Sunday, 13 January 2008

Back in blighty....

How quick times flies?? It seems like no more than a heart beat ago I was flying down the wonderful slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in Canada and suddenly here I am back in the office in front of my laptop, penning my Sunday blog entry. I've never really got the blues when returning from foreign trips as I tend to have some great adventure to look forward to and having spent the week away from H it feels even better to be back in Leeds. However, nine days of quality time with just my Dad and I hanging out in one of the best ski resorts in the world does tend to make time go by somewhat quicker than I would like.

Where do I start? For those of you who like to ski or snow board and haven't yet travelled outside of Europe you absolutely positively must make this wonderful Canadian resort your next winter destination. I'm not the most experienced of winter athletes but I've probably visited 10-15 different European venues and Whistler is aproximately on thousand times better than all of them... put together! In short we had over four feet of snow during the week and the sun decided to come out to play on the final day... need I say more? Probably not, but I will...

We stayed at the Pinnacle Hotel but booked through Expedia because it was cheaper than going direct. Although it was one of the cheaper options it had a fantastic location in the middle of town, an outdoor jacuzzi and pool, a treadmill and the staff were great. You'll see from my photo's however (newly added to the album) that they were a bit ambitious with the pillow allocation and there wasn't much room to dry stuff. Swappin the jacuzzi in our room for a drying space would have made it pretty much perfect!

The actual resort was stunning with seemingly endless empty pistes winding their way down through the beautiful Canadian countryside. Although the lift passes were expensive they were were worth every single penny once you realised how unbelievably helpful the staff were and how ridiculously long the runs were... the famous 'Peak to Creek' is over five miles long with a mile of vertical decent!!

If that lot isn't enough to get you flying across the pond the restaurants are just something else. We ate out every single night and with plenty of great sea food on offer it was easy to keep it healthy... my two favourites were... Quattro and Ric's.

The bottom line... it's totally blown me away and I cannot wait to go back in the summer when H is racing in the Olympic Distance world champs. I imagine the trail running and mountain biking will be pretty special!

Training wise? I have actually done this and last week's training diaries but it's quite fiddly to upload them on to blogger and as I only landed a couple of hours ago it'll be another day or so before their back up to speed. I did manage some good training totals despite the lack of a bike, carding around 40 miles of running (including my longest ever on a treadmill at 14 miles) and 15 kilometres of swimming (in a great 25 metre pool which at 6am was quiet enough to have my own lane every morning). The average day went something like... 5.30am alarm, 6-7 swim, 7-8 breakfast, 8-4 snowboarding, 5-6 running, 7-8.30 dinner and 9 o'clock bed... then repeat x5. Even more impressive however was the fact that dad joined me for all the pool sessions (I didn't think he knew there were two five o'clocks per day) and then skipped in the evenings while I ran!

All in all I've managed to combine two of the few things in life that really matter... having fun and spending quality time with my old man... whilst at the same time training for an Ironman and keeping healthy ;)

This time next week I'll be reporting on the first real goal of 2008, going sub 80 minutes at the Brass Monkey Half Marathon in York. I'm never really sure how I'll perform of 13.1 miles as the increase in speed can catch my little legs unawares but with pbs in my last three runs (Dublin marathon, Great North & the Chevin Chase) I'm pretty confident that with a mile or so to go it'll be up for grabs... and then it's all about the hurt ;)

Fingers crossed,

T ;)

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