Dudes, it is wet here in Belgium. Really really wet. I’ve never seen it so wet. But on the upside, it is warm. With the super rain coat and pants, the rain really isn’t an issue – but the relentless rain is becoming a bit much. I’m sitting here on the couch watching the Hamme Zogge cyclo-cross race, very relieved that I did not race this race. (No women’s race anyway…)

It is so muddy. The racers are literally running more than they are riding. A true “Belgian ‘cross”. My housemate Karl Hoppner raced the junior race in Hamme Zogge today. Karl rode really well to finish in 25th position. Pretty darn good for a super muddy race and the first race of his 2010-2011 European season. I’m looking forward to hearing all the race stories over supper tonight.

Have to say things are going really well at the house. Right now it is the three of us (Karl’s mom is also staying here) and on Saturday Alex arrives and then next Thursday, Marc arrives. We’ll be a tight knit group of Canadians by the end of the season. This is the perfect number of people to live with in this house. No one feels cramped or confined and there is lots of room for everyone to find some “space”. So far I’ve been lucky with Denise feeding me supper every night! But tomorrow it is my turn – tacos are on deck (a Vicki Thomas specialty).

I got out for a good ride today. Well-protected from the rain in my rain jacket and pants and actually a bit overdressed. Today I made my way to the canal (this canal goes all the way to Antwerp – I believe it is called the Schelde). The ride today was all about VO2Max intervals and sprints. I have to say I’m struggling with the VO2Max efforts – just can’t keep the wattage where it should be – I’m attributing this to the effect of the low ferritin and red blood cells – it is as if I just can’t go super super hard for a long time. But if I do 30 second all out efforts – I can hold a good hard and high wattage for the 30 seconds. I’m wondering if there is something connected here? I’m hoping to get into see a cycling doctor this week so I can back on track with the iron infusions and I’ll be asking him about this. Anyway, the ride was good – I did get a flat during one of my intervals. This was a drag and I got a bit nervous since I only had one spare tube with me…. But it all worked out. Ended up riding for closet to 3 hours – so a good day out on the bike.

Strange to not be racing this weekend but I’m enjoying the time to relax and just simply catch my breathe. The first few days here were definitely busy.

Mega congrats to Marc for his fine race at the Hammer Cyclo-Cross race on Saturday. Marc raced in the elite men’s race and finished in 7th position. I was so happy to hear this. Best of all was listening to Marc tell me all about his race – the excitement and happiness in his voice was overwhelming. Marc is racing again today in the Anvil Cyclo-Cross race – so send him your fast vibes. Also congrats to Conor for his 6th place finish and Evan for his 2nd place. Some fine riding from my trusty riding partners. In fact all of my training partners are throwing down some good results: Karl 25th, Marc 7th, Conor 6th, and Evan 2nd. Guess I better step up to the plate!

Well, the race is nearly over – looks like Sven is going to win again. My new favorite (Bart) is having a good ride today as well. I’ve never seen such dirty cyclo-cross racers before. Their legs are black from the mud!

Alright, time to go. I’ll have this mud to look forward to in Hasselt and Aspere Gavere….

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