Friday, 4 October 2013

Wisdom from a Pirate Coach

A week or two ago I was sent this delightful little comic: 

The comic obviously speaks for itself, I'll just add that I feel lucky to have some really solid coaches helping me out along the way!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Great NINJA Buff Fundraiser!

Hey Friends,

I'm very proud to announce that Team Ninja has a new member: Buff Canada has come on as a huge sponsor for us and provided us with custom TEAM NINJA Buffs! We are very grateful for Peter Collins and Buff Canada's incredible generosity. 

I'll be in this for every workout and race for the next year!

The Ninjas will be sporting our new Buffs while training and racing towards our Olympic dreams and you can do the same by getting your very own TEAM NINJA Buff.

Custom Edition TEAM NINJA - NOT available in stores!

If you want to show your support for Team NINJA while looking like a total BOSS, I'll send you your very own custom edition TEAM NINJA BUFF. Simply send me your mailing address and donate $30 through the donate button to your right. Your Buff will arrive within one week. All proceeds go directly to funding the training and racing escapades of Team Ninja.

Looking forward to having you as another new member of TEAM NINJA, HIIIEYA!



For more info on sweet Custom Buffs check out

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Kicking the Post-Injury "Hangover"

After a solid 8 weeks of highly modified, reduced training, my back is starting to be good again! An MRI showed a torn L4-L5 disc with protrusion and damage to the discs above and below but no herniation or nerve damage. This wasn't great news but it wasn't terrible either, it explained the months of back pain and confirmed, to much relief, that surgery was not necessary.

Being able to mountain bike again a few weeks ago really saved my sanity as things were still healing and gave me a break from skiing in pain with awkward technique. Now I'm working to get back into a routine of regular, focused, hard training. 

Visited friend Adele in Revy for some riding and QT, inspirational belt buckle she has!

Interestingly, through the period of actually being injured, it didn't feel too, too hard to stay positive and optimistic that it would pass and things would be ok. What I didn't anticipate was that getting back into regular training would be the harder part. Once my back started feeling good enough to do more regular training I found myself feeling exhausted, out of shape and terrified that my disc would slip back out at any second. I've been describing the feeling as "The Post Injury Hangover", even though the injury was nothing even remotely resembling a party, getting back to regular training makes me feel like I might have had too much fun last night, every day.

Some days I've had energy and some days feel like my goals for the winter are impossibly far away.

Two weeks ago all 4 Ninjas were together for a sweet tempo workout up Norquay, this was a pretty good day:

Me, Amanda, Zoe, Chandra
Wet from the rain but happy :)

A few days later it took all the tricks I have to get through a 3h45 rollerski. Music, Caffeinated training candy, Pink Skis and a blinged-out water belt:

Then there was a good 2x20 min classic tempo workout where I actually did some hard double pole for the first time since Canada Day!

Then there was a run to Banff where I thought I wasn't going to make it, running felt so hard. Actually I didn't quite make it... I ran 19k then hitchhiked the rest of the way into town... but if I didn't have some good friends and kitty gloves I would have fallen apart much sooner: 

With Zoe and Catherine Vipond

Today I made it through a 3.5 hour ski (with the help of a coffee break) and felt about this tired and happy at the end if it:

"Life is not so bad today" - Alexis

End of the training week means it's time to do a laundry load of socks and gloves... to get ready for next week: 

Good thing our washing machine is working again.
 It helps to take a rest and do fun stuff. My buddy Sebastian works at the Canmore Community Garden and harvested some buckwheat last week. We hulled it and made it into buckwheat pancakes for dinner a few nights ago. The chocolate chips are totally local and organic too .... ;)

Overall, I'm just trying to keep it simple. Train hard, sleep well, eat well, work. Be positive, have some fun, keep calm that race season is still 2.5 months away and I have some time to pull it together. I think things are going in the right direction, but I might be feel completely the opposite tomorrow. Either way, IMA keep going!

