Oufffff. Well, I'm well overdue for an update here at ol' mgilday.blogspot.com. Since my last post about our camp in Font-Romeu, not a ton has happened. First thing on the agenda after getting back from France was to get moved into our apartment here in Montreal. Moving isn't easy, but lucky for us, everyone who moves in Montreal moves on July 1st, so we were able to poach some nice furniture that people had left on the side of the road.
Following moving in, we received the fantastic news that our normal training centre, the Maurice Richard Arena, was out of commission for a least a month. I say this with a massive amount of sarcasm. Unfortunately, there aren't any Olympic sized arenas situated on the island of Montreal, so the whole group got to enjoy the joys of commuting more than an hour each day out to a brand new arena in Chateauguay. Driving an hour each way also let me get a taste of what driving in Montreal in the summer means. From what I have been able to find out there is some sort of rule that says all major roads in Montreal, including major bridges, must either be under construction, or have a lane closed off by hundreds and hundreds of orange cones during the summer months. Needless to say, this wasn't the highlight of the summer.
Lucky for us, August rolled around and with it came the good news that Maurice Richard would be opening! From a training perspective this was the point were I started to turn around my summer. Prior to this, I had been getting pummeled day in and day out at training as I worked to adapt to a new training environment and style. As we moved towards the end of August and the start of September, it was really nice to feel like myself again on the ice, even if the feeling was at times fleeting.
All of a sudden, we found ourselves in the middle of September and face to face with a Short Track skaters annual end of summer routine, the Fall World Cup Trials. I was really not sure what to expect from myself as my summer of training had been so hit and miss. One thing I was sure of though was that I had put in as much work as I could. This was one goal I set for myself this summer, under the knowledge that there would be an adaptation period in my new training locale.
Well, a summer of suffering seemed to pay off. After an up and down weekend that featured some good skating, bad skating, early season jitters and a healthy dose of good fortune, I managed to snag 3rd overall and a guaranteed spot to all four stops on the World Cup circuit this fall. I definitely left the weekend feeling unsatisfied though and I realized that I have a lot of hard work in front of me so that I can continue to progress here in Canada and on the World Cup scene. Luckily, I also finished the trials weekend off motivated to get the required work done, so I'm looking forward to suffering some more before we leave for the first World Cup in a few weeks from now.
This is a video of the 1500m final that I won. I'm helmet cover #21. I actually finish 2nd at the line, but Olivier Jean was disqualified for an earlier pass.