Dolphins, Volcanoes, and Ironman Oh My!

I have to admit, it was nice to go to Kona and not have all my race and training gear! It is also nice to be a race purely as a spectator! There was a lot of nervous energy along the main strip in Kona–Ali’i Drive–leading up to the race but the girls (Carolyn Murray and Carol Montgomery)and I had none! Race day I swam with the Dolphins on the race course when all the athletes were out biking! It was amazing! Then post-race I was able to take in the sites that I have yet to see on the big island. The Volcano and the Green Sand Beach were awesome!
Here are some pictures:
The swim start, bright and early at 6:45 for the pros and 7:00 for the age groupers:

The bike, on the way out of town:
Kyle Marcotte at 10 miles.
Carolyn and I at the volcano. There is a new vent that just opened up in April this year, creating all the VOG in the Kona area.
Approaching the Green…

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I love fall but…

….the temperature is dropping, I’m outta here! I know I said I was done with travel for the rest of the year….but I couldn’t resist a trip to Hawaii! I’m heading off to Kona to watch and cheer for a bunch of my friends at the Ironman World Championships. It doesn’t really count as a trip since I’m not taking my bike–only a carry-on!! No bike fees for me this time!! Bree is letting me take her roadie out for a spin when I’m out there! Thanks Bree!

Me and the girls in Hawaii last year!!
I’ll be missing my niece’s and brother’s birthdays, but they will get a super cool gift from the island!! Happy Birthday Jord & Bry!! I’m also missing Thanksgiving, so I made Richard a pumpkin pie today (#2 worked out much better…#1 had to be thrown out…I’m really not a baker!!). Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Now I’ve got to find my sunscreen….
Have a good week!

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Summer Do-Over!

Mother nature has been kind to us in Calgary the last few days!! Fall is my absolute favourite time of the year and it is much better when it’s 24-26 degrees outside! Since I still can’t be in the pool full-time (getting there, really did a number on my shoulder!), I’ve pulled out my commuter bike for some urban exploring. It’s a cyclo-cross with full fenders, a pannier rack, and a bell, not light-weight what so ever! Since the local pathway speed limit is only 20km/hr, it’s a good thing my bike is not built for speed!! Today, I’m hitting the pathways and circumnavigating Calgary! Love it!

The Weaselhead Flats in SW Calgary, where the Elbow feeds into the Glenmore drinking water reservoir:
Beautiful Fall colours and not a cloud in the sky!
Fish Creek Provincial Park. Canada’s largest urban park, it’s bigger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park. In the 16 years I’ve lived here, I’ve probably only made it to the park 3 times!! Such a shame! It takes me about the same time to bike there as…

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Scoutin’ out the course…

Since Paul is easing me back into training, he actually had a bike ride on the schedule today, with an option of being indoor or out. Knowing that there are many hours of indoor riding ahead (fall is here, the leaves are changing, the days outside are numbered!), I decided to get my commuter bike (a cyclo-cross bike) out for a spin around the city. I rode from my house to the reservoir, the site of the Calgary 70.3 run course, and scouted it out!! It is already a favourite spot of mine to run on, I’m so going to rock that course, but also fun to ride when no one else is on the path in the fall. The path was covered in leaves and the air was fresh, it was nice to be back on the bike! To be honest….my road bike has been ‘resting’ in the garage since I unpacked it!

Not much else to report, just trying to get back into the groove and organize my life. Had a fun trip to Victoria and we…

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Sorry about going AWOL the last few weeks…I needed the down time though! I’m still fighting what I call the ‘Beijing Hack’ so that has kept me lying low! I also had to get the ‘free’ haircut that I got in Beijing fixed before I saw anyone….

