Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What's Next???

Well, back from 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 was crazy, they went on forever and scared the crap out of me! You could feel it through your body!! Some pyromaniac had a hay-day with these games!
Walking into the stadium with the sea of Oranje!
Hey! It's Becks! I just happened to be standing right where they did the 2012 stuff! Saw the entire US men's B-ball team too, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Chris didn't turn out though, sorry!
Need I say more....
Time for some R'n'R. I'll let you know if I make any rash move to Australia 'cause it is too cold here (told you, I've become a wimp!).
Thanks to EVERYONE that has sent me an e-mail (which I probably didn't respond to but read!) or posted on my blog, it has meant SOOO much to me!!

Love ya!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

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 4x100 Dutch men's team...they messed up the second exchange...too bad!

The remote control javelin retrieval cars....I know a certain someone that would be perfect for this job!!
I couldn't help but do this one!!
They synchro swim. The Spanish routine was really great!
The view of the cube at night from the top of the bird's nest:
Anyway, Closing ceremonies tomorrow night, should be fun! I'm excited! I'm also looking forward to returning will be nice not to have to live out of a suitcase for awhile!!

Good Luck to everyone racing IMC this weekend! Enjoy the day!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

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 the fencing a bit early because I'm not feeling that great today...either from the dinner last night (out of the village) or some cooties I may have picked up in the village!

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 fast first climb up the hill and settle in after that, so initially I wasn't too worried about the 15 seconds I need to bridge to get back with the front pack. I wasn't able to close the gap and ended up in the chase pack (again, not where I should be). We stayed in sight but it was an unorganized bunch, so we were losing time. I then missed another good opportunity to get to the front back when one of the stronger cyclist came upto our group and manage to catch onto the front pack...uh oh again! After that, on the 5/6 laps, the 2nd chase pack caught our unorganized bunch and we went onto the dam surface (blue track-like surfacing that covers the metal plate that is on the dam) all together. At the top of the little climb up to the dam, the group spread out and went around a corner together...that was when it went wrong...all I know is something caused the group to compress and then I hit the ground and there was bike and girls everywhere! Lucky for me, I didn't have time to put my hands out (the Canadian girl broke her wrist in the fall) and took most of the damage to my shoulder, hip and knee. I was a little stunned but I jumped up and assessed the damage, my body hurt but nothing broken, then I ran to my bike, picked it up and put the chain on, looked around, everyone else had ridden what?! Dammit, I'm finishing this race, so I got on my bike and rode the last lap solo, without water bottles or my gels (they popped off when my bike went down).

Onto the run, I thought, I'll just try to catch as many girls as I could. I managed to get 3 of them in 2 laps, running on adrenaline. Then that wore off and the lack of water/gels on the bike in the heat started to come back to haunt me...I also started to notice the pain in my arm/knee/glute! So, you all know the finish result, I faded the last 2 laps and just got er done.

I was pretty upset at the finish line, happy that I finished the race (I'd have been devastated if I didn't) but disappointed at the outcome. It just seemed like a lot of time and effort had been wasted...but then I saw Richard, my coach, my family and friends in the stands and they were so proud of me for getting back on my bike and toughing it out--it made me put everything back into perspective. After the race I also read all the great posts and e-mails I'd received and it put a smile on my face! Not exactly how I envisoned my race would go, my training had gone so well going into the race, but the whole experience has been amazing!

I have a massive patch of gym burn (since it was on the 'carpet', my road rash is more like when you went down in gym class during a game of dodgeball! Remember that?!) to heal and everyday some new muscles in my shoulder/back and neck start to hurt. I'm also having issues lifting my arm past shoulder level right now, so I'm going to get the team Dr's to check it out and my knee is still swollen but better everyday. But like I said, it could have been worse!

Now, I'm enjoying the rest of my time here at the games. Open water swimming, waterpolo, Modern Pentathlon (Go Josh!!) and a session of Athletics! My days are full!

That's all for now, I have to catch up on some sleep, a night at Holland Heineken House followed by an early start to get to the open water swim venue has left me exhausted! I'll post some pictures tomorrow night, I promise!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

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.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just a quick update....

...swim the damage, body bruised and sore, got back on the bike...I didn't come all this way and do all this work not to finish! Not the way I wanted it to go but at least I have a good story and I FINISHED the damn thing!

