Sunday, August 28, 2016

Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Week 2

Coolum Beach, Queensland, Australia
Today, Bryan and I touched down in a new country, in fact, a new continent. I am happy to say that despite enduring an 18+ hour travel excursion, we both enjoyed the waters of the Coral Sea underfoot this evening. In addition, every bag of luggage made it. Regardless of the way TSA violated my bike and the contents of my bike box, my efforts to protect everything with pipe insulation and styrofoam apparently succeeded.

The first few days of this week mimicked those of the previous four. However, I remember telling my girls on Monday that indeed, this would be the last 45 minutes of hell that involved running at such a speed that no one, upon awaking on a Monday, would ever like to see before 5 o'clock in the morning. On Wednesday, I informed them that having to endure the boredom of watching their owner run up and down a hill would finally come to an end. What I don't think they had quite prepared themselves for, however, was mom leaving on Friday for a race they had no idea they helped prepare her for.

Our 14 hours on a Qantas flight from LA to Brisbane felt tight. Bryan likened our situation to what cattle must feel like when shoved into semis for slaughter. A twinge of sadness overcame me when he said that, and I reminded myself that in an hour, the powers of Ambien would guide me into what I hoped to be a deep sleep. It seemed 5mg bought me about 3 hours, so after a total of 15mg, I let myself remain awake for the remaining two hours to Brisbane. What Qantas lacked in leg room, they fairly made up for with food. My breakfast hardly compared to the pretzels and ice water I've grown accustomed to on flights these days.

A little delayed, Brisbane welcomed us with temperate weather and sunny skies. After just one wrong turn onto the motorway, we found ourselves heading to the north toward Coolum Beach, where the AirBnB we'd reserved awaited us. Driving on the left side of the road made for some serious entertainment, primarily from the passenger's point of view. Bryan, on the other hand, struggled with his turn signals so that we both understood our windshield wipers worked, one too many times. All I could think was how fortunate we were the gas and brake pedals weren't on opposite sides, too.

Friendly people awaited us in Coolum Beach. Our host welcomed us openly and even offered to assist us with our first grocery shopping excursion. We declined her hospitality so we could take showers we longed for desperately. Later in the afternoon, we did venture into the heart of town before coming home so Bryan could rest and I could go for a short run and explore the area. I marveled at how wonderful I felt running across the sand, overlooking the ocean whose waters lapped the shores of Australia! I feel blessed to visit this area, and I long for a memorable race this upcoming weekend.

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