Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer


I was stretching before practice today and Scotty said to me, "you seem really happy this morning." Me Happy?? In the morning? I stopped stretching and thought about it for a minute... holy I am happy! Did I have an amazing sleep or something like that?... umm nope I actually had a really crappy sleep last night. 
So I've spent the rest of the day in shock. 

I think my strange case of morning happiness is because it finally feels like summer. I woke up around 5:30ish (because it was so sunny outside, and the birds were all chirpy, and then I got to sleep in an extra hour, so that made me happy.) Today was regen so that definitely made me happy. And  tomorrow I have my anthropology exam, and then I'll be done my spring course, so that's awesome. 
I'm going to get a little part time job for the rest of the summer, so crazy summer training+ a little bit of work should keep me tres busy, but I still feel like I have a lot more freedom in the summers.   
Maybe because without studying to do I have the opportunity to go climbing on my nights off, or hiking on the lighter training days, or one-nighter camping trips up-island some days. My friends have been able to come out and visit, so that has been really nice. We took Jess adventuring in Sooke, and had so much fun. Even training just seems better in the summer. 

There really are a lot of reasons to be happy. 

Yesterday was a good training day. We did a 1500 time trial in Thetis. I lost my 'inner swimmer' after about 800, and struggled the last half, but Alex was able to pull me to a fairly decent time. Yoga. And then an epic ride at night! We left yoga a little late, and ended up hammering 25km up the hilliest road in Victoria to get to the crit course on time. We arrived at the race 2minutes before the start where we jumped right into a brutally hilly approx 30km crit race. Before heading out to the crit PK said, "just be ready on that first corner, or you'll be dropped because everyone is going to get up and go.." Well sure enough 500m into the race we came to the corner. I was stuck at the back and apparently nobody at the back knew how to take corners because we slowed down way way too much, and I was dropped. Then followed 7 laps of me tt'ing around and around until finally the pack lapped me, and I was able to join in. Being in the pack felt good, I had been working really hard by myself, so sticking with the pack didn't seem too tough. But then coming down the big hill/corner there was a three person pile up right in front of me, and the pack rode away. So I continued tt'ing around and around until the race finally ended. Mel led the way home which meant another hammerfest pour moi. So I think it ended up being a 3.5 hour ride, mostly at max effort. And now my legs hurt :)
Good day. 
I like summer. 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

pistachios

Once last summer we came to a beautiful valley tucked in between a semi-circle of rugged mountain peaks. It was above the tree line, so there were no trees to shade us from the sun, but if you looked down over the edge you could see the last few bushes and shrubs, and then the forest way below. There was a little glacial stream that ran through the valley, so we filled and re-filled the one little disposable water bottle we had brought with us right from the ground.(I was pretty hesitant to drink it at first, but it ended up being the clearest and best tasting water I've ever had) The whole field was just moss, and flowers and sunshine, and snow patches that somehow managed to survive despite the heat. All we had to eat for lunch was some beef jerky and a big bag of pistachios. So we sat on rocks around the river and ate the whole bag.  

I just remembered that on the drive home yesterday because we had bought some pistachios for the trip, and these ones must have come from the same pistachio tree or something because they tasted just the same. :)

On the way home we saw quite a few roadtrippers and this made me think of a discussion I had with Peter once. He was trying to grow a Canmore beard because he said Canmore beards are sexy (it was a valiant effort). I didn't agree with him at the time.. and I still wouldn't say they're sexy necessarily ha. But there is definitely an attractiveness to Canmore beards. I think it's because they usually come along with an old beater of a car with a kayak on the roof and some chill tunes inside, a bunch of backwoods gear, and big dog.  They're living life the way they want to live it. They don't switch back and forth between living and not living -they're just always living. Even if they are normal guys with normal jobs they keep it real. I think choosing to keep it real is definitely a choice we all have, but too many forget. The funny thing is, most people like themselves a lot better when they're real too. It would be nice if more people would remember. 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

There and Back again



I'm back in Vic now after a couple weeks of adventuring. After being sick at worlds I went home for a bit with a great big schedule of all the workouts I had to do to get me back in shape. So it didn't end up being the post-worlds celebration type of trip home that I had been imagining before I got sick, but more like a training and resting trip. Which is still nice. A-Game was home too, so he took over the role Alex usually has (she didn't come home with me this time), of doing everything with me... and we ran, and biked, and swam, and drank tea, and roasted marshmallows and visited our friends (so thanks for everything AH :). 
There's this really great loop out in the foothills that Austin would take us on last summer- it has amazing views, and amazing hills, so we made sure to that. And driving back reminded me of blasting Fergie's 'big girls don't cry' after one of the worst biking bonkages ever last summer (it came on about every hour on the radio that month).  
Jess organized a great little trip out to Canmore with the trackies, so we went for our run in the mountains and iced in the quarry, and went for tea's and lunch, and looked in all the little shops. It was so great to get back to my mountains, but it made me a little sad too funnily enough. Because as we were driving past the Kananaskis turn off, my brain and heart and conscience, or whatever talks to you when you know your making the right or wrong decision, was screaming at me to go to into those mountains and just stay there- Somewhere deep in the backwoods for a while. But I couldn't go camping this trip, so we drove home. It was still a really fun trip, and I will try to add a picture with this post if I can figure out how. 
From Calgary I flew to Vancouver to watch some of my friends race in the pacific coast track series. We ended up going out for dinner, and stayed in Richmond that night, then we took the ferry over to Victoria the next morning, then went to the beach that afternoon, and built a secret little campfire, and tried to paddle logs in the ocean, and it made my whole weekend feel like it was finally summer. 
The rest of this week was equally crazy with papers due, and major whip Kyla back into shape-age, and more superly amazing fast track racing. Then a long trip down past Seattle and back for a little racing action down there. (which was vera vera painful, but fun). I think I'll write about that later...
Cause now I'm ready for bed!
 Take it easy.  

