Saturday, June 30, 2007

Leaving Prague, Next Up Ljubljana

I have thoroughly enjoyed my week here in Prague. This was my first time to the Check Republic and I have found it holds much beauty and character. I would like to learn more about its history, as it seems rich and diverse.

I've had a good week of physical training with great access to the athletes gym right at the river where David is training and racing. It is all brand new and perfectly set up for everything I need. Running is also wonderful with so much to see and explore, this is one way to keep training interesting!

The only hiccup from the week was David getting food poisoning the night before his qualifiers on Friday. I have never seem him sick like that, we heard accounts the next day of other athletes who had eaten at the same restaurant, at the same time, and the time lines were identical. It was hard to see him so violently ill. He is doing better now, although still feeling some of the effects. Tomorrow is race day for him, I look forward to helping out where I can and stretching my vocal cords as I cheer him on.

Other than training, we've been able to explore the city and see a few sights. It's been interesting and I hope I will return to this great city sometime soon. After here we go to Ljubljana. Andree Lavoie (our team physio) and her new husband live close by so I hope we'll get together for a nice dinner.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Charity Golf Tournament, Back to Regular Training

Well, since the bike trip ended, I have enjoyed what has been a wonderful block at home. A whole 2 weeks!!!! I've loved every second of it. Most of my teammates stayed in Whistler for another week after the bike trip for a training camp. (Yes, they thought the bike trip wasn't enough training so they added another week in the gym!) I guess everyone was a bit tired and found the week to be tough to get through. This made me feel even more confident in my decision to go home and do my training there, eating my own food, sleeping in my own bed, and enjoyed being with David as well. It was great and I was amazed how great I felt so quickly after that long bike ride.

Being back in the gym and working out regularly felt good. It was nice to settle into a routine and enjoy the time at home. With some nice bike rides with David and golf excursions, including a charity golf tournament, life is good. I'm hitting my driver better than ever but this sport is addictive....I already want to buy new clubs! And I've only been golfing for less than 2 years! I've decided to wait until I get a bit better though, then I'm sure I'll dive in the deep end.

I'm now with David in Prague to support him during his World Cup races. I really enjoy this time and getting to know the 'other side' of sport. It's always an adventure which makes everything exciting.

Till Next Time,


Saturday, June 02, 2007

June 2 - Duffy Face Off, Arrived in Whistler, Burgers All Around!

I am so glad glad I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning! Overall it was a good day; I didn't hit any walls, my butt survived, I didn't get burnt, that my legs felt recovered (more or less) from yesterday, and I made it to the finish line! It was a tough day and by far the hardest stage we've had this whole camp. We began riding at 7am with all the girls, a few boys, two athletes from the disabled ski team, Dusan, and Bruce. The rest of the men's team began at 8am, with the anticipation that some of the fastest guys would close the gap. (Oaf almost did close that gap, he arrived in Pemberton's rest station ridiculously close to use! We were all blown away by his ability to ride. I was happy to make it to Pemberton without being passed, although I didn't make it by much!)

Before we began riding we were all standing around with our bikes waiting for the go ahead. As we stood there, we compared heart rates, many of us (including myself) reached 119 bpm just standing there! However, once we began everyone got into a rythm. The first hill was the biggest we'd face (likely in our lifetime). It was hard, very hard, but I made it failry close to the leading climbers which felt like a huge success. Everyone who attempted the hills finished them, which is a huge feat and testament to the will power of this group of athletes. Several athletes weren't able to ride today due to injury, and some just missed the first hills then picked up with us for the final 100km. It was hard to see some girls try so hard but just weren't able to do it with severe knee pain. I found it really hard to leave someone behind to be picked up by the cars.

I spent most of my day with Emily Brydon and Liz (an ex rower, and now triathlete who's working with VANOC). We worked really well together which made such a difference both mentally and physically. Especailly when it came to the final leg of the journey from Pemberton to Whistler. This final stretch was deceivingly long, hot (reaching temperatures over 30degrees), and mostly uphill. I have to admit this part hurt, that is, until I saw Whistler then it felt like someone had given me a new set of legs! It's amazing how much is left in the tank with the right motivation. (The end of a nearly 1000km ride is huge motivation!)

In Whistler everyone slowly regrouped and collected at the Rec Centre so we could ride together, with a police escort, to Creekside. There we were greeted by some media and lots of excited people from the Whistler mountain ski club. (Including the sign that was made by the Weasle workers and hung on the side of the road just before the most amazing descent after 70kms of climbing)

At Creekside we enjoyed some great hamburgers (as you can see Mike Janyk was right in there!) as we basked in the scorching heat.

After the eating, we all went to our condos to shower and chill. It was nice to do nothing! Us girls all went out for dinner at Dusty's then picked up some Ben n Jerry's for desert:) Many of us, including myself, we hit the hay early. While others' nights are just beginning....

Thanks to everyone taking such an interest in my blog during this epic bike trip! We all had an amazing time and gained such respect for all our teammates. I will never forget this experience...and I can now say I rode the Duffy!

Till Next time,


Friday, June 01, 2007

June 1 - Dodging Potholes, More n More Hills, Summer has Begun!

Today we rode from Cash Creek to Lillooet, leaving at 8am in sunny hot conditions. Luckily we were off the bike before noon so that saved us from the scorching heat as it hits the 30's midday. Today was full of different group dynamics with some people struggling, others having good days, and with many of the guys taking it easy trying to save energy for tomorrow's big ride from Lillooet to Whistler. I had a bit of a rougher ride feeling the volume start to pile up. I'm sure there are also some nerves as we head into tomorrow.

This afternoon we enjoyed a playful time in the beautiful reservoir in Lillooet cooling our muscles off. It was spectacular with the mountains jetting into a massive lake. The water was an oh so perfect way. After the cool down we hit the local ice cream shop (hey, after burning nearly 3,000 calories today It really hit the spot!)

A great thing for today was having Larisa back on the road with us! Although she didn't do the whole ride, skipping a few of the big hills, she did extremely well after such a big crash only a few days ago. Also to note from today was an interesting event when Emily Desforges was given money by a passing truck driver who wanted to donate to the 'cause' we were riding for! Way too funny, since we're really just riding for the heck of it! Sounds like it may to donated to the party at Dusty's after the ride! :)

Tomorrow our day will begin early with a 7am departure time. We'll be riding from Lillooet to Whistler, 136km, starting with the steepest climb any of us have ever ridden. The uphill will continue for first 70 kilometres. From there we will have some huge descents and more uphills, but not as painfully steep or long. I'm nervous for tomorrow but excited about the challenge.

Today David is racing in Europe, there are so many times I wish I could be in two places at once. I look forward to seeing him again this Monday when he returns to Canada! He's been a huge help throughout this whole ride, helping me face the challenges head on all the way through.

I'll let you know who survives and how we survive the final day of the Tour!