/2014 season began last Monday upon my return to beautiful Canmore. I was greeted by warm weather and sunshine, a perfect combination to get back into the training mode.
This past week the team did a great run/hike up Ha Ling and I did my first road ride of the year! We are leaving tomorrow for a training camp in Silverstar, I am excited to be skiing again, I haven't skied since last Sunday when I left Whitehorse.

I would like to thank my newest sponsor Skookum Asphalt Ltd. Your support for Whitehorse athletes is greatly appreciated and helps us all on our path towards are athletic goals and dreams. Thank you!

I had a great time in at home in Whitehorse the past 3 weeks. It went by quickly but I was happy to be skiing on my local trails again and to be able to catch up with friends, family and sponsors! Here are a few pictures of the amazing ski conditions Whitehorse had while I was home.
Touring at the White Pass... On our way up 

Skiing with Jen on Fish Lake

Beauty day for a ski

Perfect conditions for a ski with Dad!

Thanks again to Skookum Asphalt and also to Capital Helicopters who continue to support me! 
Our next camp should be a great one, I can't wait to share this years adventures with you all,

Ciao for now

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Snow to Surf and some other things (Turtles!!!!!!)


Some turtles taking a nap

Hello everyone! Thanks for taking the time to check up on my blog! I wanted to share some pictures from my time in Whistler downhill skiing and my trip to Oahu Hawaii. I was able to get in some quality rest and recovery, a couple of runs, hikes and some other fun cross training activities.
Since photos are a lot more appealing than words here a few of my favourites! 

WHISTLER- Winter fun

Skiing Whistler Blackcomb for the first time!

We spent 6 hours out skiing between the two mountains. That was a little more than I am used to for one day. I have to admit I was pretty sore when I got off the plane in Hawaii the next evening.

Colin and I at the top of Whistler Mountain


My trip to Oahu was fairly short, only 9 days including travel but we managed to fit in lots of activities and we were able to enjoy multiple North Shore sunsets. I have way too many sunset photos from this trip so I will only share one. 

Sunset on the North Shore of Oahu

The waves on the North Shore were still really big for this time of year. The first day we arrived there were swells 20 ft high. It was amazing to watch the experienced surfers play around in those massive waves. I stayed away fron the massive waves but I can say I have surfed the North Shore of Oahu! Which makes me very proud. Holly and I went to Puaena Point where the waves are smaller and safer and spent the day surfing! I had so so so much fun. Besides the excitement of actually catching waves there were turtles everywhere. Unfortunately I have no surf photos since I was in the water the entire day but here are some Kayak shots from when we were on the windward side of the island!

SEA KAYAKING- Windward coast

Sea Kayaking in Kailua

Holly paddling hard

We stopped on a little Island to have lunch and walk around. This Island was a bird nesting sanctuary so we could only walk along the edges of the beach
View of Oahu! Thank you to my great sponsor CAPITAL HELICOPTERS for the awesome hat! It kept me from burning under the bright Hawaii sun.

Beach Day! Holly soaking up a bit of sun on the gorgeous soft sand beaches of the windward coast

 North Shore Fun

Paddle boarding in Halei'wa 

Part way through our 2:45 run on the North Shore. We may have slightly miss judged the distance to the trailhead so our 2 hour run was a little longer. Beautiful view of the forest canopy in the background


View from the top of Koko
The Climb- halfway up
On my second last day in Hawaii we stayed on the South Shore of Oahu. We took the bus 30minutes west of Waikiki to the Koko Crater. The Koko Crater has an old military rail bed that goes straight up it. This rail bed has been turned into a hike and it is about a 30-45min straight uphill climb to the top. Short but steep the view was well worth the work!
At the top of Koko Crater 

From the heat and surf of Oahu I came back to Whitehorse on the weekend and now I am back to skiing. I went out for a ski on the Mt. Mac trails yesterday with my dad and the conditions are still great! 

Thanks for reading, (Mahalo) 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


 I am a little late on this post but the Internet at my hostel in Hawaii wasn’t the best, so here is the scoop on my last races of the season, the Haywood Ski Nationals in Whistler!
When it comes to Whistler everyone always talks about rain, rain, rain however I am yet to experience it. We had 2 weeks of beautiful sunny weather and amazing ski conditions for our races. I raced the 4 individual races.

My best race of the week was the 1.4k classic sprint. I qualified 6th in a very tight field with 1 second between 2nd and 6th. Feeling better in the heats than in the qualifier I won both my quarter and semi and was positioned well going into the final.  In the end I came up just short finishing with the silver medal behind Sarah who showed her strength all the way through. It was a great race, my skis were amazing and I was happy to be feeling better again after my rough start to the week.
Finish line- Sprint Silver
Sprint Podium (Silver)

The 10k classic was also a good race for me, I decided to go with lots of kick on my skis rather than good glide and I was glad I did as I strided past girls who had no grip on my 2nd and 3rd laps. Having done so little training in March prior to Nationals in attempts to recover from the excessive fatigue I was experiencing at the start of the new year, about 5k into my 10k race I started to realize how out of race shape I was... the lungs were burning. After my first race of the week having gone terribly, I had reframed and made a technique and pacing based plan for the 10k classic. This plan really helped me when my fitness was suffering and I was able to stay mentally strong, push through the pain and finish with everything left out on the trail. In the end it was better than I expected, a bronze medal and a step up onto the podium!

10k Classic podium! (Bronze)

I finished off the week with a 5th place finish in the 20k skate. It was a warm day with temperatures in the high teens. The best part of this race for me was being able to ski it with my best friend and former Yukon Ski Team teammate Kendra Murray. Kendra has been my training partner since I was 8 years old, so it was an amazing experience to be able to work together to each reach the best results we could on the day. Earlier in the week I also race the A final sprint with Kendra where she finished 4th, that was the first time we had ever been in an A final together!

20k Skate podium ( second from left)

20k Start line

Besides its dismal start, my Haywood Ski Nationals can be taken as a success with a Silver and Bronze medal and the year of birth aggregate Silver for the week. On top of that there was a great Fast and Female event mid week that had over 100 young girls participating and 20 female athlete ambassadors from across the country.

Fast and Female Event

Goal setting with our girls

I am home in Whitehorse now with my family for a few weeks then I will be back in Canmore May 6th to start up my training for next season. Our first camp is an on snow camp in Silver Star in May! Until then stay tuned for an update on my April rest month travels.

Beautiful views at Callaghan on our training day!

I would like to thank Callaghan Valley Cross Country for the first class event they put on! Also a big shout out to all the Whitehorse parents and supporters who came out to watch us all ski!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me this season!