Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Races- Idre, Sweden- Oh sweet sweet Sweden

Hello all! Well, the first two races of the season are done. It's amazing how fast things come up! My sleeping patterns have been absolutely crazy since arriving here; I probably got about 3 hours on the trip over, 11 hours Tuesday night, 2 hours Wednesday night, 7 hours Thursday night and Friday and Saturday night have been not so hot with my being awake at 1 am until about 4 or 5. I may not have been perfectly rested at the start of these races, but that's okay, I did them anyways. Good training, right?!?!

SO the first race was on Saturday and the women raced after the boys at 1pm. It was a bit rough because those beastly boys cut up the track and softened it quite a bit, making it more challenging. I was starter 44 out of 115 women, which I was pleased with, and my wonderful Ukraine coach, Vilius, zeroed me. I hope thats his name....I am SO awful. Pretty much Ukraine men are: Vitaly, Alexander, Sergey. So, yo have a 1 in 3 chance of getting it right...pretty good odds I think.

Well, anyways, I felt alright racing, but not super. It seemed like I was just there, doing it. I could not push myself. I hit 7/10- 1 miss prone, 2 miss standing, which is a bit too many misses. I ended up 98th, which did not please me. BUT I was happy to be here racing getting prepped for the World Cups.

So that night I did not sleep again; Partly jet lag and I think also my mind was thinking too much about the season. Anyways, today I woke up at 10am because the race start was so late and I wanted to try and sleep as much as possible. I was starter 41 today and felt worse then yesterday, haha. But that's okay. Went out and did it and I hit 8/10- 1 miss prone, 1 miss standing. I placed 68th, a better placing than yesterday and 1 minute faster, so that was nice.

Now I am sitting on a couch in the hotel lobby with Alan Eason from Britain, listening to the chatter of the Lithuanians beside me. Oh how life is grand. Tomorrow, my Ukraine Papa and I are driving to Ostersund to get ready for the races there.

Bis bald!

xxoxox Smile!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Interesting Idre

Hello All! I hope life is just great.

Well, I stayed at Leif's for 2 nights. It was great having a comfortable place to just relax. The day after I arrived Leif and I went for a 1 hour 45 mins run in Ostersund. It was raining, but +2 degrees so pretty warm. Leif took us, I guess you could say, on a bit of an adventure; around a lake where there was a warning sign about cows, past a circus, through a muddy farmers field, and finally up to the top of the local ski hill. Leif got me all exciting by telling me all about the beautiful view at the top. Upon arrival, we had an amazing view of the mass of clouds we were in. It was hilarious. But as we ran down the ski hill and emerged from the clouds we could see a bit of the area and it was gorgeous. That night, I surprised Leif, and myself, by making an edible chicken lasagna. Let's just say the last time I cooked I caught a tea towel on fire causing there to be a permanent boot mark on the wood floor and broke a pot, spilling it's contents all over the floor
92 separate occasions). So it was pretty exciting that nothing crazy happened and I only cut my finger once.

The next morning, I have to thank Leif so so much, he drove me at 6:50am to meet the Swedish team. We packed the covered trailer full, I mean FULL to the brim, and all squished into a couple different cars. We were like clown cars almost. Now let me remind you, last year on our drive down we slid off the road into the ditch, were pulled out by a crazy Norwegian man, and almost hit a hundred Raindeer. So this year I was hoping for a smooth trip: Nein, niet, no way.

30 or so minutes down the road our lovely Swedish filled van is pulled over by none other than some investigators. I don't even know if they are allowed to pull people over, I guess they are. There were 3 of them in this van and 2 of them got out to talk to the coach. Turns out he was not licensed to drive a VAN and a trailer, but he could pull a CAR and a trailer. So we have this huge trailer full of who knows what and we have to call one of the other drivers to come pick the trailer up in his little car. Oh man, it was hilarious watching them drive away as there was hundreds and hundreds of kg's in the trailer. Anyways, we sat some more and Jonas ended up getting a 3000Kronar ($500CND) fine for I'm not even sure. But, once again, our smooth trip did not go as smoothly as planned. After seeing two moose and a couple more Reindeer we made it to Idre and everything was super.

Today was my first day on skis in a week. It felt great but the track is a bit slippery so it should be interesting tomorrow. There is not a lot of snow but tonight it is supposed to snow 1/2 an inch and get to -2 degrees. I also met back up with my Ukraine team which was GREAT! I saw my Ukraine Papa and it was such a happy moment. It is really nice to have a team that knows you, and that you know, to support you even if you don't speak the same language. But, we have a large improvement already from last year: I bought a Russian/English dictionary! I know, crazy, but it might help a bit more!

I am number 44 tomorrow, starting at 1:22pm. There are 115 women and 159 men! There is more here than World Cups! It is absolutely insane, but exciting.

Take care, smile, have fun and stay healthy!

xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Leif's palace!

I AM HERE! I was picked up at 7pm by my two wonderful friends, Lena and Leif. It was so great to see them. Leif moved into a great new apartment and Lena got married and s now 4 months pregnant! All my bags arrived on time, not like last year where none of them arrived. We went to the Supermarket and then back to Leifs, where I am staying until.....tomorrow! I am off to Idre tomorrow morning for the IBU cup, traveling down the the lovely Junior Swedish team.

