I have been home just over a week, and I sure am missing that 32 degree weather I was being spoilt with in Austria! After getting back from Budapest, I had a quick 10 days to collect my thoughts and then I jetted off to Ottensheim, in Austria, to spend 2 weeks with Bridgitte Hartley, who is doing her final race prep for the London Olympics.
I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since the Beijing Games, time has flown by! The Olympics was a dream come true, and the reward after many thousands of hours of hard training and sacrifice. Training in a squad of 5 women, all pushing 100% really raised my own standard of paddling, and the gains I made during that time period were incredible. I definitely don’t miss the heavy gym though, and there were many elements of the whole setup that were far from ideal.
These past 4 years have been amazing, and I have thoroughly enjoyed all the traveling and especially the variety of the places I have been fortunate enough to visit. Being my own coach, manager and travel agent has been great although a bit stressful! The best part of being a surf ski paddler is the amount of races we get to do. Now its all about racing, whereas before it felt as if all we ever did was train, with 3 events a year to see all that hard work put into action.
Ottensheim is an amazing venue to train. Its warm, there’s not much wind, and there is a sprint course of 2km set up, with not too much traffic. Bridge is going really well, and has put in the hard yards, so it’s is going to be great to watch her race, come August!
Austria is an amazing place, with a great vibe, people are so active, and everyone from little kids to old granny’s bike around the town we were staying in. And did I mention the Apfel Strudel?
I got some great long runs under my belt, as I was meant to do the Knysna Forest Marathon when I got home. This was goin to be my first ever marathon, and had been something I had decided to train for hen I had my wrist op, to keep my mind focused on a training goal. Unfortunately we had a major storm, and the event was cancelled for the first time in 29 years! There has been lots of flooding and damage, but hopefully that is the last of the rain for a while. My marathon debut will have to wait!
The Lookout River Mouth has changed again, and we now have 2 river mouths! The waves have been cranking, and even Jordy Smith and Tom Curren paddled out!
Only 6 weeks until Spring! See you on the water,