The End

We are at the end. The end of our stay here in Belgium. We arrived here on Dec. 10. And now a fast two months later, we’re leaving. This has been a solid trip. It tested my will and desire. It tested my ambitions. In the end, I came out on top. My will and desire are stronger than ever. My ambition is just the same – still there with a big goal for 2009-2010 cyclo-cross season.

The racing and training here are top notch. Can’t beat the quiet country roads and bicycle paths. The best ride was perhaps a three hour jaunt along the canal. The Tues/Thurs group ride can’t be missed. The ‘cross training is the best – choose a spot: Langdorp, Kasterlee, or Averbode – each location gives you something different.

We’ve made some good friends here. At first the other races are a bit “cool” but after a few races, smiles and conversations are exchanged. By the end you’re having a coffee/warm cecemel/coke after the race and telling “race stories”. The fans – well what can I say about the Belgian fans? They cheer you, the jeer you – in the end, we are racing for them. Without the fans we couldn’t do what we do.

Going to miss this place. If we could get Murphy here, we’d stay. But “real life” beckons.

Stopped by a couple bike stores today to say our good-byes. Everyone said the same thing: “Come earlier next year. Do more racing here.” Sigh. Maybe. Hopefully.

We’ve got everything packed up. Picked up the last gifts and souvenirs. The bikes are safely stowed away in their bike boxes. We managed to cram everything into our baggage.

We’ll miss our Belgian friends. We’ve had some great times. Massive thanks to Jos and Tim for their hospitality. They opened their home to us and we’ve been in their way for the past two months. I subjected Tim to some crazy food – quinoa, scrambled eggs with dijon mustard, natural peanut butter, and a few creative chicken and beef dishes. I learned to really appreciate home made hummus – thanks to Jos. We went on some good rides. I learned some new insights from Tim about training and how to become one of the greats. I’m stoked to come back next year and hear more great stories, learn more lessons, have some more delicious meals. And most importantly share some more laughs.

I’ll be back next year – stronger, faster, smarter, and really hungry for it.

Interesting Read

For any of you interested in nutrition and sport, check out these two articles by John Berardi: Lean Eatin’ Part I and Lean Eatin’ Part II.

John Berardi is the man behind Precision Nutrition. I’ve signed up for Precision Nutrition and will be starting on this program when I get home. From the research I’ve done about this way of eating and my own personal experience this past year with clean-eating, I think the Precision Nutrition program takes things a step further ahead.

On this site, I’ll keep you updated with my progress on the Precision Nutrition program. My goals are to loose a bit more weight and to really learn and understand how best to fuel my body for training, racing, and recovery. I’ve come along way in the past season, but there is still some fine-tuning to be done.

(By the way, I’m getting pretty excited for the 2009 – 2010 ‘cross season. My brain is refreshed and recharged and I’m really starting to want to get back training and really getting on track for my season goals.) So much better to be in this present headspace than the one I was in a while ago.