Dedan and his family

Dedan and his family
Dedan, wife Susan and children Lucy, Sospeter and Benson

Monday, 18 May 2009

We have been busy!!

Hi everyone,
Hope this post finds you all fit, healthy, happy and in high spirits!!!
You have probably been wondering where we have been and why the blog has been quiet for the past couple of weeks. Well..I tell can't be in two places at once.... although I have me it would be a blast to be able to do that!!!

Anyway..why so busy?
1. training...swim/bike/run/...check.
2. racing...check.
3. working with clients .....check.
4. food shopping for three...check.
5. keeping friends in the loop....check.
6. checking up on family scattered all over the world....check.
7. walking lessons....check.
8. english lessons....check.
9. playing tourist with Dedan.....check. Ahhh....what? Playing tourist?

English lessons at home:

You beat ya sweet boots we have been playing tourist!!!! So there lies the can you post blogs which require sitting in front of a computer when you are out and about eating ice cream and drinking totally amazing fruit smoothies at all the tourist spots that San Diego has to offer? Huh? now try and answer that question!!!!

So, where is Dedan? or should I say where has Dedan been?
1. Casa Quero....Our local Peruvian restaurant owned by the lovely Monica has a second business which is a house in Leucadia - one suburb over from Encinitas. She has made it into a very cool hang out place with table and chairs in the South American themed garden where you can buy food and drinks and enjoy the beachy, laid back atmosphere. They have Tapas evenings every Wednesday from 5-7pm and I thought it would be a novelty way for Dedan to socialise and use his new - hard earned English skills. Works a treat!

2. Sea World...Dedan loved this place and was chuffed to see the show with all the dancing and prancing whales, orca and dolphins and their respective handlers. The penguins and polar bears were also one of his favorites. Chris and Dedan spent all day at the park and he certainly got an honest days walking in. Poor little residual leg ala the stump was quite tired after the mammoth effort.

3. The an aircraft carrier that has been restored and sits down in the water front of San Diego. Once again it was a boy thing..I had already been to it and spent hours there when my dad was visiting from New Zealand so Chris and Dedan made this trip together. Once again they were there for hours and then topped off the visit with dinner in La Jolla.

4. Children's Pool and the Seals at La Jolla..La Jolla Cove is a really nice part of the shoreline of San Diego and we spend alot of time swimming in the Cove. There is a 1 mile swim race every year - starting from La Jolla Coves and swimming across to La Jolla Shores. What's cool about this race is the fact that you are swimming through a marine nature reserve and so as you swim all you can see are brightly coloured fish, stingrays, mantarays if you are lucky, harmless baby tiger sharks..(they make you swim faster) and lots of kelp. Around the corner is an area known as the Childrens pool which is also where the seals come to shore and bask in the sun.

5. Mount Laguna and Garnet Peak..Mount Laguna is south east of San Diego and a great area to go hiking and walking - sometimes trail running and mountain biking and it is about an hours drive out of the city. It is also where alot of the professional road racing athletes live and train (it's at altitude)and so it is not unusual to see packs of African runners doing narly hill repeats up the mountain. Chris and Dedan went there this weekend and Dedan loved the view and the vertical drop of about 2,000 feet when you get to the top of Garnet Peak and look over.

Besides all the tourist visits Dedan has also experienced two baby earthquakes. One a couple of weeks ago and one last night. Los Angeles had a 4.5 quake at 8.36pm and we could certainly feel it all the way down here. The house shook for a while and yep Dedan's eyes definitely had a look of surprise.

Chris has also ramped up Dedan's training in the last couple of weeks....we all did the last Fiesta Island time trial together (I finally got my act together and beat all of Chris's male clients who were there. I did pull out the speed weapon as in my Cervelo P3 bike which gave me an aerodynamic advantage but I still had the legs on the day!). Chris has specifically been working on Dedan's time trialing skills as it is an area of weakness compared to his other strengths. We got the estimated times that Dedan should be striving for from Craig the USA Paracycling Coach whom we met during our OTC training sessions...added bonus..and so we now know what Dedan has to achieve in order to get on the podium. Cool huh!

