Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sprints Tomorrow! Let's Get Things Going!

So tomorrow are the sprints and I think they will be my best chance to move up in the rankings. Andrea and I really know this course, but today, it was tricky. Again, things were icy. Again, I had a lot of falls on the far corner, which is a downhill followed by a sharp U-turn. Making things more interesting were that the corner was sloped away from the turn as opposed to being banked so gravity was trying to pull us down through the turn as opposed to pushing us back towards the turn. Because things were so icy, it was almost impossible to get any good edging so changing direction was very challenging. During one attempt, I found myself actually sliding sideways! I finally, after about a dozen botched attempts, figured out the trick to making it around - start turning well before the turn and then I would slide down to about the right point that I could ski the rest. The only issue was this was that though I understood I would slide, my brain kept trying to yell "Danger, danger!" because really, it appeared I was turning directly into the trees! Once I developed the confidence that I wasn't going to end up kissing a tree, things went much better! Right now I am hoping the weather forecast is correct and that there will be snow tonight...that would really help!

After we spent the morning checking out the course and adding significant colour to my left hip from all the falling, Andrea and I headed back out to Saskatchewan House to take in the the Best Buddies Blues Band, a band from LeBoldus High School in Regina. The idea for the band is to pair up students with intellectual disabilities with mainstream students in a jazz band setting and they were quite good! They were very inclusive too, which meant that Andrea, Margarita and myself all got to be up onstage performing with the group. Andrea actually plays a mean xylophone while Margarita and I got the much easier to fake drums. Really, just bang on them in any sort of semblance of rhythm  and you are good to go! We all really enjoyed ourselves!

After our musical interlude, I had dinner with my family and then headed back to the athletes' village to get ready for tomorrow. I had a massage and tried to pack my bags for departure, but my roomie sort of had her stuff spread out all over the place. She insisted that things had to get worse before they got better and really, the mess was actually more funny than anything. So I decided that while she was packing, I would just get out of her way and go do some hot and cold to help flush my legs for tomorrow. So when I left, this first photo is what our room looked like.

Hot and cold is a process of alternating getting into a tub of ice cold water at about a temperature of -10 degrees celsius for about 30 seconds then jumping into a hot tub set at about 40 degrees celsius for 90 seconds and repeating about 4 to 6 times, making sure you always finish off in the cold tub. The idea behind it is that the coldness causes the blood vessels to constrict, forcing blood back up into your core, but the hot water causes them to dilate, bringing new fresh blood into the legs, increasing the amount of oxygen available for the muscles to use and helps remove metabolic waste. It sounds crazy, but it really helps you feel better, especially after a hard workout. But unfortunately, the hot and cold tubs were closed for the night by the time I got there, so it was back to my room for plan B - a cold tub. Not quite as good as doing hot and cold, but still helpful, all you have to do is sit in a bathtub full of cold water. Sounds like fun, eh? Actually, it's not so bad - that is, if you can make it to the 3-minute mark because by then your legs are numb so you don't feel a thing. But those first three minutes can be brutal! All that keeps me in that cold water is the knowledge that I will feel so much better when it's all over!

But when I got back to my room, Andrea was still packing, or at least that is what she told me. It looked like she pretty much had just re-organized the many different piles around the least she was having fun while doing it!

So I had my cold tub, got ready for bed and tomorrow, I will race the sprints! I can hardly wait!

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