Eager to start the season

Hello,

Well another 3 weeks have passed just like that. It is really amazing how time flies. You may or may not remember my last update but I was talking about how tired I was. I can safely say there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Things seem to be picking up and the overall body fatigue it not quite the same. In saying all that I'm still not out of the woods. We have more work to still do, but it is definitely going to taper off as we get closer to the racing season. One good thing at least is that with talking to the rest of the team we are all having similar feelings. It's reassuring to know that other people are experiencing the same levels of fatigue and same feelings on the ice.

The last three weeks have been pretty basic, nothing out of the ordinary as far as training goes. We have been mostly training on ice and still in the weight room.

We did do a jump test a while ago. It went pretty well. You stand on a sensor mat. Take a jump as high as you can and it records your air time. Then it gives you a vertical height. It is a great way to measure your power output to see if there is any improvement. Funny thing is I had a good jump about 1 _ inches higher, then we raced the next day and it wasn't very good. One thing you learn with skating is that it takes a whole lot of work to be able to take your power off ice and transfer it on the ice. That's why your skating technique is so important.

Like I said we raced again and I would say it didn't go that great. Another 36.55 second 500m. Basically the same time I did the race before. You always want to go faster, some time I guess you just have to be patient and trust in the program.

We were supposed to race two days in a row, but after the first day of races everyone was very slow and tired so our coaches cancelled the next day of racing. I guess it was for the better and I took the rest day with not much argument. Like I said before it's reassuring when everyone has the same feelings.

We also had a little get together at Cindy Klassen's place last week. It was a combo party. Sterling Sobczak's birthday and a get well party for Cindy. She is doing amazing in her recovery. Very optimistic and upbeat. It is quite encouraging to see. It makes you re-evaluate your situation. Here I am worrying about being tired and not racing fast, but in the big picture things could be a lot worse. I am just happy that I am fully healthy and able to train. I have fully recovered from my ankle sprain last season and I seem to forget that there was about three months where I couldn't train 100%, so I am glad that I can train fully now and not have to worry about my ankle.

I know Cindy will make a full recovery as well and come back with a vengeance and be faster than ever. She has a great attitude and it definitely shows.

This past week was a lot easier and we didn't have to race on the weekend. We did however have a super hard workout on Saturday and it went well. I was so tired when I got home I could barely make myself something to eat. That is going to be the trend from now on. We will decrease the volume of work and start to up the intensity.

That is good because usually increasing the intensity means going faster and that’s what I love to do. I am starting to get excited for the first world cup coming up.

The first world cup is in Calgary this year so it should be a lot of fun. This is my first year where I will be competing at both the 500m and 1000m at the fall world cups. It is also good because we don't have to do any major traveling before our team trials. We just have another world cup in Salt Lake City. Then our trials the weekend after.

That's about it for now. I think it's really funny how when physically you become low all of the sudden mentally you follow right behind. Then when physically you start to feel better, guess what, mentally you start to feel better. So I guess it’s a matter of trying to stay mentally focused and upbeat even when you are physically defeated. I feel better both mentally and physically so that is good news for the upcoming season. I hope I can report back with some good racing times next update and really start to enjoy what I worked so hard for all summer: Going as fast as I possibly can.

Talk to everybody soon,

James Monson

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