Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tour de France

Today we had the incredible opportunity to watch the Tour ride through the Pyrenees. We drove the van near the base of the second last climb and rode our bikes to the top. It was definitely the steepest and hardest climb I've ever done. Our enormous backpacks didn't help either. I can't imagine those guys going up twice our speed after riding already for 4 hours! Kyla and I decided that we are never doing the Tour de France. ever. We did get lots of cheers on our way up though!

We were at the top of the Port de Pailheres. It was definitely worth the climb as we had a great view from the top and could see the riders and team cars winding their way up the mountain.

The coolest part was seeing Lance Armstrong live in person!

Kyla and I got some caught some pretty cool hats that were being thrown from the caravans.

This was definitely the highlight of the camp so far! I can't believe we only have 3 more days here before heading to London. We've done some really good work and my running is feeling better that it has in a long time. It's been a great 3 weeks and I'm really looking forward to racing next weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

camp week 1

We’ve been in France for about a week now and I’m feeling very adapted to the altitude. The pool in Font Romeau is one of the nicest I’ve ever been in, with huge windows overlooking the mountains. It’s also much warmer than the pool in Victoria so the swims are very enjoyable! There’s a big lake right by our place for open water swims with a trail around it for longer runs. The roads are great for cycling with very little traffic but it’s hard to find anything flat. We’re either climbing or descending for all of our rides. I really like the climbing but unfortunately I’m very nervous on the winding narrow downhills and I get dropped every time. Hah, better safe than sorry I guess. We’ve gone down to Spain to do some of our harder workouts, which is only about a 30 minute drive away.

We had an easier day yesterday so we decided to drive into Andorra after the morning swim to do some shopping. We were told that it was a 90 minute drive… 2hrs later we’re not even close and feeling very carsick. On the way back we discovered that there’s a tunnel that goes UNDER the mountains, instead of taking the winding narrow roads up and OVER the mountains. The tunnel saved us about an hour of driving on the way home. It was a long trip for a short few hours in Andorra but it was a cool place to see!

There’s a big triathlon in Les Angles this weekend so there’s a bit more action in this little town. Apparently it’s one of the hardest ironman courses in the world. It’ll be fun to watch!

Here’s a few pictures from the past week…

Saturday, July 3, 2010

France Camp & Coteau Update

Today was our 3rd day of training in the beautiful Pyrenees in France. We made it here safely after a very long trip and we're staying at a Bed and Breakfast with wonderful hosts. We've been doing some lower intensity work to adapt to the altitude and I feel good so far. There's definitely a noticeable change from training in Victoria, lots of heavy breathing, especially in the pool. We have some hard work starting tomorrow so I'm sure it will only get more difficult. Kathy, Kyla and I are lucky to have Yulla (massage therapist), Sophie (chiro), Pat, DJ and NormaTec here taking good care of us. It's a small group but we have great support and it's really a great place to train.

I raced in Coteau du Lac on the way over to France last weekend and it went really well. I got out of the water with a group of about 6 girls and we worked hard on the bike to stay away from the giant chase pack. The strong winds and the long out-and-back course and the super strong riders I was with made it one of the hardest bikes I've ever done in a race. I was a bit worried about the run but the plan was to go a bit conservatively to shorten the recovery time after the race. My legs felt heavy for the first few laps but got much smoother towards the end. I'm glad I was able to do one more hard race before London at the end of July. Patrick, Kyla and I spent a few days in Quebec before heading to France.. and here we are now! I'm really looking forward to the next 3 weeks. It's a beautiful place to train and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be here.

Here's some pictures from the past few weeks..

The victoria crew at Kathy and DJ's place after the race

Top of the mountain from our hike yesterday

Our home for the next 3 weeks!

More updates coming soon :)