After what some people would say is a lengthy drive, others not so much, I finally arrived in Ottawa early last week all the way from my home in Labrador City, Newfoundland. It took two complete days of travel with approximately 20hrs of total driving time. For most it is not the length of the drive it’s self that is challenging, but the obstacles you have to over come along the way, which mostly occur in the first part of the drive. These may include the torture of few hundred km’s of dirt road with loose gravel shoulders and one lane of driving space, the twisting and winding hills that leave you feeling your on some sort of rollercoaster and then there is the odd transport truck that comes barreling down at you while your driving. But overall, the journey isn’t really that bad and can be an enjoyable experience with lots of scenic views. It’s also something that I have got use to growing up in an isolated community.
So I made it safe and sound and started off my first week of training in Ottawa with a “bang” by showing up to my first XC Ottawa practice upon arrival. It might have been the travel, the heat, or a training session that was slightly different from what I was use to, but either way it was tough and my body got punished. That being said it was a fun workout that I look forward to improving on. Some of the training that we did during the session was some hill strength and plyometric exercises with pulling tires and a continuous ski-striding interval on an interesting loop at Mooney’s Bay.
The next day, Wednesday, my legs were feeling a little sore from yesterdays workout but my energy level was fine after a good night’s rest. I decided to go for a run along the Rideau Canal and in the Arboretum to shake out the legs. After about an hour run, I came back home to do some core strength along with other full body weight exercises and rollerboards. The following day I went for a rollerski on the bike path near Hog’s Back Park and did some short sprints. It was good to see some different views/other people while training and even though the Bike path’s can be flat to rollerski on it was still an interesting workout. Friday, I decided to hit up the Carleton Gym for some weights and then did short recovery run afterwards.
Then came the weekend, by now I was back to feeling the way I usually do and it was a good thing when it came to Saturday’s workout. Not because it was hard but just because the weather was gross and maybe just a little undesirable. It was one of those days where it might be hard to lace up them shoes when you look outside and see the rain pouring down in massive sheets. At the end of the day, ignoring the blisters from wet gloves and wet boots that will dry soon hopefully, I have to say I enjoyed this workout. It was a 2hr classic rollerski with fellow teammates, Karl and Justin, on the bike path near the Champlain Bridge. I never roller skied out there before so it was nice to see another section of the Ottawa bike path. Sunday, it was off to the Gatineau Park bright and early for skate rollerski interval workout. I felt pretty good in the uphill intervals and we focused on staying at or just below race pace of 10k-15k race. More than anything it was great to get back in the Gatineau Park roller skiing again. Out there is where the real roller skiing goes down and I thought it was sweet to be skiing up and down huge hills again, it was something I never got to do a lot of at home this summer.
That pretty much sums up my first week of training in Ottawa in an essay style format. I think I made a good transition to training in the city again and had pretty successful and easy move in to the house that I will be sharing with 3 other teammates. Training with the XC Ottawa gang has been awesome and super motivating, looking forward to the other’s getting back. Meanwhile, I will finish settling into to the house get ready for some big training weeks and well get ready for school too. One good thing I think about when school is starting again, is that it’s a sign that were getting that much closer to Fall and that much closer to Snow, which means were also getting closer to the first time we toe the start line to kick off the 09-10 race season!
Here are some pictures (taken by Evan Kealey) from the Mooney's Bay workout on Tuesday: