A Travellerspoint blog

September 2010

O-F-F Season

Hungary, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France.....and its only just begun

70 °F

Having already spent the time and money to travel to Hungary....why not stay another month to travel and really enjoy myself this off season?
Plus, being overseas and away from my bike actually ensure that I wont be riding and training hard.
Rest is as important as kicking your ass on double brick workout afternoons.

So. Here I am, in Southern France. (Until tomorrow when Bridget and I hop the train to Italy)
We are staying at an incredible hostel, originally only signed up for two nights, but are now going on night number four.
We are essentially living on a small college campus. The only difference being the kids here are all world travellers, they are all super cool and inviting, and we dont have classes - meaning we can go out to the local basement bar, and dance on the tables while a local band rips the room apart. Needless to say we are having a great time.

Every morning I am still up at 7am, tying up my running shoes - and going for some quality distance runs. Gotta build up that foundation.
The past few mornings have been along the Mediterranean Coast. Before that it was the Rhone River Boardwalk, and the forested trails of Fusson, Germany.
Stanley park just won't be as magical.

Pre-Season Training will Start when I get home - and then around December 1st I'll turn it over into real training mode.

I am also lining up and laying out my 2011 race schedule and goals.
It is in having done that, that I will officially declare that I am taking 2011 to pursue racing on / towards a professional level.
There are big goals, big races and hopefully an elite license somewhere out there on the docket - - - we'll just have to wait and see.
But, too many people don't try hard enough to reach for what they really want. Nothing is too out of reach if you truly want it.

Quote of the Day:
"I don't wake up every morning and decide that I going to go running...The choice was made a long time ago. I will run."

Attention all men of France.
1. It does not matter how hot you are, or how cute your accent. It is NEVER ok to wear a louis vitton man purse. (even if you opt to call them a satchel or a bag....they are purses)
2. Real men do not go running in a white windsuit with a matching dolce and gabbana custom hat.
3. Fanny backs are also not acceptable.

1. In the fruit, flower and fish market: A pile of fish were still alive, despite being on ice and on the sale table all morning......
2. The tram ticketing men look like a brutally intimidating swat team.
3. There is only one train daily to get to Barcelona...and it fills up a week in advance.

Here's to Peace, Passports and New Energy,

P.S. Congrats to those who raced in Nationals this past weekend!!!
P.P.S. National in 2011 are in BURLINGTON VERMONT - Sometime in late August. HOLLERRRRR (and yeah, that did require capital letters and an excessive number of 'R's

Posted by AubreyJ 11:25 Archived in France Comments (0)

Race-Day For-Realsies

Because Highlights Just Don't Cut It....

semi-overcast 60 °F

4am Wake Up Call - I dragged myself over to the hotel window. Despite having only gotten 3 and ½ hours of sleep I wasn’t dragging because I was tired….I was dragging because the past 24 hours in Budapest had been nothing but a cold, hard rain - and I was dreading that I would pull open the curtains and see that race day was going to be the same. I took a deep breath and peeked outside. It was. Damn. “These flooded roads should make a bike course with 4 U-turns super interesting” I thought.

I packed up my TT bag, rocked out to ‘Bulletproof’ on repeat, put on every layer of clothes I brought and ate my banana while I sat on the 5am shuttle down to race venue. Set up my transition station, number 1368. Transition area was literally several football fields long - and was going to make for horribly long and miserable runs to and from my station with the bike. By 6am I was with all the other athletes in the information center seeking a warm and dry space to wait and wait and wait.

6:50 - Pre Race Holding Area 1
7:00 - Pre Race Holding Area 2 (I’m pretty sure this is done to simply put your nerves to the test, and maybe give spectators something to watch - One girl in my division was on the verge of tears.)
7:05 - Athletes Enter Pier
7:09 - Enter Water…..59 degree water. Yeah. That’ll wake you up. When I practiced the course two days before it was 58 and I found myself breathing every stroke to simply get my face the heck out of the water. But after the first two minutes the exposed skin numbs up and your good to go.

7:10 - GO!!! I never once thought of the water temperature, It was more along the lines of….”Holy shit these girls are fast” or “WTF - is this a war zone?” The roughest swim start I have been in so far. Lots of elbows and kicks being thrown - A girl from Hungary who was on my left LITERALLY interrupted her stroke to grab my left shoulder and push me under the water. TWICE. But it’s cool because I smoked her.

7:21 - 7th out of the water in my division. Challenging swim. Felt strong. Need to be faster.

7:23 - Headed out on my bike. The rain had stopped, but the roads were wet - there was a lot of carnage on the course - I went easy on the corners because I love my bike and my skin. 2nd fasted bike split in my division. I felt invincible, like never before on the bike - I passed people like WHOA - and got back into transition (to run the football fields to the racks) in 3rd place. 32:06 Time - 12.5 Miles.

7:58 - Set out on the run. Along the Danube river, really flat. Started too slow - but caught a glimpse of the Great Britain girl who was in 2nd place around mile 1.5 and quickly got my ass into gear. Caught her around mile 2 - and we ran together, stride for stride. I picked up the pace several times - hoping to ditch her. It wasn’t for another ½ mile that I was able to pass. The famous Chain Bridge was the final stretch of the course - which just because of how cool that is and how loud the crowds were roaring makes you pick up the pace even more. In the last 5 yards I sprinted past another girl from Hungary (in a different division) and crossed the finish line, maybe a strides length before her. It felt EPIC. Great Britain girl finished 20 seconds behind me.

There you have it.
Of course it was more exciting if A. You were racing. Or B. You were there watching it live.
BUTTTT have no fear because there IS a short video clip feed of my finish that you can watch online…..


That’s it. Watched the Pro-Men race later that day and the Pro-Women on Sunday. Had our awards ceremony. Fell in love with being on the podium and am setting my sights on an Elite License.

2010 Race Season is Officially Closed.
My off season so far has consisted of a lot of the Austrian Alps, Some world class Vienna Coffee and now the Lakes of Pferton, Germany. (Oh yeah, and Sprint Stair Repeats in down-town Vienna, a distance run through the mountains of Golling, Austria, and an interval training morning at the Belvedere Palace) : )
I’m pretty sure I can handle four more weeks of this. Thank god for credit cards.

Quote of the Day:
“Enjoy the Present….Thoroughly.”

Bridget meeting me in Switzerland: 3 Days
Back on my Bike Training for 2011: 29 Days

  • *P.S. Nationals next year are in Burlington, VT!


Here’s to Peace, Apple Strudel, & Living From a Backpack,

Posted by AubreyJ 08:13 Archived in Germany Comments (0)


The moment we've all been waiting for...

rain 58 °F

Ladies and Gentlemen...Boys and Girls.....Dogs and Cats....
From the United States of America....
Representing the 20-24 year old females.....
In the World Championship Event for Sprint Triathlon......

Aubrey Cook

Awesome Awesome Race Day - Edge of your seat details to follow soon.
I gotta go get my interview on : )

Quote of the Day:
Dream it. Believe it. Do it. Dream Bigger. Go Bigger. Get Faster.

Here's to Peace, Dreams, and BLING BLING,

Posted by AubreyJ 02:44 Archived in Hungary Comments (4)

Welcome to Budapest

Funny events of being a USA athlete in the land of Hungary.

rain 58 °F

It all began when I found out that I was on a Monday flight out of Boston....not a Tuesday flight. That set the pace for an exciting and entertaining 48 hours of travelling to and getting my bearings in Budapest.

It is so strong to feel so ignorant in a strange country.
I know not a single word of Hungarian......which became extrememly apparent when (Episode #1) at the grocery store the elderly clerk lady held my intended purchase, two bananas, right up to my face giving me very direct instructions.....in Hungarian. When my jaw hit the floor and I cluelessly stared back at the nanners - she repeated her instructions, still firmly, still in Hungarian, only slower. Not a help. Thank goodness for the girl behind me who could speak English and informed me that I needed to go back and weigh my produce selection.

