Saturday, March 30, 2013

Catalan Recovery

Hey everyone, a premature Happy Easter. It's been a quick week since Catalunya. To catch you up, I had an untimely puncture on the last stage, which seemed like a fitting end to a week of unfulfilled hopes. In any case, it occurred just as the accelerations started on the circuits. I had to wait a long time for a new wheel, so it was impossible to come back. I did still ride it out, despite getting lapped, but I missed the time cut on the stage (by less than a minute I think), so I was considered DNF. It was a shame because I would have liked to at least been in the results for the work I did all week, but I guess I should've ridden harder after the puncture! C'est la vie. Since the race, I have been trying my best to recover and forget.

Step one of my recovery was a surprise overnight date in Barcelona. Lisa arranged an awesome night and morning in Barcelona including dinner at a top 10 restaurant and a spa session the following morning. It was the perfect way to start recharging. The dinner was a simple but delicious sushi restaurant. We tried a variety of menu items: a soup for starter, a curry dish for entree, as well as a couple sushi rolls to go along with it. Everything was good, but the sushi was definitely the best. We went out on a limb for one containing a fairly usual combo of rice and seafood, but the kicker was the banana tempura. It might sound gross, but I assure you, it was quite tasty! After a satisfying dinner, we strolled back to our hotel through one of Barcelona's many unique neighborhoods, of course having to stop at a crepe/ice cream shop for a scoop of dessert. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were both so exhausted that I think we could've slept on the street!

The following morning we had a leisurely wake up followed by a nice walk to find a cafe/breakfast. After a nice breakfast, it was off to our spa circuit. We went to a spa that is actually an original Arab bath site. They have modernized and reformed it a little bit, but it still holds a lot of the same charm. It is underground really because you enter on street level, but then you go down a couple flights of stairs to get to the actual pools. It's all exposed brick with arched ceilings, little lighting, and a relaxing atmosphere. Our treatment started with a 30 minute massage, then we had 1.5hrs to enjoy their variety of pools: mineral water, hot pool, cool pool, cold pool, jet tub, salt pool, steam/vapor room, and a sitting area with water and hot tea, which was delicious! We tried to run the whole circuit twice, and I could feel the toxins in my legs working themselves out. We left feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready for a nap. Unfortunately we had to check out of our hotel, so we were resigned to exploring the area around us a bit.

Barcelona is a huge city with many different districts and/or neighborhoods, so seeing them in one day is really difficult. We didn't have any hope of seeing anything outside what was close to us, so we took on that mission. We walked through a local market, similar to our Red Market, took in the sights and sounds, saw the Barcelona Cathedral, and ultimately found a nice little restaurant to have lunch. By the time all of that was finished we were feeling quite tired, so it was time to load up and drive home.

Since being back in Girona, we've still kept pretty busy. Tuesday we ended up meeting some friends for lunch, which was really nice because we hadn't really seen each other in a couple weeks. It was a good way to catch up on life! Then Wednesday we went to a friend's house for dinner. He's a guide for Trek Travel, and we've been trying to see him since last year, but the timing has never worked until now. It was great food and company. Then we had to follow that up with a farewell dinner on Thursday at probably our favorite restaurant in town because the rumor is that they are closing as of the end of the month. They were rumored to be closing in January though, so hopefully they will stay open! So where did we eat out on Friday? HOME! Lisa made a knockout meal: oven baked salmon with salads and sweet potato. It was a great way to end our week.

My training this week has been majority of recovery. I took it real easy for three days, then I had a decent ride on Thursday with a small exercise to wake my body/muscles up again. And yesterday, I had a good training session of 6hrs including a few intervals and some motorpacing. Lisa was my motorpacer, and she put me on the limit more than once. I could tell she was enjoying making me suffer! I really appreciated it though, and I felt strong overall, so I am happy. I have recovered well after Catalunya, and I am in good condition going in to Basque Country. It starts on Monday, so check back here for updates. 

1 comment:

Bryce said...

Keep your head up and take some risks...the results will follow. Good luck next week!