Will post more later, I have to clean out the road rash wounds and get the chain and tire marks off me...not sure who's bike they were from!!

Thanks for all the posts and e-mails. Hopefully Sander will have a better day for the Dutch!

Wounded Lisa

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Christmas Eve...

The last couple days of training have been fairly light. Saturday was a trip out to the course and the pre race meeting. Since it was mandatory to come to the meeting, all the athletes were there, it was fun to see everyone and how they were handling the pressures of the games. A lot of the athletes are staying closer to the course, so I haven't really seen too many of them until yesterday. In the meeting we also drew our pontoon start position...I found this a little stressful as we only had 20 seconds to choose! I ended up with #46 on the left side, near some good swimmers. Guess we'll see race day if it was a good choice!
The night before the race and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I'm not really nervous, which is good, and I've done all I can do to be ready. I'm not going into this as a pre-race favourite, so that takes a bit of the pressure off. I'm just going to go out there and do what I know I can! Not much else to add, so here are some more pictures to keep the readers happy!

Here is a shot of the pre-race formal! Here is my bike all ready to go with my race # and Jingjing riding it!Here is my foreshadowing shot...practicing my post-race medallist interview....hey, you can never be too prepared!Here are couple shots for fun....the 50m pool at the OV, the guys at the end were having 'swim races'...note all the bikinis in the background! Makes it tough to concentrate on your workout when everyone else is suntanning an goofing around! That will be me after tomorrow morning though! Ahh, and my favourite! These two speedo clad chaps (Javier and Bjorn is what I call them!) are on all the AC units around the village! I think they are hilarious! Don't tell anyone but I just had to peel one off and stuck it on my bike box....

One more sleep until race day!!! It's like Christmas eve!!



Friday, August 15, 2008

Stealin' some of Phelps' Mojo

After a couple days in the village, I finally gotten into the swing of things here. I've still manage to avoid most of the 'not-so-great-pre-race' foods, but the list of 'things-to-try-post-race' is growing! Ever amazing Coach Paul managed to score us tickets to the swim finals today!! It was awesome! 3 World Records (200br women, 200IM men, 200bk men), 2 Phelps swims, and the women's 100fr final all in one session! Awesome! I was so inspired post-event that my swim training after was the best I've had in weeks! Thanks Michael for giving me some of your swim mojo! Thanks Paul for getting me there!

Paul and I at the Cube! It was a gorgeous day in Beijing, the crazy storm yesterday cleared out the sky today! Me outside the Birds Nest, it's across from the Cube. We have tickets for the Athletics on the 23rd, so excited! Thanks Paul for the art shot!
Me at the pool, that's the dive tank in the background.
My inspiration, Phelps, destroying the field in the 200m IM!!
Timing clock with the world record split.
My little Chinese friend! I gave him a pair of our little orange clogs for the photo, he was really excited about them...not so excited about the Athens pin that Paul gave him!Back to the Triathlon course tomorrow for a couple laps on the bike course and in the reservoir. Then we have our pre-race athlete meeting and pontoon position draw...I'll let you know what spot I get!

Hope everyone is taking in some Olympic events on TV!

2 more training days!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Welkom naar Peking!

It's been an amazing couple days. It's been slightly overwhelming but in a good way! The Village is bustling with athletes and activities! It's been a challenge to keep focus, but I'm still on track!

We landed at the brand-spanking-new Beijing airport and the 'special' treatment began! Although, it was a bit disappointing since there was hardly anyone at the airport, so there were no lines to cut anyway! I made the guys stop for this photo opp

We jumped on a shuttle bus and off to the Olympic Village we went! Again, there is an 'Olympics' lane on the freeway but there was very little traffic!
Coach Paul came for a visit at the venue and to give me a tough swim workout:
Don't worry, this is only the McCafe in the Dining Hall, I'm saving the McD's binge for post race! The Flat Whites are excellent!
My new ride! This is outside of the Dutch residence block--A9.
That's about all I've got to report for now. Tomorrow we are catching a ride out to the triathlon venue (~40k north of here) to do our training. The water temperature is reportedly 28 degrees, good thing I brought my wetsuit! Richard, my parents and Oma arrive tomorrow too!!

