Monday, November 21, 2011

Guess I'm going to New Zealand

I've started receiving the first emails about Team USA from USA Triathlon. I keep saying I'm going, I have my sponsor plan outlined, but I haven't pulled the proverbial trigger.

Today I took that giant first step off the cliff. The hotel room is booked and on the credit card (prepaid, ouch...) so at least it's easier to come up with the budget now too.

I'll be sharing details of the Team USA journey here, but not in any sort of "hey, I'm all that" way. Just to be straight, I have no delusions of grandeur here. There are plenty (PLENTY) of faster, better, smarter athletes just in my age group but the numbers worked in my favor at Nationals and I earned a spot. I want to share because I'm guessing there are other folks who might like to try this and like me are (1) cash strapped and (2) not at all a seasoned international traveler.

I think I'll be comfy here
I am figuring out how to finance it and how to travel half-way around the world with my bike. Fortunately, I have a great group of friends from Roanoke, the next town up, who have made a habit of competing at ITU Worlds. Mike Morris, one of the veterans, got the ball rolling by finding a nice early-booking deal at this Hilton on the water in Auckland. Team USA offers hotel packages too but for several logistical and budget issues, this made more sense.

My only real international travel thus far includes a few family trips to Costa Rica when my father-in-law lived there, Guadeloupe when I was a kid, St. Lucia for our honeymoon, and Vancouver. (OK, so maybe Canada isn't exactly international!) At least I won't have language issues in Auckland.

The other thing was I had the opportunity to order a Team USA cycling jersey. I'll admit I thought about it, briefly, but then figured (1) I really don't need to be wearing anything that gives the false impression that I am anything other than just a decent cyclist and (2) That $90 is better off in my account.

And in other news....

Kurt and I met last week and he came up with a new off-season strength training plan to target my goals of speed and power. Today was day ONE. Let's just say it was rather humbling and nausea-inducing. But I like that, it means lots of room for improvement and plenty to do!

I got some race photos from Richmond.  They show me in various states of decline! I love how strong and confident I am in the one on the left, and on the right it's the classic marathon shuffle. That body language says it all...let me be DONE!


Enjoy the holiday week everyone!!  I'm planning to bust out my fourth Pittsburgh Turkey Trot with my nephew, Evan. After a cold, rainy one last year, I'm looking forward to being back out there in my turkey costume. Gobble, gobble!