Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mobile uploads

Classes are over. 1 full lab report due tomorrow (aka reason for this procrastination induced blogging), but only two exams left to go after that. I Have been adding eggnog to my coffee. Chocolate calendar has been started. NTC christmas party was fun. The boys ran the santa shuffle yesterday... all this can only mean one thing: christmas break is almost here!!!! I'm just so excited. :D

I realize that my blogging has been rather sub-par these past few months. This has been due to time spent getting educated, getting treatment, and slowly getting back into training. AAAnd because there really isn't a whole lot to talk about when all you're doing is stressing about school, and driving to physio appointments. I realize that if I were A REAL elite triathlete I would have made amateur videos of me and my teammates training (set to cool music of course), and made myself look really badass by training to said cool music. OR I would have at least taken pictures of training rides/runs and posted them on twitter every couple hours to instill jealousy among all my adoring followers, in their 9-5 jobs, unable to swim, and bike, and run full-time like me.

But I don't own a video camera, and my regular picture taking camera broke.

That said, in an effort to be a real elite triathlete, I did try to take some phone pics yesterday to celebrate a number of FIRSTS.

FIRST outdoor ride since London (/alex making goofy smile on top of observatory):

Also FIRST coffee shop ride since who knows when (/Alex drinking soy latte with helmet and gloves still on):

Last Month's FIRST snowfall & reason why yesterday was my FIRST outdoor ride (/Alex on her new cross-bike):


FIRST christmas tree in this house (/Charlie):


annnnnddd not in pictures but also a first: FIRST 200 meters of straight swimming without stopping at a wall and/or drowning :). And FIRST full run around the lakes since last summer.
Merry almost-christmas-break everyone!
KC

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Since being BETTER!

:D

I've been saving that title for a loooooonnng time. It may even be a little preemptive right now, but I can't keep saving it any longer! I just had my 4 month X-Ray yesterday, (That's like a whole third of a year batman) and bone callous is starting to look pretty solid! Despite Dr. Keeler's positivity, looking at the x-rays never gives me quite as much confidence as I would like. I can see the cloudiness that is the bone callous, but mostly I just see big huge gap in between the two halves of the bone. Sounds like it's just going to stay like that though, and bone callous will continue to fill in the gap. The bone-callous cloud is much more pronounced then it was 4 weeks ago! I just have to remind myself that allllll bones look semi-transparent on x-rays, and thusly still-building bone callous will look even more so. Outwardly you can hardly even tell that there's a step there, so despite having a deformed clavicle for the rest of my life, I'm not going to look super grotesque afterall. And it's been feeling very strong and sturdy lately so that's the important thing. I had a somewhat worrisome moment on the weekend when I gestured rather wildly (I think I was demanding a sudden-death round of charades or something because the boys were kicking our butts), and felt a sharp pain. The pain just got worse and worse on the drive home from Courteney/Comox where our camp had been. But Paul (super-awesome-physio-genius) explained that it was just the nerve getting stuck on the bone, so I didn't re-brake my collarbone after all! whew. He is very amazed by how well I've healed considering I showed no healing at 2 months, so I'm a lucky lucky girl.

I have reached a whole 30 minutes of running and feel great. I am also REALLY enjoying the decrease in water running volume. It was very nice to start running again with a whole group of walk-run gals (although I recall a couple of the run walks may have been closer to interval training than injury rehabilitation...), but even better that we're all just run-run gals now!

I was queen of the trainer this past month, but I have been given the all clear to ride outdoors! There is the teensy issue of not having a bike as my road bike was cracked in the crash, and I am sans cross-bike a le moment. But Alex just received her BRAND NEW Trek XO1 from Pro-City (and wont stop raving about it), so Lauren pretty please may I ride your cross bike for a bit?? I even went and dug out my old helmet from storage, but I would like to buy another pretty-catlike since that was the bestest helmet ever and I only wore it a couple months before the crash.

The last few weeks have been all about kicking in the pool. It looks like I'll have to build up my arm/shoulder strength and flexibility before I can begin ACTUAL SWIMMING, buuuutt in another week or two maybe I can give it a shot!! eek.

