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The Hills are Alive

YouTube Preview ImageJulie Andrews Sings the Sound of Music

Julie Andrews Sings the Sound of Music

So Safely arrived in Leysin and have spent the last few weeks settling in as it were…

It takes a bit of getting used to being up in the clouds… but the air is so awesomely fresh that you cant help but feel invigorated…
That is until you get into the pool and wham… the effects of swimming at altitude hit…

Now usually with swimming I dont find myself struggling for breathe… coach would argue its because I am a lazy baffoon in the water… and i only cant breathe because I’m not fit.. (i plead my collar bone drama and 7 weeks out of the pool)… but no the truth is it is harder to swim up here… but of course coach is right… in order to get faster in the pool you gotta feel the pain.
But fish make it look so easy!
Gasp

Leysin really is a wonderful place to train.. as Beck wrote… distractions really are few and far between.
Although some may struggle with boredom, I am yet to find that a problem. The days seem full enough… and when not training there’s always time for eating, spa-ing… Grays Anatomy, and trashy magazines… i can feel my cerebrum shrinking already!

Minor hiccup number one since landing in Leysin… me not paying attention (must do better!) goes and slides into train tracks on bike and slip off the other side… simultaneously wacking my rear derailer and thigh. Bit bruised, but nothing to worry about, clean myself off put the chain back on and prepare to climb the famous Aigle-Leysin climb. (Now at this time as it was my first time climbing the hill/mountain – I was slightly excited, having heard so much about the dreaded climb.. 3 weeks later.. its no longer a novelty!)

20mins into the climb and i’m shift down to my bottom gear (a gear that hasnt been used since I bought the bike!) and i hear a massive clunk and the bike stops abruptly… i look around to find my derailer wrapped in my chain.. completely tangled.
Now I was stuck in the middle of a mountain with a bike that didnt work.

Luckily help was soon at hand my a friendly passer by whom happened to be the neighbour of team mate Lisbeth…. so soon I was crouched in the boot of a the car surrounded by half a garden centre’s worth of plants.. it made me smile..

Given that the priority was to fix my bike – I visited Aigle the next day… and to the trusted store DOM.
They assured me that they could order in a mech hanger from Cervelo… and I tentatively asked whether I could borrow a bike in the mean time… the mechanic looked me up and down and nodded..
and this is what I got…Hunk of Steel...

Now i know we’re spoilt and everything riding the glorious machines that are Cervelo… but boy this bike was hilarious… I swear it weighed nearly as much as a small car…. One ride up the infamous mountain and I was desperate to get back on my flighty Soloist which thanks to the smooth running of the Dom team I did 28 hours later… phew (costly) drama over..

Just something else I wanted to share with you… being out here in the mountains when the sun is out somehow evokes a childhood nostalgia …

I am reminded of Saturday afternoons watching Julie Andrews sing her heart out in Sound of Music… full of joy – but also of strength of character, determination and patriotism in the light of the films expose of the widespread effects of Nazism.

I am left pondering this movie and just how close to the techni-coloured images i recall from my youth the scenes are in reality. Scenery that literally takes your breath away…

Actual Photo taking during the ‘Loop’ ride.

Bulle

Joy.

On one ride I attempted to share my childhood passion for said Julie Andrews movie with one of my (Swiss) training partners… and he couldnt recall it at all… sooo disappointed. Determined that this was simply an oversight on his point.. perhaps lost in translation – I decided to launch into one of the signature sounds from the movie.. (clears throat..) – see YouTube link at top for Proper smiles!

Do-Rai-Me
Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long, long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow Sew
Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do (oh-oh-oh)

Met with Blank Expression… ah well.. I suppose boys are a bit different from girls.. ;)

My favorite song from the musical.. aptly entitled :)  - My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

SIGH…  :)
href=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K13Sj1SieDs&feature=related’ >Sound of Music

On another note… those who train with me know that i’m struggle a little with the whole b e i n g on t i m e thing – no excuse really but i know its something I have to work on… anyway it means that on a few occasions i’ve had to ride on me lonesome… which normally at home I find a tad boring. Here, noo way.. I get to meet such crazy looking animals as this!

Frank the LLama after a visit to the barber ;)

This chap was wondering around the field amongst goats, pigs and cows… what a collaboration!

Oh and before I go must share this gem with you… – My MacBook, all of two months old decided to die on me last week – and those here know – that if you have no computer – then you really are at risk from getting bored! Was kinda thrilled to find that there was a Mac Service centre tucked away in Aigle behind a Chateau… it has to be the most awesome little place… complete with the friendliest cat in the world named Ashton..  Now if you’re ever stuck you know where to go – Supa helpful chap :)

Possibley the most remote Apple service centre in the world.

and lastly…..

One thing that athletes like to/need to do is EAT….

Day 1 in Leysin – this is what a shop for 2 looked like… (and yup you would think it wld last a week… nope!)

SHOP

Well thats enough for my ramblings for now..  Off to hit the sauna to heat some heat into my aching muscles…

Staying put in Leysin for a few more weeks before heading back to the UK to my first race of the year the 70.3 at Wimbleball. I was bought up in this are of South West England, so more reminscing to be had!

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