Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bike Race/Testing/Saas Fee

When I was last home, Clay, Kevin and I competed in a bike race, called the Centurion. Kevin and I raced the 25mile race on Saturday, while both Kevin and Clay raced the 50mile race on Sunday. Clay has been training hard all summer for this race and it was nice to see his hard work pay off! He also made sure Kevin and I were taken care of. Clay organized that I could borrow a bike from Wheels on Bloor in Toronto, and drove me through the course!
However, much to Clay's dismay I did a leg workout on Friday before I raced, I don't think he was happy with me, although he tried to hide it!

On Saturday, after a good breakfast and warm up, Kevin and I headed to the start corral. We both had a plan for the race. Kevin was in the first group for the entire race (he is in 4th in this picture). He fought through the rain and the cold weather, avoiding the rooster tail from the bike in front of him! About 800m from the finish line he started sprinting, however that is a long way to sprint. He was winning until the last 200m and then he was passed!
I made sure that I didn't go out too fast, knowing how competitive I am. I ended up 5th out of all the women and 1st in my age group. However, I have a lot of work to do in regards to climbing!

On Sunday morning, I was allowed to be a spectator. This is a shot from the beginning of the 50 (not my photo). There were about 4500 riders racing the Centurion in Collingwood this year. The majority of which raced the 50. 

Clay and Kevin are at the beginning of this group. 

My cheerleading buddy was Clay's son, Chris! We cheered and made sure that everything was ready for Clay's big weekend!

Here is a little video summary from the race, and scenery from around my house! 

Later that Sunday, I flew to Calgary for a last check up before I left for Saas Fee. I realized almost immediately that I was quite sore from the race, so I saw our physio, Jenny, and our osteopath. The week turned out to be quite stressful to say the least.
One day I was sitting by the river waiting for the oil to be changed in my car and I was feeling quite stressed and tired. I thought, "I usually see an elk when I sit here. If I see an elk today, it will make my day." About 7 minutes later, an elk walked through the water on the opposite side of the river... day made.

That afternoon I went for a 15km run, or so says my new foot pod. Since I am hopeless at mountain biking, I run the trails that everyone else bikes, so that I know what they are talking about. However, I may invest in bear spray for next time. I didn't see any bears, but the thought is unsettling. A small squirrel almost tore my heart right out of my chest.
We had testing and I found out that I have built more muscle since the summer and maintained much of my power. This was very encouraging news to take away with me as I ventured to Saas Fee, Switzerland for 2.5 weeks!
When we travel within Switzerland, we usually fly into Zurich and then take the train/bus to our destination. this time was slightly more tricky with 3 wheely bags and a back pack, however Britt stepped up as usual and helped me though.
Here is a shot from the train... my Dad would not be proud. (#glare)

Now that we are in Switzerland it is a bit of a battle. Every day seems to bring something different, whether that is wind, sun, soft snow or hail. We have missed quite a few days of skiing, but we are fighting through because that is what our team does.

My next day will be GS, which I am very excited for! This year I will start the season in Solden to get the cobwebs from my legs and my race gear in check.

Hopefully Mitch, MP and Chemmy can give me some encouraging pointers!

We have the biggest team here than I have ever traveled with. We have bout 12 athletes, and including staff there are over 20 people here. However, soon the speed girls will head home, but until then we will make the most out of it!

However, Britt always finds new friends to make... 

Yesterday, the sun finally shone through! When it is sunny it is quite warm here, so we can practice our beach volleyball skills.

Today is one of those slow, cloudy days. We woke up at about 6am to ski, waited on hold until 8am, and then we heard that skiing was cancelled.
So this picture cheered me up and I hope that it does the same for you!

Until next time! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Burlington Days

To me Burlington usually means a time to relax. It is a time when training slows down a little bit and my body recovers. Well I think this time I needed that more than ever! 
Tornado warnings bring beauty. 

So what do we do when the rain and winds hit? Naturally, we become movie stars. 

Or just weirdos.

Eventually, the laying in bed feigning jet leg came to an end. I had to get up, get out and get strong again! I decided to go for a bike ride with Kevin and his roommate Travis.

Kevin informed me that we would do a casual ride considering we were both quite tired. Well, usually "casual" for us means... going just slightly below 100%, so 99%. 

I tried my best, but I am sad to say that I couldn't keep up with those fiends. 

One day I decided to jog to the beach and meet Kevin there. I was starting to get bored of the pavement under my feet, when I saw a trail to my left. As I entered the woods I tripped over a flattened wire fence and started barreling head first into the trees. Good thing we do agility. The trail ended up following along a cliff at the side of the lake. It was incredible! I hate running the same way twice, so I usually get lost. That day was no exception. I finally saw some people and asked where the way out was. They looked at me as if I had been trapped in the forest for days. 

I stayed in Burlington for a few days and then headed back home to spend time with my family, have a little dryland day at Georgian Peaks, wash and repack my clothes, and cuddle with my animals.
Finally they are friends... although our cat still always keeps one eye open.

Boulder learned how much fun the sunroof is on a car.

And this is Baby, first name Gremlin, goes by Baby.

My time at home was a rush, as always! In the span of 4 days I had a meeting in Toronto, tested a new bike, got in two workouts, picked up Kevin at the airport, raced a bike race, did a fitness day, packed and watched Kevin and Clay compete in the 80km bike race.
Photos and stats to come! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

End of New Zealand

As always, our camp to New Zealand seemed to go by very quickly. It felt as if one minute we were driving up the windy, narrow road to Mt. Hutt, and the next we were packing up our cargo for Europe. However, a lot went on between those two dates!

This was our view from the physio room in the turret of the B&B we stayed at called The Turret.

The speed girls left a little bit earlier then our tech team, so we decided to go to a winery for their last night.

Our chef in New Zealand manages this winery, so we visit every year as a team and make our own pizza! 

This may or may not be a hint for our new house.... Imagine the pizzabilities (I started wanted to write possibilities and ended up writing pizza, so I went for it)

 This year in addition to the Canadian Team and Great Britain representative (Chemmy), the Finnish team came to our pizza party. We have joined forces with the Fins, and they are a lot of fun to train with!

Skiing in New Zealand is always so much fun. The views are incredible, the terrain is challenging and we see skiers from many teams. This year the weather in New Zealand was tough. We traveled quite late in the year and spring had sprung. We missed a couple days of training, however the days that we skied were incredible. No two days were ever the same. We usually had to battle with something, whether it was one of Tim's special courses, or low visibility. However, we battled and fought though it. I skied about the same number of days of GS and SL, and this is one of the first years in a while that I am very excited to race GS!
(This is an old picture that I was playing around with)

One night our chef's kids came over so we played a form of hide and seek called Spotlight!

After a few days of waiting around for the weather to clear, we hesitantly headed up the mountain. The fog hadn't cleared as early as anticipated, which means that the snow had less time to harden. We were told to inspect and warm up well because we might only get one run. However, the course held up! We were able to do 7 runs on our last day, in the sun!

My dream team!

I will miss getting up at 5:30am for this reason.

I made a bit of a silly call and decided that since I arrived in Toronto at 11:30pm, I would fly to Montreal the next morning at 7am to visit Kevin. I wouldn't say that was my smartest plan. I think I slept for 4 hours at the most, and jumped on a plane again. 

On our last night in New Zealand, we dressed up and headed out for dinner with one of our team sponsors, Hermes. I tested up some red lipstick...

Now as we head into a small dryland block, as I grind up a big hill on my bike, as I stuff my heart back in my chest after a sprint... This is what I will remember!