Training vacation

Criss crossing the country for some cross country skiing… I think I made the most of my 11 day training vacation; skied every day whether the conditions be rain, snow, ice, sunshine, clouds, or rain. It was awesome. No races to prep for, no real schedule to keep, just lots of trails to ski.


Summits guarantee smiles



Waiting for the sun to burn off those clouds

Some days were just an easy hour with Norm, followed by at least 2 hours with the “local, retired folk” at Bugaboos or Out of Bounds for coffee and baked treats. Norm and Gayle graciously hosted me for the week, which is really what made this trip possible and I’m very appreciative of. It was great to be on the mountain with people who live there for the entire season. My eyes were opened to the lifestyles that exist there other than the one I know as a racer who drops in for a couple weeks to train and race, then leave.


The best, pictures can’t capture the feeling

Other days were long hours, up, over, and around the mountain, linking all the best Silver Star and Sovereign Lake trails together. May have bonked at least once. These skis are what I came here for. The time passes by so quickly when you’re travelling somewhere, rather than doing loops-on-loops-on-loops like most of the trail networks here in Ontario are limited by. I had great company for training here too. Locals David, Gareth, and Alex from Telemark Nordic, Hannah from Sovereign Lake Nordic, Thunder Bay expats Greg, Somppi, Andy, and Bryanna, and even bike world folk – Brittany, Evan, Catharine, and Keith, all made appearances and kept my solo skis to a minimum.


There comes the sun! Summit ski with Hannah.

A couple intensity days even made it on the calendar. Zone 3 intervals on the Sovereign World Cup course brought back a flood of memories from years of season opener sufferings. The morning of the Z3 workout, I flipped back through my training log to the last time I raced here, appropriately a 10km skate. An excerpt from my comment on the day which made me laugh: “Sort of puked, which was gross.” And also reminded me to have a light breakfast and stay chill for the intervals.


Grey days happen too, and grainy photos, sorry.

It all totalled up to a nice 31 hours for the 11 days, including half-days for travel on days 1 and 11. Came home well-done, but not overcooked, to find some pretty pristine riding conditions… While the blast of winter had gotten me in a ski-state of mind, I’ve enjoyed having more time on the trails this past week. It looks like the inevitable “shoulder season” is just ahead, so it’ll be lacing up the running shoes and trying to survive on the rollers for the next little while.

That’s all for now, updates will continue to trickle through as they do – mostly dependent on me getting pictures, or getting caught on an idea I need to spout off. There are a few floating around between my ears, so we’ll see if I can get things in line. Otherwise, all the best for you and your families and friends this holiday season, be safe, find joy.


Snack break, Alex made a friend


Nice try David, +1 for Gareth.

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