Sunday, July 29, 2007


Saturday, July 28, 2007

All things Flemish

We are here in beautiful Harelbeke and the weather is not as bad as they say!
We arrived on Wednesday to clear skys and sunshine. Not that we saw much of it as we were stuffed and went to bed at 11am only to wake up at 5pm. I have never traveled to europe in this direction before and it is much harder than the other way. It is now Sunday at 5am and I am up and running around. The first two days we were all out of wack and training went by the wayside. By Friday we had sort of gotten it together and managed a fantastic 3 hour ride through the local surrounding countryside. We rode in a big loop stopping to ride a lap of the famous Roubaix Velodrome. After a very funny coffee stop we were off again. The local pool is really well set up. Except for the fact that they do not seem so keen on using the lane ropes so people are swimming in all sorts of random directions. We found out that most people leave by 7.30 pm so they recommended that we lap swim then as there was more likely to be room. Saturday was a really interesting day as we found the local running park. It was a five km loop that was a bit like a mud run but hey I always enjoyed cross country running. Another ride in the late evening was to top the day off.

Somewhere in all that was the food.
I dont have to tell most of you about my love of food and cooking. This place had a little market on the Thursday and we went down to pick up a few freash things.
After cooking up a storm for breakfast everyday of omlettes and fresh fruit I have come back to the training plan. I would be the size of a house if I lived here on any long term basis.
Pierre and Myriam had us over for lunch yesterday as their son Joe was down for the day from Brussles. More amazing food. Myriam is healthy and cooked some beautiful beef and veg but Pierre sabotaged us by bringing out the Creme Brulee. Clearly one can not say no it would be rude :)

Today we are off for the final day of the tour in Paris. We will be staying the night in a hotel and returning to Belgium on Monday. We have packed the trainers and plan to run the streets in the morning. I hope I can resist the chocolate crossaints.... ha not bloody likely!!!!

Stay tuned for photo´s. It is proving to be quite tricky to post them as the keyboards and all the instructions are in Flemish.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vineman 70.3

What a great race!!!!!
I love vineman. It was the very first half ironman I ever competed in two years ago.
I had a great race especially since I rolled my ankle so badly.... it was fine on the day thank goodness. Lukey had the day off so I had some great support. I finished in 5.01 and placed 9th in my age group. The field was stacked and any other year that time would have been top 5 but those USA girls sure know how to run. My time was a PB again however and that was all I could do on the day. The 2 Kona slots that were available went to 6th and 7th which was heart breaking to be so close again. I am off to Belgium now for 3 weeks of super hard racing and training for IM Canada which is on the 26th of August. We will be riding in the french alps for some of our time and staying with our beautiful hosts Pierre and Myriam. The GT is left behind in their son´s hands. He is in SD learning to fly. I think we got the better deal. I will see my little sister Sarah and cousin Sonja in Antwerp which is so so exciting. Also long lost Alice will be coming to watch as well. She has been riding Italy and Swizerland for the last few weeks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Getting There

Well the ankle is making a come back!!!!! The swelling has gone down almost completely and the blue is fading. I have been on the wind trainer (bike) and I am going out on the road today. Tim the magic massage guy here in Bend recommends that I do not run till race day so it's the bike only for me. I have been water running and swimming in the pool. I am full of hope that in 6 days I can pull it all together and race well. Poor Luke has been subjected to rubbing my foot everyday but it will all be worth it if I can get my Hawaii slot in Vineman. "Streatly Brown" has been trying to lick me back to health. He is Matt and Paul Lieto's Vizsla. Nothing like a little puppy power to get you up and running again.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The good news and the bad news.

The good is my sic new ride is almost ready to roll. i am putting the final touches on her. My new carbon fiber FSA cranks will be the last thing I have to add. That's the end of the good. The bad is that I went running in the trails the other day and as I came down the last hill and rolled my ankle underneath me so hard and with such a loud crack I thought I broke it. HECK!!!!! I have been laid up on pain killers icing the damn thing all weekend. It is black and blue. I was in tears for 5 mins thinking it was a no hope for Vineman. It has turned around a little and I am walking on it again. Sort of. I am hoping that the ice and elevation over the next couple of days will mean that I can get on the wind trainer this afternoon. Cross your fingers and stay tuned. :(

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Back in Bend

After a great fun night with Linsey, Chris, John, Sara and Clibby in Seattle we headed back to Clibby's home town, Bend. A quick pitstop in Portland to pick up Clarkey and finally we are here to settlel in to do some training before Vineman. The most amazing thing of all is that FINALLY my new ride has arrived. My sweet new QROO has been unpacked and I cant wait to get on her. We will watch Clibby in his 5 stage road race over the next few days. The cycling is awesome here and I will fit watching him in around running the wicked trails and riding these beautiful mountains. I will go solo as Jimmy is finally having a few days off. I might have to pad lock him to the lounge as he gets a severe case of FOMO. Actually the tour de france is on so it wont be too hard.

