If you haven’t read about my time in Monaco yet, you’ll want some context.  Check it out here.

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The event was amazing!  The newly relaid track led to incredible times, and Wheating, Symmonds, Jemma and I all ran very well.  Especially Andrew!  Holy crap!

I was a bit off the front pack from the gun, which I should have anticipated, but I went into the race open-minded to being able to stick with them through at least 2k.  Well, that turned out to be impossible, as I was full throttle from lap 3 and there was no chance I was sticking with them.  The cool part was, I ran the race pretty evenly and ran close to my personal best (I ran 8:46 and my best is 8:42).  To be running in the 8:40’s is incredible considering where I’ve come from this year!

I wish I could say the race itself was fun, but most of it wasn’t.  It was a bit of a mental battle the whole way since I don’t find 10th-12th places to be particularly interesting.  But I’m proud of myself because I competed above my own expectations, despite having no taste of the front pack to inject me with adrenaline.  It felt like a time trial, and at points I would catch myself saying, “I wish I was up there, dammit!” Its really tough to stay positive and focused in situations like that.

me and Brad

Me and Brad

Afterwards, I was glowing in the finish area under the stadium, and Rowls and my agent’s assitant Brad were there to say congrats.  Tyson Gay was down there being harassed by media, looking completely unimpressed, and ethiopian women were taking off their tops and free-boobing it to change into fresh clothes like usual, nonplussed by the gawking male volunteers.

I cooled down forever, joining Erin Donaghue for part of hers, (she is awesome).  Then Shannon and I were finishing our cooldown around the tiny turf field when the lights were suddenly turned off, leaving us in total darkness.  That’s the bummer of being the last race…so we decided to take our post-race buzz and run the 2 miles back to our hotel, through the city.

We run underneath the castle through a tunnel not designed for pedestrians, and managing to somehow survive the passing ferraris and jaguars, we emerged into the night lights of the yacht harbor and weaved through hundreds of pedestrians and carnival rides until we made it back to the rooftop pool at our hotel and jumped in!  This was of course a french no-no, especially in our sweaty uniforms, but when the french hotel worker tried to kick us out, we winked a few times and managed to talk him into letting us stay for just a few laps under the moonlight.

feastThe rest of tonight was filled with the gala, a three course plated meal with awards and professional dancing.  Alysia Johnson and I couldn’t resist intervening with the dance, cutting in to get spun around by the two shirtless cha-cha-ing male leads!  After the gala ended, a group of us finished off the night at the beach, swimming in the warm mediterranean sea under the stars…heaven.dancing

If only Jesse could have made it…he and I reunite in Antwerp, Belgium tomorrow where he is preparing for his first European Professional Triathlon on Sunday.  Any beautiful place that I go, no matter how fantastic, now feels incomplete without him to share it with.