Sunday, September 26, 2010

All righty!  I am home and think that Utah is....A pretty Great Place!  Hey that should be their slogan.  And, I think the beehive should be their symbol...cause we are all so industrious.  And, the seagull should be the state bird cause of that whole cricket fiasco way back when.  I am SO ingenious.  Maybe I should offer these ideas to the big wigs up on Capitol Hill.
So, I am a little funky right now.  Meaning...even though I absolutely, positively without a doubt LOVE traveling....I am not super confident that traveling loves me as much!  I think my two weeks in Europe packed a few pounds on me (at least it sure feels that way...and I really didn't even eat half as much as I do at's just the quality of the food...and way too much bread..cause it's everywhere and I was desperate!)   That was a very long side thought!  And...I didn't get in that consistent training and recovery that I would have gotten in at home. And now I am really fatigued and don't even WANT to be training!  Lame! you think for even a minute that I wouldn't have gone to Europe just for those very silly, minor detail reasons?  I KNOW...Kona is next weekend and I am afraid my (what feels to me) out of shape self is going to suffer a little too much....but, traveling around to those awesome cities in Europe and getting to learn so much more about the people and the history and the architecture and just the whole experience....It was totally worth it!
So..bring on Kona and the dark hole of Hell!  I'm up for it!! (I think!)...
I figure the worst I can do is walk and end up really, really, really last.  At least I am there and living the experience.
I just don't want to let people down that have been so supportive and excited for me!  That is one risk I guess we take when we involve others in our activities, huh.  Well, bring it.  I'll do the best I can with what I have on the day I race!  And...I am determined to ENJOY every minute of it (even when it isn't super enjoyable I still plan to find a way to make it good!)
I am also looking forward to spending a good 10 days with Cade!  Poor soul had to cover my butt for 2 solid weeks while I played in Europe.  It's pay back!  Hopefully he enjoys this time in Hawaii.  Leave it at that!
Kids are doing super!  Spent all day Saturday at boy's baseball games.  Weather was awesome, games were great and I double dutied my time by preparing my Relief Society lesson.  Glad I got that over with today!  And...I think it even went ok.  phew.  Maybe I won't be kicked out...yet!
I have also been cleaning my house cause my awesome (but very clean) in-laws are going to be watching our kids while we are in Kona.  Do you have any  idea the kind of pressure I feel (I is self created pressure) that my house is NOT a total disgusting disaster for my in-laws?  My husband doesn't even care...but, I told always reflects on the woman if a home is not clean!  I don't want to be looking like a slob!  I mean I am already leaving my kids AGAIN to go on yet another least have a clean house when you abandon your family!  Priorities, people! I am simply blabbering on about very silly things (that seems to take up too much of my mind power and energy). 
I am a very deep and thoughtful person as you can tell by this underwhelming post.
With that I will bid anyone that actually made it to this point, Adieu!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Farewell Europe....Hello Utah!

