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Archive for April, 2010

My Favorite Camp Story…The Long Ride

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Another camp has come and gone…I now find myself in Tokyo, Japan trying to kill the time during my 9 hour lay over. I left Krabi 24 hours ago and am now staring at the final 13 hour flight I have left till I am finally home and can start to do some final race prep training before I take part in my first race of the season, Ironman St. George.

After reading my last blog, The Doc encouraged me to write more stories like the last, which I really enjoy doing but it ‘s honestly very hard sometimes to muster the energy to sit and write when you are cooked from the heavy training that goes on in camp. But here I am 24 hours removed, staring out the window of Narita Airport finding the energy starting to come back, anticipating the depression that I might face when I get home and realize camp is over.   But  its just 5 weeks till the start of the Swiss Camp. In a perfect world, I think I would heed Docs request and spend 11 months out of the year in camp but I would need to rob a small bank to fund such a block of training so at the moment I settle for 2months here and 3 months there as I keep taking steps up the mountain I now find myself on. Yes I do believe I am well on my way now, up my Everest I continue to go, maybe even slightly ahead of schedule but aware that a false move or two could set me back…

So as I sit here staring at the cold rain that is falling outside, I suddenly find myself already missing the heat of Thailand and reminiscing some of the stories that unfolded over the last 2 months. Once again new friendships were formed as some newbie’s have come aboard and the old friendships continue to get stronger with each passing camp. There were also the usual sweat, tears, and laughter that make the camps so memorable. But the one story that is most memorable is probably the long ride that James and I went on a few weeks back.

After six weeks of doing mostly the same 150km or 95 mile loop for our long ride, James and I decided we were up for trying a new route that Doc had highlighted on the map in the bike room. So after a quick glance at the map we decided, no problem, we head out the usual way, make a right on the 1002 or something like that, then the next right, then 1 more right and we are back on the 4 and nearly home. Cool!!

james-pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scott-smile-on-bike1Now keep in mind that James and I are pretty similar in that we are like most men, we don’t like asking for directions, we are both happy to just keep heading in the direction we think is right and  eventually we will find our way. This is great because we don’t get fussed when we get lost, we just roll with it. Back in February when we spent 2 days in Singapore, we got lost every time we came out of the subway, it was hilarious…We just laughed, scratched our heads, and couldn’t figure out why we kept  getting lost.

So back to the ride, we head out, figure it will be around a 4.5-5 hour ride. We are both pretty wrecked from the long week of training and in particular the track session we did the day before, oh yeah the one where I found myself struggling to keep pace with Zali, Doc’s daughter, as he stands by trackside laughing, telling me to just carry on even if I have to walk the last 8kms. “He,he,he life’s tough mate!” he says but as I glance over we both have a mutual understanding that as bad as it hurts in training, it ain’t real world hurt…

It’s a great day for a long ride though, clear blue skies, at least 40 degrees C, so well over 100 F, another great opportunity for us to really suffer. We get to Kow Phenom and make our turn as planned but shortly there after we get a bit confused, we see signs for the road we are looking for but then come to the next intersection and there are no more signs. I want to go straight, James wants to go right. He says, well if we go right, at least we stay with in our 150km box so we can’t get lost. O.K. I agree and we go right.

There are kms signs on every road in Thailand so we know exactly how long it is to the next town or highway. We carry on, it really starts to get hot by 3.5 hours or so and we are both looking forward to getting to the 4 and only having 20-25kms to go. Finally at 120kms or 77 miles we get to the main road…. oh wait there are no signs. Great! Well, which way. I think we go right, I say. James agrees but we decide to be wise and ask which direction to Krabi. We stop at a local road side shop, James goes in while I grab some ice out of the cooler that was the size of a hot tub, I could have taken a nap in there.   He comes out with this shit eating grin on his face, Bro, they say Krabi is that way…Pointing in the direction we had just come from. No way!!! That can’t be, I respond. So James comes up with the brilliant idea of going to the 7-11 to ask for directions, There is always someone in 7-11 that speaks English, he claims. Sure enough we walk into 7-11 and there was a very nice Thai Lady that was very anxious to practice her English and help us out. Oh yes, she says, Krabi is that way, not too far, no problem, I go all the time on my motor bike. Where you go Ao Nang?? Oh jezz!! Yeah not far ON A MOTOR BIKE. We were 120kms away, maybe 115 if we took this short way she pointed to on the map.

So what do we do? Do we get a taxi? we had already been out there for 4.5 hours now. Should be ride some and then get a taxi? Or should we man up and ride home? First things first, we load up on food and drink. Oh sh#t, James I only got 200 Baht left. He laughs at me and says, well looks like if I take a taxi I will be seeing you at home, he,he,he!!

After enjoying some cookies, a hot dog, a few cokes, and some donuts we carry on. There were some moans, some laughs, a bit of the blame game, and some serious talk, but mostly it was James and I, heads down taking turns at the front, leaving each other alone with our thoughts. As the time passed and the sun got lower in the sky, the temperature dropped and I found myself really enjoying the adventure we were on and my legs actually felt way better than they had a few hours before.

Finally after 7 hours of riding we made it to the 4 and we were heading home!! Wow, what a day, an epic day if you will. In all it worked out to be 230kms or 145 miles in 7hours and 45mins of riding. When Doc heard what we had done he simply said, F-ing Imbeciles.     Ha,ha,ha we got a head start in our preparation for our trip to Alpe d’ Huez this summer!! And the best part, I had 20 Baht to spare!

