The Olympics were kicked off this morning with the Opening Ceremonies to open the 2008 Summer Olympic Games! I was able to catch a little bit of the spectacular show on my computer before I was off to swim practice here in Victoria. Yes that is right, I am still in Canada when the Games have already started. We are actually do not leave for Beijing until the 13th when we fly FIRST CLASS to Beijing from Vancouver.
We decided to stay in Canada and go into Beijing late for a number of reasons. The main reason is because we are following the KISS (keep it simple stupid) motto for this race. We all know that this race carries more significance than any other race in the last 4 years and there is no denying that it requires some extra preparation but we do not want to change too much of how we would normally prepare for a "big" race.
We will arrive 5 days before our race which is routine of what we normally do for a race that required a lot of travelling. We also want to stay close to our "comforts" for as long as possible. This means staying out of the hot and humid weather, training in fresh air and staying away from the pollution in Beijing, eating familiar foods, and training in the same locations as we always do.
We are of course preparing ourselves for the hot and humid race conditions that we will most likely face. We are accomplishing this with our regular sessions in the MET trailer that I have described before in a previous post here in Victoria. It is basically a 90 minute session where we have to get our core temperatures up high and keep them there for the duration of the session. We have done this in the past and it has worked great for us. Another reason why we are not going over early is because we have tried that route a couple times before for big races and it always seemed to have back fired on us for many reasons, most of them the reasons why we are staying in Victoria.
A lot of people have been asking me, "Does it bother you that you will not be there for the Opening Ceremonies?" And my honest answer is no. Of course I would have liked to have been there and experienced it but our job is not just to experience the games and go there as a tourist. We have a job to do and going to the Opening Ceremonies does not fit in with the job. Fort Street Cycles, a local bike shop, is actually putting on a little Opening Ceremonies party for the triathletes that are still in town (Simon, Lauren, and myself). Our family and friends will be there and we are going to order some Chinese food and watch a tape of the Opening Ceremonies from this morning.
A close consolation for not being at the Opening Ceremonies is that we will be able to do the Closing Ceremonies which I am really looking forward to. I am also looking forward to spending time with my girlfriend and family that are coming to watch, hanging out in the athlete village, and checking out some of the other events after our race is over. I expect that being in an Olympic environment is going to be something special and I will want to soak in as much as I can!
As for training and preparation, everything has been going really great. I am really healthy at the moment and rocking out some best times in our main sessions over the past couple weeks. This makes me more excited than anything because I am seeing the extra work that I have been putting in over the past couple months pay off. It is also a comfort to know that I will be going into the race in the best shape that I have ever been. Coach Joel has been a genius putting together our programs over the last couple months. We all look to be peaking at the right time.
As some of you may have seen, Cervelo has given all there athletes going to the Olympics a special paint job on their frames. They had to do this because of all the rules about logo placements, sizes, and amounts allowed on race gear. Cervelo came up with an amazing paint job that looks incredible. My bike is actually going to be featured on Slowtwitch as part of their "Bikes of the Pros" series. Stay tuned for that as it should be up soon. My bike is getting built right now and I get to pick it up tonight. I am really excited to see how it looks built up!
Well thats it for now. I have to get to my last heat session before Beijing and suffer some more for 90 minutes. Should be good times!