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McKenzie prepares for big tests

We've got a great video and blog from the Canada camp ahead of the two test series against the USA .The blog comes thanks to Lesley McKenzie while Meghan Mutrie brings us the video.

By Lesley McKenzie.

On the Wednesday afternoon of this week I found myself at a track a short bus ride from my house.

The sky was overcast; it was late in the day and the only other person in sight was some girl reprising Ally Sheedys role from the Breakfast Club over on the high school bleachers across the field from me. Gotta love the return of 80s clothes and angst.

Since my rest intervals took quite some time, my mind hopped around all of the things left to do that evening. In the morning I was due to leave for our ten day, two-test camp on Vancouver Island, where we host the USA; that evening I needed to be powdered and pressed and proper for an appearance at a fundraiser at the Vancouver Club.

Never mind that evening, more like in about an hour; nonetheless, first things come first, and details matter.

As the years have turned into months, and the months have turned virtually into weeks, and as weall of uscount down to the World Cup, I am confident that every potential World Cup athlete out there is fully cognisant of just how much time is left. Or how little. And all of a sudden, details matter, and more than you ever thought they could.

To be honest, a year ago Id probably have chucked in the rest of my set, maybe rushed the rest times or tossed out the last set of repetitions. This hair doesnt do itself; Im very girly when it comes down to it and jealously guard my primping time.

I also need to take out garbage, throw another load of laundry in so my shoulder pads dont knock anyone out, clean the fridge out, and the list goes on. But its amazing what kind of clarity comes with the knowledge that we kick off against Scotland in just under ten weeks.

So I wait out my next rep: look at the clouds, look at the girl writing angsty poetry in the bleachers, look at my feet, think about more power, more speed, more explosiveness and how I am going to pack that into my next rep. I only have two more to do. Two chances left to get better.

Were here at Shawnigan Lake on the Island, and already, after the first day we are two practices down. Did we get better? We have two more tomorrow; the next day is pre-game. Monday is our first of two tests against the Americans. How much better can we get before then? How much can we get out of these sessions? We play Monday; we play again on Friday afternoon. These two games are our last before we kick off the World Cup. How much can we put in, in order to take away the absolute most?

World Cup sides right now are facing these last few opportunities all over the globe right now.

Imminent kickoffs now bring a crushing clarity of focus to all preparations. Not that this is a negative: its an exciting time. High pressure means a challenge; all of us live for this challenge, or we wouldnt be doing what were doing.

I finished my set. I didnt rush it, gave it everything I had. I stretched, got lucky and caught a bus home with great timing.

Showered in fast-forward. Lotion, clothes, hair. Makeup. Shoes. Two coats of mascara. Perfect. Finishing touches. Theyre so, so important...!

Watch the test series first game live on Tuesday night (GMT) at around midnight here