I had a lot of fun at our fall camp up island last week! The weather was mostly awful, but seemed to cooperate when we needed it most (aka monsoon ended just in time for the cross rides). I did trainer rides everyday, walks, runs, and loads of kicking+ some drills/single arm = sooo much training! ha. Mostly it was just really nice to get away from school-life, start getting back into shape, and stay at a very nice hotel with the team for a few days (outdoor pool & hottub, bath and body works shampoos/soaps, and two leaves and a bud teas! just so spoiled). I almost feel like a real triathlete again.

Most of all I want to say thank you to my friends who have listened to my whining and panicking these past few months. ESPECIALLY Lauren for always being so positive and supportive after having gone through a much worse clavicle-healing process than myself. No matter how many times I told Lauren that I was pretty sure I needed surgery- she would always say, 'no no I believe in you, you're still going to heal!' Never once did she think that I would need surgery. So thanks for everything Lauren!!!!!!
and Thanks to my support team for all the monitoring, and treatment. I still have a long way to go, but I am so grateful to have such a great team behind me. Being injured last year was good for something afterall because it led me to find such an amazing group to look after me!
I didn't know it was possible for me to be more appreciative of my sport/lifestyle, but I am. I never thought I would want to go swimming in the mornings, but I do! (well maybe not the morning part).. I even want to ride outside even if it's rainy and gross out! Soon soon!! I'm a lucky girl.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

bike rescue fail

Over Thanksgiving weekend I went home (to Calgary) and rescued my long lost bike. Somehow through-out my summer adventures, my bike ended up not making it back to Vic with me. But my box now graces our deck rather than my parents living room. I'm sure they are quite happy about that. And I was oh so happy to have my bike back again :). And thennnn to make life even better- my three month X-Ray showed healing!! Finally!!! So I busted out my happy dance (It goes like this: "I'm Healing, I'm Healing, I'm Healing!"..involving an immobilized right arm of course), and texted pretty much everyone who knows me, to tell them that I finally have a bone callous. I was thusly given the go ahead to begin trainer riding on a real bike!!!! No more granny biking/recliner biking for me baby.
Tonight I built it. 3 months of being unloved. In pieces. In a box. In my parents living room. My london race number was still on the seat post, gels still taped to the top-tube. I had forgotten that I had stripped my handlebar screws in Europe.. this made putting it back together slightly more challenging. But then as I was cleaning it, I realized that my beautiful bike was broken! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo. So now I most definitely will be needing a new bike. And it's back to the granny bike in the gym for now. Sponsorships gladly (and graciously) accepted.
Love,
Kyla

Friday, September 24, 2010

BLOG

LIFE UPDATE:
Firstly!!!

Giant Congrats to our Canadian team at Worlds. Amazing amazing racing. Paula was the toughest I have ever seen anybody be. Joanna and Kirsten were our podium girls in the Jr. & U23 women's races. Our Jr. Boys had what I think has to be the highest placing for any Canadian Junior boys team eeeeeeevvvvvvvvvverrrr! Christine- Ms. Consistent- had a fantastic race. And everyone else who I didn't mention were champs too. Giving all you have with what you've been given on the day is just as inspiring (..I think we saw two world champions finish somewhere in the 40's at races this season.. and I was really impressed by that. Sticking it out on the rough days is a lot harder than winning).
Annnnywwayyys thanks for making living vicariously through you guys so much fun!

Going on month three of being broken.
Last week I finally got to see my X-rays, and was shocked by how broken I actually am. I'm not in a lot of pain, am quite functional, and have great range of motion, so even though I heard that my x-rays weren't very good I definitely was not expecting them to look so bad! After Dr. Nelson checked my range of motion, and poked and prodded he was surprised as well. 'You don't match your x-rays,' he said, 'you seem all better.' But the x-rays showed the two halves of my collarbone a ways apart, (I want to say over a cm apart, but I'm just making up numbers here cause I have no clue) and slightly overlapping with no apparent healing. so that sucked. Surgery was considered. Buuuttt I got a CT scan done (8 weeks), and miraculously a tiny eensy-little bit of healing showed!!! YAY!!! hugggeee relief.

