Sunday, March 27, 2011

Things taking shape

Some early planning...
With the race approx. 80 days away, I pulled out the course map to re-connect with what I've been training for. I hadn't seen this map since I registered, thinking I would focus on training and not get distracted with the event itself.  (Good thing- that's a long ride.) 

Feeling good about my training overall, I thought it might be time to get some of the planning for this trip out of the way.  So it was off to where I locked in flights. Leaving NY on July 14th, we will fly to Lyon, France arriving on Friday, the 15th. With the race on the 17th, it gives us almost 2 days to travel a only few hours to the town on Issoire, where it all gets started.  Booked our return from Paris on July 25th, the day after the TdF finale. We booked 2 VIP tickets that allows us access to one of the grandstands along the Champs Elysees to watch the final showdown while the real racers fly around 1/2 dozen to a dozen times.  So, other than the flight there and back, my event and the TdF finale, we have left the remaining 7 days free for travel.  

With that in mind, I put in a call to a French cousin of mine, Marcel (my mom is French, hence the french relatives), who lives in Aix en Provence, an area in the South of France just north of Marseilles. (See the "A" on the map to the left.)  I hadn't seen or talked to Marcel in almost 20 years (I think he must now be 55 or 56?). Once we got on the phone, it was as if we picked up where we left off in our last conversation so many years earlier.  I wanted get his thoughts on where we should visit for the remaining part of the trip.  He's going to provide us with some suggestions, but I think we're going to drive south to Marcel's home and stay with him for a day or 2- all to be firmed up later.  (If you have any suggestions, please send me a note!!)

My elbow is going through some weirdness. I thought physical therapy was going really well until almost 2 weeks ago. The Doctor had me stop doing physical therapy for a week or 2 as I was/am having noticeable pain in the elbow- actually, I'd say my elbow feels like it did right before the surgery. Not sure that's normal/abnormal, but I'm hoping that I'm just passing through a phase on to more healing.  We'll see.  Truth be told, it's supposed to be a full 4 months before I'm better so I'm only really a bit over 1/2 way there. Hopefully I'm just jumping the gun and simply need to be patient.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to Quentin Field-Boden, the author (and my "virtual" coach) of the training plan I downloaded through  (In my last blog, I mentioned that I downloaded a workout plan that was created by a coach specifically for L'Etape.)  Quentin's been extremely helpful and responsive in answering many of my questions. (Click here if you want to read his blog or follow him on twitter.) That's it for now- train hard, eat well, get plenty of rest and most of all, get outside!

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