Here I am again in this mean old town
After watching the recent videos of Leuven on both Flotrack.org and guelphrunning.ca I’m really missing not being over there this year. I’ve spent parts of every summer since ’04 in Belgium and racing all over Europe. On top of that, this year there are six runners and two coaches from Speed River in Belgium. A lot different from my first European track adventure
… Prior to my first European track race in 2004 I had been to Europe on a few Cross-Country teams, but going over with team Canada is very different than going on my own. Right after Olympic Trials in 2004 I went over by myself and I didn’t even have a place to stay. I got off my flight in Amsterdam and took a random train and ended up in Louvain-La-Neuve, a place I thought was Leuven. Luckily I found a student dorm to stay in Louvain-La-Neuve for a week before I went to Leuven where Ryan McKenzie and I had apartment rooms for two weeks. It was a good learning experience to travel alone and get into meets etc. The last couple of years it’s been way better in Leuven with so many North American athletes and this year with the Speed River Crew over there it would of been awesome.
On top of watching the Belgian meets on Flotrack I’ve been filling my void of Belgium (and Europe) this summer by doing things around Hamilton that bring me back there (unfortunately running isn’t quite one of them yet)… and other things that I never did there but seem like things I could do in Europe
1) Drink a Stella Artois – not only is it a Belgian beer, but its brewed right in Leuven (check out the label)
2) Walk to the grocery store with a genuine Belgian shopping bag. DelHaize grocery stores have the most stylish bag.
3) When it’s really hot I drink a cold Kriek (Cherry flavoured beer) – It’s european so it’s good
4) Put on a stupid face and eat chocolate
5) Drink a Duvel – yep, I’m on downtime
6) Call up meet directors in Europe on Skype as I’m the Speed River meet manager for this trip
7) Drive a European car on a track – why not?
8) walk into the village and get gelato – ok, so I’ve been getting frozen yogurt from TCBY, close enough
9) eat a waffle
10) Drink a Leffe Blonde, or two… did I mention I’m on downtime? (Unfortunately I’ve only got my hands on a Leffe Brune but the Blondes are coming to the liquor store soon, hopefully before I go back to my monastic lifestyle)
Man, I really need to start running again.. and I mean 170km/week, none of this 15 minute build-up nonsense that I’m going to have to do for a while. Patience is a virtue.