February 24, 2010


I've now been check outed from the blog world for nearly a week, but it feels even longer. The last weekend of my Olympics experience was incredibly hectic yet filled with some of the most exciting moments. I got to see Apolo Ohno make history when he won the bronze in the men's 1000 and became the most decorated Winter Olympian in history. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything more exciting. I got some really incredible photos as well, including the start of the final round:

I plan to put together an Olympics slideshow soon and I hope to get back to training and blogging shortly. Right now I'm going through some difficult personal stuff that is keeping me from doing anything normal. I'm taking some time off to rest and refocus before targeting my big goal: Lake Placid. Until then, I'll try to keep reading my blogger friends as I've missed following your adventures while I was busy at the Olympics.

See you all soon!

February 18, 2010

Tourist for a Minute

I finally got to play Olympic tourist for a brief bit today. As part of the program I'm managing, we have several media and bloggers in and out of town as guests so I escorted one of them to the Main Press Center and Olympic torch this morning. We started at the Press Center, where all credentialed print media is working throughout the Games. We were guests of Getty Images so we spent a great deal of time in their office talking about the magic they create during the Olympics. With a staff of roughly 50 photographers between Whistler and Vancouver, Getty is the official photographer of the Games covering every event and sharing photos with media outlets around the world. I absolutely love photography and seeing the incredible shots they are capturing was priceless. It was a highlight of my Olympic experience for sure.

After enjoying the breathtaking view from the terrace of Canada Place, the home of the Press Center, we strolled over to view the Olympic torch. As most of you have probably read, the torch is enclosed by an ugly chain link fence. It's really a shame. I understand they can't have people walking right up to it, but there had to have been a better way to keep it protected from the masses. Luckily they have cut a strip in the fence so you can capture a photo fence-free.

After looking at pins, taking pictures of mascots on the buses and posing in front of the Vancouver 2010 signs, we headed back to the P&G Family Home for some media interviews with Kristi Yamaguchi. It was another good day work-wise.

I did a little jog this morning. Or rather I tried a little jog this morning that turned mostly into a walk with some jogging thrown in. My feet were achy and my body just beat up. I haven't run for more than a week and I'm battling fatigue in a huge way. I'm disappointed in the toll this trip is taking on my fitness, but committed to fighting my way back when I return to New York. The countdown is on, I'll be home in four days.

February 17, 2010

Olympic Moment

We all have standout Olympic memories and as much as it pains me to admit it, until recent Games, many of mine involved figure skating. As a little girl I loved the sport and dreamed of being like those athletes. As a young adult it still fascinated me with its blend of athleticism and artistry. While my interest has now shifted to events such as moguls, speed skating or snowboarding, I still have those memories.

I've seen droves of athletes over the past nine days but today included two particularly nostalgic and exciting ones - Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan. I'll never forget watching Nancy skate in Lillehammer and cheering her for the gold along with the rest of America and I was crushed when Michelle fell in Salt Lake City at her last Olympics. Seeing both of them here today was quite a treat. While I didn't get to spend any quality time with Michelle, I was with Nancy on and off for a couple hours while shooting some Entertainment Tonight segments. During a lull, we captured this shot on the oversize bench in the Pampers Village.

I scored my Vancouver 2010 mittens with the maple leaf on the palm today thanks to my client's cousin who is obsessed with shopping and didn't mind the crazy lines at Hudson's Bay, home of the official Olympics store. If I can muster up the energy, I may head over there myself tonight.

Swim and Mukmuk Pin

My days lately are such that everything blends together aside from a few highlights. Today's highlights? First, I swam. Later, I scored the Visa Mukmuk pin I swore I couldn't leave Vancouver without. Let's start with the swim. There isn't a great deal to report except that I'm thrilled I had time to do it. My daily 8am meeting was pushed to 9 allowing me that little extra time I so desperately need to fit something in. I'd been inactive for five days so I didn't push it at all. I just wanted to put in some time and get moving again. I did 1200y in 10 sets of 120 due to my odd shaped pool. When I get home I have some serious catching up to do.