We went for a 1 hour 40 mins run this morning and I was dead! Man, running all jetlagged sucks! Now we are relaxed on the couch, trying to stay awake.

Have fun, smile, and party hard Superstars!

Here we go....again!

After an amazing trip to Victoria to my brothers wedding and visiting family, the adventure has begun. I am currently in Stockholm airport, about to board my flight to Ostersund. I cannot understand too much around me except that they seem to have an infatuation with Tacks (Pretty positive it means ‘thank you’…yep it does, asked the man beside me) and everyone is very well dressed.

The day started at 7:30am when Mum, Dad, Erin and I squeezed (and I mean squeezed) into the family Matrix. Those cars are not made to have huge ski bags shoved through the middle, and then a rifle placed on top, and I don’t think my mother and sisters heads were made to hold them up…but it all worked and we caught the 9am ferry and made it to the airport in 1 piece. I checked my bags in, having to pay $100 for excess, and then my family left to drive another 8 hours and I went through the gate.

Funnily enough, as I am walking down to gate 55 (the farthest one as usual) I see a familiar red haired individual struttin her stuff down the walkway. My dear Cousin, Andrea and her husband Mike, were about to catch their plane to Cuba where they were planning a tough week of relaxing on the beach and trying to beat the World record of amount of tequila drunk in 14 days. Well, that was a pleasant surprise so I had some company in Vancouver. An hour after they left, I boarded my plane for Frankfurt, and away we went.

10 hours later, and feeling not to worse for wear, we landed softly in a rainy Frankfurt and I jumped off as my connecting flight was in an hour. What a walk! I hope no old people with canes have to do that one, or they should get an escort because it is pretty dang long. After another security check I made it to my flight in time to board right onto it. It is only a 2 hour flight from Frankfurt to Stockholm and I slept almost the whole way.

Upon arriving in Stockholm I had no problems with the police as I had all my paperwork printed and set. How proud am I! Things were going great, I go to get my baggage tags, and for the first time in my biathlon career I am told I have to separate my bolt from my rifle. I have traveled all day from Canada, I have gone to Korea, New Zealand, and the States with my rifle, and I have never heard of this. So anyways, since my other bags were gone I had to transfer things from my carry-on backpack and take my bolt from my locked firearms case, wrap it in my fuzzy toque, and then check my backpack. It is never ever the same, but I guess that makes it such an adventure.

My flight boards in 18 minutes and then I am done for the day. Total travel hours for the day will be: approx. 28.

Happy travels!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Almost time!!

Well, times a comin! Only 6 days until I leave, heading for my brothers wedding in Victoria, BC. He is marrying a lovely lovely lady, Brigit, and I am flying out on Thursday and then.....if you can believe it...Monday I fly out of Vancouver for Sweden!!!!WOOHOO! It's near, my friends, it's near.

Monday, November 9, 2009

First update from Canmore, Canada

"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream."  ~Author Unknown

Since leaving New Zealand, life has been really great. I have had 5 weeks of steady training and I am feeling strong. Early on I got into a consistent schedule. Yoga and physiotherapy twice a week, and Pilates and massage once a week, along with 11 training sessions a week. My shooting coach Petr Zidek has been absolutely amazing. We shoot 5 days a week, with one day free and one ½ day.

Physio for my back has been going really great. Annie Tredray, a Kiwi who went to University with my Wanaka physiotherapist in Dunedin, has been working really hard to try to find out what is happening with my body. We have been doing specific strength exercises for my back and IMS (intramuscular stimulation). IMS is sort of like extreme acupuncture and it is pretty extreme. I have gotten about 20 needles up my spine, six in my glutes, and six in my inner thigh. It is a bit painful, especially when the muscle tightens around the needle, but I am sure, or at least hoping, it is helping!

It has also been really great to see my family and friends. I think I potentially have some of the greatest frends in the world. To try and help me raise some money for this upcoming year, they set up this website ( to try and bring in some funds. They did this all very secretly so that it would be a surprise. Unfortunately I found out before (dang Facebook) but they were fine with it as now they could go a bit more public about it.

Everything is getting organized for the upcoming season. I am heading to Silverstar, where there is enough snow to do some time-trialing, then driving straight to Vancouver with my family for my brothers wedding! On the 23rd of November I am flying out of Vancouver to Sweden for the first IBU cup and world cup. I cannot believe how fast it has come. I will be supported by Ukraine again this season and I am excited to meet up with them again. Bring on the Russian conversations and exuberant hand gestures!

I think that is everything for now. I have a new blog page, as my web master has many family issues right now, so check it out!

I hope you are all happy and healthy and lovin life!

Take care, smile and have fun!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I am so blessed to have the most amazing support system. Not only do my parents and family back me up completely with my crazy endeavors, but my wonderful lifelong friends are behind me 100% as well. They even (secretly) created a website to help me raise funds, as I am completely self funded. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have them ad I cannot thank them enough. I heart you all!

All my Amazing friends, good looking as always, at Seba beach (Our little summer hideaway)

NORMA ammunition