Auckland Part 3

So today is Sunday at 12 noon and I am feeling ready to race.  More importantly, I’m feeling ready to not be tapering anymore, and ready to be done “schleping” my stuff all over Auckland for pre-race activities.  🙂

Yesterday was a great day all around.  Sandy and I were able to ride the whole bike course, mostly with Team USA, which is going to be fun and very interesting.  There are four steep (16% at parts) climbs with four fast, technical descents, which we will ride twice on the two loop course.  The remainder of the course is flat with ~20mph winds.  I’m glad I have a power meter to be sure I keep it within the lines on the climbs.

After our ride we hurried to the pre-race meeting where we had the pleasure of laughing at the ridiculousness of the questions of our fellow USA teammates…for a while it felt as if this might be many of their first race.  Confusing, yet entertaining.

The women’s ITU finals started right thereafter the meeting where we got tickets to the grandstands.  The race was fun to watch up close and personal and it was awesome to see Gwen Jorgensen, who I had the pleasure of training for a week with in Tucson last year, race her heart out!   Gwen was with the lead group out of the water but fell off the front pack on the ride a bit.  She was picked up by the second group of cyclists and rode well within the 2nd group.  She was over a minute behind the lead group off the bike but ran the most impressive 10k I’ve ever witnessed to take the silver medal.  It was so very exciting, and beyond impressive, to see her in more or less a dead sprint and putting 10-15 sec per kilometer into the lead pack!

We took it easy last night and had a relaxed meal in our hotel room which was nice to be in sweats and enjoying good company.  I think the cold and wind wears me out a little because I was utterly exhausted by 8:30 last night.

Sandy and I were up early this morning and headed to the local pool called Parnell Baths to swim in the outdoor, long course, salt water 59 degree water.  Upon arrival however, it was closed so we trekked a bit further down the main road to hop in the open water.  Its not only the coldest water I’ve ever but also the choppiest with ~3 foot swells with white caps!  We swam about 10 minutes and decided we’d had enough.  Getting out was way worse than getting in, but we survived .

Dawn and I took a bus tour after our swim around Auckland and got to see some of the sites.  The tour is a “hop on hop off” at your leisure kind of tour, but considering it was down-pouring the whole time, we opted to just do a riding tour .     It is unfortunate how much the weather can impact your experiences.

We are preparing to venture down to the men’s Elite finals here shortly – in the rain again – and I’m excited to see the likes of Bevan Dockerty, Javier Gomes and the Brownlee brothers go head to head!!

My wave is tomorrow at 9:09 am which will be 4 pm on Sunday for you guys back in the states.  There are over 100 girls in my age group!  It’s hard to decide how I’m feeling because I’ve put a lot of energy into just staying warm while I’ve been here and the conditions (traffic, wind, etc) haven’t been all that conducive to really strong workouts- particularily on the bike.  I’ve done a lot of spinning and had a few really good, short hard runs, but I’m banking on being rested to carry me through the race tomorrow.  I’m going to lay it out there in hopes that being a stronger cyclist in the poor conditions and on the tough course, will bode well for me.

I’ll be sure to check in after the race!!  Thanks for all the well wishes everyone!

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