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Showing posts from February 11, 2024

'24 South Africa - Day 4 and 5

  On Wednesday, we woke up to cooler temps and a cloudy sky. Despite not having AC in our Airbnb, we are sleeping amazingly well - 9-10 hours a night! I absolutely love sleeping and I am feeling so much more refreshed. My recovery from workouts is a lot better too. It's great to not be woken by cats throughout the night.  After eating and working on the computer, we drove 30 minutes and returned to the race course in Elgin Valley for redemption after a low energy ride and run on Monday. It’s amazing how poorly the body performs when it’s sleep deprived, low in energy and off a normal routine. I’m happy to report that we both felt 100% better. And the cooler temps in the 70s and cloud cover helped a lot! We each rode the course on our own. Karel did the rock garden twice and waited for me after the big loop before we went to the smaller loop. I made the technical sections fine but I had a few rough patches llike getting stuck in sand, blocked by cow puppies and attacked by bushes, I

'24 South Africa - Day 3

  I was really looking forward to today (Feb 13th/Tuesday). I love swimming and I love swimming outside and during my online hunt for an outdoor swimming pool around the area, I came across a 50-meter outdoor pool in Stellenbosch at Coetzenburg University.  I asked the open water swim group on whatsapp about allowing vistors and the group said that visitors were allowed.  I looked online at the lane availability schedule and noticed that after 8am was a good time to swim. We left our Airbnb around 7am for the 15 mile drive to Stellenbosch but there was a lot of traffic so it took us over an hour. Our route took us through Strand, which goes by the beach, so I made a mental note of this route for my run later in the day.  The Stellenbosch area has a different vibe to Gordon's Bay as the campus as there are several schools and students and the area is very pretty with lots of fields, trees, and paths for biking. As we got closer to the area, we saw a lot of people on mountain bikes a

'24 South Africa - Day 2

  Despite taking a 5 hour nap from 12-5pm on Sunday, I slept for 8 hours on Sunday evening. Karel and I were exhausted from our 44 hours of travel and we needed the sleep. Being in the same Airbnb as last year was comforting as we were waking up to something famliar. We made our coffee, sat outside and worked on the computer and got ready for the day. We were surprised to hear from our Airbnb owners that we will not be impacted by  loadshedding (saving energy in certain areas by turning off the power) this stay as the owners installed solar panels on their house. Loadshedding makes it challenging as you have to work your day around when the power will be off in terms of eating, working on the computer and using electricity.  After we ate, we loaded our rental car with our mountain bikes (Karel had to take the front and rear wheels off to make the bikes fit into our small SUV) and drove the 30 minutes to Elgin Valley Country Club. Karel is doing much better driving on the left side of

'24 South Africa travel day(s) - and a visit to London

  On Friday morning (2/9) I woke up with excitement and sadness about our upcoming 19 day trip to South Africa. Excited to travel and race on our mountain bikes at Xterra South Africa and PE Plett 4-stage mountain bike race but sad to leave Campy, our other senior Madison (cat, almost 16) and our 3 littles – Ella, Sylvi and Asher. Thankfully, Karel’s mom is staying at our house (we flew her in from Czech in early January) and she can keep everyone on their routine, they will be loved and they won’t be alone.   I started my morning by joining our masters swim group at Westside aquatic center from 7:20-8:45am. The group starts around 7am but I usually get in around 7:15-7:20. It was a spicy swim set with a lot of short intense sets, finishing with a little distance. I love swimming with others and we had a great group. I shared a lane with our athlete Yannick who is making a great comeback after breaking his collarbone in November from a bike crash. Karel swam 2000 yards at Furman and