Monday, June 9, 2008

Get Some!!!!!!!

The nice thing about triathlon is that you can't do a race without learning something. Apparently you can't not do a race without learning something either. I was pretty upset about not being able to race worlds, but I realized that a lot a lot of positives still came from it. Leading up to this weekend I was beginning to enter the burnout zone. I was super pumped for worlds of course, but I wasn't really looking forward to the rest of the season. After worlds it seemed like none of the other races really even meant anything. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay in Victoria for the rest of the summer to train. I got stuck in a crappy mental state where all I wanted to do was go bum around at home, do my own training for races that didn't matter that much, and work a bit. But then this weekend happened and now those races mean so much to me. Where before I wasn't sure if I wanted to race the rest of this season, now there is nothing more I want to do. I'm really excited for Des Moines, and Quebec, and P.E.I, and then Kelowna for nationals. Because all of my stored up potential that was waiting for Worlds is still waiting. So I've got a super fun and exciting season ahead of me, and then next year it's all about Australia baby! This world championship was my learning year- but next year I can show the world what I've got. Mr. Bryden said that these experiences are good for you- they teach you things, and they make you hungry.
This is true. 

Friday, June 6, 2008

Race Report:

The days leading up to the race were a little bit hard for me, but really quite positive. I knew I was the fittest and fastest I've ever been, so not being 100% race day was just something I knew I would have to work through. I was pretty confident because I had made huge improvements in my training since Mexico, and I had raced well there. I never really considered that I might not be racing. It was only when I woke up morning after morning feeling the same or worse than the day before that I began to get a little worried. The coaches were really great. ( I was rooming in the coaches' suite rather than with the athletes to avoid contaminating everyone else). we talked a lot about greatness even in difficult situations. PK gave me acupuncture in my thumbs (which hurt a lot!), hands, and face for my fever. Austin took me out for tea a few times to make me and him( He is sick too) better which was very nice especially since I wasn't allowed to socialize with any of the juniors. We had a team massage therapist who was very good, but was not impressed with the condition I was in. I guess not only was I way way way too tight, I also have a lot of built-up scar tissue and trigger points that I need to get under control. She told me all this as if to say- you expect to race with legs in this condition? uhoh. Wednesday (day before the race) was the day I finally considered the option of not be racing world championships. My throat was worse than ever. It hurt so bad I could hardly swallow even liquids. I was thinking I might have to put hot water on my bike the next day in order to get it down during the race. I had talked to dr. Keeler on the phone, and he told me that it would be better to take Tylenol for my fever. We didn't have any Tylenol on us, but we were going to the store after the pre-race meeting, so I didn't take any more advil that day. We didn't end up getting to the store for hours though, so I spent most of the day shivering under my layers and layers of clothes because of chills from my fever. The coaches and I decided that I would decide whether to race or not in the morning. But I made my decision at 2am the night before the race while I was freezing waiting for my Tylenol to kick in. I had gone 5 days with very minimal training, and a fever that I had only managed by constantly taking advil/tylenol, so even if I woke up fever-free, I would still be too unhealthy to be even a little bit competitive in that field. 

I went down to the course with the girls at 5:15 Thursday morning to help them get ready. Transition was really nicely set up- and of all the canadians, I had by far the best ranking (it was random draw). The morning was pretty painful for me- it was freezing cold and raining, and my tylenol was gradually wearing off, so my fever was sneaking back up on me. It was hard not to be on the start line, but I was already so cold that morning that imagining myself going in the ocean (12.6 degrees) scared me a lot. That made me feel a bit better about not being able to race I guess.

The race was so so so exciting. Paula came out of the water in third, behind two girls who had about a 20 second lead on her. Out of transition Paula was with one other girl, and working together they chased down the front two. We were so happy when the leaders came around and there was a pack of four!!! It looked like Paula was almost guaranteed a podium finish at this point. Marianne made the chase pack which was awesome. Gaby had an great swim, but was too weak from the cold to get out of her wetsuit, so her long transition put her in the third pack with Sarah-Anne who also just missed the chase pack by a couple seconds. 

Then the leaders came around again and our hearts sank. Paula wasn't with them. We waited and waited, and then she came around the corner only meters ahead of the chase pack- her back tire mostly flat. The coaches were yelling at each other from across the road to get to the wheel drop. Paula chose not to stop though, and finished her last lap on a tire that must have been almost completely flat by the end. She came into T2 barely holding on to the back of the chase pack. The run was fast! Paula ran her way through the pack to 9th place- pretty amazing. I don't know any other junior in the world who could have managed a top ten finish with a flat. Marianne and Frank both had excellent races (I think those Hogans must be the most consistent racers on the planet- you can always depend on them to race well.) Marianne came in 17th!! And Francois finished first out of our canadian boys at 28th. Connor had a great swim, but was throwing up on the run :(, and our own JP worked his way up from the third pack to 37th with a killer run!!!
Amazing Work Team.