..you see people lie to you about collarbones...They say it is a fairly easy break which rarely needs surgery, and heals in about 6- 8 weeks. From what I have seen this is a bigfat lie.
But if everything keeps improving over the next month, and I can avoid surgery, I will be a very happy girl.
*thinking immobilized thoughts*
I'd like to thank Dr. Keeler & Dr. Nelson for keeping an eye on me. Because if they weren't monitoring me, I'd probably assume myself to be better, and be trying to win my in-class push-up contest (I mean.. personal fitness test..) next week. (winning the beep test would've been a piece of cake!)

Primal Diet is going well.
Mostly Alex and Austin feed me though.. I'm working on being more creative/inspired so that I don't end up just being the dishwasher/just feeling really lazy& unhelpful in general. it can be hard keeping up in this family. I did make dark chocolate covered roasted macadamia nuts last night though (ok fine Alex melted the chocolate)! yummmm.
Austin is beginning to look like the guy from into the wild (right before he dies), and has thusly inspired approx half the team to jump on the bandwagon because he looks so.. emaciated.. I mean fast looking.
I do not know if this is a good thing or not.

School is kicking my butt.
It's not that it's harrrrrrddddd. There's a saying, 'If you want something done give it to a busy person'. Welllll since I am not really training right now, I don't consider myself to be a busy person anymore (and yet I fill my time up doing a quadrillion other things), and soooooooooo I have found myself up wayyyy too late, waaayyy too many times over the past week finishing assignments and/or studying last minute.
OK OK I've learnt my lesson!!! and I am officially going to time manage better as of tomorrow.

Toscaloosa this weekend!
Dorelle, Jason, and Andrew Russell are there ready to represent at US nationals. Sounds like another HOT race so gooodddd luckkk!!!!! Have fun. :) ps. the start list is stackedddd for a pan-american cup!! And sounds like Domi's doing a little cross-country racing this weekend, so go Domi go!

Otherwise..
-I pretend that I'm water running queen of the world in order to inspire myself to keep going back to the pool. I will be sad when the outdoor pool closes because at least on sunny days I let myself think that I'm getting my tan on.
-Alex has almost mastered this screen printing thing.
-I just want to race tooooooooooo.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Since Being Broken




We went to the Buffet on the beautiful ferry ride over to the Island last night. It still hasn’t lost its novelty for me. Arrived back to Victoria after 2 months away. I sure missed it here although the chilly and fall-like weather was a bit of a shock.
France: Hot. Cabin in Windermere: Hot. Okanagan: Hot!
But I know that in Victoria the summer weather will come back around again in September, so I won’t complain just yet. When I left, Beacon Hill was still green and flowery, not dried all golden from August. The blackberries Definitely were not out! When I left, my racing season was just beginning. Now I’m back, and I ended up having my first summer vacation in a long time. The month off was really nice even though I couldn’t do most of the things I would have had I been whole. Maybe no backpacking or climbing or wakeboarding or trail running or, or.. but it still felt like a nice break. I got to spend more time with my parents and little brother than I have since I moved out 3 yrs ago. I got to spend almost 3 weeks at my cabin which I have been missing so much. Just like the old days.
Almost.
I read books. I’m still the Dr. Mario CHAMP. I’m not really a lie on the beach all day and tan kinda girl, but getting better. Recliner biked while watching Paula win her second WCS in a row. Kinda wished I was there too. Fancy Coffees. Shopped for broken collarbone friendly clothes but nothing looks cute with the dork brace on. Or maybe it’s the bandaid tans… Water ran in the lake at 9:30 at night. Got spoiled rotten by my mom & dad. Stayed up all night because I don’t burn off enough energy in the day. Slept in. Hotsprings. Walked. Ate so many BC blueberries and peaches.

I’m going to have to go back when I can do my favorite 3.5km out and back run ALL OUT as the sun is setting like I used to do as my pre-kelowna ‘training’ back in the day. Kelowna was too late in the season to really train for back then ha. Too much boating and beaching and exploring to be done. But a 3.5km run all out at the end of the day- now that could be squeezed in.

Speaking of training- It’s amazing how many people actually believe you when you tell them that you’re working on getting fat right now. They then try to convince you otherwise. For the record: I was kidding. Gaining a pound or two might be a bit inevitable but regardless, 20 year old girls don't TRY to get fat during bikini season.
I think the highlite was coming out to watch nationals in Kelowna and seeing all my teammates race that I hadn’t seen for so long. Missed you guys. I liked hearing all the 'when you were gone' stories. And I'm very proud and happy for everyone!
The Okanagan is one of my favorite places.

