Doubling Up in Belgium

Today was a double day. For you Canadians there was no Tim Hortons involved in this double day. Nope, definitely the sugar-free kind with running in the morning and cyclocross training in the afternoon.

I went out “early” (okay 8:30) for my run and ended up having a great run in the Blauberg forest. For the first time I ran with my heart rate monitor strap on and my Garmin Edge 500 in my jacket pocket. Very interesting to see my heart rate data, speed and distance covered. The run was excellent – well except for the gun shots I heard – I guess it is hunting season right now… I did see one deer bounding through the woods – definitely was moving faster than me.

After a few errands and a spot of food I was in the car and off to Zolder for my first cyclocross training session in Belgium. This year my pal René hooked me up with a group that trains at the Zolder race course. I was a bit nervous when I got there but was quickly at ease with a most excellent coach and a good group of people. There were about 80 little kids who went off and did their own training and then maybe 30 of us rode over to Hasselt to train on this Saturday’s race course.

It was a great ride over, zooming along the canal in a big group and I got to talk to Hilde Quintens (a Belgian racer). Nice to get to know some new people and to feel really welcomed. The session at the Hasselt race track was excellent – I got some help with my sand riding skills and was able to work on some other skills as well (in other words – less brake more speed!).

I arrived a bit early to the training location so decided to take my bike out for a bit of a spin on some taped off cyclocross training skills sections… Well, lets just say I have luck on my side! I was riding along when all of a sudden I was flying through the air – turns out I should have stayed left… Where I went the ground literally fell away – I did a massive endo, landing on my shoulder and side of my head. My shoulder is very red and starting to turn blue – and I’m a bit stiff. I felt fine during the ride and I think so long as I stretch well tonight I should be fine! Here is a picture of the drop I went over and how my bike landed – I landed about two feet from my bike!

We were parked next to the BMX track – very impressive – especially watching the little kids zip around (no pics of the little kids though…).

After a quick shower here, Nikoline hit up the nearby cafe for a hot chocolate. Nice to get out and hang out a bit. The Mie Maan is an excellent spot and I’m looking forward to going there with Marc for some supper and relaxation.

Tomorrow I’ve got an easy recovery ride on the schedule. Perfect timing considering today’s tumble!

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