Wednesday, December 26, 2012
We have arrived in Oberhof, Germany. Much to the race organizers dread it has been at least +5c everyday with rain and wind. The snow is melting quickly. Fortunately they had quite a bit of natural snow and have made enough snow that that race courses are fine. But the weather has been miserable for training. I have managed to fit in a couple workouts with the US team. Today Liz Stephens did some damage on what I was hoping was a Level 4 (race pace workout), it turned out to be just L3 (50km - aerobic thresold pace). I was all pumped up at doing 30 second sprints with Kikk and Holly Brooks, which was my kind to length, only to have humbled as I struggled to stay in with Liz for 6 minutes. Fortunately I outweigh her by 50lbs, and there were long downhills! The travel to Germany was a breeze. So nice to just have one flight to Europe and then just a 3 hr drive to Oberhof. 6 hour time change...no problem! My flight to Munich from Toronto didn't start out so well though. Kikk and I were one row apart and both on the aisle which we were hoping to swap for seats together. We were on the far left side of the plane which just had a window seat and an aisle seat and my window seat buddy was a very drunk polish man that was causing a scene. I decided that the nice girl that was going to switch seats for Kikk and I to sit together didn't need to put up with him on our behalf. So I settled in for a long flight beside him. He ranted to me for roughly an hour before I managed to get my headphones on indicating that I was done listening. I actually couldn't understand most of what he was saying. The only thing stronger than his accent was the alcohol on his breathe. He was served a double gin and tonic with dinner which he had been requesting for 45 minutes. Fortunately, I had put a blanket over me because I assumed at some point he was going to throw up on himself (blaahh) and I was in very close proximity. Not 2 minutes after they served him his drink he passed out and managed to drop his hand in the drink which went everywhere. Mostly on him and partly on my blanket. Being on the road for 3 more months and unsure of my next opportunity to wash clothes I was quite thankful for that blanket. I waited about 10 more minutes until I was sure he was out cold and then I escaped to the back of the plane to request another seat. The male flight attendant felt terrible that he had served the guy the drink as the other's new he needed to be cut off so he took it upon himself to get me into first class. It didn't work out but I was moved up about 10 rows and across the plane, and slept well the rest of the flight. Here are some pictures from Christmas in Collingwood and here in Oberhof.