Thursday, March 21, 2013


Hello from Poland!

  Snowy, cold but beautiful Poland!  I arrived with Team Canada on Sunday evening after 28 hours of travel.  It was a rough few days- Woke up Saturday morning at 5:15am and made my way to the airport. YVR was crazy!  It was so busy there- I waited so long in security that I almost missed my first flight!  They were paging me as I was running to the gate and I was the last one to board- it was embarrassing and stressful!  But I made it, and onward to Poland I went.  My first layover was in Edmonton- quick 90 min flight there and then only 1 hour layover in Edmonton, and I was on route to Toronto (3:30 flight) to meet up with the rest of Team Canada.  We had 4 hours to kill in Toronto before we flew 8 hours to Munich.  Once we arrived in Munich we only had 45 mins to get to our next gate to fly to Gnansk, Poland.  Have you ever been to the Munich airport??  Its freakin huge and jam packed full of people.  We were running through the airport trying to go through security and customs as fast as possible.  It was crazy.  So they held the little plane for us and all of Team Canada made it to Gnansk.  However none of our luggage did.  That was super lame.  We spend 2 hours in the Gnansk airport trying to figure out where all of our luggage was.  Finally we got on the bus and drove 4 hours to Walcz- our final destination where our training camp is.  We got in at 6:30pm Polish time (10:30am BC time) on Sunday night.  I was so exhausted but managed to get in a lil 40 min shake out run- which didn't feel too bad.  Our luggage came on another flight and was delivered to us that night at 10pm- so that was pretty awesome.  
waiting around in Gnansk airport!

Poland was covered in snow when we got here, and we have gotten almost another full foot of snow in the 3 days we have been here.  Its a winter wonderland!!!  It is supposed to snow again tomorrow so we are anticipating that the race course will be snow covered on race day this Sunday- we should be well prepared!  While running in snow is not ideal, its been alright and I've been able to get in some decent training- no thanks to my bronchitis- but we'll get to that in a bit.
The lake behind our building.  Frozen solid.

Remember last time I blogged-about a month ago, I mentioned that I had been sick?  Well I am still sick.  Instead of taking care of myself when I first got sick back in February, I decided to train my ass off, work lots and combine that with a few too many late nights of fun. 
Example of late night fun- note the large glass of wine.

 So I ended up getting really sick about 2.5 weeks ago and finally took a day off to just rest.  Then the next day I decided I would run again and go to work- even though I still felt like shit.  Well of course I woke up the next day feeling absolutely terrible and my cold had turned into some sort of full blown flu with an extremely painful cough.  I had refused to go to the doctor- so my mom actually drove to my place and took me to the doctor.  Doc said I had bronchitis.  Awesome just freakin awesome.  18 days out from the biggest race of my life and I have stupid bronchitis. I was pretty depressed about this.  

 I took 2 more full days off of running to just rest and try to recover.  On a beautiful sunny Saturday morning I went up to SFU to try and do some sort of a run/workout.  I attempted the 20 min warm up- huge fail.  Could barely keep up with the SFU girls.  Then I tried to do some 1 min pick ups.  Don't ask me why- really stupid idea.  I was coughing so much I thought I was gonna throw up.  It was just too much too soon and I got really overwhelmed and started to cry.  Yup I burst into tears mid-workout.  It was really pathetic.  Everyone kept telling me "don't panic", "just rest- don't worry you won't lose any fitness".  Yeah right!!!  I had already missed an entire week of any hard running.  I didn't have anymore time to be sick!!!  I was very frustrated.  

The next few days I was able to do some easy running and was starting to feel better.  By Tuesday I felt that I was ready to try something hard again and attempted some 2km repeats.  They were rough.  2 days later, I was feeling a lot better, only coughing a bit now.  I had my first workout on the track in almost 2 weeks- 5 X 800m  The first 2 were not so great, but I came back to run my last 3 pretty fast.  The workout went much better then expected and I was beginning to feel like myself again.  Maybe I would be able to have a decent race in Poland after all?  Things were looking up and I was happy:) 

3 days later.... BUT then I travel 28 hours to Poland with almost no sleep and wake up Monday morning feeling like a giant bag of shit.  My easy runs that day were much fluid in my lungs and couldn't stop coughing.  What the heck???  Why was I getting worse????  Tuesday I attempted 5 X 1000m on the snowy track.  I completed the workout- barely.  My legs felt great, but its tough trying to run hard when you can't breath right.  I think every time I coughed  and spit stuff up I muttered a swear word.  Sorry to all the team Canada members that have had to A. watch me spit up phlegm and mucus and B. listen to my non-stop profanity and complaining.  