I still have to wrap my head around the fact that now that I’m back doesn’t mean I can get back into training. Still got a ways to go yet. Not a whole lot of improvement after the 4week X-Ray, so fingers crossed the 6week one looks better! I’ve a huge to-do list.. mostly organizational things that I tried to write up on my whiteboard, but the previous list was un-removable.

It says: Finish This before Aus!!!!:
'get school books, bills, laundry, e-mails'..

…a whole year ago. Crazy how fast a year goes by. How much happens and changes and start and ends in a year. We danced to Day and Night, and Sexy B**** then instead of Dynamite, and Baby I like it ha.

I just got the stuck whiteboard list off with some Windex.. 'get school books, bills, laundry, e-mails'.. ok shouldn’t have bothered with the Windex.. now I have to re-write it all. Maybe some things don’t change too much. The T-Swift songs sound about the same.

I've still got some late summer adventuring to be done before school starts! Immobilized adventuring of course. I will try to do a better job of updating this time round.

No bad days.
-K.Coates

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Recap

“If you don’t come out front pack, the first thing you ask yourself is, ‘where’s Nicola?’ because when that train goes by, you better be ready to jump on it.“
-KT

I had a great feeling swim when I wasn’t getting beaten up. I felt relaxed and in control as opposed to hanging on for dear life like in Des Moines. Somehow Paula, Kathy and I ended up on the pontoon beside one another. I had my first good start of the year, and had a very clean first 300m to the first buoy. I mean I wasn’t up with Laura Bennett by any means, but I think I was up there on the first corner. But with almost 70 girls on the startlist, and only 300m to those two tight 90 degree turns, being ‘up there’ isn’t good enough to escape the death trap. Somehow Paula, Kathy and I ended up coming out of lap one all together though, so I was very happy with that. Lap 2, I got separated at the turn-around and was never quite able to make up those 8 seconds. I jumped on my bike frantically trying to bridge the gap all by myself. And then I saw Spirig gaining on me.. my one and possibly only chance to make front pack.. Right as I was moving over to jump on her wheel, I heard a 'hey hey hey', and randomly this other girl appeared behind me- also in the process of jumping on Spirig's wheel. I had to veer away to avoid cutting her off, and the two of them were off and away as if I'd been sitting still. Major fail. I kept hammering until I was swept up by the chase pack. The tail end of the front pack was teasingly winking in and out of sight as we weaved around the corners, so our pack was plenty motivated. There was no organization yet, but lots of standing, sprinting and jockeying for positions. I was in the middle-back of the pack, in my drops, focused intently on not crossing the wheels of the swervy girls in front me, when I went down. I just didn't see the speed bump coming, hit it hard and flipped off my bike. I have no clue why I fell- maybe it was a particularly nasty speed bump because later footage shows waterbottles flying out at that spot, but who knows. I just remember calmly thinking 'aw shit' as I was launched towards the pavement. I landed a lot on my head, so the combination of mini concussion and probably shock, make my memories after the 'aw shit' part pretty hazy. I did vaguely notice another girl picking up her bike and jumping back on, so I'm so sorry for taking you out Erin.

When I crashed I didn't go into the usual panic-shock where you frantically try to jump back into the race while shakily assessing the severity of your wounds. Either I went into the other type of shock, where you're perfectly calm- and time moves really slow and hazily, or else that feeling came from the landing on my head part. I don't remember a time passing between crashing and being surrounded by medical volunteers, but there must have been one. I don't recall my surroundings other than sky and pavement. But as I lay on my back on the asphalt, I was mostly thinking, 'please please please don't be broken before Budapest.' And also how the UV index must be really high because I was definitely burning, and that I was most likely going to get run over again as the packs came around again, but I couldn't seem to get myself to move.

