Every day I say to myself, “self, you should really write down everything you did today and post it on your site” and then each day, I train, do my office work , and before I know it, it is time to unwind and resume my life as a wife, daughter, sister, friend and dog-mom. But here I am now, really wanting to share the past few months of fun with you.
Dave, Madison and Brunswick and I boarded the Subaru Forester and pointed it south to Clermont, Florida. Each year, my snow bird status lengthens and this time, my plan was to be in Florida until the end of March. Dave would not be able to stay for the whole time – he would travel back and forth several times to run his 2XU business – but I was in for the long run – three months of base training. The funny thing this was that I was not going to be training for Ironman Australia – something I have done for the past 6 years. For the first time since 1998, I was going to have a long off season to get strong and get healthy. And it has been wonderful.
Our first bit of excitement was the Cruise to Run cruise (www.cruisetorun.com). I am one of the run coaches and guest speakers on this fantastic running cruise. Last year, I brought my Cervelo P3 and my CompuTrainer along for the cruise but this year, I traveled light since I did not have an Ironman looming in the near future. As usual, we supplemented the runs with some afternoon open water swims and we also did some water running and group strength training. The people were amazing and both Dave and I are all set to return to the high seas in 2009 along with the legendary Bart Yasso!
But here is where the craziness began. We were home in Clermont from the cruise for one day and the very next day, we were on a plane to Vancouver! I nicknamed this particular week – “8 countries in 8 days” – USA, Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Thomas, Tortola, USA, Canada – unbelievable! I was invited to speak to the executives at Viterra – Canada’s leading agri-business corporation (formerly Saskatchewan Wheat Pool) – at their meeting in Whistler. Believe me, Whistler is a long way from Clermont! So we kissed the puppies goodbye (they were pretty confused – gone on the cruise, back from the cruise, away the next morning???) and changed our luggage from sandals and sun dresses to boots and parkas and made our way up to British Columbia. We arrived Monday early evening. I spoke Monday night. Dave skied on Tuesday. We had a few wonderful meals with our new friends from Viterra and our dear friend Mayo Schmidt and we were back to Clermont on Wednesday morning! What a whirlwind! But a fantastic whirlwind.
Meanwhile, during the month of January, I had the absolute privilege of joining the US Triathlon Team Olympic hopefuls for some workouts during their month long training camp in Clermont. I never thought riding for a measly 2.5 hours could hurt so much!! I even did a pace line and joined them in a cool 4 x 10 km pace line workout – of course, I didn’t know that was the scheduled workout before we were already on the road. I also got to swim with them and I loved every minute. My training has been mainly unstructured since I was not planning for IM Australia, so I have been jumping in and training with anyone who wants to train and doing whatever they want to do. There are a lot of days when I am gasping for air trying to hold onto a back wheel that I never expected to be riding with in the first place!! I also had lots of fun rides with Bonnie and Eon from Toronto – whew – they ride hard. And then some nice morning swims with Kyle and Nicole and Kimberly. I have loved training so much – I have been training for the love of sport instead of to win an upcoming race. It has been very refreshing!
February has been much of the same – except that I started to run again – which was a huge treat. I had taken a few months off of running in an effort to become 100% healthy for 2008. But the neat thing about returning to running without an Ironman in the next few months is that has allowed me to be patient and to return slowly. Saucony has made me a custom shoe to reduce the pressure on my heel. In 2007, I had to run in modified shoes , but now in 2008, I am actually test driving a new Saucony invention. I am on round two of the prototype and it is brilliant. In fact, I ran today and felt like I could run forever – but don’t worry Doctors, I didn’t!!! I am actually thinking that my first race might be St. Croix 70.3 or Florida 70.3 or both! And, thanks to Scap, Erin, Galea and Steve Hill, I am anti-inflammatory free, which is something I have not been able to say for a very long time. However, I am a fish oil (natural anti-inflammatory) advocate ever since I started to take Zone Eico Pro and SeaHealth Plus. It seems funny taking something that is 100% fat while living in a world that is so fat-free!
We had a few private one-on-one training camps in February which were terrific. Dave and I love to share our passion for sport and our experience with other athletes. Next year, we plan to do a few more personal camps and maybe a few little groups of 3 or 4 athletes at a time. Clermont is such a terrific place to train – it is warm, hilly and sunny – perfect!!
My mom and dad also came to visit for the month of February which has been beautiful. This warm weather is so good for them and we really enjoy their company. My dad loves listening to the Blue Jay games in Spring Training and he even started to do a bit of exercise to help his hips. My mom is always busy shopping and chopping up fruit and vegetable to keep me fueled!!
I traveled to Chicago in mid-February to speak at the Cystic Fibrosis Institute retreat. Twenty four hours of cold wasn’t too bad but it did make me grateful for Florida! It was a fantastic event drawing CF doctors from across the USA and patients from the Chicago area.
And now, it is March and the excitement continues. I am continuing to do lots of great hilly miles on my Cervelo P3 and in the spectacular pool at the National Training Center. And while I am running on the orange grove road, I am keeping it controlled and supplementing my mileage with frequent water runs.