Thursday, September 29, 2011


Spain was a ton of fun!!! What an experience going to a World Championship race. I got to Gijon about a week before the race after 33 hrs of travel. We were tired. Sleeping until 1 pm the next day felt absolutely great!!!
Good enough at least to put on the running shoes and explore the coast. We ended up running for a long time, but we just couldn't stop, the scenery was beautiful. We found a 14 km trail along the coast with lots of up and down running. Here are some pics from the trail:

Back in Gijon we decided to play in the tide pools. Spaniards eat sea urchin we learned (luckily only from October to March :-) We are long gone then...

Touching funny things that decide to grab your finger!!!

In Gijon people live a crazy but smart life. It seemed like they worked from 10-12 am, then they go on siesta from 12-5 pm. Then they have coffee and after coffee at around 9 pm they have dinner. We walked around town A LOT, and we saw many strange things including:

This is a healthcare store. Notice the cigarette in the skelleton's mouth? mhhh...

And this would be ham. For 39 Euros you can have the entire leg!!! What a deal :-) Not sure if customs would be happy with that.

And this is what you do when you have a leg: you just take ham off it whenever you are hungry...

Gijon beach - VERY good bodysurfing here in the mornings when the waves were big!!!

Race site: A velodrome...well, it used to be a horse track and then they turned it into a velodrom. 430 m

The age group bike course...This summer I had the opportunity to bike in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain...and the winner of the most scenic and friendliest drivers award would be SPAIN. Here the course takes you through an Eukalyptus forest.

This is what I saw during my OW swim...nooo, off course not. This is what I saw at the Gijon Aquarium :-)

Here are some pics of the local specialties...I have to admit, it wasn't the prettiest food I have ever we go: Fabada, Pulpo, ... it all gave me nightmares...the food was so fresh that I ended up dreaming about food walking off my plate...

This part of Spain is not big on noodles, and it seems like they do not eat veggies AT ALL...or salad...or anything that could possibly have vitamins in it...

OK, enough of the food pics and back to the country side:

Super cute little fishertowns everywhere, and noone spoke English!!! GREAT!!! What an advanture!!!

Imagine your neighbor would live this close!!!

Not so sure how they get the laundry back in the house :-)

Then on Friday I finally got to meet my teammates. This was my first official competition for Team USA!!! I am so glad I finally "belong" to a country :-)

I got to meet the German team at the pre race meeting, but when I tried to talk to them they just stared at me...and then at my uniform...and then at me again...It was pretty funny. They were so confused that I had no accent :-) Hihihi!!!

Saturday rolled around and I felt ready to race. My plan was to go out in a 36:XX, bike strong and run the last 5 k all out. Well, I kind of went off plan when I started the first 2.5 km out with the 33-34 min group...and it went downhill from there. After you go out way too fast there is not a lot of hope for recovery. I finished the first 10 k and hoped I would get in a group on the bike. I would get to a group, ask them to work with me, but I never had luck. I think I passed 3 groups and never stayed with them...So I did a 44 k TT :-) The cornery course was a lot of fun!!! I hopped off my bike and was in no man's land, no one to catch anymore. I finished 16th place. I was super sore from the hard TT effort!!! WOW. I hadn't felt that in a while. I have to admit that I was disappointed but realized soon that this is the life of an athlete. Not every day can be a 110 % day. The next day was the team competition: 2k run, 7 k bike, 1 k run. I was the third runner and I think we were in 8th place when it was my turn. I ran as hard as I could for the first 2 k...and I actually came super close to my college running times!!! Yeah!!! On the bike I caught a group and then decided to try to drop them. SUCCESS. One more km of running and I handed off in what I believe was 3rd place. What a fun race and what a good day!!!

Sunday night I drove back to Bilbao without getting any sleep after the race. I hopped onto the airplane and was back in Phoenix monday night.

The trip and the race was a great experience and I cannot wait to go back and represent Team USA again. France 2012!!!