By the time I got to the hospital I was with it enough to know that I had at least 90% for sure broken my collarbone. I was in a neck brace because I had had a lot of head and neck pain when they first found me, but that was going away so I knew my neck would be ok. I was so relieved when Doctor Keeler found me in Emerge a little while after the paramedics dropped me off. Even though I couldn't really tell you what year it was, or how old I was, I knew that being broken, alone, in a bathing-suit and bike shoes, without any money, insurance, or the contact info of anybody on the trip, probably wasn't a good thing. Dr. Keeler had run a whole lap of the bike course trying to find me, and arrived at the corner just as I was being taken away in an ambulance. He then was able to track down the hospital they had taken me to, but with no ride there he ended up running all the way to the hospital too. It didn't feel like much time had passed between crashing and Dr. Keeler getting to the hospital, but in that time Paula won the biggest race of the year. I was so so so happy and amazed to hear that. We waited for neck X-rays. Finally someone came and wheeled me away. Alone for a few minutes in the dark X-Ray room, the devastation I felt over my ruined season began to overwhelm me. Today was my first and last day of being fit this season. All my previous races I'd only been chubby-fit, and unable to finish a ten k without my SI joint getting jammed. But today I had been ready. I felt like I had wasted all the amazing experiences I had been given leading up to this race and Budapest. I was so incredibly lucky to be taken to Des Moines, Les Angles, and here that I felt like I had just ruined all that. Thinking about starting all over again, and focusing on next summer when I had been handed such amazing opportunities this year, and had such high expectations for this season, was really depressing. I would have maybe started to tear up for the first time that day except that I thought the X-ray guy might get a little worried to come back and find me crying.
Besides I'm sure he's seen people lose a lot more than their racing season. So I stopped feeling sorry for myself.
After getting wheeled back to Dr. Keeler we got the all clear to wait around for collarbone X-rays. And then when I was finally declared broken, a kind little nurse came in to work on the road rash. Dr. Keeler was so great, he had brought me my clothes and flip flops, so that I had something to put on as the nurse cut off my suit. He bought me treats from the vending machine when I was bonking, and around six pm he brought us back to the hotel.
When someone genuinely feels bad for you, and you already feel sorry for yourself, sometimes that overflows- so when I saw Patrick my tough-spree ended and I got a little teary. I had been really excited for Budapest. But then Paula helped me do my hair, Patrick and Kim brought me dinner and treats, aaaaaand Lauren and Kirsten came back with a whole new broken collarbone outfit for me! (such a lifesaver because it was the only thing I could get on for the next three days). All the love and the crazy pain meds that make me drunk helped me feel muuuuch better. The whole team took such good care of me the whole rest of the trip.

I was so fortunate to go on this trip, I never ever imagined I'd be spending a month this year in Europe training and racing with two of our national team girls- two of the most talented, hard-working girls on the planet. And I definitely never ever thought I would be in a WCS race. Once I found my happy back, I realized that there is no way you can 'waste' an experience that already happened. The training camp itself was great, the experience of being in London was great, being in London when Paula WON was great. Thanks so much for this season, even cut in half it was the coolest thing I've ever done.
Be Back next year.




Sunday, July 18, 2010

LE TOUR!!!!!!!!!!











4 Days ago there was a boil water advisory that we didn’t hear about until 2 days ago. Needless to say, 3 days ago I came down with a stomach bug. The first evening of tummy cramps I laid on the kitchen floor until bedtime and hoped it would be gone by morning. Next day of tummy acheage and sporadic cramping was on our lighter day, so it wasn’t that big of a deal but I whined continually nonetheless, and had to eat really slooowwlyy to get any food in. Day after that was a big day, so it made things much more difficult. I made it through the swim quite well, and then the run I was only really affected at the end. But then the bike happened...
I found myself an hour away from home getting dropped up another damn mountain while doubled over and unable to breath from excruciating intestinal cramps, and bonking because I hadn’t been able to eat all day. May or may not have been a couple tears. That evening I didn’t move off the couch, and reflected upon how nice my life had been.
By some miracle, the next morning I noticed an improvement! But the bug had taken such a toll on my energy levels that I had to starfish float on numerous occasions to make it through warm-up. I was completely and utterly spent. In the end I was unable to make it to a brick-workout that afternoon. Instead I spent the day getting a massage with Yulla, and by some freaky luck- visiting with Dr. Keeler, Dr. Young and the family who just happened to be passing through town as they followed the tour! I was so amazed to see little Chloe and Liam (I guess not so little anymore) following the tour so intently, and listing off the rider’s names way better than I ever could. This morning I woke up normal-tired instead of Zombie-Meltdown tired with only minimal residual tummy aches.

