I am currently sitting in the sun, drinking coffee on my Aunt & Uncle's patio 45 minutes or so outside of Pheonix. Life is good. They've got this fancy smancy rec center with an outdoor 25 meter pool that I'm going to check out next. Originally I had been planning on staying overnight at an airport hotel in pheonix before joining up with the Arizona training camp crew the next evening to travel home with them. At the very last second I realized that I didn't want to stay on the airport hotel strip very much.. we did that on the way out, and I wouldn't have even been comfortable going for a run around there by myself. There was a mall nearbyish, but I would have had to check out with my bike and ridiculously heavy suitcase likely around noon, which would have meant another afternoon spent at the airport. Noooo thanks. And then a miracle happened. My aunt and uncle had just arrived in town not too long ago, and they happened to be at the Ikea in Pheonix only 15 minutes away from the airport, so they came and rescued me!! yayay! Food!!
The trip went really well. ARuss was a fantastic travel buddy, so I made it there and back in one piece. Thanks Drew for organizing everything. Craig and Greg and Dr. Vanessa were fantastic support, I couldn't have asked for better! Montterey itself really surprised me. The whole park and canal system was absolutely gorgeous. And despite being massacre capital of the world I felt very safe the whole time. I'm still not sure what to think about the race.. Mostly just feeling a little discontent and frustrated with it.. There were definitely some positives to take away from it, but mostly I'm just looking forward to trying again next time.
The swim was really crazy. I think being ranked among 'the lasts' was more of a handicap then usual with this course set up. The pontoon was off to one side, so that we could swim by it on the way back, so the people on the right had a straight line and the people on the left had one big long diagonal line. As number 70 & number 73 of 73, Joanna and I didn't stand a chance! I didn't really feel like I was ever on good feet, but maybe that will come with some more open water practice. I took some good hits, but did not swim into a concrete wall with my face like Kathy did, so I really can't complain. The first 3 laps of the bike just felt like one huge sprint for me. The first lap was spent chasing first pack, and then the next two was me trying to not get dropped off the back of first pack, as the back-of-the-packers were letting big gaps form on each turn. I think mid-way through the third lap I finally succeeded in moving up, and from then on I was a lot more comfortable.
It took me until about midnight the night after the race for it to dawn on me that that was my first time making front pack in a world cup. So that was a positive at least!
Unfortunately chase pack caught us half way through the ride making us one giant pack, so my making front pack didn't matter very much. Luckily the corners went 100 times better than in Mooloolaba. I felt fairly confident on them, and the one girl who went down right in front of me slid away so fast that I didn't even have to swerve to miss her. Craig told me to keep my cadence up through the chicany sections and that helped a lot too. Since the course was consta-corners I didn't even drink half as much as I usually do in a race, so I wasn't feeling so hot by the time I got on the run. I don't really feel like I could have done much better of a job of hydrating though.. I really needed both hands on the bars allll the time. I was pretty dizzy getting my shoes on in T2, so right out of transition I found myself in no-mans land aaggain. And the next lap proceeded to suck bigtime, so I couldn't even bridge up. I got in a little water from those ridiculous plastic water bags they hand out, and took a gel, and felt way stronger for the second lap. For a little while I got on the shoulder of a faster runner and felt fantastic, but then my calves and quads started cramping and it all went downhill again from there. Mostly I just felt really slow. I think better nutrition/hydration would have helped me a lot this race.. but also I think I just need to start running faster.
The rest of the canadian team sure had some amazing performances. I fried my brains out watching the men's race, but Brent was still able to make an amazing comeback. Before this trip- I hadn't had much opportunity to spend time with Joanna Brown, so rooming with her was really fun. It was her first ever Olympic distance and World Cup and she nailed it. She's a monster on the bike & run, and she proved she can swim at a world cup level! So Don't worry folks the future of our sport is in very good hands!