It's 6:30 a.m. here in Paris and we are leaving for home in just a few hours.  I woke a little early to get in a last run, but I had a small wreck on my bike ride yesterday and landed hard on, the run this morning was too painful on the hip to keep going.  Oh well, it'll heal after a day of flying and I'll get in a perfect run tomorrow in my good ol' Utah mountains. 
Had an awesome bike ride yesterday!  Left around 6:30 a.m. (as soon as there was just enough light to see where I was going) and pretty much just followed the river Seine for the entire ride, which ended up being almost 5 hours long.  I headed out through all the sights of the city and just kept the river in view and eventually was able to get onto a really gorgeous river trail that was unbelievable.  I was always surrounded by buildings, houses, people, etc. This city is huge! I guess I made it to the suburbs, but never out to the countryside.  After about 90 minutes of one direction, I turned around and went to the other side of the city on the river.  Ended up in Bolougna and was riding the opposite direction of some big bike race.  Fun to watch all the cyclists riding hard and not feeling the need to join in....just spectate as I rode the other way.  I was really glad our hotel is right by the Eiffel Tower...figured that is one monument that even I can locate when trying to make my way back to my home base!  Not the best sense of direction do I employ! 
After my fabulous ride I hurried and got ready and met Nichole and Kristin at the Concord and we went up to MontMarte and up to the Sacre Coeur Cathedral.  It was a beautiful day and a really impressive sight! So many people in Paris!  Everywhere we went was jam packed.  But I didn't mind because I think it is fun when a lot of people are together and happy!  There were street performers everywhere and just an overall mood of goodness. 
Out of all my travels, I think the most memorable experiences I always seem to have are the ones where I am running (or cycling in this case).  It just feels like I get a better sense of the lay of the land, the people that are living there, the sights, sounds, just all seems to impact me more when I am completely engaged as I am moving.  I feel really bad for people that can't or don't get out and move!  It just seems like everything is clearer, happier, stronger...just better when I get out and move everyday! are a few things of note on this trip:
#1:  Everyone smokes here in Europe! I have developed a sore throat, hacking cough and headaches every day from all the crap in the air. Did these people not receive the memo that smoking ain't the best thing for you?  Did I mention....EVERYONE smokes here?
#2: There are no drinking fountains to be found...ANYWHERE in Europe!  No one drinks water. It is a rare commodity that you have to buy from the sidewalk shops, airports, train stations, etc. No water fountain will be taken for granted by me again.
But, here is the reason why no one drinks water here....
#3: You must PAY to use the bathroom...everywhere!  So, why would you WANT to drink a lot of water when you are going to have to go on a treasure hunt to find a bathroom...and then have to pay to use it?
Just smoke and that will fix your water and bathroom problem!  These Europeans have it figured out!
#4:  It would really suck to be a disabled person in Europe! It would be impossible to use their mass transit (especially the Metros) as there are very few elevators and the entry to most of these systems are too small, steep and demanding to be used by anyone in a wheelchair or otherwise disabled. My hat goes off to those people. And, it makes me just that more grateful for a body that will allow me to do everything I am doing.
How blessed I am.

I have to go get the rest of my luggage put together before we haul our bike box and the rest of our "crap" down into the Parisian Metro system to head to the airport.  Yes...we are too cheap to pay for a taxi here in Paris.  We used one to get us from Prague to the airport, but it is too expensive here. Plus, it is just too awesome an experience to haul that huge ol' box down the stairs, up the stairs, across the road, back down more stairs, onto one metro train (amidst a packed tram car and curious or downright nasty looks), then back up more stairs, and onto another tram and then jostle our way to the airport.  Why would we want a calm and luxurious ride to the airport when we could be having WAY more fun with the opportunity to enjoy the aforementioned experience??
Like my dad always says...and with which I agree whole heartedly...
"An uneventful trip is soon forgotten"
So true Dad!
When I get back home I will write down more memories from each city...Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Paris.
And, more details about my race.

Until then,
p.s. Less than 3 weeks til Kona. Guess I should start getting ready for it....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Europe sure ain't Utah! Post race recap and post race fun!

