Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Victoria. . .

. . . is so much warmer than Spokane. After finally being deemed a passport-bearing non-terrorist, I was allowed to invade the country to the north and come to training camp 2/3 the way through. The good news was that I got off the Swartz bay ferry with just enough time to make it to our Wednesday afternoon sodium/sweat loss test at the brand new Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence. The bad news was that this bike trainer session was 3 hours long.

I have never spent 3 constructive hours on a trainer in my life. I was honestly expecting a 45 minute test and thought that everyone was joking when they told me to settle in for 3 hours. Being a bit tardy, Torbjorn (my bike) and I were excommunicated to the nether regions of the lab with Brent McMahon and Coach Lance. It didn't take Coach Lance very long to decide that Brent and I weren't as interesting (or perhaps we were just a lot less mature?) as the larger group of athletes, so he left Brent and I to rock the B team alone. His loss. I don't know who won the sweat contest, but Brent and I definitely had more fun than anyone else in the lab. A few corny jokes, and 3 hours flew by.

Coach Lance - too cool for the B team

and seriously, he could have been hanging out with this lot. the photo unfortunately does not show Brent's incredibly full and masculine moustache.

That was when my appetite began to take over all waking moments of my life. Even though camp has been busy, I'm certainly not doing IM volume training, yet no amount of food seems to satiate. Luckily, Dewain and Judy have opened their doors to me, my bikes, and my putrid clothing again. With full access to their kitchen, I've been able keep a loose handle on the appetite.

Since the sweat test, there have been a few more trainer sessions, some frustrating swims (I'm not launching into that) and some blissful runs. The trails of Victoria are an amazing resource and remind me of the beautiful runs that were so much a part of my life in Dunedin. The longer runs are exhilarating, and the speedwork is so tactically simple: stay right in my coach's shadow. It works brilliantly - I just wish I could hire him to be my rabbit in the IM marathon.

I had considered two options post-camp. A tour de Canadian nordic centers, starting with Whistler and the Callahan Valley 2010 Olympic venue, or a few extra days in Victoria where I would be able to ride my bike outside! Given that I got to camp so late and that I haven't ridden outside since IM Arizona, I went with the latter option, and it's been well worth it. Coach Dan took Curtis and I on a scenic 2 hour base ride after our run intervals on Saturday, and then Sunday we hit the hills for 3 hours. It was a ride that very much mirrored our hill ride from camp in September except that there was a lot more snow, ice, slush and mud involved this time around. It was awesome and it was a reality check. I remember those hills being deliciously tough and totally manageable in September, but they were just plain tough this time around. I'm completely encouraged though, because I know that come June, I'll relish the hills again. I needed these few months of not riding to be reminded of how much fun it will be to grow strong on the bike again.

Monday was a bit of a treat, as Dewain took me up to Mt. Washington for a skate ski excursion. Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of terrain open, but it was sufficient for Dewain to get a good taste of the sport, and it was actually warmer up on the mountain in the snow than it was in town. Not that I can even begin to complain about the weather around here. It's been ~10 degrees and sunny every day. After a few initial mishaps that involved a bruised derriere caused by too-short rental skis, Dewain totally got the hang of skate skiing. If my camera hadn't run out of batteries, I would have photo evidence. Coming home from a long, sunny day of skiing to Judy's home-cooked dinner, I had to wonder how I got so lucky!

Now I just have one more trainer session tonight and a run around Thetis Lake in the morning (my favorite!) before heading back to Spokane. I wouldn't mind staying in this winter training wonderland indefinitely, except that I really miss my Aaron, my friends, co-workers, and pets. Besides, I'm totally out of money, so it's back to the real world for this happy triathlete.

Don't worry Carl, I'll be home tomorrow and I promise to treat you to a bucketful of gut-loaded crickets.


Shelbyyy@gmail.com said...

Carl missed you.

Eileen Swanson said...

Awww, cute Carl! Glad you made it to Vic ok. Those hills are MONSTERS ;-) HA!

Samantha said...

Hey Haley! It was good to meet you at camp. That sweat test being 3 hours was a bit of a surprise for all of us because everyone's schedule ONLY said 2 hours. ha. happy training in Spokane. I'm sure I'll see you sometime in the next couple months.
- Sam

Brianna Cooper said...

Glad you finally made it! Did anyone let out any WOOTS during your 3 hour bike session???

Michael W. Bergquist said...

Welcome back Haley. I hope the experience will pay big dividends for you. You're already awesome, so it will make you more awesomer.

Samantha said...

Hey! I'll for sure give you a call...and I'll call if I need to get away from here sooner than that too. Tacoma can get kinda sketch. haha. I might have to consider coming to watch you and Eileen in CDA too. Winnipeg was COLD. -8F when we got there, but we had a nice little ceremony for her. I was supposed to be in Mexico yesterday so that got post poned obviously. 3 countries, 8 planes, and 90 degrees in temperature variation in three days. wow.