Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Germanic Update

Guten Tag from Sigmaringen.

Life here in Germany has been tootling over, we having been schwimmen, rad fahren, laufren, going to our new favourite Supermarket Edeka, eating, sleeping and watching ITU races in Kitzbuhel.
The weather here has been pretty fab, reasonably hot but with a few gnarly thunderstorms at night.  I have been working on my speedo tan in the outdoor pool and it seems to be working.

This week I swam Monday – Friday for about 14km in total.  The outdoor pool is nice on a sunny day but I still find it a bit chilly at times after about 3km.  There are only 2 lanes for swimming and it’s a matter of weeding out the floaters when we first arrive.  I have also found that I can get a lane to myself if I start swimming “Southern hemisphere style” (clockwise) because it makes the Europeans uncomfortable and no-one wants to share with the crazy person swimming the wrong way.  A couple of times in the squad I have inadvertently switched to Southern hemisphere style without realizing it which always causes confusion for the other people I am swimming with.

The weather was very good for rad fahren (bike riding) last week so I got out everyday bar Sunday when we were in Austria.  There is a valley which goes for about 25km where we do a lot of our riding, either straight out and back or else branching off to do a loop.  There are also a lot of motorcyclists who like to ride on the valley but don’t like to share the road with cyclists.  The cars are mostly pretty good though and very tolerant towards cyclists.  There are lots of good climbs around, nothing too crazy but decent 10-15 minute climbs and if you know where you are going you can string a few together to make for a very hilly ride.  There is plenty of wildlife around, mostly giant slugs and snails but I have also seen plenty of crows, 2 foxes, a few mice and a dead frog.
Rad fahren to the top of the hill
Running has been going well, I have mostly been running in the forest.  The forest is good because it is softer underfoot than the road and is fairly easy to find your way out if you get lost.  We did a long run in Kitzbuhel in the weekend which was quite a mission up and over a mountain trying to find our way to the race venue from our hotel in town.  It should have only been about 3km but we followed some signs which took us the mountainous way and ended up taking about half an hour.  The return trip took about 10mins once we were on the right track… Running down the mountain was quite hard on the old quaddies and I now have a serious case of case of DOMS.
I like to check out peoples gardens and they are all so beautiful
 The triathlon in Kitzbuhel was fantastic to watch and on an amazing course.  We went up the hill for the bike leg and the men ride up there so fast it is unbelievable.  The women’s race wasn’t as exciting but the men’s had a lot of the big names so it was awesome for us to see them up close and also to watch a race live that we would usually watch on tv at home.
Men starting the rad fahren

Kiwis leading the charge

Female kiwis leading the charge
 We went up a cable car to the summit of Hahnenkamm which is about 1600m up and had great views over Kitzbuhel and the other mountains.  There was a cafĂ© at the top so we had some apple strudel - as you do while you are in Austria.
Nice view to wake up to

Our alpine accommodation

Military style poses up the mountain

The streets of Kitzbuhel

Going up
This weekend is the next LBS-Liga race and it sounds like I will be starting, there has been some recruiting issues on the men’s side due to injuries and other race commitments and they are talking about using me in the 2nd team so that they can start because they only have 3 and you need 4 to start in the race – eek! I think we are also waiting to hear on others for the women’s team because there are some problems there as well so hopefully I get to race for them instead of with a whole heap of fast men…
So long Kitzbuhel

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