Jun 18, 2015

euro Tour Stop 3: Bilbao Spain: Finding the magic powers

Saying good bye to Lake Brombaschee for at least another year, we headed towards Franfurt, where we stopped in for a clinic with SURF + SUP Center St. Leoner See in Sankt Leon-Rot, Germany. We had took people of all levels out on the various SIC boards and enjoyed some time for Q & A.
That night we got the fine pleasure to stay with Sonni's Grandma at her wonderful house near Frankfurt. I got to experience traditional German smelly cheese while others also experienced the local cider.

The following day was a LONG day of travel where unbelievably we made it to Bordeaux France thanks to Belar's driving skills and prowess. It was a quick stop as truly we were heading to Hondarribia Spain, in the Basque country of Spain. Here we spent some time with Hondarribia SUP Skola, where we enjoyed chocos, a bike ride through town, a run on a sweet trail, some surfing out of Biarrtix, France, and just a whole lot of amazingness. I WANT to come back for sure... there is so much to explore in these waters and hills.

Unfortunately, our time was short as we had to head to Bilbao for the upcoming races. Bilbao, is a cool funky city nestled in the mountains and among the river. It is not far from the ocean either but we stayed in town this time around. The city is known for the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao and other architectural works as well as pinchos (Tapas) and other amazing foods. Lets just say for a couple of days there I ate more food than I burnt off... I have my work cut out for me now,...

Day 1 of Bilbao World Sup Challenge: the sprints
This was a sprint out to a buoy, turn, and return to finish, kind of sprint race. There was one hitch, you could choose which buoy to turn around. This added a different component to it all... After a long day of waiting around it was the ladies turn. I was in heat 1 and went for the left buoy. I had a clean race and finished the heat in first. The second heat was the finals. Two of us went for the left buoy and two of went for the right. I had a good start and managed to get to the buoy first, had a decent turn and never looked back and finished in 1st place for he sprints. In these sprints it is very important to get a good start, with such a short distance its tough to make up time and placing from a mistake.

Day 2 of Bilbao World Sup Challenge: the distance race
The distance race along the river, was 14km and saw some loops passing by the finish and start lines a few times. My body was feeling pretty good and the weather was cool and cloudy so I decided to give the race a try. I wasn't nervous at all which is a strange feeling for me before a big race as I was concentrating more on my body than the race. Again, I had a good start, managed to hit the first uoy in first and somehow to the next buoy lost the train behind me? I was feeling good so I kept on paddling, and infact felt pretty good for the entire race and managed to create a gap from the other girls. Its funny, as I didn't use my normal race pre nutrition tactics or anything, and mostly just drank loads of water.

I am very happy to have won this event and to leave this world of racing on a high. I am taking a break from the racing world while I take care of my body throughout pregnancy and childbirth. I hope to come back after giving birth but of course, its hard to predict these things so far in advance.

I am so happy with how my body held up this last weekend. I really listened to how I felt and I felt good especially throughout the distance race. I am glad I could take a break from racing and leave on a high note, with fond memories of good people, hard racing, and fun traveling. Thank you to everyone who makes this possible for me.

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Sankt Leon-Rot, Germany Sankt Leon-Rot, Germany

Jun 6, 2015

Euro Tour Stop 2 Lost Mills Germany: Making Smart Choices

After two days of successful sprint racing here in Germany, I was faced with a choice. Winning the "Fastest Paddler on Earth" title for the second year in a row as well as the inflatable sprints and the Parallel Slalom races, felt great, and made me feel like my old self again. Despite, the successes of the last few days, I had a difficult choice to make this morning, the morning of the 18km Lost Mills Race.

I got my things ready as though I would race today, and then, I had my first episode of being sick. I have been holding back the news but its difficult to do when you are a top racer. The rumours are correct, I am pregnant. I had a hunch at ISA Worlds in Mexico when my body felt strange in the races and I confirmed my guess work when I got home. I wanted to come to Europe anyway and told myself by doing so I would have to really listen to my body and be ready to not race, or stop racing, or race slower than normal... For me, I am not a spectator, I am a racer and being a racer I obviously like to be on top of the podium.  What I didn't realize, was just how challenging it would be mentally for me to make these choices....

So here I am the morning of the long distance race,... I got sick in the morning, and then felt a little better so ate a good breakfast, and at breakfast, I knew inside that I just shouldn't race but I struggled with the thought. I was no longer making choices just for me, but essentially for 3 people, myself, Andrew, and the little peanut growing inside of me. I went outside to check the air temperature, HOT, I came back, I made myself think I was feeling great, but I wasn't... I chatted with some folks around me, and the consensus, was it was 33C outside, it was a 2 hour race with no wind and on flatwater (so working really hard),... I had to think about what it could cost me to race? What if I couldnt finish the race and it cost me? So,.... with all the will power I had I gave my number to Georges who flew in from Tahiti the night before.  I found myself on the beach, watching everyone else get ready,... a small part of me was glad I was going to miss the pain and stress and a whole big part of me hated every moment of not having all that stress and worry and pain... I wanted it so bad... I thought I was okay with it all but then broke down watching the adrenaline of everyone else... it was hard, really hard,...