Dedan also had dinner with one of our neighbors last week. Too funny. Each evening we make him walk to our house from his house as 'walking practice' and when he gets to us we assess his leg and check that all went well. Well, he changed his route a couple of weeks ago to include more of an uphill route than a flat route. Just so happens that one of the neighbors on the corner of Requesa and Arden had been in Africa for 2 months so missed seeing his daily ritual of walking until last Monday when they arrived back to Encinitas. They had spent time in Kenya and Tanzania and had picked up a little bit of Swahilli and so spoke to Dedan as he strolled by. Their conversation and Dedan's natural energy got him a dinner there you go!!! I tell ya..if he stayed long enough I'm sure he would be adopted!!!

The owner of his guest house is also going to miss him and so has arranged a farewell BBQ for him next Sunday..too cool!

We have also been collecting things for Dedan to take back to Nairobi. Can't believe it but he leaves next Monday...3 months has passed so quickly. Chris picked up a bike box so we can pack his bike and he will definitely be needing a second suitcase for all his new cycling gear and the gifts of clothes that our clients have given him..ranging from sunglasses to shoes!

OK..I have to go to work so I'll be adding photos in the next post.
Hope you are all peachy..

Sunday, 3 May 2009

6.8 mile Uphill Time Trial with the US Paracycling Team

Hi there,
Well it is late Sunday morning and I am beat! Just did my first Duathlon race for the season and although I was supposed to treat it as a 'training race',(yeah right..for those who know me well, can you ever see me hanging back if anyone in my age group attempts to pass me?)..anyway, I pulled one out of the bag so to speak and got a second in my age group. Not bad for a start, now a tad tired and hence lounging in front of the computer doing the blog. Chris is teaching our endurance course this weekend and has taken the TV into the studio as a teaching aid, which means I don't get to blob in front of it and watch golf!! Dang! has been a busy week again.
The Leg:
Dedan and Chris went to Scope last Tuesday to see Kel Bergman again and he gave Dedan a new knee as the other one was leaking hydraulic fluid..not a good look. All went well until yesterday when it buckled under him while walking causing Dedan to take a spill. No damage to the leg or Dedan but it meant a late walking lesson around 7pm and close observation outside on Arden Drive when Chris got home from lecturing. They made a funny pair to watch....walk a little, stop and bend and do something to the back of the knee, walk some more, stop and glad the neighbors know us all! Chris has made the knee stiffer as Dedan is getting really good at placing all his weight on the new leg as well as walking quickly. We will iron out the glitches this week and so Dedan will be smooth walking again before you know it.

Olympic Training Center - 6.8 mile uphill time trial ala the ass kicker!!!
So early Friday morning we all went out to the Olympic Training Center at Otay Lakes and joined the US Paracyling Team for their training session which was to be a 6.8 mile uphill time trial.To beat traffic we left the house at 6.30am and had breakfast down near the center. I had never been out to that part of San Diego before and I must say that when I saw the hills of Mexico and the US-Mexico border to my right and the valley we were driving towards directly in front of me....yep...I kinda knew that this little 'ol time trial was gonna be an ass kicker!!! ....for sure!
Dedan at the Athlete Entrance:

Michael Shelly, the Team Dedan photographer met us there bright and early and this time around we had to meet the US team outside the venue by the athlete entrance as they were limiting who could come and go, in and out of the center due to the Swine flu! Go figure! We didn't care but we did see a local rider going in the opposite direction with full head cover, helmet and yes ..a mask over her mouth and nose.

