Yesterday I threw down 25.5miles to cap of a solid 4 weeks of training here in St. Moritz. I’d be lying if I told you everything has gone smoothly. This block of training was a real grind for me to get through. Between the extremely random weather, the altitude, and pushing the envelope with more intensity than in the past I walked away from some workouts exhausted mentally and banged up physically. But, with some good treatment I was able to get my body feeling right and keep the hand on the fire so to speak. And now I get to come up for some air, both figuratively and literally. I’ll head down to Zurich later this week and get in a workout there and then on to London for a few days.
I will be taking part in the Opening Ceremonies. Most athletes skip this ceremony as it can be physically taxing and therefore might take away from performance. My coach and I felt this would be a good thing to do to help get over the awe of the Olympics and to get in a bit of an Olympic experience. Since I’m competing on the last day of the Games I will not get the chance to attend any other events. But at the same time with it being 16 days before my race I’m not worried about the physical toll that walking in the opening ceremony will have on my legs. I was pleased to see several veteran track athletes including Bernard Lagat and Nick Willis will be taking part in the Opening Ceremonies. Sort of reaffirmed that it’s not a bad idea. And of course with Simon Whitfield as Canada’s flag bearer I expect this will be a very exciting experience for me.
I still remember watching Simon win gold in 2000. At the time I was a 17 year old dreaming of OFSAA track medals and an NCAA scholarship. Seeing Simon win gold made me think about the bigger picture. Since that day I’ve always been a huge Whitfield fan, and over the years have even found myself more and more interested in triathlon. Heck if I was 5 years younger in 2000 I probably Would’ve demanded my parents put me swimming lessons and buy me a road bike. That transformation was clearly visible amongsts kids that bit younger than me in the Kingston area. The Alex Hintons and Tristan Woodfines of the world went into triathlon as kids and are now making noise in that sport, no doubt inspired by Simon’s exploits. Me, I still haven’t mastered the doggy paddle.
Fellow Canadian track athletes Hilary Stellingwerf (1500m) and Inaki Gomez (20km race walk) have also been here training. Last week we took the gondola up to Piz Nair (one of the peaks here behind my apartment up in the Albula range). I posted a few pictures from that to tumblr. The most excitement besides that was a few games of pool with members of the Canandian rowing team who were training just down the road in Silvaplana. It was cool to meet these guys and I look forward to cheering them on (from afar) as they loom to scoop up some hardware in London.
I wish I had more news to report from here in Switzerland, but my days have been pretty uneventful besides training. I did get some nice press in the Toronto Star on Sunday. But for the most part all has been quite and I’m focused on the 12th of August.