Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Team Skidmore/USA Update

I can’t believe how close I am to racing in the World Championships! It’s starting to become more real. I’ve been so busy with Team Skidmore stuff all summer I haven’t had a chance to really think about London.

My Team USA gear came in! Check it out

The last event we had was the send off party and it was great! Thanks to the Auto Road and Howie for hosting it. I had been thinking all summer about my speech and wanted it to be perfect. I kept putting it off but I finally sat down a few days before and finished most of it. I didn’t want to look back afterwards and forget something. I have a really hard time with public speaking but I had to do this. So many people contributed to getting me to London, so I had to get over my uncomfortableness.
I made a video from my last race Tri for a Preservation in Cape Elizabeth ME you can watch it here! Gina gathered pictures from all my races and made a slide show, I had all my medals and awards on display, Dick Pollock made a huge banner from a photo shoot for all to sign, we pulled the Big Summer Long Raffle and last minute gifts were donated.

Gina spoke, thanked everyone said she enjoyed the crazy summer working with Steve and I and couldn’t believe the amount of support in the room and the community. A few people trickled in as Gina started her speech. Halfway through I look up and see Becky and Amy from college who I haven’t seen in more than two years. I ran over , hugged them and cried I couldn’t believe they came it was a surprise that Gina kept from me.  

Steve said a few words about coaching and training and how it takes courage to be so committed to training, it made me feel good about training and where I am in life.

I only cried about 4 times during my speech and once I got started I was fine. When I finished I presented a medal to Steve and Gina for first place Coach and Manager and two plaques.

Then I called Laura and Tami to the front. They held up my “Presto Chango” Laura made me. It’s a portable changing room that I bring to all my races. Gina explained how I use it while I stepped in and took off my shirt and skirt and threw them out the top. I heard gasps and laughter they were very surprised that I was actually taking my clothes off! Steve Caming stepped over and grabbed an overhead shot.

Just before I stepped out in what most people thought would be my underwear, Gina said “..and when she’s done, she’s ready for the podium!” and I came out in my official Team USA triathlon suit with my last name. It was awesome, everyone cheered and took photos.  I had been waiting for that suit since I registered last August! It was the highlight of the evening.

Thank you all who came some that drove more than two hours- my family from Groton VT and Becky and Amy from Lyndonville VT. 

I though we’d have more time after the send off party to get ready for London and Ireland vacation after. We are leaving in four days and I have lots of questions.

The World Championships are set up like the Olympics; opening ceremony, parade of nations, multiple triathlons and a closing ceremony. I am getting so excited not just to race at that level but to experience it all. The logistics for London are not super clear. I know when I am racing I know when the opening and closing ceremonies are and that’s just about it. The bike course will be closed to all athletes and there are set times to swim train in Serpentine Lake as well as other locations for biking. We received our 44 page athlete handbook with just about everything we need to know except when we meet up with our countries coaches and fellow teammates. One of the coolest things is the chart when each country has to check in and register. There are 54 countries! When we check in the night before our uniforms get checked and we leave our bikes in the TA overnight. The uniforms will be checked again in the morning.

Hyde park is where the Olympics were last year and we on the same course, that’s going to feel awesome! We bike three laps and run two laps which will be nice for spectators. I’ve been watching videos from the Olympics to get a feel of the set up. In the women’s race there were only 55 athletes, which left plenty of room on course. I have no idea how many will be in the sprint and  men and women are mixed. Last year there were 60 in my age group. I’m concerned about the course being crowded but as Steve pointed out I’ve been racing for a while and I mountain bike so my bike handling skills are great. Plus we will be working on cornering and accelerating in aero bars in parking lots this week.

My last tri before London was the Circle Tri in Ashland NH. I placed well but didn’t feel great. I was 1st female and 11th overall out of nearly 200. My food didn’t digest very well so was dealing with stomach issues before and during the race. The bike course was hilly so my legs weren’t awesome on the run. I was so excited about my 6:09 pace in the last tri I was hoping to match that or do better. I knew 1 min into the run that I wasn’t going to run that pace. I ran the first mile in 6:24 and the second in 6:23 so I was consistent but not fast. The last .7 miles were tough. I heard someone catch up to me with .2 to go and couldn’t let him or her pass me. I gave it my all and finished in front of him. It was good battle and it could happen in London so I’m ready for that! Not every race is going to go smoothly so it’s always a learning experience being able to deal with what happens on race day or during the race, I love that part about competing!

We found out the awards weren’t happening until 12 and I finished at 9:15. We weren’t excited about that but decided we should wait because I was first overall. My calf has been bothering me so Steve massaged it and I had time to do an easy 30 min spin for recovery.
We waited for the kids race to end. We noticed there weren’t many athletes waiting for awards like usual. It was just the kids which they awarded first. Then onto the adults still hardly anyone around. They announced top three males and only the 2nd place male was still around and I was the only female. There were no age group awards, that’s a first. I got a box of shot blocks and a small tin of alge energybits. I don’t race for the awards or the podium feeling, but it is nice to have something from each race and to be recognized for the hard work. It was disappointing to wait nearly three hours then have to drive two hours back home.
Photographer Dick Pollock one of my sponsors came down and shot some photos and to my suprise put together a video!

MEG - CIRCLE TRI, ASHLAND, NH from Dick Pollock on Vimeo.

This week is busy; on top of training and packing, I’m met with Steve, Gina and Tami to discuss logistics for London. Today I had cornering techniques in a parking lot with Steve, so much fun! Thursday starts the Fall Trail Running Series at Great Glen and Friday evening I was invited to run in the Millen Mile. At half time at the Kennett High Football game a few of us get to run a mile as fast as we can. I’ve never been part of a half time show so I’m really excited to have the honor!

I just found out that ITU International Triathlon Union will connect to my Facebook page and post my splits and results the morning of the race. My race starts at 8:00am, 3:00am here and my wave goes off at 8:40!

I plan on at least one more blog before I leave and of course when I'm in London.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Meg, We are so excited for you! You've put in a lot of hard work and certainly deserve this shot. It's safe to say that your training is complete so be sure not only to race hard but to live it up in London! Training, Racing Living, GO MEG! -Matt & Amanda