Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Home Sweet Home

I'm back in my favorite place in the world - WHISTLER!! My last week has been absolutely crazy, but I'm so happy to be here. Last Sunday I raced in Holland at the Almere European Cup. It was another race in torrential rain and severe wind and I was happy when it was over. I had a great time though, despite the poor race, and Bryan was a great roomie :)
On Monday I flew to Zurich and took the train back into the Swiss Alps to Pontresina, where some of the irish team was still training. I had left most of my stuff there so I had to go back, but I made the decision I was not going to stay and on Tuesday flew back to Belfast. I spent most of my day on Wednesday packing my things and at 4:20PM called Air Canada to ask if I could get on a plane to Vancouver on Thursday (the next day). The lady I talked to was extremely helpful but there was no flight to Heathrow early enough for me to make the 11am flight to Vancouver. "Can you get on a flight tonight at 7?" "Um it's 4:20 now.. sure why not!" SO I spent 5 consecutive nights in 5 different countries and arrived in Vancouver on Thursday smiling from ear to ear. Al picked me up from the airport and we drove to Squamish to meet my mom when she got off work.
Man I love this place. I had planned to take some time off, but have already been out for 2 rides, a couple trail runs, and even competed in my first XTerra relay (swim and run) since I arrived!! It's so nice to get back to exercising for the enjoyment of it. It can be easy to get caught up in what your trying to accomplish and forget the reasons why you started the sport in the first place.Mel McQuaid was in Whistler for the Canadian XTerra Championships this weekend. Apparently as far as XTerra goes it was a pretty knarly course, but I guess being in Whistler that's to be expected. On Saturday morning she asked me if I wanted to do a relay with her partner, Ross. He would do the mountain biking if I swam and ran. I signed up right away - I LOVE trail running!! It was so much fun and I had a big smile on my face the whole way. It was an 11km run on some pretty sketchy mountain bike trails. I took the downhills pretty conservative as I didn't want to break an ankle, and just made sure not to walk on any of the uphills (although it was pretty tempting!!).

I'll definitely have to do more of these!
Mel and I at the finish (she won).

My good friend Shauna came up to Whistler last night for a visit. We went out for an hour hilly trail run this morning around Lost Lake. It was so much fun, but after the 11km race yesterday I am SO sore now I can barely walk!! Ah the price you have to pay for adventure :)

This is a pretty sweet picture I took at the top of a climb in the Swiss Alps. It was a tough climb but so worth the view at the top!

Gavin Noble with coach Chris and support team Martina and Ricky.
A beautiful lake in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It reminded me of Whistler.
This was in Almere the night before the race.

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