Monday, January 19, 2009

Not enough time in the day...

I know it has been a while since my last blog, but in KP world it was only yesterday. If I could change the clocks I would, not forward or back, but I would add another 24hrs to the day, every day. Perhaps I'm just the most disorganised person on the planet, well Ian would agree with that...but there are just too many fun things to do, yet as the saying goes 'just not enough time in the day'.
The past month has involved alot of organised disorganisation on my part, if that makes any sense. Since the start of 2009 I have been sorting out my Cotic Bontrager race diary, AQR guiding diary, KP training diary, Family Time Oz, UK and Italy diary, French class diary, even Potter house cleaning fact I probably need a Potter house building diary as well because there is still plenty of work to be done on our little mountain home, but that's Ian'a domain. I accept my wifely role as the one who passes Ian tools and calms Ian down when he discovers another leaky's safer that way. I also need to add a personal KP and Ian diary to the list, especially since Ian has just asked me how old he is this year...we both need little reminders about who and what we are's just crazy!

So I'm going to start off with my Cotic Bontrager Race Diary - what has been happening on the racing front and what does the future hold? No racing at the moment, but plenty of racing to come. I have almost finalised my 2009 race calendar, and I'm very excited. It looks like I will be travelling alot and heading to new courses and catching up with familiar favourites...this is what it looks like so far:

SPAIN - Superprestigio Massi
UK - British MBS 1 can check out Mr Potter racing at this one too.
SOUTH AFRICA - World Cup 1
SWITZERLAND - Swiss Power Cup
GERMANY - World Cup 2
BELGIUM - World Cup 3
UK - British MBS 2 Dalby Forest
SPAIN - World Cup 4
UK - British MBS 3 Margham Park
FRANCE - La Luchonette cyclosportive
UK - British MBS 4 New can check out Mr Potter racing at this one too.
UK - Bontrager 24/12
CANADA - World Cup 6 (5 to be confirmed)
AUSTRALIA - World Champs - well that is for my legs and brain to prove themselves worthy of racing for Oz. I have to focus on selection criteria first, hence all the racing above.
AUSTRIA - World Cup 8
UK - British MBS 5
*It looks like there will also be some road racing slotted into the calendar as well on my new Cotic Bontrager Road machine.
So now I have two months to sort out how to get to these venues, and where I can stay as cheaply as possible to make the mountain biking funds stretch. That is the challenge, but I love a challenge...

So now I need to think about my training diary, luckily I have the national Aussie coach on board. Neil is a Canadian and is so chilled, but he also teaches me a thing or two about organisation and calmness. Ian always said Canadian's are super chilled, unlike stress head Aussies like me...

Training is going well. I have started a new phase of training that is unlike anything I have done before. The first major change in my training is that I'm spending winter living in a mountain ski can be chilly. I'm not doing so many slow steady long road rides this year, but I'm snowshoeing, hiking, and mountain biking alot. I have a gym set up in the house and I'm also doing yoga, pilates, and really focusing on my mountain bike skills. I have finally learnt how to 'bunny hop' properly, where you manual first before lifting the back wheel, plus my wheelies are getting better all the time, just not as good as Ian's. I have just finished a three week phase where I was doing between 25-30hrs per week....and I'm feeling nicely knackered. One of my favourite forms of training is snow shoeing. It is an amazing work out, but best of all we have been snowshoeing off piste, walking where we want to in the mountains is such an exhilerating feeling....except when you realise how vulnerable you are. I almost didn't make it back to Luchon last night as my husband got side tracked by what he thought looked like a new mountain bike trail. We ended up on seriously steep ground as day turned to night. We lost the trail or the trail lost us and the next thing I know it we Potter's are forced to jump from one tree to the next, slide on our butts and scramble from one tuft of grass to the next to stop ourselves from sliding off the mountainside. With blistered feet, a bruised butt and a scratched face we scrambled home in the dark after 7hrs of hiking in the mountains. So my training is really testing me physically and mentally, which can only create a tougher KP all round.