Yesterday I went to the doctor and he told me that I still had bronchitis (SHOCKER!) and gave me some more antibiotics and a new inhaler.  Today I am actually feeling a bit better- coughing a lot less- but I haven't run yet.  We shall see how I am when I do my workout this afternoon...

World Cross Country Championships are in 3 days.  I have come to the realization that I will not have the race that I thought I would have back in February.  I have lost too much fitness over the past few weeks and still am not healthy.  I am sad because I was in the best shape of my life at the end of Febuary.  I was ready to kill it at World XC.  I still think if I can keep my coughing under control I can have a decent race.  All that hard work and mileage over the winter still counts for something!  I will tough it out on Sunday and give it everything I have.  Gotta stay positive!  I'm just happy to be here with team Canada.  This is an amazing experience no matter how my race goes.  My parents arrive on Saturday- am so excited to share my first World XC experience with them!!!  So bronchitis is a bitch. Here is a very funny video-

Since I've been here in Poland its been pretty great, despite dumb-ass bronchitis.  We are staying at an Olympic training facility that was build for rowers.  The trails are beautiful (even though they are snow covered).  We did some sight seeing and visited German bunkers from WWII.  That was pretty cool.
Matt and I with our "guns".

 The entrance to the bunker

Luc in the trenches.

 This morning after breakfast I found myself a new friend outside.  A little cat came meowing up to me.  And because I absolutely love cats I was so happy!  I pet him lots and he purred his cute furry face off.  He jumped right into my lap!  I decided that he must be hungry so I went back inside and grabbed him some lunch meat and granola (yeah yeah, i know granola was probably not the best choice.) The cat loved the lunch meat!  He ate it all up.  I wanted to bring him back to my room, cause its cold and snowy out and he was probably freezing!  But was advised this might not be a good idea, as we didn't know where this cat came from.  So I left the poor little guy outside.  I will feed him again at lunch if I see him:)

OK that's another long blog- sorry!!!  I will write again after my big race this Sunday!  So excited!  Time for Team Canada to throw down at World XC!!!

1 comment:

  1. The best way to avoid contracting influenza or cold is to keep yourself warm and drink plenty of fluids. Liquids like tea can also reduce mucus thickness. You can also use a humidifier at home as warm moist air causes the bronchial tubes to relax and it loosens up mucus, however, care should be taken to clean out the humidifier regularly to avoid bacteria or fungi propagating in it. If managing a humidifier is problematic, breathing in steam from boiling water can soften mucus while adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil has enhance the effect of steam therapy as the oil contains antibacterial properties which can heal burning sensation in the throat. Still, there are some other natural foods for bronchitis treatment like: honey has antiviral as well as antibacterial properties and eating a tablespoon daily be useful to treat bronchitis as it helps soothes the throat and build an strong immune system. Oregano oil and salt water tends to lessen throat soreness and a few drops of oregano oil or gargling salt water are enough to cure severe or uneasy breathing. Garlic and turmeric has antiviral and antibiotic properties while turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder or some freshly chopped garlic cloves in a glass of milk, boil it for some time and drink. Orange and lemon juice are rich in vitamin C and have antioxidant properties. Drink lots of orange juice to build immune properties in the body. Or boil a cup of water and add a few drops of lemon juice in it and drink to relieve throat soreness. Ginger has immune building and anti-inflammatory properties. Add half a teaspoon of ground ginger and cinnamon to hot water and drink the mixture. In addition drink plenty of water as it is necessary to keep your body hydrated during cold and influenza bouts to avoid your throat from getting dry, which can make coughing painful.