Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - Athlete Perspective
Haywood Report: A Golden Opportunity

By: Milaine Theriault

It has already been a year!!! Oh yes, one year ago I was taking part in my hardest race ever...on a hospital bed! My son Xavier has turned one this weekend and that meant that in the past year much has taken place in the departments of motherhood as well as skiing. I am back with the National Team and it has been an exciting winter and summer so far. Many thanks to all the people that helped me make it this far and further.

Most of the National Team athletes have been in New Zealand getting some great skiing in. I had the choice to go but preferred to stay home with my family since this winter I might be gone for quite a bit and believe I can still get some good training here. That meant I would train on my own for three weeks, which I could do, but it is always more motivating to have a training partner. I knew my good friend and teammate Beckie was going to spend the month of August at her new house at Panorama Village near Invermere so I went to visit her and we kind of made it as a training camp as well. Since we donít see each other much after the season it was a great opportunity to catch up, and how many people have the chance to train with an Olympic gold medalist? Eager, I packed up my bags and drove the two hours. It turned out to be a hot (30 degrees everyday) fun week with lots of training and a bit of a vacation for me since I had left Xavier with my partner Robin to whom I am forever grateful for all his help.

Panorama offered lots of training terrain. The mountain was perfect for ski striding and walking intensities, the road that goes from Invermere to Panorama was great for rollerskiing and biking. There are endless trails for running which conveniently were just behind Beckieís house. Justin (Beckieís husband) was also a great help. He is going to kill me for writing this, but we called him our man-servant. We really meant it in a nice way because every morning he would make us a nice cup of coffee, pick up our plates after we had eaten and even carry our water bottles during our intensity workout. He was like the coach for our mini camp and I thank him for doing all of this. Robin and Xavier joined us for the weekend as well as former team members Yves Bilodeau (Team head technician), Alain Masson and Lucy Steel along with their son Sacha. We all went for a long hike one day then celebrated Justin and Xavierís birthday on the 14th. The week went by really fast and I think it is due to the great time we had with great people.

Now I am back home finishing another hard week of training before getting some rest time with my two boys!!!! In September another hard period awaits us and this time I will be joining the whole team for the three-week camp. I am looking forward to be working with my teammates and getting... a bit of a vacation!!!!

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Source: Cross Country Canada

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