And now to the exciting part of my day - the Mukmuk pin. I don't get out and about much so I'm not part of the Olympics excitement on the street. However, I have located a couple guys trading pins near my workplace so when grabbing lunch, I occasionally stop by to see what they have. I took a quick look and didn't see my Mukmuk and the guy said he didn't have the current Visa pins. I was bummed. But as we talked a bit more I said "I can't believe you don't have any Mukmuks." This must have jogged his memory so he flipped through layer upon layer of pins and lo and behold, buried on the bottom was one, solo Visa pin... Mukmuk driving the zamboni. I made a trade and it was mine. Now my trip is complete.

February 16, 2010

Olympic Whirlwind

Where do I even begin? This has been one of the most unique, difficult, emotional, exhausting and exhilarating weeks of my life. Since my last blog my work days kicked into full gear with the opening of the P&G Family Home, my project here at the Games. I've seen tons of Team USA athletes and their families, worked on multiple media stories, run all over Vancouver buying everything from beauty products to event tickets, battled a stomach virus and slept very little. The only thing I haven't been doing is training, but such is life. I'm at the Olympics Games after all and it requires 150% of my effort.

It's been incredibly rewarding, particularly the personal conversations and moments with the families of athletes. On Friday we raffled four tickets to the opening ceremonies and the winner was Jill Kearney, mother of moguls skier Hannah Kearney. Hannah won the first Team USA gold the next day. She and her family celebrated her victory with us last night, a very special moment.

I, of course, missed it as I was laid up with a stomach bug. I can count on one hand the times I've had it as an adult but as luck would have it, one of the times was here. Luckily it struck quickly and I was back on my feet in a day. I'm feeling the after effects but am hoping another solid night of sleep will set things right.

Here are a few photos of my time here so far:

Opening ceremonies broadcast in Robson Square

View of Athlete's Village from my condo

Another view from my condo

February 12, 2010

Let the Games Begin

The Olympics officially kicked off tonight and the project I'm here working on kicked off yesterday. To say it has been busy would be an understatement. I've been on the job for nearly 14 hours and am officially running on steam. But I'm at the Olympics, and tonight I got a taste of the energy that is electrifying Vancouver. I was out picking up event tickets and got caught in the street closures surrounding Vancouver's BC Place where opening ceremonies were taking place. I was forced to walk for nearly an hour to get back to a place where cabs could be found, and on this walk I stumbled upon multiple viewing parties and locations, the biggest being projected on the side of a building with hundreds upon hundreds of people gathered to watch. It must be something to be here as a spectator. It's truly incredible.

You can finally see what I'm working on by visiting thankyoumom.com and can see the ad here. It's a really special program that has already touched a lot of people. It's something I'm very proud to be part of.

I missed training yesterday and I missed it today. I'm disappointed, but know I couldn't make it work. Hopefully there will be days where I can.

February 11, 2010

Home Away From Home

I've settled into my Vancouver home away from home quite nicely. I'm tired, which I think is to be expected with a three-hour time difference and 12-hour work day. But I'm finding some time for myself, mostly in the really early or really late hours, which is good enough for me.

There is a pool in my building that is quite nice. It's about 31 yards in length and situated under a glass atrium so sunlight streams into the water. I'm used to swimming in a basement so it's a real treat for me. I squeezed in a decent swim yesterday before the madness ensued.

Today I ran. And not just any run, but an inspiring run along the river and through the Olympic venues. There were flags from every country imaginable and Olympic rings everywhere I looked. I passed other runners, most wearing the numbers and logos of their media outlets or the flags of their countries. Can you imagine a more incredible place to be training? I did a 5'/1' run walk with six minutes of running at the end. I am looking forward to my longer runs this week so I can explore more.

