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Early Season Update
By:  Sheila Kealey   (2015/07/03)


It's been a great start to early season training! My fitness is good - I've had the chance to run a few 5km races, and achieved a goal of running a sub-20-min 5km at the Ottawa Race weekend, and hope to whittle that time down over the summer. I'm doing more coaching and some training with Nakkertok Nordic, and look forward to once again competing with XC Ottawa. I'm just back from a training camp at Owl Rafting where I helped coach a large crew of athletes with Nakkertok. The venue is superb for training camps (and rafting!).

New this year was having another local XC ski club at Owl Rafting (Chelsea Nordiq), which made an amazing training camp even better. Chelsea joined us for my nutrition/recovery talk and a team sprint duathlon, while all athletes and coaches enjoyed the Chelsea Nordiq's "agility" session (aka swing dancing). Coach Mo is an expert! Beyond those events, morning activation runs, trail runs, rollerskiing, team building, trail running, active recovery sessions, and a "strong skier" (think strongman) team competition made for action-packed days.

Chelsea Nordic Agility Practice (640x410)

The breadth and depth of coaching expertise made this an incredible learning environment. Another bonus is that along with Kanata's Kate Boyd, Chelsea Nordiq's Katie McMahon, and Nakkertok's Anneke Winegarden, this camp had FOUR female coaches!

Owl Female Coaches (640x415)

A popular event that we started last year was a team sprint duathlon where each skier has to run and swim before they tag off their partner (they repeat this three times). Most skiers are not strong swimmers, which adds an extra challenge for many, but that doesn't seem to discourage, and I was inspired by the mental strength and determination that I saw in the athletes!

Team Sprint Duathlon Start

Lining up for the team sprint duathlon start

Run to swim transition 

Run to swim transition

It's early July, and I've started to reflect on training, brought on unfortunately because I need to adapt what I'll be doing in the next little while. I crashed on a downhill while rollerskiing at the camp (my ski got caught in sand), and I hit the ground hard, landing on my hip and shoulder (knocked my head, and thankful for my Rudy Project pink helmet, though it's done it's job and to be safe I will be replacing it!).

rollerskicrash (334x640)Thankful for my Rudy Project Helmet! (Photo by Dave McMahon)

While the leg looks bad and is quite sore, my shoulder is the biggest concern right now, and is limiting most of my activities. Although the crash happened the first morning of the camp, the energy and enthusiasm of the athletes and other coaches carried me through (although I will admit that camping and a mini therma-rest isn't ideal for road rash and being banged up). The biggest bummer was not being able to partake in the swing dancing! The day of the crash, I still managed to keep rollerskiing, lead a stretching session (not my finest), and give my nutrition and recovery talk. It's a week later, and I have no idea how I managed to do that, especially the way my body feels (and looks) now! I think I wrote a few cheques my body couldn't pay (or is paying for now . . . ). Just a hiccup to the start of summer, but I"m feeling pretty lucky.

In other areas I've been putting more athlete-inspired workout foods up on my recipe page, and looking forward to adding to that collection. Generally, it always works out best when I focus on the things I can do rather than what I can't do (and this could be a good thing, especially when what I can do involves baking!). And just so I don't leave you with that ugly view of my leg, here are a few pictures from a previous training camp at Owl with XC Ottawa.

This little guy was at Owl as an athlete this year

This little guy was at Owl as an athlete this year.

You'll find more training and racing updates here.

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