Just a quick check in with you guys. 
Budapest was absolutely AMAZING!!  I can't even begin to tell you how cool it was to be swimming in the Danube, biking around Budapest and running through some of the most historic and beautiful sights EVER!  If you ever get a chance to race over here in europe...DO IT! ! 
The race was flat and fast!  I had about 15 different people ask me about my bike and make comments on how nice it was!  I also wore my PowerTri visor and my black PowerTri long sleeve shirt so I would be representing!  I feel pretty good about my race efforts.  I sure wish I could swim just THAT MUCH faster, ride just THAT MUCH faster and definitely RUN just THAT MUCH faster!  That way I would be placing just THAT MUCH better!   I ended up racing a 2:10 time and placing 16th.....but, that is at a World championship.  So...I am pretty pleased with that.  I just know that I could do better....but, maybe that is just because I am always thinking I could be doing better.
Guess that's what keeps me motivated to keep trying.
But, I sure am enjoying just the joy of being able to do what I am doing!
 So, after the race we went to the awards ceremony and party and then got about 2 hours sleep before we got on a train (with ALL our race gear, bikes, bike box, etc.) and went up to Vienna.  Spent 2 days there...totally awesome and amazing and loved every minute of it....and we hopped on another train (and I mean hopped cause between two bikes and all our gear it is a miracle we made it) and have now arrived in Prague.  Yet another amazing place!  Oh...and I ran 3 hours along the Danube yesterday morning which was the best pre-Kona run I could have done!  I also rode my bike this morning for just a short hour before heading to the train to head into Budapest.  I was hoping to do a long ride here in Europe...but, it's tough between getting lost, not having enough time and all the cobblestone roads!  I am thinking I will try and ride here in Prague and even get in a short run along the Moldau.  We'll see what tomorrow brings for weather as well....cause man it has been wet here!  Lots of rain!! 
Anyways...we'll spend just one more day here in Prague, head into Paris for 2 days and then Home again! 
It's been a great trip and an amazing experience!
Hope you are all doing well!
See you next week, when I decide to do some real training again...cause Kona is only THREE weeks away!  Time to get to work again!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Twas the Night Before the Race and All Through The House.....

Still here in Budapest and haven't been lost permanently, arrested or killed by a car or angry Hungarian! 
All is well!
Visited an amazing museum today called "House of Terror" that documented all of the horrible events that have happened here in Budapest/Hungary during WWII and during the Cold War.
No wonder the people here are not quite....friendly....
They are helpful...enough, but they don't quite warm up to you (or maybe it's just ME!)
They also seem to have a somewhat resigned attitude towards their lot.  meaning....they just shrug their shoulders and say "ehhh...just wait"  or "Eeet Eees Eempossible" when we ask them if we can go here or do that. 
I think a solid couple of generations of communism could do that to a people!
Anyways...been so preoccupied with learning about this beautiful area and just trying to not get permanently lost in this place that the race hasn't been giving me too much nerves or stress.
But...NOW...the night before the race...Time to FOCUS! 
It has been SOOO wet that everything is sloshy and I feel like a prune from head to toe.  But, it hasn't been as cold today and that makes me verrrryyy  happy!
We set up our bikes at transition today and it is great!
we also watched the men's elite (pro) race and it was impressive!  Those guys can fly!
It was also so cool cause on our way to set up our bikes at transition we were allowed to take them right over the chain bridge (the most amazing bridge here in budapest) while it was closed to all traffic.  So...just Nichole and me, riding our bikes over the bridge.  We made sure to document it with some pics!  It was awesome!
So, tonight was a perfect dinner with some pasta and then back to our room to get all our soggy gear packed in our bags and then we will be heading out to the Metro to take the train to our race at about 5:30 a.m. (or about 9:30 p.m. for US time!)
Haven't done much swimming, biking or running over the last 5, I hope to feel very FRESH and ready to race tomorrow morning! 
Here goes!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Fun Times in Budapest

Day Two in Budapest was spent  mainly with Team USA stuff, getting ready for the race and still trying to find Nichole's Lost Luggage.
Yes....we are now on 3 days and no luggage for Nichole.  It has been very stressful for her.  We even drove out to the airport yesterday just to try and get some help in person.  NO LUCK.   They pretty much just said..."wait".  No real help there.
So...good thing is that Nichole has both Kristin and I with clothes and luggage can keep her clean, clothed and doing pretty well.
We ran the course is gorgeous!  We run over the same bridge three times (it is the oldest bridge in Budapest, called the Chain Bridge).  And we also run right past the Cathedral we are staying right next to (St. Stephens Cathedral)...the largest cathedral in Budapest.  The streets are all cobbled and so charming.  I am enjoying just walking them right now....but it is going to be so cool to run them on Sunday.  All the streets are going to be completely closed for the we are going to be owning the city for the day.  Fun!
We also swam yesterday.  We are swimming in a side tributary of the Danube (so...all the cold water without the incredible current).  Water temp is FREEZING!!  It is around the low 50 degrees right now!  BRRRRR......
But, we swam and it was fine once we acclimated.
Bikes are also good.  Rode around town yesterday and everything felt good.  So...that was fun and a great way to see a ton of sites!
After doing all those fun events, we hired a taxi and rode out to the airport.  No luck on the luggage, so we just turned around and came back.  DANG...poor Nichole!
Finally, ended the day with Perfection! 
Got ourselves a nice little gelato (of course there is a gelato shop right next to our hotel) and we went and sat on the large steps of St. Stephens Cathedral and listened to the bells ringing while we enjoyed our gelato and chilled.  It was truly perfect!

