Well, this is my last weekend here at home for quite a while, so my aim was to make the most of it. I’m happy to say that I did this on all accounts. Great training rides and runs were done. Hanging out with friends was enjoyed. Relaxation at home with Marc and Murphy was greatly appreciated. All in all, a most excellent weekend of bikes, friends, people and cats!
On Friday I had a nice chill recovery ride. Boy did I need it. My legs were tight and sore after the interval work-out on Thursday. (Perfect just what we wanted.) Great ride in the woods on the singletrack and a bit of bicycle path riding as well. This set me up to be well rested for a double training day on Saturday (well, triple if you include the yoga…).
Kicked Saturday off with the infamous “light jog”. Funny I actually really enjoyed my 20 minute run. I felt like a running rockstar out there…. Also I think I got my run in during the nicest part of the day. It wasn’t raining, sleeting or snowing at that time. By the time we kitted up and drove out to the Kanata Rec Center to meet up with the EMD Serono boys the rain was coming fast and hard. Ah well, perfect cyclo-cross training weather right?
Karl, Evan and Conor took Marc and I around and showed us the course they had worked out with Ian for the OBC race on Sunday (today). A really fun and challenging course. Lots of twists and turns and just a good course overall. We rode the course once and then we got down to business – working on specific skills. I have to say that session was some of the most fun I’ve had on a bike. These guys are super good at helping me learn skills and in helping me identify my stumbling blocks. But they do this by keeping things light and fun. There was as much laughing as there was hard pedaling. I can see why these three young guys have progressed so much – they know how to train hard, how to help one another improve and most of all – to keep things fun. So thanks Karl, Evan, Conor, and Marc for being some super training partners. I’ll miss you guys when I’m in Belgium (well Karl and I will still get to train together but I’m sure he’ll be too fast for me pretty quickly!).
I had not planned to race today. My coach and I discussed my putting together some solid training blocks. So today was all about VO2Max and sprint efforts. Perfect. Some might say I could have done this in the race. Yes and no. I wanted to have a quality work-out so I chose training over racing. I had planned to do this on the road and then end up at the race but the weather dictated that I ride the trainer instead. I had a couple of good films queued up and away I went. Have to say I had a really good hard work-out. One of those work-outs that gives you confidence in your fitness, your training and in your racing. Just what I needed. I also had “Big George” along for company – I watched A Ride With George Hincapie while riding. Then it was off to the race to cheer on people and just chill out.
What a great time! I got to chat with lots of people. Cheer on lots of people. And just really enjoy what it is that makes cyclo-cross so awesome. The positive energy was overflowing. And even though people were cold, muddy, and wet – they were still smiling. All thanks to cyclo-cross.
Capped the race experience with a great afternoon with some super people. Lots of laughs, some excellent food, some stories and just generally a very welcoming experience. Thanks so much for the t-shirt! I don’t know if I should wear Karl’s shirt and he should wear mine or if we should each wear our own? Maybe I’ll rent the shirt out to “superfans” in Belgium. (I received a red t-shirt that reads on the back in white letters: Supporter Vicki Thomas. And Karl has one that reads: Supporter Karl Hoppner.) Very very cool. Made my weekend. Thank-you.
After a quick stop at the Spray N’ Wash, Marc’s bikes are sparkly clean and his clothing got a good hosing as well. Note to self, when using the High Pressure Rinse, do not pull the trigger on the water gun – this is too much pressure for a flimsy spandex skinsuit….
And now it is time to head out again. Off for dinner with some friends. I’m sure there will be more laughs, some stories and just generally a great time.
A most excellent weekend. It is weekend’s like this that make it hard to leave. But they also make it so nice to come home – knowing that we’ve got some great friends here and we’ll always feel welcomed. (Gee, kind of like a cyclo-cross race….)