On a non-training note, the culinary adventures in Vancouver are extraordinary. We started at Salt Tasting Room, a wine/charcuterie bar last night where I samples sherry marinated dried beef, fennel pollen salami, decadent triple creme and blue cheese, along with assorted condiments including marinated cippolini onions, marcona almonds and cornichons. From there we ended up at Boneta where I had incredible steelhead trout tartare followed by the best scallops I've had in quite some time. I promised myself I'd enjoy the food here even if it was at 10pm each night. I intend to keep that promise.

February 9, 2010

Vancouver Bound

I’ve had some really good days amongst the last few, one of which revolved around a major milestone, but I simply haven’t had the time to capture and share the thoughts. So now, at 30,000 feet on my way to Vancouver, I finally have some peace and an opportunity to catch up.

Friday was a very big day. I did my longest continuous run in nearly six months and it was issue free. I ran 40 minutes and covered 4.34 miles. As I’ve thought about my return to running over the past few months, I worried I’d be forced to run an 11 minute mile indefinitely, a slower pace than I’m used to. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I had recently done a 10K in just over 45 minutes and was consistently running faster and faster. I was feeling as though something had clicked and I didn’t want to lose it. While my inaugural continuous run wasn’t a blistering pace by any stretch, it was enough to plaster a smile on my face for days.

Saturday ended up being a forced rest day in order to pack for Vancouver. Preparing for a 15-day business trip is incredibly tricky, plus my personal life and home were in total disarray due to how busy I’ve been. I was on my feet all day and felt I’d accomplished nothing in the end. So frustrating. So when the opportunity arose to do something normal on Sunday I jumped on it. My boyfriend wanted to get out of the city for some hiking and I needed to clear my head. We stayed a little closer to home this time to minimize the car time and spent the afternoon near Bear Mountain. The last time I was up there I was on my bike and had 4cc’s of packed platelets freshly injected into my heel. I’ve come a long way.

It was a cold but beautiful day with so much sunshine I could barely see. I wanted to close my eyes and capture the feeling to carry with me over the next two weeks. I’m excited about the journey I’m embarking on, but sad about everything I’m temporarily leaving behind. My training is totally derailed and I feel about as far away from Ironman as I could be. Lake Placid is just around the corner, I need to start being more serious. What better place to jumpstart my fitness than the Winter Oympic Games? I have an entire suitcase filled with training gear and my fingers are crossed.

Here is a sneaky photo I captured while waiting to board the flight. A majority of the passengers were media or others traveling to the Games for work, including the Today Show's Matt Lauer.

February 3, 2010

Physical Limits

I've been thinking a lot about physical limits lately. While having drinks with a group of Ironman triathletes on Sunday, I realized the most prevalent topic of conversation was injury. At just one end of the table we had a torn plantar fascia, some sort of severe tendonitis of the foot, spinal disc issues and hip surgery. This was not a renegade group of athletes who regularly overtrain and shun logical advice. Many of them are professionally coached and most have completed multiple Ironman races including Kona.

I talked a bit about it with my coach and while he whole-heartedly feels it's possible to be a long course triathlete and be injury free, he also acknowledges the fine line we walk as we push ourselves to train and compete with our best ability. We are asking our bodies to do so much more than the average person.

But physical limits are pushed by more than just physical activity. As I'm discovering through my hectic pre-Olympics schedule, mental strain and stress take a physical toll as well. I have been sick and run down for a week and am just emerging to semi-normalcy. After battling the worst cold I've ever had, I broke out in some sort of mysterious rash and realized today it has to be stress related. I'm literally just days from my Canada departure and the weight of it all is very heavy. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

This was not meant to be a "whoa is me" post by any means. I just wanted to capture my thoughts and put them out here as I imagine I'm not alone. Most of us don't have the luxury of being full-time triathletes. We have jobs, significant others, families and friends that demand our time and attention. We do this for fun and sometimes we get obsessed because the reward is so tremendous. I wouldn't change a thing. Instead I'll continue to find a balance and will most certainly look forward to March.

Swim - 23:54, 1,200y (Tuesday)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...