- And that is the story of how I self-tapered for the day the Tour de France went by.

BEST DAY EVER.

We parked at the base of the mountain, and then rode up to the top of le Col de la Port de Pailheres. I think it was a 10km climb, but much steeper than the long climbs we usually do like Lemmon. I think it's the second longest climb on the tour, and it's ranked as the hardest type of climb. It took us about an hour but it didn’t feel that long at all to me!... but then I hadn’t done the brick yesterday.. The whole way up was lined with crazy spectators cheering us and the other weekend warriors up. Everyone had out their picnics, and booze.. there were old men playing the accordion, and young men blasting french rap, and wherever there were trailers with TV’s on- crowds would form around the windows trying to watch the tour as it made it’s way nearer and nearer. When we finally made it to the top we were able to buy some souvenirs- although we were limited by the amount of cash we had brought up (IOU PK), and baguettes with ham and Orangina (staples of this country). And soon enough the caravan came by and we joined in with the kids and drunk people for about an hour trying to catch all the freebies getting thrown at us. A jersey flew about a foot in front of my face- but some crazy-matrix old guy snatched it out of the air even though he’d been like 3 meters away, and quickly shoved it inside his jacket with all the rest of his shwagg. At least 7 helicopters preceded the riders. They might have been going a little tiny bit faster than us.
I'm so happy I was better in time to see the Tour today. And rested enough to make it up the climb smiling. Now I better go check out the highlights to see how the stage finished! Thank you thank Patrick and Mike for taking us.

note crazy fan in last pic. Oh and Lance Armstrong in the one before that. Oh and everybody else cool in the one before that!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Woot

Congrats to the Team over in Saskatchewan! Especially Christine and Matt for their continued domination!! Marc, Ali, Gabby Edwards! So proud of you guys. I was going to list everyone else who deserves a congrats.. but then I realized that everyone did so well that I'd just be re-writing the results out.. so good job team!

Latest pictures:


Friday, July 9, 2010

Training camp day 10


I wrote this blog a few days ago, but was unable to post it due to a lack of internet time. And then yesterday was my bonk evening, and I never summoned up the strength to make it to the bowling alley. Sorry I never got the chance to wish everyone good luck at SanFran and Saskatoon! Hope to hear about it soon ☺.

First off- I added a couple more pictures to the original set of pictures in the last post- so don't miss them! The big white Pyrenees Mountain dog is Lily, Mike and Jenny's one year old puppy. Sophie took her on a run today, and I think she's pretty pooped. We had to move out of our wonderful house today :(. We're going to miss Mike and Jenny and the wonderful breakfasts they would bring us each morning. My brother is on an exchange somewhere in France right now too- and I sure hope they're not feeding him as well as Mike and Jenny fed us. I'm not a huge croissant or danish person myself, but I gotta say those chocolate croissant thingy's were pretty gooood, and pretty hard to resist when coming back from a morning death swim workout. I know if the opportunity presented itself my brother would have eaten every one they brought us.

As DJ said.. " a chocolate bread a day- keeps you happy All Day!"
I always thought it was mostly just a stereotype about the French and their croissants and baguettes, but I guess most homes here just have mini fridges, and each day the locals walk over to the boulangerie and the backery for their meat, and baguettes and morning croissant- so it's true. At the till of the grocery store everyone has a baguette or two. Being gluten free takes serious will power. I decided to give it a shot but I only lasted 1.5days. Since then I have deemed it too difficult and not worth-it. Anyways point of this story: Mom and Dad prepare for Evan to return home chubbier than when he left.

Paula and I are now in a condo downtown, and the rest of the crew is in a house a ways away- With the most amazing view!


Well Paula and I are probably a lot closer to any internet locations, so we're hoping the condo is the way to go. Watch the house have it's own wifi or something ha. Anyways I'm currently at the local bowling alley/arcade/bar for free internet! No more of the local hotel/restaurant's 2.20 euro gross teas just to bum internet. Despite being one of two people in here- the tunes are bumpin. Hearing myself think is somewhat difficult, but I'm ready for a dance party.

