From time to time I like to add a cross-country ski race to my training. At Windsor Park where I train they host weekly Wednesday Night Races. There are a mixture of classic and skate races. Since I don’t classic ski, I only sign up for the skate races. I have done three so far. Tonight’s race was great. The weather was perfect, the snow was in good shape event though it was a little icy and firm from the melting of the snow during the day. The snow was very fast though and I felt great. I managed to put down a new PB! I knocked approximately 1.5 mins off of my previous PB! I definitely can’t complain about that and I am hoping that kind of skiing translates to the Provincial races this weekend!
The mass start race didn’t go quite as well as I was hoping for. There were some very challenging shooting conditions since the wind was quite strong and gusty, which meant that if you were unlucky you came into the range when the wind was different than when you sighted in your rifle and your shots went a little all over the place. That is what happened in my case. I ended up shooting very poorly, only 7/20 and accidentally ended up skiing an extra penalty loop. Needless to say, it wasn’t quite the race I was hoping for, but I am still very proud of my Gold Medal result in the Sprint Race and you can always take something away from each and every race even if it didn’t go so well. I should also mention that this was my first mass start race. We don’t get a chance to do them too often, however they seem to be phasing them into more competitions now. I get the opportunity to do another one in just a few weeks at Nationals so it was good to get the bugs out now. Here are a few pictures from the weekend’s races!
This first photo is me coming into the range for a bout of shooting during the Sprint Race. It is here when you try to get your breathing under control again.
This next photo is the dreaded Blue Hill. This was the first stage of a two stage monster hill. This particular portion of the hill was skied on both the red and blue loop. The red loop then forked off to the left at the top of the hill and had another little uphill before continuing on the red loop, but the blue loop, although a shorter loop overall than the red loop, turned the corner to the right and then had another climb just as big as this one. I had to ski one each of the red and blue loop for the sprint race, but the Mass start was worse as I had to ski 4 blue loops! I was pretty wiped after that.
Here is a picture of me sighting in my rifle during the Mass start race. We have to do this each time before we shoot since the conditions are different each time.
This last photo is a picture of me shooting standing during the sprint race. In the sprint race we shoot once in the prone position and once in the standing position.
It doesn’t appear that I have any photos of me receiving my medal, but if I get one I will be sure to post that as well. I have provincials this upcoming weekend, we will again be doing a mass start race and a sprint race, time to improve my times!
Hi there from North Battleford, Saskatchewan! We have just completed race 1 of the Western Canadian Biathlon Championships.
Friday was our training day where we were given the chance to get familiar with the course we will be skiing and get a little shooting practice in as well. The course here is quite challenging. The vibe/atmosphere of the course itself is very similar to Falcon Lake where our races happen back at home, but the hills are a little steeper and a little larger here. Nothing a prairie girl shouldn’t be able to handle! I should get excited by the hills since we don’t have many of them!
Today was the Sprint Race. My sprint race is 7.5 km. That is three skiing loops and 2 shooting bouts (1 prone, 1 standing). The temperature climbed all the way up to +1, but there was cloud cover with a gentle breeze which helped to make things feel not quite so hot. I was the last starter in my category, which isn’t a big deal, gives me people to chase! My goals of todays race were to hit 8/10 targets (ideally 4/5 each time) and keep a steady pace on the tough climbs. I skied a Red, Blue then a yellow loop. The red was the longest and the yellow was the shortest, so mentally that helped me get through the race. The red loop and the blue loop both have the same monster climb and then red has a few more hills added onto it. My race started off pretty good, with some powerful skiing, I worked on keeping strong technique and a steady pace. We had interval starts, so the person ahead of me started 30 seconds before me. I couldn’t really see her too much on the course, but that wasn’t a bother because I knew to do well I would mostly just have to worry about my race. I came in for my first shooting bout and I hit 4/5! I was right on my goal so far! I tried to ski the penalty loop fairly quickly to get back onto the course. I found the monster climb a little more challenging this time, but really worked to try and not break my technique. I came in for my second shooting bout and again I hit 4/5! This was really shaping up to be a great race. I knew that that one of the girls had left the range right before me so I had to put down a solid effort on the ski trails. I got out of the range and skied the penalty loop as fast as I could. I knew this last loop didn’t have the monster climb and it was a much shorter than my last couple of loops so I gave it all I had. The girl that started 30 seconds ahead of me was in my sights. That was a good sign, because I knew if I crossed the finish line within 30 seconds of her I had her beat.
