Some very well executed weeks of training here in the warmth are coming to an end, and we're preparing for our return home. It's going to be a cold transition coming home again, but still a very enjoyable and much longed for Christmas celebration with our family.
We can look back on five great weeks of training here on the Canary Islands with lots of sun and warmth. We've only had a few drops of rain during all these weeks - almost surreal to us who are used to wild winds, rain and sleet at home at this time of year.
Our "pale blue" skin has been exchanged for golden brown, at least on our arms and legs. Tanning ones whole body is really restricted to holidays and has no place in a hard training set-up, since the daylight hours spent on the bike are more than enough.
My legs have felt a little heavy this past week, as I had expected, but we have adjusted the intensity somewhat so that we don't arrive home completely tired and worn out. At home we will meet a fusillade of cold germs and flu viruses, and a physically tired body is like a magnet to those sort bugs. We've laid a good foundation during this period, which we can continue to build on in January and February.
Bjørnar is in great shape these days. He runs most of the time when he's outside of the apartment, and we've had to make training slots for him so he gets to move enough through the day too. He loves to run, so we simply have to make it possible for this little bundle of energy to do his thing.
Yesterday, we once again went up to the goats that live a bit higher up the valley from where we live, and it's impressive to see what energy lives in such small bodies. It knocks me out to see it, and I almost feel like I'm lazy for feeling a need for five minutes on the sofa once in a while.
And now we're looking very much forward to getting home again and decorating the place nicely for Christmas again. We're landing at Stavanger airport at midnight on Saturday night, and I hope that we can go and get a tree on Sunday and decorate for Christmas the same day. Christmas cheer is a great feeling, plus all the excitement that is part and parcel of the holidays, especially now that we have a little boy.
Tomorrow I'll have a slow-paced long distance ride while Kenneth and Bjørnar play at pirates on the beach. After that I'll have a good massage for my legs while Bjørnar has his little nap at 13:00. Kenneth might take a short ride before dinner, while Bjørnar and I go for a walk and feed the goats again. The days just fly by and I can't quite believe that we've been here for almost five weeks.
If you're one of those people who hasn't decided on an exercise routine for January yet, I would strongly recommend that you come with us to Lanzarote and compete in a four-day mountain bike race. Club la Santa has exercise facilities to cover all needs, and in 2012 they're inviting everybody to a mountain bike race on volcanic rock at the end of January.
We wish you all a happy and physically fit Christmas celebration. Enjoy peaceful days at home together with your family and do things together which you don't normally have time for in a stressful everyday situation. We'll post a small selection of updated photos when our home is decorated and ready for Christmas.
Cyclist's greetings from Gunn-Rita
Multivan Merida Biking Team
[Translation: Crispen T.P. de Lange]
Norwegian cross country mountain bike racer Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå is a favorite on the international mountain bike circuit. For years, she has delighted loyal fans as she raced her heart out in cross country and marathon events.
She made an impressive comeback in 2008 after a season of illness. In 2008, she won the Madrid, Spain, round of the UCI World Cup and the UCI Marathon World Championships and finished 12th in the World Cup final standings.
Dahle Flesjå then took on the challenge of motherhood in 2009 when she gave birth to her first child in the spring. With the support of her husband Kenneth Flesjå and her family, she returned to competition within a few months after becoming a mother.
Dahle Flesjå was World Champion in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006, plus Olympic champion in 2004. In 2003 to 2006, she dominated the sport, winning the World Cup overall.
Follow her faithfully recounted exploits on Cyclingnews as she balances the roles of mother and elite racer. Or, for more Gunn-Rita, see her personal website:
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