Thanks for checkin' in! :)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


 The Ninjas did a sweet camp in Invermere not too long ago. Invermere is only 2h from Canmore and has awesome training terrain and weather. Our buddy Adam Kates provided us with team shirts to set the tone for the camp:


Captain America is such a BOSS that he doesn't even need to wear the shirt
 BOSS Camp Rule #1: You Must Always Wear the BOSS Shirt.

Amanda, Zoe and I getting in BOSS mode for the drive to Invermere.

Chandra in Wolf-BOSS mode. Key. 
 Rule # 2: Train LIKE A BOSS!
Legs only Like a BOSS!
 #3 Recover LIKE A BOSS!
Zoe relaxes LIKE A BOSS

 #4: Have Fun LIKE A BOSS!
Gettin' ready for training like a BOSS
#5: Run LIKE A BOSS! (ok.. this is a bit of stretch for me... :) )
Crushin' hills like BOSSES!

#6: Love your team LIKE A BOSS!
Being teammates LIKE A BOSS!!! 
#7: Take Care of Injuries LIKE A BOSS! 
No ice pack? No problem, chilled Rose will do. 
#8: Chill LIKE A BOSS!

#9: Show off your guns LIKE A BOSS!

Invermere was awesome! Thanks Kates for the shirts and extra, extra thanks to Sara Renner and Thomas Grandi for letting us stay in their sweet cabin out there!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Photoblog of Ninja Training in Ontario

 Had a sweet week training at home in Ontario!

Got to spend a few days training around Hardwood Ski & Bike and catch up with my coach, Jack Sasseville. He and his dog, Autumn are Ninjas too:

Stoked as anything to cruise the 4th line on a pretty Ontario day!

Loving the quiet and sometimes flower lined roads around Hardwood!

Getting a little cat-yoga in before training in Mississauga:

And by training I mean running along the lakeshore and practicing Ninja Skills with my brother, Andrew:

And then we did some lounging in the sun on the deck:

And went for a workout at the Applewood Pool:

Swim training doesn't suck here! 

 Pumped to be back in Canmore now. Look what I found in my bed when I got home Saturday morning!! A Ninja delivery!

That's right, it's a fresh, hand made BAGUETTE!   Looks like the work of Ninja Zoe Roy!!

Team Ninja is off to Invermere, B.C for our second team camp of the summer later this week - Can't wait!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

R&R Aboard the Heart of Gold

Since the last blog, I struggled through 2 weeks of fairly pathetic training in Canmore with the hope that going "easy" would allow my back to get better. I had planned a visit back to Ontario for after the July training block and while I can barely claim to have actually finished the training block, I was pretty freaking pumped to be heading home to see my family.

Ontario Summer!
 I got to spend last week sailing with my mom and dad in the Thousand Islands. It's a 10+ year Thomas family tradition to spend time hanging out on the boat in the islands in the summertime. The water area where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario is beautiful and being stuck on a boat is the ideal way to avoid rollerskiing, biking, mountain running and other dumb things that are bad for injured backs!

Captain Diana

First Mate Graham

There was a lot of this. 

And a lot of this. 

And of course some Ninja practice. 
Even did a bit of swim training
And a teeny bit of F&F work :) 

Captain Diana also Lifeguards the swims from the Dingy. 
Sailing gloves are perfect for Ninjas. 

Got fresh stuff at the Kingston Market! 

Treats from the Market for dinner
Don't make me go back home!
I didn't want to leave on Sunday! However, my back was starting to feel good after two weeks of easy training, and then a week of swimming, 45 minute runs and lounging which meant it was time to get back to business. 

I was so reluctant to leave that I actually stopped and went for a test rollerski halfway through the drive to home to test my back. If it felt ok I would keep driving, if it felt shitty, I'd turn around and get back on the boat.
A different kind of beauty.
Luckily the back was fairly good. Delicate for sure but not in searing pain which made me so happy that I nearly cried! Back on the road home...

Spending this week training around Hardwood Ski & Bike and visiting some friends and my brother in the city before flying back to Alberta on Friday. News on that to come!

Thanks for reading :)