Thursday, 26 March 2015

Canadian Open Selections 2015

As I mentioned in my previous post I recently had my final competition of the season.  Now if I'm being completely honest this season has not been my best; I didn't get the results I wanted at National Qualifier and I didn't make Canadian Open like I have the past two years, but guys, it went so much better than I expected.  Now I'm not saying I was pessimistic or had a negative attitude going into the competition but I did go into it with no expectations because I had basically no results I had nothing to lose.

The first day was preliminaries and I had a couple good races and made it through to the 1500 semi finals.  I got a little bit lucky in the 1500 when a bunch of people fell and I ended up in the A final with a 6th place finish. I also followed that up with some good results in both the 500 and 1000 to place myself in the top 16 and into the 3000m final for the first time (only the top 16 ever get to skate the 3K). 

That weekend I finally got back the feeling that I've been chasing all season and was reminded why I liked skating because honestly in the middle of the season I was reconsidering my whole skating career (although after skating a few long track races for fun the week after I have decided it might be time for me to retire from long track).

I finished with a 12th place overall which is my best Canadian Selection result to date and now it's time for the much anticipated and oh so short off season before we start up training again in April.  I'm a couple weeks into the off season now and to be honest I'm kind of bored?  I'm sure I will be wistfully looking back on these lazy days once summer training starts up but for right now I'm almost looking forward to training and skating again.

All photos property of Bill Christ

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Winter Rescue

We've been having some really nice, warmer, weather lately and it seems like we're finally (fingers crossed) getting to the end of winter.  Although it is a little warmer it has still been ridiculously dry and my skin and hair has been suffering for it.  I feel like I've just barely gotten to a point where my hair no longer feels like straw and my hands no longer feel like they're going to crack and start bleeding (ew) so after a lot of trial and error I thought I would share what worked to save me from this horrid dry climate.

The product that has probably made the biggest difference for me lately has been the Ultra Repair Concentrate from First Aid Beauty.  This (very thick) cream can be used anywhere you have dry skin but I've been using it as a night cream for my face.  I simply slather a bunch of it on my face, go to bed, and then I wake up with smoother, healthier looking skin.  It hasn't caused me to break out at all I've actually been breaking out less and it healed up a pretty nasty acne scar almost overnight.  It's a little bit too much for an all-over day cream but you could definitely use it just where you needed it if you had dry skin around your nose or something.

A body moisturizer fave is of course the body butters from The Body Shop.  I do find them a little greasy so I don't reach for it all the time (although I have a bunch) but they are excellent for dry or scaly legs and feet. (Also if you can still manage to get your hands on a cranberry scented one I highly recommend it sooooo good)

Also at The Body Shop I picked up this mango scented Beautifying Oil.  I originally got this with my hair in mind and it does a great job of making my ends look shiny and not dry and broken although I would be careful because if you have fine hair this might weigh it down and look greasy if you use too much.  I've also used the oil on my body when I'm feeling lazy because it is much quicker to put all over than a body butter and because it's a dry oil it's not greasy and dries quite quickly (although not as moisturizing).

The Blistex Lip Medex is pure a simple a great lip balm.  I've tried many other but nothing's as good as this; it works quickly and it works well and that's really all I could ask from it.

I don't know if it's because I wear gloves to skate all the time or if it's because I work in a coffee shop and wash my hands a lot but they are always, always extremely dry.  The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector is not the most glamorous or nice smelling hand cream but it works extremely well.  Instead of having to apply hand cream constantly I can use this once and my hands will be gross and scaly no more!

We're almost there guys, it's almost spring and then it will be summer, just a few more months.  Let me know if you have any products that really work for you because I'll take all the help I can get when it comes to dry skin, I hate that feeling. 

The last and most important competition of the season for me is this week so no matter what happens next weeks post will be the review of that (fingers crossed it's an upbeat post).

Sunday, 1 March 2015

That Time of the Year Again

It's that time of the year again; we're getting to the end of the season, a lot of the really hard training is done and the only thing left to do is race the final competition.  It's been a bit of an up and down season for me, a lot of it down, and in the middle of the season I struggled a little bit with motivation but (fingers crossed) I'm back on an upward swing.

Practice has been going better and I'm getting more confident again.  We did some practice races this weekend and although I wasn't 100% rested I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the big competition in two weeks (and also really looking forward to the short break at the end of the season but gotta race first, think about that later).

For the next few weeks I will be trying not to worry how things go (harder than it sounds for me) and try to be confident that I've done all the hard work and that no matter what happens it's not the end of the world.