After getting on and off planes, cancelled flight, changed flights and 10 hours in the San Diego airport, we finally go on a new flight, direct flight to London. It was a hectic trip which is even more a reason why we decided to go a bit earlier than planned. You just never know when stuff like tis will happen. We finally arrived in Germany about 3 hours later than originally scheduled so not bad considering all the problems! We were staying with Sabine and Bastian again for 6 days before I was heading to London for the opening ceremonies. I always love going there. It's so nice to have a home away from home where I am familiar with the training locations, I'm comfortable where I am living and have good company. It's been so great to have Tim here with me! I've gotten so used to being here without him that it sort of feels like vacation having him here.
I had a bit of a hard time adjusting to the time change but training was going very well. It was nice to have my tough nights of sleep there before I headed to London. I left for London a few days before the Opening Ceremonies so that I had a chance to get familiar with the village, go get all my Hudson Bay Company (HBC) clothing, etc. The village is nice, not too big which is comforting. This is my 3rd time staying in a village setting and I'm glad I've had the experience before because some people are finding it overwhelming and I feel very comfortable with the whole experience. The volunteers have been amazing and the whole organization of the Games have been impressive. I am it thrilled to be competing in an English speaking country, it makes it so much easier.
I trained in Victoria Park which you can access through the village and I had to train around the Olympic Park one day too. Even though being in London is great, I started to feel grateful that I was going to be heading back to Germany for training since its definitely not ideal for training to be there and that is the point of the Olympics, to do everything in the best interest of your competition.
The buildup for the Opening Ceremonies was so exciting. The Canadian team had a pep rally before walking over to the stadium and everyone was really excited. I was a 1-2km walk from the village to the stadium and it was lined with kids cheering us on. The anticipation as we got closer and closer to the stadium kept building and just before we went into the tunnel to the stadium, we started singing O Canada. Everyone was so proud to be walking behind the Canadian flag and you could feel it. It was amazing walking into the stadium, one of the best feelings of my life. The crowd was roaring for us and I was just hoping to get on camera do that my family and friends could see me and they did! Soooo cool! Once we were done walking in, we went off to the side and watched all the other Countries have their moment. It was so neat to watch everyone elses expressions. This is what the Olympic Games are about! London put on a great show and I look forward to watching the whole show when I get home.
Only 3 hours after the ceremonies ended, myself and 2 other athletes were off in a car to the airport to head to Kamen, Germany for the Athletics Canada pre-Olympic training camp. We met up with the rest of the track and field team here and our final preparation for the Games. This is a great facility! I was here in 2009 before the World Championships in Berlin and it was nice to come back to somewhere familiar. It's also only a 20 minutes train ride from where Tim is staying (with Sabine and Bastian) so he was able to come here for my hard workout on Tuesday and then I went back with him to stay the night and get my last long walk in. My 6 x 2k workout on Tuesday went great! I couldn't ask for anything better just 11 days before the biggest race of my life! It was one of the best I've ever done this workout and I finished in 8:56, with a low Heart rate for me. My confidence for the race is building every day and I know that I am ready for the best race of my life.
The start lists came out yesterday and I am ranked 40th out of 61. I know that I am capable of improving on that ranking and my goal is top 30 for sure! And of course break my own Canadian record.
I will be in Kamen for another 6 days and then I head back to London for my race. First, we have Trevor and Inaki competing on Saturday in the men's 20km race and it'll be nice to get a preview of the course, etc from them. Till then ill be training and resting in anticipation of the big day. I'll try and blog one more time before then!
Thanks for the support. Remember to follow me on twitter at @Rachel_Seaman
Keep on walking,