Because Highlights Just Don't Cut It....
11.09.2010 - 18.09.2010 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,