OK, so I get to France and wouldn't you know it... no computer at our hotel! Sorry to leave ya hanging like that. So here's the super condensed version of my amazing trip:
I fly into Paris, bike and luggage made it! It's about 8:00am there, but the middle-of-the night my time. We take a bus around the Paris airport to pick up all other Team USAers who were on different flights. That airport was HUGE! We finally snatch everyone up and travel through Paris to the train station. We got to take a four-hour bullett to L'Orient. I would say it was cool, but I slept the whole time ;-)
L'Orient is a small town, so having the World's here was a big deal to them. Everyone was taking our pictures and there were billboards all over town about the race. Our hotel was pretty far away from the hustle and bustle of the town, so during the day when we weren't training we would all just hang out and get to know eachother. It was so much fun and I met some great friends!
Race day was awesome! We had great weather starting out. The swim began as a wave start with all females in one wave (about 200 of us). We did a two loop swim, having to climb up and over a pier in the middle... it was different! I felt good coming out of the water and finished the 2 mile swim in just under 1 hour. The transition was in one end out the other, so everyone ran the same distance through transition. However, this also made transition about 3/4 mile long!! It went forever! The bike course was beautiful. It was out and back twice for a total of 49 miles. We rode along the ocean and the countryside, it was awesome. Pretty flat course, had some strong crosswinds from the ocean though. But the most difficult part was going over the french version of a speed bump before and after each of the traffic circles we went through. Their speed bumps are long and not well marked. Thinking back it was really funny to watch people ride over them. I came off the bike not doing as well as I had hoped, so I really pushed my run (12.8 miles). I finished the race in 5:09, 5th in my Age Group.
Going to France on my own was such a cool experience. I met some great friends and learned some really valauble lessons about racing!! I ended up extending my trip two days to tour Paris with Jill and Nikki, two of my coolest teammates. We walked for 14 hours straight fueling with baugettes, nutella, espresso, wine, and cheese! It was perfect, and a great end to an unforgettable trip!