Now the AQR diary is filling up pretty quickly. Our two week guiding slot in May is looking very busy, and the Tour de France week is over half full. I can't wait to check out Mr Armstrong this year, he has got such lovely legs...but don't tell Ian I told you that. It's going to be a very exciting tour. My main job at AQR is the computer work. Ian and I work to our strengths you see, so because he can't spell I'm in charge of all the typing duties. My job is ongoing, and involves lots of typing as you probably realise already, so Ian works to his strengths, one of which involves fixing my bikes which I keep destroying...through no fault of my own, I just have the ocassional clumbsy moment from time to time. I'm also in the process of organising some UK events that AQR are running: Cotic Big Day Out, AQR Ladies Day and the annual AQR Spring weekend in Church Stretton. I will be adding more info about these events on a future blog. But let me know asap if you want more info before I announce it on blog as these events are filling up fast.

I'm very lucky to have a family in Australia, UK and Italy, but why can't you all move to France. It can be difficult finding time to visit family, especially when they live on the other side of the world. That's the only down side to living our dream, is that we don't get to see our families as much as we would like to. Ian's Dad Paul and step mum Caroline live in Italy, and Paul works all over the world, so we're lucky to see him once a year. But he has very kindly arranged for us to go and visit him tomorrow. This was arranged half an hour a first thing tomorrow we're driving to Italy for a few days. I'm really excited because it has been 5 years since we have visited their beautiful home in Montifiascone. I also must say a huge 60th HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Dad out in Oz. I didn't forget your birthday, mum reminded me, but I just didn't know what to buy I will be trying my darnest to qualify for the mountainn bike world champs, so I can give you your birthday present in person. As for Ian's mum and step dad Tony in the UK, we will be seeing you both in March, and looking forward to celebrating Ian's Nan's 90th birthday.

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm until 6pm I head to my French lesson at the Croix Rouge (Red Cross). I was moved up to the advanced class, even though I have a long way to go, but I enjoy the challenge. I love practising my french, even though I haven't mastered the french accent very well. I have learnt tonnes of words, but
have found my reading and writing have improved the most. My conversational french comes and goes. Every now and then I surprise myself, and find myself speaking french, but at other times I can't even remember the simplest of words and get all tongue tied. My teacher Pierre is lovely, just don't ask him 'why?'. Then there is a mix of British, one South African, two Australians (yes there is more than one) and Scottish pupils. We all struggle at times, and have all said 'why?' too many times. One day I will write a blog in francaise, so my french friends out here can suffer my ramblings as well.

The Potter's home in Luchon now has a new loft, with a gym and little office area which will one day be my official AQR Luchon office. We will have a telephone line, internet connection and hopefully a staircase instead of a ladder. Ian has changed the bathroom for the 7th time, as we have discovered a mould problem in our bedroom and the bathroom. We thought our room was the only room finished, but we have some serious surgery to do on it. Ian and I rarely honestly we don't, well we banter now and then, but anyway our bedroom window caused a few little arguments between the two of us. You see I hate sleeping with the window closed, but Ian hates sleeping with the window open. Since it has been minus 15 degrees outside I allowed Ian to have the window closed, but then I wasn't sleeping properly, so when he fell asleep I opened the window so that I could fall asleep, but then I would be woken up because Ian would then close it again etc etc The problem was as soon as the window was closed I was waking up with head cold symptoms and my resting heart rate was through the roof. It was very strange. After a while Ian dragged me to the doctor because I was coughing and spluttering....but the weird thing was, as soon as I stepped outside I felt so much better. I discussed this with coach Neil who mentioned 'mould'....HORRIBLE STUFF....and that day we doscovered our bedroom is full of mould. So we're back to square one with the bedroom.

So why have I written an essay about all my diaries....well I kind of thought it would take you all so long to read this blog that I would have some time up my sleeve. So even if I didn't write another blog for a week, it wouldn't matter because you would still be getting through this one. So I'm going to leave it there, but stay tuned for more chapters and picture of -

IAN VRS KATE - 'The Potter Challenge'

Don't forgt there are only 24hrs in the day, so smell those roses and pedal that bike, don't let a computer screen take over your life.

Be blogging again soon.....cheerios KPxo