Today is going to be all about sightseeing!  Planning on doing the hop on hop off bus and then going to as many museums and sites as possible!  It is really our only training free/triathlon not focused day so far.  So, I have every intention of enjoying every moment of sightseeing!
Nichole and Kristin are both terrific traveling companions and we are having a terrific time!
Off to see Budapest!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Alive and Kickin' in Budapest

Day One is under my belt here in Budapest!
What a gorgeous City!
Got in late last night after about 24 hours of travel (5 hour layover in Detroit and 2 hour layover in Paris).  Easy enough traveling though.  I figure anything is pretty easy without kids. was!
After a terrific night's sleep (with Nichole Beckstead on one side and Kristin Kyle on the other side...yes, we are all sharing two twin beds that we have pushed together!), we woke today ready to go!
Only problem....the stupid, idiot, lame, loser airline LOST Nichole's luggage!
She has been a very good sport about the whole thing...but she is now starting to get a little (ok...maybe a lot) mad and freaked out that no one is helping her find it!  Every number we call is either out of order or no one answers. 
So, we have decided we are going to go back to the airport tomorrow morning and see what we can do in person. 
The crazy part is:  we SAW her luggage on the cart on the tarmac as we boarded the plane from Paris to Budapest.  So...where the HECK did it go??
Airlines SUCK!
But...on to more fun things!
We had an awesome run this morning along the Danube.  So pretty, and amazing to be running past all these historic buildings and monuments!
We also enjoyed some terrific food (cause...really, it's all about the running and food!).  I had Hungarian goulash and it was great!  The food here has been very good!
We also did a lot of walking and exploring today and got a better sense of the layout of the city.
Went to a Team USA bike ride tonight...but, had some mechanical issues (both Nichole and I) and ended up spending our time having the team mechanics help us fix the head set, wheels, etc.  But, everything is functioning well, bring on the speed baby!
Oh....and....the weather!  It has been raining and COLD since we got is supposed to stay rainy and cold for the rest of the week!  How awesome is that?! 
But, the good news is....I am just happy to be here and it isn't dampening my spirits!  In fact...I hope everyone else gets all bummed out and let's it affect them and then I can race right past them!  OK...that's not gonna happen...but, I can use that as a good motivator to keep me from getting bugged that I am fully clothed with 6 layers of warmth to keep me from freezing!  Glad I brought hats, gloves and pants as well as my teeny bikini (ok...not really the teeny bikini...but, you get the idea!)
We will be running the race course with Team USA and also Swimming the course.  Team pictures are also tomorrow night.  Gonna be FUN!
Also...of course...planning on our trip back to the airport .
AND...really want to make it to the a couple of museums cause I can't wait to learn more about Budapest and the history of this place! 
Finally...don't forget all the fabulous food I plan on eating tomorrow.  Didn't get near enough today (according to me) so, guess I'll just have to make plans to really live it up tomorrow!  yeah..I know, I''m racing...but, I really like, they'll just have to learn to get along!
So...Budapest is 8 hours ahead of Utah.  Which means it is 10:30 p.m. as I write this and that's time for BED for me!  And...along with food...I really like to SLEEP!  (I would make the best baby ever!)