I’m in Paradise!

Well, it would be if I had my wife and kids with me but my mood has significantly changed since I arrived in Cheju Island, South Korea. This island, known as the “honeymooners island” is just south of the mainland and is absolutely stunning. I visited here briefly last year with the tri team but this time I will get to spend 6 entire days here to really get a feel for the culture and sights. Check out the photo below…this is the view from my third story balcony on a cloudy day. The weird looking building is the National Soccer Stadium which is a stunning complex in itself.

My first day in Cheju included getting the meals squared away with the Korean cook (who is absolutely wonderful!). I give her a list of the meals I want the team to eat, taking into consideration the local cuisine “restrictions” and she and an assistant prepare the meals for us. Breakfast include great breads, scrambled eggs, peanut butter, jam, yogurt, milk, cereal and juice. Lunch included sandwich fixings (including PB&J), white rice, and salty extras such as olives, pickles and crackers. I was a bit nervous when I was discussing dinner with the cook since there is a language barrier but the spaghetti with tomato sauce and baked chicken with rice and vegetables turned out wonderful!

In between my meal planning, I went to the pool with Sarah and her husband Nate so Sarah could do a nice aerobic swim. I didn't expect it to be so packed but it seems as if a large group of triathletes from many countries are also stayin on Cheju Island and they did not attend opening ceremonies either! I also ran into a colleague of mine, Inigo Mujika, from Spain on the pool deck. Inigo is an endurance coach and PhD researcher on tapering for endurance athletes. It was funny to run into him on this somewhat secluded island!

I then got a bit of treatment on my Achilles from our team sports chiropractor (Dr. Alex Keith, who by the way is AMAZING!) and then hopped outside to accompany Sarah for her aerobic trainer ride. It wasn't quite the sweatfest that I was hoping for as there was a slight cooling breeze but nonetheless, Sarah was getting introduced to the humidity.

Nate and I then took the scooter out (he was riding his bike and I was the scooter man) to scope out the terrain for Sarah's ride the next day. This island is absolutely beautiful, have I said that before?! There is a volcano on the island and we climbed up partway and I couldn't help but take my eyes off the road at times to revel in the beauty of the very lush green surroundings with the ocean in the background. We had to cut it short because I had to get back to help greet the rest of the team as they were arriving that evening.

I took a short 45 minute reprive to hop on the stationary bike in the exercise room and talk about a sweatfest! After only 4 minutes I had to take off my shirt because I was so incredibly hot. It will be interesting to see if I can remain in fluid balance throughout this preparation camp in Cheju because I am sweating A LOT!

I was eager to share the company of the team at dinner but more eager to see how the food would turn out. Not surprisingly, it was great and the cook did a wonderful job. All I had in my mind during dinner was when I could Skype my family for I haven't talked to them in a couple of days and I was misssing them. I have been on this trip for 16 days and while I am finally in my element with the triathlon team and with Sarah, I miss my family dearly. I got a hold of them around 10:30pm my time (they are now 15 hours behind me) and was so happy to see the smiling faces of my three kids and wife. After about 30 minutes of mostly watching my kids run around, I called it quits and had to get to bed for I knew I had a busy next day.

Meal planning, scooter pacing for Sarah's bike ride and run off the bike, coaching her swim workout and trying to fit in a weights/bike session for myself are on the top of my "to-do" list for tomorrow.

Until next time...

Coach Bob