Yesterday was our off day! We smushed ourselves into the van for a family trip to Andorra. I thought we were just heading to a town just past the border in Spain. But nope- Andorra is whole nother Country smushed in between France and Spain. I guess there are no taxes, so it has developed a tourist niche. Nestled high in the mountains, was this modern shopping city! Completely different from the 500 year old buildings and (older still) skinny cobblestone roads in France. I was told to go shopping in Europe because the fashion is years ahead..or something like that- but I was quite overwhelmed. The style seemed to be everything flashy, studded, multicolored, or sparkly. oh and mostly designer labels. And jumpsuits.

As for this altitude business- wellll. I am gradually adapting. I think I said that last post.. there have been some workouts where I don’t seem to suffer as much. That said, I still feel a bit like my purpose on this trip has mostly been moral support for the other girls as opposed to being an effective training partner. You know when you’re hurting, but the person you’re training or racing with is quite obviously suffering so much worse, that in turn it makes you feel quite good! And before you know it you’re having the best workout of your life. Well that’s been my job- the one about to drop dead at any second. Willing to resign from the position at anytime. Ha no but really.. I think I might be starting to adapt..

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Training camp day 3.5

Woke up this morning to the sound of rain on our skylight. It wasn't really what I wanted to hear when heading off for a lake swim, but I suppose if you're going to be getting wet anyways... In the end the lake actually wasn't too cold, so I had been all reluctant for nothing. Mike, the man we're renting from, had scared us by saying it was mountain-stream fed, but I guess all the hot hot weather here has heated it up. It has been really summery here. I love it. It's rained off and on.. well thunder showered really, but it stays pretty warm out during the day and the sun always comes back again in the evenings. Mike, and Jenny (his wife) have been really great to us. We are very fortunate to have found them. Mike is a retired pro cyclist (he went to the olympics for britain I think), as well as a mountaineer (climbed everest), and local hiking/climbing guide. So not only has he mapped out most of our rides for us, but he's also taken us on beautiful hikes. And he has a puppy! We've mostly been swimming in the little local outdoor pool which is nice because it's warm- perfect in the morning. But it doesn't have any lines on the bottom, or at the walls, so we resorted to dropping rocks at each end to let us know when the wall is about to smash into our faces. We've also visited the national center (or something official like that anyways..) longcourse pool, which had wrap-around windows and the most beautiful view! I'm an idiot and forgot to upload the new pictures before making the trek over to our internet hotel cafe, but I'll put those up later.
We actually did our bike workout in Spain today!! It was super cool we just drove down half an hour and all of a sudden everything was spanish. It was actually pretty different from the France side. I had a better ride today too. So far I have been struggling with the altitude. My HR has gotten near max for almost all the easy sessions we've done+ full body lactic+ getting dropped in everything is not so much fun :(. But Spain was a lot lower and it made a huge difference for me. I think I'll start adapting to this altitude thing soon. And I've still been having a lot of fun- and really enjoy being here despite sucking in all my workouts.
Ok I've been trying to upload more pictures from our first day here for ageeeeess but they're not working. So goodnight! I'll try again next time I make it on the internet! Hope everything's going well back home.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Les Angles

Paula, Kathy and I are in Les Angles right now for an altitude camp. We have great support from Yulla (massage) and Sophie (chiro), and the coaches. So far it has been amazing. The countryside reminds me a bit of my cabin in the rockies which is really nice because I miss going to my cabin in the summer.

Our house:

The view from our house is beautiful!

Victoria to France

I’ll try to avoid making this into a Monster post, but I’m worried that it might turn out that way- too many blog worthy things have happened in the past couple weeks. We spent the last week in Quebec for the Coteau du Lac continental cup, and now we’re in a little skiing village in the Pyrenees in France! I find that my French has been coming back really quickly being in all these French places.. I’m still too shy to speak unless I have to, but I catch myself thinking French sentences sometimes- and that has happened since high school.