Lake Stevens 70.3

Wow what a cool course. This course was not for the faint hearted. The swim was set out in the lake and the cycle wrapped around it. This course was up and down and very challenging. I was VERY pleased as it was right up my alley. As for the run finally a flat fast one... woo hoo!!!!! I made a pact with myself that as this was my lead in race for Vineman in a fortnight I would take it easy on the bike. I wanted to see if all the hard work that i had been putting in at training was paying off. I was 3rd out of the swim and was very happy with that. Out on the bike I stuck to my plan and took it (relativley) easy. I was passed by only 1 rider in my age group and I resisted chasing her. Very mature of me. Off the bike and onto the dreaded run. It's not a national secret that the run has always been my weak point in my racing however I have truly worked hard over the last few months. I have not been able to put it all together in a race until now. I felt great during the first lap and actually ran faster for the second lap. I was passed by one other girl in my age group but this was a vast improvement to the 4 or 5 that usually catch me. I ended up finishing in 4th with a very good time of 5.09 which included a PB for the run. All is looking great for Vineman which is a qualifier to KONA. Finally I had a race that I got everything right in. I am pretty sure I will be able to run even harder now that I know I wont blow up :) In the end my bike split was still a sub 2.45.

Lake Stevens and Seattle

Linsey "Burger Buns" Corbin and I cooking up a pre race meal for champions.

Nice leggings Chris... later these evil campers showed me how to make the campfire dessert "SMORES".

These have to be the worlds biggest donuts.... I did however manage to resist.

Forget the arts and crafts.....

I am here for the food.

4th of July

First a bit of a stop over in beautiful Sun Valley Idaho to see our boy Chopper! What a stunning little town. Plenty of coin is splashed around here.... in the winter of course. In the summer it is a bike riding paradise. We spent the morning riding and running around this ski village.

Then took to the road and Jimmy finally let me get out and hop into this awesome hot springs on the side of the road. A must for all weiry travellers.

We arrived to our hosts Linsey and Chris Corbin's ladden with small but deadly gifts.... Fireworks. Fireworks in OZ are illegal so this was going to be quite the novelty. Linsey took us out for a great run along Rattlesnakes trail and a ride around the local back roads. We came home hungry to a fresh Alaskan Salmon..... never have you tasted such sweet fresh fish.

The next morning (4th) we piled on over to Chris's workplace.... The world famous "Big Sky Brewery". Ok so thats not quite true yet but after he has finished marketing the brewery it will be!!!! A day of rafting was instal. Onto the bus and down to the Clark Fork River. Designated rafts were stocked with coolers of "Moose Drool" a wicked ale.

Ours appeared to be the flimsiest. Once onboard we discovered that Jimmy was the "paddle Nazi". A stop for lunch on the banks of the river.

Some rapids to finish off the day. Sweet....

How come the bus trip home always seems so so long... Jimmy needed quite the nap.

Sitting around enjoying a fine meal of pulled pork..... and outstanding Moose Drool.

Chris in his sexy "jumper"..... HOT!!!!!

Battle of Midway!

The tour continues on down the road to Utah. We rolled into Midway and stayed with our fantastic home stay. We only had two days to get ready for this olympic distance race. To my horror I found out that the run would be held on the Nordic X- Country ski trail. Hilly would be an understatement. I have not raced the shorter distances for quite sometime and the thing is that in Ironman you always have to race 10 per cent slower than you want to but in olympic you have to race 10 per cent faster. HECK.
The race came and went with me finishing in 5th which was ok. Jimmy on the other hand backed up just 1 week after IM with a fantastic 4th..... nice one. With this race tucked away we head off to visit our buddy Linsey and her hubby Chris for the 4th of July festivities.