(Photo: My souvenir of this morning's EPIC swim. Courtesy of Clarke Rodgers of Sportzfoto.com. Thank you Clarke!)
I know... WHERE HAVE I BEEN? At this point, it might be shorter for me to start by....where am I now?
Well, as you might have guessed. I am back in the sandy, warm, festive environment of Clearwater, Florida.
This year, it is the feeling of opportunity that is driving me. I am reliving all the good memories from last year and having a second taste of everything I liked from the past: finding our same little beach condo, training in my same little secret spots, enjoying the same special dinners with mom, watching the scene of the BIG RACE get set up and ANTICIPATE a great day. I am quickly drifting back into my lovely pre-Clearwater –Habits-.....
But this time, I am enjoying making all things GREATER! All I can feel this year OPPORTUNITY. And that will give me all the energy I need to race strong!
I know I have a shot at this one and I will do everything I can to give my best effort on Saturday.
The weather has been very different out here lately. It has been rainy, windy and the waves are huge! The practice swim we had this morning with Lance and some of the team was EPIC. The hard work felt like play...specially the cool down, riding the waves back to shore. I have to admit that I hope the conditions stay this way. I think it would be easier for me to stay with the front pack in these conditions. Friends have said it would calm down for Saturday, I like to think that it will stay EPIC.
Another new thing for me this year is some new found CONFIDENCE. It comes from this year's hard work and good fights but also from amazing friends, family, a great coach (who will be on site!) and my great new sponsors. I am surrounded by great people that I owe much of this confidence to, people that believe and are helping me push forward.
So, now that I am in context, I can speak more freely of WHERE I have been!!
The answer is simple: IN VICTORIA, WORKING MY BUTT OFF!
It has been a three week mini Clearwater training camp. An intense set of efforts, pursued with our very devoted coach, Lance Watson from Lifesport and with great training buddies such as fellow team mate Amanda Stevens, Kerry Spearing and...Curtis (THE CYCLIST!).
Those three weeks brought me so much. I got some very hard trainings done that will definitely stay in the back of my mind come race day when I have to fight. I have been happy and loving what I do, training with an amazing partner. Amanda has helped me push and get the best out of myself everyday.
You know.....when a very hard training block followed by a freezing ocean ice bath feels like a party and is full of laughter, it is always because you are on the right track.
There has also been some adversity to spice it up. We had to overcome the flu while in intense training about three weeks ago and I also had a bike crash while getting a bit carried away at the beginning of the taper, but amazingly, none of this has really affected training. I feel so lucky.
Now, all I have to do is stay confident, stay happy, stay inspired and think about my new, golden feeling of OPPORTUNITY.
THE WORK IS DONE!!!! LET THE PARTY BEGIN!!!!!!
To all of you racing on Saturday: Good luck! Make it count! Put on the show!!
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT! THIS ONE IS FOR ALL OF YOU! HERE I GO!