But starting from the beginning. Coteau was a good race for me- I’m slowly getting a little bit better at this Olympic distance thing. I made the qualification for the Worlds team so I’m very happy about that- hopefully this means I will be selected to go! It was my only chance at qualifying (unless I came/come top 20 at either Des Moines or London which is highly unlikely), and I wasn’t really sure I could do it since I have no clue how I compare to most of the girls in the U23 circuit, but in the end everything worked out.
Warming up I got to watch the sprint finish between Alexander and Matt- looked like a tie to me! Luckily there were two jr. male spots up for grabs at this race, so I’m so happy for both of them that they’ll be going to Budapest.
My swim started off really slow- I had a lousy dive and ended up underneath the girls on either side of me. The girl on my left immediately started veering towards me, so I was pummeled and squashed from both sides. I ducked under her, and swam in the gap she had created on her left. This gave me clear water, and I pulled ahead of the rest of the pack, but when I finally looked up for the first time, I saw Dorelle, Paula, and Angela easily two body lengths ahead of everyone. Damn. I was very worried that I had just lost the race in the first 30 seconds. So I cranked it up another notch, and gradually me and another American girl closed the gap. I was very relieved to come out front pack. The bike was good.. we were a group of seven to start, four Canadians and two Americans. We all worked really well together, making a very efficient pace line, but it was also crazy windy, and the chase pack behind us was big- so we were working hard! As the laps went by, our pack dropped down to 6 and then 5 through the technical section, which was sad because having the extra people to pull in the pack made it significantly easier. Stevie was so strong on the bike (as always ☺), and I had to give it my all to pull through each time after her. We made time on the chase group the first two laps, and then worked our butts off to maintain the gap the last 4 laps. The first thing that popped into my head when I jumped off my bike and tried to run it into transition, was a blog inappropriate swear word- legs weren’t feeling so great. Paula was immediately way out front, but surprisingly I found myself in second. I ran pretty strong the first two laps, just pretending I was winning rather than like 2 minutes or so down from Paula already, but by the third lap my legs really began to feel the hard bike. I knew a girl from the chase pack was gaining on me, so I tried to pick it up, but my legs don’t have a lot of miles under them yet, so they wouldn’t go any faster. Like Des Moines I felt really relaxed cardiovascularly, but my legs hated me. The girl who finished second flew by me with 1.25 to go and I had absolutely no hope. I was happy with how I placed though, and I know that as I get more fitness and experience the season will hopefully continue to get better. I also felt way better as far as nutrition and hydration goes than the last two races- so I’m glad to have that almost figured out (although it was a lot less hot..).
I missed most of the guys race in drug testing, but Andrew Yorke had an amazing race and won, with JP in third. Congrats boys! There were a couple crashes though, and I know the results could have been completely different, so I hope you’re feeling better soon boys- time to kick ass at the next races!

Paula, Patrick and I spent the next three days in Valleyfield, Quebec, before heading to Montreal to catch our flight to Paris. The Air Canada check-in was an absolute circus and I have never come so close to missing a flight before. (It’s a good thing you have the sweet movies/tv’s on your planes Air Canada or we would be fighting right now.)
We then proceeded to miss a night of sleep on the 6 hour flight to Paris, and arrived in the morning for a short flight to Toulouse, and then a beautiful 2.5-3 hour drive up through the Pyrenees to Les Angles.

When I was in grade 5 my parents took us on a 3 week trip of Europe. I don’t remember it that clearly, but I remember not being able to sleep on the flight over, and then doing headbobs, unable to stay awake, on our tour of London when we arrived. Apparently not much has changed. Wanted to sleep on the plane but couldn’t and wanted to stay awake to see the scenery during the drive, but couldn’t keep my eyes open!

Here are some pictures of a little town we stopped at on the way up. We will get to see the Tour go by here in a couple weeks!


So we made it ☺. Shorter more frequent blog posts to come.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Some of My Pictures from the Weekend

Presents!


AMac 2nd out of the water



ARuss!

champ

Paula: " the guys are all so melodramatic."


athlete's tent



I realized late last night that I had forgotten to include the most important part of my last post:
Thanks Kim and Rob and Kurt and Patrick and my teammates and supporters and my parents and my sister.

I really don't know if I could have finished the whole race without having Kim(massage) and Rob(chiro) fixing me up beforehand, and Rob again afterwards. My hip still gets all jammed from time to time, so while running today all I could think was thanks so much Rob for putting my hips back right after the race! Thanks Kurt and Patrick for bringing me in the first place- even though I wasn't so sure it was good idea. Thanks parents for cheering for me even though I never have time to phone home. And thanks Alex for being more nervous about my races than I am even though she's had a rough couple years (and I usually can't find any cool presents to bring back). Don't worry though, I have a K in front of the Coates on my suit because there's two of us. Juuuuuusssst wait.