The Aftermath and My Favorite Things!

So I survived the LONG trip home. Barely. I have been home now three full days and I still don’t feel back to my normal self. The craziest thing about the trip home was leaving Sydney mid-day on Thursday, flying for a bazillion hours, but getting in to Charlotte just a few hours later than we left Sydney that same day. The whole “international date line” still kinda hurts my brain. Most all of our travel went according to plan other than one small snafu on our flight from LAX to Charlotte, which we got worked out just in the nick of time. Thankfully, is all I can say. I might have had a nervous breakdown if I had to sit in LAX, a pretty dingy, gross place, for 12 hours after sitting on a plane already for 1/2 of a day.

I can’t seem to get back on a regular sleep schedule however. I can’t fall asleep till after 10 or 11, I’ve been waking up about 1/2 am and can’t seem to fall back to sleep till after 5 or 6. By about 1 in the afternoon I’m utterly exhausted and have succumb to taking naps, which have ended up being way too long to get any decent sleep that night. Going back to work tomorrow (gulp) will force me back into a routine and I’m just gonna have to suck up a few days of being tired during the day with no nap, in order to get back on schedule. Dawn hasn’t seemed to have the same problem I have, for some reason.

As a result of the unusual sleep schedule, my workouts have been off this weekend, needless to day. I was able to get a great yoga class in yesterday and a swim later in the day which I was supposed to do at masters yesterday morning, but I just still feel a little off. I had a hard bike set to do on Friday which I had zero gas in the tank to complete. I couldn’t even get to my target power #, nonetheless hold it for 30 minutes!? That was frustrating. I was also really looking to getting back on my bike for a long ride today with a group of friends, but I ended up sleeping through my alarm, and oddly enough, through the entire duration of the ride…and then some. Can’t say that’s ever happened before or the last time I’ve been in bed till after 12:30 on a Sunday – talk about feel like a piece of crap.

So it’s back to work tomorrow for the first time in 3 weeks. I had my Blackberry turned on while I was down under and there is quite a bit of work that awaits me – we’ve had some clients who’ve been pretty quiet the last few months come out of the wood work in full effect. One day at a time though – I’m only one person and I can only do so much. 🙂 I hope my bosses agree.

As a whole, looking back on my trip, my favorite experiences included:

1. The finishing chute of the race. Hands down one of the coolest race finishes I’ll ever do – right up there with Ironman. Still gives me chills to think about.

Really cool to wave the flag that the Team USA coach handed to us.

2. My solo day exploring in Sydney. It was the first day there, we’d been bundled in North Face, scarves and boots while in NZ just a few hours earlier, I was able to run at my own leisure on a beautiful 70 degree day in a tank top and shorts, seeing all of the new, famous sites – a really great memory.

The two most famous sites in Sydney – the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge, which we later climbed (much to my dismay)

3. Hiking Mt. Cook on the South Island. It was a super hard hike which gave us all a great sense of accomplishment with magnificent scenery, and a great workout. All things I certainly loved. 4. The Sky Swing and Luge in Rotorua, NZ. The view from the top of the gondola ride was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen to date with the lake in the distance. The swing and luge made me feel like a kid for a day! The video below is of the swing – the quality isn’t good but you can get an idea. INSANE, but at least it was over quick.

Hard to capture the view in just one picture.

5. Waiheke Island – the day trip we took was so perfect. The “art gallery” we toured with the sculptures followed by the amazing glass of wine we enjoyed at the Vineyard was the perfect way to chill out a few days before the race.

Dawn, myself and Sandy atop one of the more gorgeous views of the trip – privately owned by a couple whose sculptures and property we toured. Not too shabby!

6. Bondi Beach – duh. It’s a beautiful beach. How can you not love it!

No caption needed!

7. Making a new friend who I will always remember sharing this trip with. It was so fun getting to know Sandy – she and her husband Paul made my time in Auckland all that much better! They are awesome, good people and I thank them for the memories and the laughs – particularly checking our bikes in during a torrential downpour. 🙂

Trying to avoid being blown into the water with my new pal Sandy 🙂

8. Last but certainly not least – time with my sissy! This was the biggest trip we’ve ever taken and I’m so happy I got to share it with her! There’s no telling where our lives will go from here or if we will ever have this opportunity again, and I’m so glad we took advantage of this chance while we had it! I couldn’t have a better sister, friend and #1 cheerleader if I hand-selected one myself.

Watching the men’s ITU Pro race in our “uniforms”. Seems like we lived in these white vests!

I have a million more pictures that I will be sending out and putting on FB for those who would like to see. There are over 700 so I need to sort through and pick my favorites which will be tough!

Off to try to catch some shut eye before my 4:45 am alarm – back to work…someone has an Ironman in 19 weeks! No rest for the weary!

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