Hope you enjoyed my favorite story from Heat Camp 2010!! Stay tuned for more stories from Batman and Robin that I am sure will unfold over the next few months as we tackle the Swiss Alps….

batman_robin2

SD

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Tawanthai Hotel

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Its been a while since my last post, my apologies!!    I am  learning that I am more of  a story teller than a writer, my grammer and spelling errors make my point, so consequently sometimes it takes a little inspiration to write!   So here is my best attempt at telling you the story of the  place we Team TBB Athletes have been calling home since early February, The Tawanthai Hotel.

One of my favorite parts of being a member of  Team TBB is that we have camps, long camps. We don’t do 1 or 2 week camps, we do 2-3 month camps. So when you get to spend this much time in a location you really get a sense of what it feels like to live where ever the capm is being held.  You to start to pay attention to  how the surise and sunsets  feel, you can tell what time of the day it is based on the movement around town,  and you start to recongnize more and more people.  But mostly you start to feel like you are a part of the community and in some ways you start to feel at  home!!

Then, when camp is over and we go to our respective homes,  you really start to miss certain things about where you have been. I am pretty sure I can speak for most on the team by saying we all get homesick for Leysin as it truly is  a magical place!! But this story is about Krabi, Thailand and in particular our place of residence, The Tawanthai Hotel…..

The hotel is about 8kms from Krabi Town and 25kms from Ao Nang.  Krabi Town is where the Trust Afarians come to try and feel like they are just like the rest of the world and Ao Nang  is where most tourists go to vacation on the beach.

. It’s a perfect location for training as we are only 1.5kms from the track and pool, and all the while much removed from the highway so the roads are open right in our backyard.

The Hotel is very much a community run operation, with family and friends coming and going daily.. It is owned by, Krob and Kang…

Krob

Krob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kang looking after Doc's youngest

Kang looking after Doc's youngest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The old man, as we respectfully call him, used to work construction and they lived on the property where the Hotel now stands.  A few years ago they decided to build the hotel in anticipation  for ….  retirement.  Now they live on the 1st floor, room #….Krob spends his days mulling  around the property, watching TV in his special chair, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hotel  restaurant, all the while Kang…is in the hotel kitchen, cooking from early morning to late evening,….so much of a retirement for her…I do however think we have inspired Krob  to exercise a bit as sometimes in the evening I see him walking up and down the street, moving his arms in a flamboyant way in an attmpt to look as if he is worker hard!  

Krob and Kang  have a daughter named Jaeb…. she is married to Buntam.  Buntam is a Pharmasist in Krabi Town and he was our contact point as he speaks very good english.  They live just up the road that leads to the waterfall, we see them quite often when we are out riding or running in their neighborhood.  Every Sunday Jaeb and Buntam drop their two daughters. Jane and Kham, off at the hotel to spend the day with grandma and grandpa. This very much reminds me of home when my niece and nephew come to visit my parents at the Beach House, A.K.A. Hotel DeFilippis…. Now that summer is here and school is out, they seem to be spending quite a bit more time at the hotel.

Jane and Kham

Jane and Kham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kham

Kham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Next we have May… May used to live next door in a small row house. Now she is the manager of  Tawanthai and I believe has a small stake in the business. She too lives on the first floor, which is a good thing because she looks after our bikes, which are in the bike room just down the hall.

May seems to have taken a liking to the boys as she looks after our laundry, drives us to the supermarket, teaches us how to speak Thai, makes sure our rooms are made up, AND she even gave me a rather naugty Thai calender to hang on my wall…I should note that it is a calender of Thai women and not lady boys:)

May

May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There is Yom and Neng.  They are nephews of Krob and Kang.  They too rent a room in the hotel and spend most evenings enjoying their meal complete with Hong Tong Whiskey, snooker, and a soccer match on the TV.  Yom is in his mid 20s, works construction, and has 3 girlfriends, or so I have been told.  I asked him if I could borrow one durning my stay at the Thawanthai, but he kindly sad, no:(   Neng is in his late 30s and works for the government.  He travles about once a week to a nearby city to do some work but seems to alway be happy to be home enjoying the company of his friends and family. 

Yom And I

Yom And I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neng and Sophie

Neng and Sophie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Last but not least we  have Pond. Pond lives next door in the white house with blue shutters. He lives with his girlfriend Jo who is English, they have 2 children…. Jo is a teacher in Krabi Town.   Pond speaks very good english so  he helps out at the restaurant. He seems to be a very deep person, spiritual…. if you will, and has a big heart.  I enjoy our nightly chatts that we have.  He  too spends most nights at  the restaurant with Yom and Neng doing much of the same, drinking beer and whiskey, playing snooker, and watching soccer.   Pond also runs a bar of his own on one of the Islands off the coast, Jam Island, or Ko Jam as you say in Thai. Since the arrival of  he and Jo’s youngest child, he has been spending more quality time at home.  A few years ago he lost the whole bar in the Tsunami,  as well as his sister and brother in law who were in Phuket at the time it hit.  He has since recovered., rebuilt his bar, as well as his spirit but you can still see the sadness that left in his eyes.  Pond’s sister had two children that survived the Tsunami, they now live with his Mom in Northern Thailand, where he was raised..

Pond

Pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Now that the Sutton clan has arrived we have quite the family atmophere at the hotel, which is nice to come home to after a long hard day of training!!!  I hope you enjoyed the story of the Thawanthai Hotel.  If you ever come to Krabi, Thailand for a visit and need  a place to stay, you will be well looked after here!!

Fiona and Zali Talking About Life I Suspect

Fiona and Zali Talking About Life I Suspect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SD

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