Wow, 100 days to the Games. The snow is starting to fall, temperatures are cooling and winter is just around the corner. People are getting excited for the ski season but there is something new to be excited for this winter - the Olympic Games are coming to Canada, to Vancouver and Whistler in only 100 days.
So what is it like for a World Cup alpine racer leading into the Games? What are my next 100 days going to be like? All of my preparation for this season is essentially done, the hard work and the sweat, the pre-season technical training. It is all in the bank and now it's time to start racing and to start building up to the Games.
I have just returned from Austria where my teammates and I had two weeks of on-snow training and the first World Cup race of the season, men's and women's giant slalom races. Although I only made it 30 seconds into the course before going out it was still great to get the World Cup season underway.
I was just at home briefly and then it was back on the road. I will be on the road from now until the Olympic Games! Crazy, I know. However, most of our seasons are exactly like this, although last season I did make it home for Christmas - something that hasn't happened very often in the past 10 years.
We are now in Nakiska for two weeks of training and doing our final preparations for the winter. Conditions are looking great. At the beginning of the week we had our fitness testing in Calgary and everyone is looking strong and ready to go.
Next on the World Cup schedule is a slalom race in Finland this coming weekend. Our slalom racers will be heading there this week. My next race will be a giant slalom in Aspen, Colorado on Nov. 28, and from that weekend forward I will have a race almost every weekend leading up to the Games. I will have six downhill races before February, as well as five giant slalom races and five super G races. From the race in Aspen to my last World Cup race before the Games there will only be two weekends where I won't be racing. That means you need to be ready, you need to be focused and you have to want it every weekend, every race! If you don't somebody else will want it more.
In the next 100 days leading up to the Games I will also travel to eight different countries, from Winterstart at Lake Louise to Are, Sweden and into central Europe. Our schedule requires a lot of time on the road and it will be a focus of mine to stay healthy, to rest whenever I can and to stay recovered so that when February comes I am in my top form.
I am excited right now to get going. I have trained hard and I feel ready to race. I cannot predict what will happen but I feel ready to adapt and move with any changes that I may encounter between now and February. Schedules change, weather changes, we are traveling and we are away from home where anything can happen. Adaptability is my number one friend when I am running around and competing on the World Cup.
I hope to see everyone cheering us on come February 2010, from home or from the stands. But from now until then you can track your athletes and keep an eye on how we are doing leading into the Games. You can follow us on the Alpine Canada website and I will also continue to write to keep everyone on the inside track!