Yes I am in Quebec, Bromont to be precise. I have been here one week now & it is superb! I have a mountain of interesting, technical trails a short warm up away & the temperature mid 20's most days. I am from Raetihi, a little cold blooded maybe, so the first few rides in the 25-27deg heat I felt like I was going to melt. I am not complaining, I am adjusting. I have completed my first hard training block since arriving and I feel suitably thrashed but good. I like this.
Following my 'debut' in Europe I had a great 2-months home in Rotorua, getting stronger! I completed my first 'gym based' strength/conditioning programme, amongst many an interval session & long ride. It was a little challenging at the time, riding on trashed legs every other day is not the greatest feeling and several times I thought 'S*^#t! I am getting slower not faster'. This feeling was made no better when 7 weeks into it I hop on the scales & find out I have stacked on 2.5kg...woe alright! Too many beef or venison hot pots? Cabin had also put on weight but that was partly before I got back and, he eats pies and ice cream :)
On second thoughts, I was quietly excited. Because when I started mountain-biking (racing) two years ago I watched the Tour de France (for the 1st time) and decided that a rear-end like Fabian Cancellara was what I would need to go fast - power! Sure every girl has a bit of a complex about getting a bit 'choddy' (thicker) but I flipped the coin & decided that a few extra pounds were aok with me as long as my wattage went up. So now I am here in Canada whipping that extra 'muscle' into XCO specific strength and I am hopeful it is working :)
I will spend 5weeks in total here ahead of the World Championship event (Sept 4th). Within this time I have two races - the Canada Cup final here in Bromont & the World Cup series final in Windham, New York. Both of these races I am looking forward to, I am confident I am improving and just maybe I am starting to become a mountan biker...we will see.
In other news, Cabin is at home nursing a very sore shoulder. His housemate/room mate/physio goes away for 6-weeks & within days he has a 'big off' on his MTB. From what I believe it was a wet miserable Sunday and Poppa felt the urge to go ride fast in the forest. Flying around the berms of Dipper (yes the Dipper trail) his trusty Cannondale let go & smack! Choosing to use his shoulder to stop himself, so he is a regular at The Physiotherapy Clinic this week and has had to shop for a new helmet also, busting his in several places - ooh.
Cabin's edit: I crashed on my training bike... The Cannondale is far too good to let me crash
Unfortunately Cabin will not be joining me, following the volcano erupting & disrupting our plans for Europe I guess he figures I am capable & can manage without him! Not so. I certainly would prefer to have him here, he such an integral part of my preparation and he knows what is needed to help me perform my best. But, it is expensive, we have a house & he must work. He is holding the fort, and I am very fortunate to have his generous support. And, the support of my sponsors - Avanti, Nature Valley, 2XU, Balance Nutrition, New Balance, Smith & n-Duro events, Rotorua. It means alot.
The NZ team for the World MTB Champs has been finalised and go the Elite Women - 4 of us! (Rosara, Fiona McDermid, Jen Smith (USA based) & I). Also best wishes to Annika Smail who is racing the World Marathon Championship event in Austria this weekend.
That is all for now & I promise more news soon! Au revoir, nic