Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back to Ontario...

This post is going to be more of a picture "story board" then a written explanation of my trip home. As they say, a pictures worth a thousand words... so here are 13,000 words... in pictures... plus some words...

I flew home to this... beautiful weather and gorgeous fall colours. The main reason for my trip home was to attend the wedding of my long time friend Brittany Barclay to here fiance, Dave Reid.

The beautiful bride and myself pose for a picture.

The wedding was held at the Caledon Ski Club. A bunch of us Caledon folk grew up skiing at the club, so it was like having the wedding at home. Brittany, with the help of her family, did a spectacular job of decorating the main lodge of the club in fall themes. Everything from the bridesmaids dresses, to the table decorations were done up in fall colors. The food was probably one of my favorite parts of the wedding... As many of you know I consider Maple Syrup to be a food group of its own, so when Brittany told me the main course of the brunch was going to be pancakes and french toast with real maple syrup, I was ecstatic. There were pancakes, french toast, croissant, muffins, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, custom omelets, cinnamon buns... the list goes on. It was the best food served of any wedding I have ever been to!

The wedding also brought together a lot of friends from high school that I hadn't seen since I graduated. It was great to see everyone again. I am not sure how it worked out, but I was the only gentleman at my table, and I was constantly surrounded by this gorgeous group of ladies... tough day, I know...

The happy couple!

The first dance.

It was awesome to see Britt and Dave get married. Brittany looked amazing, she was constantly smiling, and impressively composed. I am really happy for the two of them and I know they will have a great life together!

After the wedding day, I was able to sneak away for 4 days at my cabin. My grandfather and brother Sam joined me for the first night, but then had to get beck home for work and school. I stayed up for three more days with Daisy (our dog). This was a rest week for me, and I took full advantage of it! Our cabin is on a little tiny island (1/3 of an acre) just outside the south west corner of Algonquin Park.

I had weather like this almost every day. I made the most of it and did quite a bit of paddling, fishing, walking and reflecting on the summer and the season ahead. It was quite refreshing and allowed me to fully recover from the three week volume block I just came off of.

I also used the opportunity to hone in on my photography skills...

I returned home from the cabin and spent the last few days of my trip with my family. I went out for a few motorcycle rides with my parents, and took the bike up to Duntroon to visit Kateri and the rest of the guys at Highlands. I also had the opportunity to take part in a dry land training session with the Caledon Ski Club. This is my downhill club, and it was pretty neat to help out for the morning. They have quite a few kids between 8 and 18 that come out to these pre season training sessions.

Brittany Webster, Camille Cheskey and myself also did our annual Thanksgiving weekend workout. We roller ski from my house to Britt's house, then jump on the road bikes and bike back to my house. This year we threw in some extra loops and made it a 75km round trip. We have done this workout for the last 3 years. Sometimes we get 10 people to come out, sometime there are only 2 of us... either way it is a good time!

It was a pretty complete trip home. I was able to pull out all the stops and visit friends from all over. I had some quality time at the cabin and ended off the trip with an incredible Thanksgiving dinner with my family, grandparents and even my great aunt from Germany.
It is a Neumann/Wheelwright tradition to go around the table at Thanksgiving dinner and tell everyone what we are thankful for. A lot has happened to me this year that I am thankful for. I would have to say the number one thing is how well things worked out for Thomsen and I during the move to Whistler. We literally showed up in Whistler and landed in the lap of luxury. We didn't have a place to call our own and in a matter of minutes we found a great house, in a great location with great landlords. The CVTC team has been amazing, Amy is a phenomenal coach, and Whistler is a (cross country) skiers paradise. There were a lot of opportunities for things to go against us, but both TD and I seemed to have a lot of luck on our side and things have worked out for the best. Of course there are other things to be thankful for, like the health of my family. I think I am one of very few 20 year olds with all four grandparents still alive, healthy and very active. I am thankful that they can still go out for a ski (downhill or crosscountry) with their grandson; go on canoe trips, fish and hunt, drive motorcycles and fly the odd plane when they need to! It is pretty cool and I cherish every moment I get to spend with them! Stay tuned for a "Meet the Neumanns / Wheelwrights" blog. I am planning to introduce my family to all you blog readers out there. They are a pretty neat group of people if I may say so myself!

Well, that pretty much wraps up my trip home! I am back in Whistler now and have just completed three of our four tests for testing week. The last test, the V02 Max test won't be until the first week of November. So far the uphill running time trial (yesterday) and the double pole and legs only TT's (Tuesday) have gone relatively well. After coming off a very very light rest week, I expected my body to be a little flat. That's exactly how I felt. We had some factors influence the times for the legs only and double pole tt's; the road was wet which slowed down the times a bit. If you factor that in, my times were similar to the last test for the legs only and double pole, and I was 10seconds off my PB for the uphill run. Normally this would make me worry... the point is to improve from test to test, not stay the same or get slower. But considering how the last three weeks have gone, I performed as to be expected. Next week we have "Trials Week" where we will be doing a 30km pursuit roller ski race, a 15km skate race and a classic sprint. I will ease myself back into a training load this week, then hammer out the races next week. Next weeks results will give me a better indication of where I stand regarding fitness. We will use results from this past week and next week to determine how my training will continue heading into the first races of the season.

Here are some pictures of the roller skiing at Whistler Olympic Park (WOP) and the uphill legs only TT courtesy of Erik and Zack (Those guys take some wicked pictures!)

Photo: Zack Caldwell
The team doing some Zone 3 classic intervals on the roller ski loop. (Cross country stadium in the back ground)

Photo: Erik Nilsson Sport Management
This pic is from Tuesday. That's me leading out the legs only uphill TT.

Photo: Erik Nilsson Sport Management
Thomsen, Jesse, myself and Pat skiing at WOP.

So to end off this post I will say the ground is freezing at night, the air is cold and the freezing point is moving down the mountain daily... it is only a matter of time before we are putting the roller skis away and bringing out the real skis. You know there will be a post with lots of pictures here from our first ski... check back for it... cause it will be here soon!

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