Thanks again for all the e-mails and comments--they are motivating!

4 more training days!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Tot Ziens Chuncheon!

First thing tomorrow morning we leave for Beijing. Chuncheon has been a great place to train and acclimatize but it's time to get to the village! Plus, the Korean coverage of the Olympics is hit and miss, depending on if there is a Korean in the event! Luckily, they have a few good swimmers and they like to show Phelps swim, so we have seen most of the swimming. I gave it a try but really, 10m air rifle shooting is not very exciting on TV! I missed the women's 4x100m relay, as we were out riding some tough hills in the heat, the girls won the Netherlands first gold of the games!! Off to a good start!

After a few 'off' days of training--Coach & Richard said not to worry, but after back to back lackluster workouts, I was slightly concerned--I managed to have a really strong day today! Phew--as usual, P&R were right!

Here is my race kit. Lucky #39 is my race number (determined by random draw):Now I have to pack my gear up, already have the bike done--that's the worst part!

Beijing here I come!

6 more days.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Some pictures!

Hey! Here are some pictures!

My white team uniform (we have one in blue as well). I love having a uniform to wear, the only decision I have to make in the morning is what colour (blue, orange, white) of super comfy clothes I'll be wearing today! The view from my balcony in Chuncheon, Korea. The river is also the site of our open water swim training (still haven't been to the pool yet). The water temp is a mixture of 34 degrees and 18...the thermocline is at about 10cm, so your face would be super hot and your hands/arms cold!
My room. There is so much space in here, I have my very own dance floor! So far my experience with Korean hotel rooms is that they are all very similar and huge!
The hotels also always come with an assortment of slippers to put are 2 pair, I have another pair in the bathroom and 2 more on the balcony. I've been using them for my nightly disco routine!! There is also about 6 extra duvets in the closet...really, how cold does it get here?!The teams 'A-team' van. Not the best pic, I'll get a better one. So far it's been really hot here! I've had the privilege of running with Marti ten Kate, one of the Netherlands legendary marathon runners, he went to the Seoul Olympics (his PB is ~2:10, although he says; "that was many years ago"! Doesn't matter he still runs fast!). He schooled me on our long run and then pushed me (aka: left me in his dust) on my run off the bike yesterday. I also had a swim to bike interval out of the pool...I had a few strange looks from the locals driving...I imagine a girl in a bathing suit cruising down the road isn't something they see everyday! Yesterday was a bit of a challenging day for me. I think it was the combination of the 3 day post travel and re-adjusting to the heat. Either way, I'm sure glad I flew out early to be with the team and get used to the time zone and heat!

We watched the pageantry of the opening ceremonies from the 'Crystal room' in our hotel. The excitement is building! The fireworks were cool but I don't imagine it helped the air quality any!

My race is on August 18th at 10am. That is August 17th at 8pm MST in North America, August 18th at 4am CEST in Europe (ouch, sorry about that! Henk, I know you won't mind getting up early!?)

9 more days!

Take care and thanks for all the e-mails and comments,
PS-I wrote an article for the Lifesport newsletter about my journey (note that I wasn't at the Opening ceremonies but will be at the closing!); click here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Week 3/5 found me back in Calgary for another hard week of training, capped off with a race in Canmore. The race was cold, I was frozen, I've become soft, I finished second but was under orders to stick to my specific race plan (including backing off the last 5k so I wouldn't be too sore on the flight the next day), my legs were begging for the taper to begin; soon legs, soon.

Made it to Korea. Took one long fully packed flight from Vancouver to Seoul. Followed by a ride in a minivan with no seatbelts (that drives me nuts), I was so tired I fell asleep on the smelly bench seat, only to wake up with a giant spider crawling on me....ewww...I can still feel it on me! Now I am at the Ladena resort in Chuncheon. Took our A-team van for a swim at the pool, felt jet-lag heavy, then a ride in the afternoon along the river. It was 36 degrees out, hot, but a really nice ride. I had my 2 domestiques (Sander, my Dutch teammate, and Chris from Zimbabwe) plus the van leading us around the route. If only it was like that everyday!

Will post more later, maybe some pictures. Now I am really looking forward to sleeping after pushing through the first day of jet-lag without a nap...find I adjust better if I cut the nap out the first couple days.