After three months, my time in Europe ended with the London World Champs Series event in Hyde Park. It was a great day, no rain, and it was our first opportunity to race on a course similar to what the London 2012 Olympic course will be.
My start number was not very low, so my options on the pontoon were limited, but I ended up having a great spot towards the right hand side. Although it was a slightly longer line to the first buoy, I had clear water after taking about 3 strokes. However, being wide around the first two buoys, I found myself much further back in the field than I should have been swimming into people who just seemed to be going backwards. I first tried to swim around the massive bunch of people in front of me, but that didn’t really work, so I threw myself into the middle of the bunch and started weaving my way through the field. By the start of the second lap I had worked my way up to the back of the front pack and was hanging on to the single file train. I had a great transition and was quickly off on my bike. Luckily, Nicola Spirig of Switzerland (a great cyclist and the eventual race winner) mounted her bike with me. I got on the train and within 2 laps we were up to the main bunch. The rest of the ride was pretty boring. My legs didn’t feel all that great on the bike, but I prepared myself for a good run. Thirty of us came off the bike together and headed out on to the run. It was more of a hobble for me due to stabbing pain from my sciatic nerve, leaving me frustrated with my run, again. Running on a “dead leg” is really not all that much fun!
I finished the day as the 2nd American, in 32nd place. It was a great learning experience, as each race is, and a reminder to me to take care of my injury sooner rather than later!
After London, I packed my bags and spent about 30 hours traveling back to the USA. I spent the past week training in Austin, Texas. I forgot, back in May, when I was booking my flights, just how hot it would be in Texas in August. Every day this week it has been at least 38 degrees Celsius (yes, that is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) which has made training and just functioning rather interesting. After my brick workout yesterday I almost passed out. I sat down for about 15 minutes, and after drink some Dublin Doctor Pepper, finally felt well enough to drive home. As much as the heat has been a shock to my system, it has probably been a really great training tool because Nationals this weekend, in Alabama, are going to be anything but cool!