Friday, May 15, 2009

Boulder... Oklahoma...

Two weeks in Boulder... gone! Time is just flying by and I can't believe that my first block of time back in the US is already almost over!

Boulder was fantastic. Once the weather warmed up, the training was amazing, as it always is, and it was just so nice to be back there. I almost forgot how much I love being in Boulder... almost being the key word!! I trained at Flatirons where a number of the other international and local pros train. That was a lot of fun (although I do miss my training partners a lot at this point!). The first session I swam there was a "who's who in Ironman triathlon" with the likes of Julie Dibens and Chrissie Wellington in my lane. It was cool to get to train around a mix of people and to really push myself in the pool for the first time in a while.

It took me about 10 days to feel like I had fully acclimated but, because of the crunch in time, I was into hard training by about day 4. I struggled, for sure, but by the time I hit my second week I started to come around and actually knocked off some great workouts. The day before I left, I had some 1k repeats to freshen up for the race this weekend, and I knocked them off at times that I would normally run at sea level. Hopefully it means I'll be fit and flying now that I've come down from altitude and can breathe again!

My homestay in Boulder was amazing. I got so lucky, again, and was linked up with an incredible family who I cannot thank enough. I really enjoyed my time with them and am really looking forward to going back there to train again later in the year! I also took the time to enjoy the city and to spend some time in Denver at some Nuggets basketball games. I was there when they clinched the conference semi's. It was so exhilarating and I just tried to soak in all of the positive energy from the crowd. I'm bummed that I won't be around to see them play in the conference finals, but I'll definitely be rooting from afar!

Photo Courtesy of Jan Firek

I am currently in Oklahoma City, at another homestay, where I am preparing for the Pan American Championships which are being held downtown tomorrow afternoon (1pm Women's start). Coming off the win in Mexico, I feel like I am in a good place. I am hardly over confident as the field is very strong and very deep here, but I now know that if I put the pieces together and race the way I'm capable of, that good things can and will happen. Tomorrow will be a very hard race, I know that, but I am really excited to get in the mix and see what I can do!

I will be wearing #3 tomorrow in a field of 33 athletes. The swim is going to be super fast, the bike is flat so it should be fast, unless the wind kicks up and the run may then become a test of will and guts, which is really exciting. It is one more opportunity to learn and to step up and see what I'm made of!!

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