Here are a few random pictures from Beijing.
Art on the Athlete village grounds:

A piece of art at the 798 Art District in Beijing:The male contingent of my cheer squad all decked out in orange:
Mom and Dad in Beijing:
After the race and after they cleaned my arm wound out:
Well, off to Edmonton for Jord’s soccer tournament and then to Victoria for a meeting with the coach and help Erin move back to Calgary (yeah!). Easing back into training but still working out some post-crash issues in my shoulder and knee!! I also have to buy some baby gifts as Nicole’s little guy made a early (but healthy) entrance to the world on the weekend! Lil’ Dex is officially the 4th member of my future 2028 Olympic relay team!!

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What’s Next???

Well, back from Beijing…now what?? Not sure, recovering from the trip and months of travel. I unpacked my bags AND put the suitcases underneath the staircase (where they will stay for awhile!!). I managed to get sick AGAIN on the plane ride home, this time just a cold/flu thing, China has not been too kind to my immune system! So for now, it’s get over the jet lag, recover from the last few months and the cold I picked up, then decide what my next move is! 2012 maybe, 70.3 (1/2 ironman distance) maybe, sit on the couch and veg-out…definitely!!

Here are my last posts of Beijing pics, enjoy! If you want to see the rest of my photos, you’ll have to visit me!

Yao anyone? Poor guy sticks out like a sore thumb!
Not the best photo, as Paul would say, I really need to upgrade my camera! The fireworks at the start of the closing ceremonies…it was crazy, they went on forever and scared the crap out of me! You could feel it through your body!! Some…

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Where to begin?

Since the race and my last post, the past few days have been packed full of action (some not so great…). I unfortunately only made to the fencing portion of the Modern Pentathlon and returned to the my room to lie down at noon and never made it back out until 8am the next morning! I picked up a little stomach bug somewhere along the way and it was not good! I felt better the next morning but only really ate breakfast that day. My parents and grandma and I braved Beijing’s famed Silk Market before they left on friday. My bargaining skills were a little weak though, I blame it on the queasy stomach! The rest of my time has been filled with exploring the village and seeing other sports. Waterpolo, athletics, synchronized swimming, I’ve seen it all and it’s been fun! Here are a few pictures:

The Fuwa gang dancing up a storm at waterpolo:

Josh going in for the ‘kill’…I have no idea what the fencing term is for that!

The lead racer for the 4×100 Dutch…

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Fun Stuff

Here is some post race fun photos!
Richard and I outside Holland Heineken House….
The women’s 10k open water swim…looks more civilized in that pack. Not the most exciting sport to spectate, especially when it’s hot out an you have fresh exposed skin on one arm! Our cabbie also seemed to take interesting route there that involved a drive thru of the airport terminal and dropping us off about 2k away from the actual entrance! Fun times!
The 798 Art district in East Beijing. Very cool. It is an area of reclaimed warehouses, now full of local art galleries and cafes. Richard and I only went through it quickly, so I may go back on Saturday to look around. The place is HUGE!!
One of the many statues in the Art district….Say What?!
Went to see Josh Riker-Fox at the Modern Pentathlon this morning. It is a cold and rainy day in Beijing. The first 2 events for him were the shooting and fencing. Next up is swimming, horse jumping and running. I had to leave…

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Here’s how it went down….literally…

So race morning started off early as we had to take a bus from the OV to the Triathlon venue ~40k away. We got there with plenty of time to set up the bikes and do a good warm up. The temperature that morning was surprisingly manageable to start but it got hot fast!

The swim start was good, I was holding good water and thought I’d found some fast feet to hang onto. But the way the pontoon draw panned out, it created 2 packs that ended up coming together part way to the first turn buoy and the chaos ensued from there! There were times were I couldn’t even tell I was swimming, just hitting and being hit by the women around me! I think I spent too much time and energy trying to get a better position than actually swimming forwards! So I came out in the front pack, but at the tail end….that always means more work on the bike! This is not where I should be!

Onto the bike, my plan was to have a…

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Here is a photo….

Part of the carnage….. Part of the aftermath (self portrait)….lost some skin….some of the damage can’t be posted on the net…having some rotator cuff issues and I think I have whiplash!
The war story still to come. Haven’t had time since the race to sit down and write anything.

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