We left the center from the athlete entrance and rode for about 45 minutes as a warm up to the start of the climb.I initially hung at the back with two of the male hand cyclists and one of them was Alejandro Albor. I was messing with him as his name is Alexander in Spanish yet he was wearing a cycling top with Alaska on it. I knew Alejandro's name from checking out the team on the internet (I was checking out who Dedan's competition would be) and his name caught my eye but I didn't realise his pedigree as an athlete until I checked him out when we got back on Friday afternoon. The dude is a monster!!! He kicked serious booty on the time trial....a beast of pure upper body strength. I asked him if he was training for London 2012 and he gave me a 'I'm 45 years old'..but once I saw what titles he holds...he'll be there! He's quite a character and lots of fun AND mischief for sure!! Alejandro has been to two Paralympic games to date - Athens 2004 where he won silver in the road race and placed 5th in the time trial and Beijing 2008 where he won silver in the road race and bronze in the time trial. He also won the New York Marathon and the Los Angeles Marathon in 2008 and so he is no slouch!!! He also runs his own business, A-WON HandCycles, building low-cost handcycles for people who do not have the financial means to pay for the costly ones on the market. I tell ya he is infectious! I also spoke and rode with two other US Team athletes, one an above the knee amputee who lost his leg in an avalanche 4 years ago when he was back country skiing in Montana. He is the person riding next to me in the photo with Dedan at the front and me in the foreground. Nice guy and unfortunately missed making the 2008 US team by mere seconds at trials and so is set to work hard and make the London 2012 team. The other was born with a limb disability and so also races as an above the knee amputee but also races Cat 4 in able bodied races. He is good at the time trial but faded on the hills..and yes Dedan smoked him!

Once we got to the start of the time trial I spotted Tara Llanes getting organised and so gave her a hug and a quick hello before the US team was put into their starting order. You can see Tara in the foreground of the photo to the left about to start her timed effort. Although she is new to the sport, her motivation and courage is scary strong and so she will do amazingly well even if it's tough to start again in a new sport...she really is a legend. Tara was going off as number three and so it was a really quick hello!

Dedan was number 10 and Chris and I were extras, so the coach put us in amongst his team but we were not officially timed. Chris wanted me to go 90 seconds ahead of Dedan to be the 'rabbit for the fox'. With me in front, Dedan would go even harder, a little bit of testosterone is great for time trialing but so is bait in the form of a female cyclist who can ride!

It worked..Dedan blew his lights out with a 38min 10 sec time and 18 minutes of that was catching me! Once Dedan caught me, my job was done but I still pushed to the finish. I said to the US coach once I crossed the finish line that it would have been easier for me to email Tara rather than ride an uphill time trial. He laughed!

I had to get back to work and couldn't continue the rest of the training session with the US team as my afternoon appointment was an evaluation of a female runner who had flown in all the way from New Zealand! I figured it would have been the height of bad manners not to mention bad form if I was late!! So, I left Chris and Dedan at the top of the mountain and headed back into a raging head wind. NICE! One minute I had wind in my face and the next I was flying down the hill back to the was an 'ah ha moment' and it slowly dawned on me as to why I was hurting going up. It was a solid climb and that's why my legs and lungs were squealing!!! a high pitch ...Palomar over again!

Although Dedan did well, he found it tough and harder than Palomar. Chris explained to him that he had done four HARD training sessions during the week and so his legs were tired. Bonus is that the last two days for him have been ride to the pool, swim, ride home. Easy!!!

At the moment he is with our friend Michelle Neisler who has taken him to Fry's super store in San Marcos (and then to Jimbos food shopping). She thought it would be good for him to see the giant aquariums that are strategically placed throughout the store...which are superb and serve the purpose of distracting a wife, or husband or child and saves them getting bored while the 'shopper' drools at every detail of whatever they are purchasing. The aquariums are beautiful and it's a great idea!

What Michelle doesn't know is that Dedan is a techy and so will probably be salivating all over anything electronic. Next to bike stores, Fry's is right up his alley. The boy will be in heaven!

OK..I have a 70th birthday party to attend tonight and have to figure out what I am wearing. One of my long time clients is turning 70 next week and his party is tonight at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Fabulous place darhling so can't turn up in any old thing! Chris and Dedan are therefore dining sans two tonight.. so who knows where they will end up! Dine in? eat out? A mystery...
Hope you are all fantastic and once again thanks for all your support.
We love ya.
P.S. Do you think my screaming calves will let me wear heels to the 'swanky party? I know not to risk 2-click shoes (translation - high killer heels - two clicks as in two steps and you wish you had worn running shoes) but maybe a small heel? I guess I'll let you know the perpetual cycling shoe attached to my feet!

Over and out!