Results came out and I secured the gold medal! I couldn’t have asked for a better race. Conditions were perfect and things just kind of fell into place. My shooting has been a little inconsistent recently so this was a good way to get back on track. I was very pleased that I met all of my goals today: hit 8/10 targets, keep a steady pace on the uphills and place in the top 3.
Tomorrow is the Mass start race so I am hoping it goes just as well. The race is longer at 12.5 km and I have to ski the monster hill 4 times instead of 2, so it is going to be all about pacing and being smart about my race. My coaches took some pictures, but won’t be able to get them to me until we get back to Winnipeg, but when we have them I will be sure to share a few with you all!
Well I have kind of fallen off the grid as far as blogging goes, but I will try to get back into it now!
Last season wasn’t a great one for me. I partially tore the UCL in my left thumb during one of my first skis of the season. That put me in a splint for 6 weeks and some pretty heavy athletic therapy to get it strengthened again. I was only able to do 2 races last season which was a little bit of a bummer, but it means I am ready for more this year.
Right now my goal is to qualify for the FISU University Games team. The games were originally supposed to be held this month or January in Slovenia, however, due to funding issues, the games had to be moved to Italy and will now happen in December 2013. The qualifying races are at Canadian Championships in March. This was actually good news for me since I wasn’t able to train at all really last winter. This gives me extra time to prepare and hopefully do very well at nationals.
I already had my first competition this year (2 races) in Canmore, AB at the end of November. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, my shooting wasn’t very good and as a result pushed me a little further back. However, I did manage to get a new PB in my pursuit race so that was exciting. The purpose of me going to these races was to set a base line. I had only been skiing 1 time before the race since Winnipeg only got skiable snow about a week before the race, so it was a chance for me to get on snow early and get a couple of races under my belt to make up for last year. It also allowed me to see what I have to work on so all in all I think it was a successful time. I was there for a couple of days prior to the competition as well so I could get some training in. Besides, being at high altitude never hurt. I was even able to make it to the Hot Springs in Banff one afternoon after training; sure beats sitting in classes at University.
I am going to try and do a few more cross country ski races this year as well as I think it will help my skiing overall. First ski race is set for this Wednesday. They have weekly 5km races here so it is a good way for me see improvements on time. The skate races are only every 2 weeks or so though, so in total I will be doing 5 of them. As well, the first Manitoba biathlon race is happening on Sunday if the snow cooperates. Falcon Lake, where we have our races hadn’t got quite as much snow as we had so their trails weren’t quite ready, but we have been getting snow the past couple of days and it is supposed to snow on Wednesday so hopefully it makes its way out to Falcon Lake as well as I would really like to do a race to see if I have improved on some of those little things from last race! I have made some adjustments to the sizing of my rifle and I think it is a better fit, just have to put it to the true test of competition now!
THEY PROTECT YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM – high in fiber
- Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, both the soluble and the insoluble type. They are undigested, which means they will pass out of our bodies.
- Insoluble fiber encourages regular bowel movement and prevents constipation and helps prevent colon cancer. While soluble fiber reduces the risk of heart disease and regulates blood sugar for people with diabetes.
THEY PROTECT YOUR HEART – with a significant amount of folate and magnesium
- Lentils contribute to heart health in their soluble fiber and in the significant amount of folate and magnesium.
- One cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of the recommended daily allowance for folic acid, which protects the artery walls and prevents heart disease.
- Magnesium lowers resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. And studies show that a deficiency of magnesium is associated with heart attack.
THEY STABILIZE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR – full of complex carbohydrates
- The soluble fiber in lentils helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, lentils are full of complex carbohydrates that can help you…
Control your blood glucose levels
Control your cholesterol levels
Control your appetite
Lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes
THEY’RE HIGH IN PROTEIN
- With 25% protein, Lentil is the vegetable with the highest level of protein other than soybeans. Protein is important to support normal growth and development.
THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT MINERALS AND ANTIOXIDANTS
- Lentils are a good source of important minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. Iron deficiency causes anemia while zinc is one of several nutrients necessary for fending off infections.
- Lentils also provide antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which bind with and destroy free radicals, reducing oxidative damage to cells. Lentils also have a high content of tannins, phytochemicals that prevent cancer growth, making them a good addition to any diet.
