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A Well-Rounded Summer
By:  Sheila Kealey   (2009/08/31)

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This summer was a bit different. I didnít repeat my standard plunge into short-course triathlons, and a mid-summer tourist trip to Europe was an amazing family vacation that will be remembered for awhile.

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The spark for the trip was my husbandís 3-day conference in Berlin that his brother would also be attending. Flying into Paris was a good option, and it certainly made sense to extend the trip and see another city. For accommodations, we rented apartments in Berlin and Paris, which was a fun way to live a bit more like a local, explore the neighbourhood markets and do some cooking.


Most of my travel has been as an athlete, so traveling as a tourist was quite different.  I found it much more tiring! Although public transit was superb, we preferred to get around by foot: our enthusiasm for seeing a lot, combined with the slow-paced stride in galleries and museums, found me exhausted (but happy!) with aching feet at the end of most days.


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Yes - these are skulls (and femurs!). Quite artistically arranged though. We toured the Paris Catabombs, a large underground cemetery in Paris' vast tunnel network.

Of course, since we are devoted Tour de France fans, we worked the final day of the tour on the Champs Elysees into our plans. It's a good stage to watch, since the riders come by 8 times. The loop is conveniently located by the famous and extensive Louvre museum, which afforded a great opportunity to get out of the sun while we were waiting for the riders (riders arrived at 4:30 PM, but people were already getting set up to watch at 10:00 AM).


Thor Hushoft (green jersey) keeps on eye on Mark Cavendish, eventual stage winner


Catching up on Tour news at the airport - not a difficult thing to do in Europe!

Training

Training has been going very well, and based on a few benchmark tests I think Iím ahead of where I was last year at this point.  My ski technique seems to improve a bit every year, so hopefully this combination bodes well for a good ski season!

Dryland training at Mooney's Bay

IĒve only raced one triathlon and have been itching to do more but the timing just hasnít worked out with other summer plans. Iíll do one more triathlon, and am looking forward to some 5k running races in the Fall (like this one). I like the 5k distance Ė not too long to tire you out and take away from ski training, but long enough to get an excellent training benefit.

These competitions will get me sharp for the racing season thatís fast approaching (that's right - we'll be racing in about 10 weeks!).  

 
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