Upon leaving the grocery store, feeling pretty useless I decided to walk right out in front of - Episode #2 - or to be more precise a five lane wall of cars. Classic story - stupid girl decked out in TEAM USA apparel, carrying an armload of bottled water decides she can sneak in front of these cars at the red light. She makes it two rows over when red turns to green, with two more rows to go. And let me tell you....drivers here are 1. Very eager to jump the lights anyway and 2. Not at all on the lookout for us stupid athlete tourists. I literally danced around cars in the middle of the road for wait felt to be an eternity.

Back to my hotel room, safe and sound, Day #1 complete. Exhausted from travel. Time to put together the bike. In hindsight I did a really good job...as I was doing it, COVERED in chain grease, cursing and watching the clock tick later and later I was anything but pleased with myself. But I got it put together great and was really proud, it is not an easy task when the bike that is worth more than your life, that you have to race in the world champs in three days is there laying in a bazillion little pieces. Needless to say a shower was in order (Episode #3) - at least this one was contained to the privacy of my hotel room. Turn faucet on. Lift Lever up to send water to showerhead. Shower. Or in this particular evenings case.......Turn Faucet on. Lift lever up. Feel lever come off in hand. Watch all the water pressure shoot out of tiny hole (where lever was) drenching the ceiling. After I turned the water off, and couldnt help but explosive laugh when I noticed 3 of the 4 bathroom walls had been showered, and there I was still covered in grease.

Updates since then:
I've met so many incredible people here on the team - have been getting in a bunch of little workouts to test the course and get used to everything here.

Swim Course - In water start, everyone is lined up with their hand on a pontoon - 1/2 mile swim course (rectangle) - 14 degree C = water temp. 61 degrees F. (And yes that is EXTREMELY COLD) The hardest part is going to be the initial 2-3 minutes before your face just goes numb.

Bike Course - Leaves a lot to be desired. Its flat which is awesome - but its 2 loops - 3 U-Turns - plus with one section of road about 15 meters that is literally unpaved and tore up. I'm afraid that the bike is going to be congested, and dangerous. It such a fast route - and with so many racers the turns are / could be sketchy. Plus it is supposed to rain for the next three days.

Run Course - EPIC. Point A to Point B - finishing over a huge bridge that goes over the Danube. A really flat, fast and BA run course. Hopefully.

Quote of the Day:
"Good Enough....Never Is"

Bike Racking, Body Marking & Expo: 4 hours
Race Start Time - Less than 22 hours


Or Universal Sports - USA Television.

Here's to Peace, Budapest and Doing Your Best,

Posted by AubreyJ 11:50 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

L-I-F-E & Random Thoughts

When sleep just won't happen.....

75 °F

You know those moments where you're just like 'Whoa - There is just so much beauty happening right now its unbearable' ?
Well. Today has been a whole collection of moments like that.

Assorted Blabbering:
-When the sun hits the rolling field just before the scoop - where the old narrow mill house thing is, at 7:30am it is the most breathtaking sight.
-Resting heart rate has been 58 bpm the past two mornings.
-I'm just about at my race weight.
-The Catydids are still doing their thang : )
-Mentally I'm feeling focused and stress-free.
-The garden had 27 tomatoes ready to be picked this morning!
-Up early for an interval workout in the pool tomorrow
-Everyone should drink more water.
-I feel incredibly grateful for the summer of '10
-Russell hasn't killed anything in two days.
-The stone tigers eye is thought to instill strength, speed and clarity of mind.

Quote of the Day:
"To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

Flight to Budapest: 4 days
Championships: 8 days
Backpacking Around Various European countries :19 days.

Here's to Peace, Packing & Potential,

Posted by AubreyJ 09:51 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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