So, I tried to occupy myself, I went for a 5km paddle, I rented a peddle boat and peddled to the end of the first lake and watched the racers on the run, I peddled back, went for a swim, rented a bike, biked around the lake twice... watched the racers come in, biked around the lake again, went for another 5km paddle,.... and now I am tired too, but a different tired, not the I just pushed my body to the limit crazy adrenaline tired, but the I am pregnant it is hot out and I just did three different sports in 2.5 hours tired.. hahah I suppose I have to start getting used to that...

Congrats to all the racers....
Follow me as I continue to figure out how to be an athlete and pregnant... I am sure there will be many more "smart" choices I will have to make along the way... I have to say.... although it is difficult to make these choices when I am at the race and wanting to race,  the reason for these choices could not be more exciting and wonderful. I am beyond happy for this new adventure for Andrew and I.

Thank you all for your amazing support:) I am ready for the crazy adventures ahead....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Jun 3, 2015

Euro Tour: Stop 1 St. Maxime, France and my obsession with croissants

After a week at home (sort of at home, in the Pacific NorthWest), I made it to Barcelona where I met Belar, Sonni, and Helgo from team SIC. From here after spending some time with the Spanish SIC Distributor Belar, Sonni, and I made our way to St Maxime, France. Belar ,the driving machine, got us there safe and sound sometime in the night/morning. We had a killer house with a pool in the hills by the water.. The house was full of amazing people from around the world (Spain, Italy, Germany, USA, Mexico, Canada, Czech, etc etc etc)

St Maxime is a cute hilly coastal town right on the water. There are tons of great pastry shops, cafes, and little shops and has a a beautiful coastline. The race was stop 2 on the newly formed Euro Tour. This was a two day race with a tech race on day 1 and a distance race on day 2.

I was here to do some SIC stuff and see what I can do while racing. I did not want to push myself too hard but also felt okay so didnt want to not race... I am trying different strategies to see what makes me feel good physically and psychologically with my new changes in my body.

Day 1 the tech race was in the afternoon, a little windy but mostly just small chop/flatwater mix. It was about a 7km course with buoy turns. Men and Women started together. The chop off the start was crazy for us ladies.... but I managed to stay on top of my board.. phew. I pushed to get out in front and create some space and then found a speed that worked for me. Sonni came past and I just held my own in second. I was as okay I as I could be with this.... and finished feeling good physically.

Day 2 was the distance race. I won't lie I was nervous about this race (normally I look forward to distance racing...) I wasnt nervous about how I would do but if my body could handle the distance. It was a long race being 17km in all sorts of conditions. So I went out hard to try and get in the front and push hard while I felt good as I figured if anything would happen it would be that I would seriously slow down or start feeling sick as the race went on. I figured if I could at least make some ground at the beginning I could afford feeling bad later on. Sonni also had a good start so we were together for a bit, she was strong and I knew for us to stay together I would have to push my hardest so I decided best to just hold it together and try and stay in front of third, instead of trying to push for the win.  I would have to dig maybe too deep to do that and I was nervous. This is some interesting strategy that I have never had to deal with before.. hahah.. but all good, I am seriously trying to figure out what my body can handle and still be healthy and safe... all in trial and error I suppose. I managed to hold onto second. Sonni won the event, I was second, and Celine from france was 3rd. With more and more strong females showing up to these races, my choices will be more difficult and I will have to really listen to my body in the race and remember what is truly important to me right now:)I know what it is... but I am a racer so it can become intense mentally:)

After St Maxime we spent a day relaxing there, we went to see St. Tropez, run, swim, and just enjoyed the day to chill.  I also ate my last dose of amazing croissants.... I tried them all from choc, almond, and plain... hahaha...

Yesterday, we drove to Geneva. Where, after the day in the car we enjoyed a paddle on Lake Geneva, spent a short time with the SUPer kids program, and personally, I could not stop staring at Mont Blanc... spectacular:)

Now, we are on our way to Germany to get ready for the Lost Mills race in Bavaria.

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Jun 1, 2015

May News.... but now its June...

Typically I am much better at keeping up to date with my blog BUT life has delivered some pretty amazing adventures and I have struggled to sit and write in between it all.

We are moving!!!! Not too major but we sold our apartment in Vancouver BC and bought a house in Vernon BC. The whole process was done uniquely... I saw the house, liked it, told Andrew and while I was out camping with students Andrew bought it without seeing it... Eventually, he saw it during the inspection and luckily my instincts were correct and he was into it all.. YAY! Our very first house:) We are stoked for new adventures in a new place. AND....We will have places for people to stay(finally), visit, and play in the outdoors:)

our apartment we sold

New house we bought

Andrew has been a superstar packing, organizing, and making it all happen while I have been out working with Collingwood and the Explore Program camping and teaching and then traveling for SUP races and SUP clinics around the world....

Now, since my work with Collingwood is finished I have been immersed in the SUP world with racing and teaching clinics. Its been great. I love the different SUP communities I get to meet and the people I get to help share the SUP stoke with.
Urban Surf Werner Clinic

Coli and I in Seattle

Urban Surf Seattle Lake Union

Portland Crew

hood river downwind with art Aquino(took photo)

Gorge Performance Portland crew Werner Clinic

I have also raced at the Carolina CUP, North Carolina (3rd); ISA Worlds in Sayulita Mexico (2nd and 4th); and now Europe St Maxime France (2nd); and am continuing on the Euro headed for Lost Mills and Bilbao! .....

I have some other news.. but that will have to wait for just a wee bit longer...

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!