The lowly lentil has been sustaining man for thousands of years. Some foodies once considered lentils as poor man’s food and refused to eat them because they are so inexpensive. Although they may be cheap, lentils are very nutritious, filling, and more importantly, arguably the most flavorful of all the legumes. Learn more about lentils and try some interesting old and new lentil recipes.
Lentils, botanically-known as Lens culinaris esculenta, have been a source of sustenance for our ancestors since prehistoric times. The word lentils comes from the Latin lens, and indeed, this bean cousin is shaped like the double convex optic lens which took its name from the lentil.
Lentil artifacts have been found on archeological digs dating back 8,000 years, and The Bible’s book of Genesis tells the story of Esau, who gave up his birthright for a bowl of crimson lentils and a loaf of bread. As a tasty and plentiful source of protein, lentils graced the tables of peasants and kings alike. Poor Catholics who could not afford fish during the season of Lent substituted lentils.
Thought to have originated in the Near East or Mediterranean area, lentils (known as dal or dahl in India) are small disks resembling a flat baby pea. When halved, dried lentils resemble their split pea cousins. They grow two to a pod and are dried after harvesting.
There are hundreds of varieties of lentils, with as many as fifty or more cultivated for food. They come in a variety of colors, with red, brown, and green being the most popular. Lentils have an earthy, nutty flavor, and some varieties lend a slight peppery touch to the palate.
I would like to thank you for the donation of the Genki Bars, which were included in the race packages given to the participants of See Jane Tri for the Cure.
The very successful ninth annual See Jane Tri for the Cure saw 200 women try the sport of triathlon in a non threatening, non competitive atmosphere. For many, this is the start of a lifetime of wellness and healthy activity.
As well as a portion of each participant’s registration fee being donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, new this year, the participants had the opportunity to also fundraise on their own. All, the money raised individually by the participants goes directly to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
This year alone a jaw-dropping total of $19,500 was raised, which goes directly to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation! In the previous eight years, a total of $12,000 had been raised. This brings the overall total that the event has raised to date to $31,500!
See Jane Tri for the Cure is quickly becoming the event to be associated with. As planning for the 2013 See Jane Tri for the Cure begins, I hope we will be able to count on your continued support.
Again, thank you for becoming involved in this great event helping to make it a huge success and raising money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Your help in promoting a healthy, active lifestyle, and empowering women is greatly appreciated.
Laura Englund, Race Director
Sometimes it’s difficult to know what lentils will be dry compared to when cooked. We have found some useful measurements that may help you when you’re cooking:
- 1 cup dry lentils = 2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked
- 1 pound dried lentils = 2-1/4 cups dry
- 1 pound dried lentils = 4 servings
- 1 pound dried lentils = 5 cups cooked
Lentils are only available dried. They are not used fresh. When selecting lentils, ensure that they are dry, firm, clean, and unshriveled. The color of lentils you choose will depend on your usage, but in general, the color should be fairly uniform.
If your recipe calls for a lentil that will retain its shape when done, common brown lentils are the usual choice. Brown lentils still have their seed coat and have not been split. Most red, yellow, and orange lentils tend to disintegrate with long cooking because the hulls have been removed. Slightly sweet in flavor, these are best reserved for pureed soups or stew thickeners.
Other choices include French lentils which are olive-green and slate-colored. These will cook up the firmest. Persian green lentils will turn brown as they cook and become nice and tender while still retaining their shape.
Most recipes will call for a specific kind of lentil and the more you cook with each of them, the more familiar you’ll become with their various benefits and qualities.
The high protein content in lentils makes them an excellent meat substitute. They are delicious to cook and are cheap to buy, making them adoringly nicknamed the “poor-man’s protein”. Here’s just a few tips when cooking them:
- Lentils need no pre-soaking and cook very quickly.
- To cook lentils, scramble them with your hands to remove debris, rinse, and drain. Cover with water or broth and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Depending on the variety and age, cooking time may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour.
- When using a pressure cooker, add a teaspoon of oil to keep the scum from blocking the safety valve.
- Salt added to the cooking water will toughen the beans. Add salt once the lentils are completely cooked.
- Acidic ingredients such as wine or tomatoes can lengthen cooking time. You may wish to add these ingredients after the lentils have become tender.