We are back in Ontario, Canada – the fun of Clermont is over and the race season has begun!! My training camp in Florida was wonderful. Life is so easy there – there is no snow, slush, ice or mud. The sun shines each day and this has energized me for the winter. Over the past three months, I have done so much swimming in the gorgeous 23 lane outdoor pool at the NTC. Trust me there is absolutely nothing better than swimming at 6 a.m. and watching the sun rise as you finish your workout – it makes the 5:10 a.m. alarm just a little bit sweeter. I spent a lot of time water running in that same pool while being sidelined with some injuries. All told, I missed a lot of running over the past few months. Basically, I celebrated my birthday in November and life went a bit downhill!! I don’t know if it was the martini in New York City or my joy of running in Central Park – but that combination caused me to have a very sore foot which required a few months off of running. So I missed running in December and January. I ran 4 times during the Cruise to Run Caribbean cruise trip and then a few more times but then I hurt my knee and missed 2 weeks in February. So my run training officially began March 1st but it began with no injuries lurking – no aches and no pains. I remember doing my first run in March. I came back and I told Dave that I felt very out of running shape but nothing hurt and that was the first time in many years that I have had a pain-free run. Everything happens for a reason and so my annoying running injuries in December, January and February provided a gateway to my current injury free ‘happy place’!!! Meanwhile, my cycling really gained momentum over the winter. I rode so much – long rides, short rides, hill rides, computrainer intervals, strength work – it has all been amazing!
Within a week, our athletes came down for a training camp. It was a great week and even more wonderful to see the benefits of their training efforts. We did some awesome running hill intervals focusing on proper running form, biking hill intervals reinforcing technique, gearing and strength, biking tempo intervals, a long ride, a long run, runs off the bike and lots of swim instruction and swim sessions. After 7 days, they were all quite happy to return home for a rest!
And as they returned home, I also went home for a few days for a visit to the CF clinic to start my new breathing therapy and some new antibiotics. This was a stressful visit but I am so grateful for the opportunity to get healthy. It was a good reminder for me to take care of my own health first. In fact, I am doing my breathing therapy right now as I type this!!
That brings us to March and the big highlight was my return to running. I love running and the Orange Grove Trail in Clermont is my favorite run. It is a 10 mile loop on clay, sandy roads. Over the past 7 years, I have done so much running on this trail – sometimes two and half loops at a time. But this year, I just wanted to run one loop – that was my goal. And gratefully, I was able to run a few loops of the trail by the end of March.
We drove home starting at 4 a.m. on March 28th. It literally rained 2 or 3 times over the past 3 months and wouldn’t you know it, we pulled out of our neighborhood and it started to rain and thunder. As we drove, the temperature kept dropping – it was 25 degrees Celsius in Clermont, then 18 degrees Celsius in Charlotte, North Carolina and from there, it dropped 8 degrees in 30 minutes! After about 15 hours of driving, the rain drops started to get bigger and the temperature was now around 3 degrees Celsius. The rain drops became snowflakes and we were officially in a snowstorm when we hit Erie, PA. We were just 3 hours from home, but we couldn’t see the road and our poor little Cervelo bikes were covered in snow. So off we went to La Quinta – a dog friendly hotel – and the 4 of us camped out and waited for the snow to stop!!! The next morning, we set out for home but not before negotiating the ice covered roads for the first 20 minutes. There were cars and trucks in the ditch but our Subaru stayed grounded and 3 hours later, our snow covered car pulled into our driveway. It was the only car in Ontario covered in snow. The funny thing was to tell people that we had come from Florida!!!
And then, within 4 days, I was off to New Orleans for my first race of the season! More on that later!