Home Stretch

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Hey hey! I’m posting today from Cavtat (somehow pronounced Sow-dat :), just up the coast from Dubrovnik in the south of Croatia.

After my last post, I set my personal record for most number of flight connections without a single glitch – 5!! After flying YVR –> YYZ –> CPH –> ARN –> ZRH –> SPU over 30 hours, I finally grabbed a cab in the middle of the night in Split, Croatia. I convinced the cabbie to lower the back seats and we tucked the bike and my backpack in. We drove to Bajnice, which is where the hostel I had booked is, and as soon as I was in my dorm I was SOUNDLY asleep. 12 hours later I woke up to 2 funny British guys (Tom and Dan), very sweetly trying not to wake me up from the other bunk beds even though it was the middle of the day.

I spent the first few days of my trip with them and their friend Drew (from Australia). On that first afternoon we hung out at the hostel, then took their rental car up the coast to check out the actual city of Split. It was nice to walk around and then to eat a real dinner (awesome seafood). Trying to leave the city, though, we got SO lost. There were basically no signs for the highway, so we drove the little rental car all up and down the hills of the city trying to find the D8… which we finally did, 45 minutes later :)

IMG_3984The next day was my last day at the hostel, so we hung out by the water all day. I relaxed in the sun, swam in the Adriatic, read, and generally went into total vacation mode. Both nights we stayed up wayyyy late (like all night) staring at the stars. Since we were in a little fishing village, there was almost no light pollution and I have never seen so many stars and constellations so clearly.

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Next it was time for me to head back to Split to meet the group I’d be cycling with for the next 5 days. I had a great time riding in the mornings, going to the seaside or relaxing in the afternoons, and enjoying longggg dinners of fresh seafood on the Dalmatian coast. I put my legs to work climbing (you can see the rides on Strava), earned some serious tan lines and met a really awesome person.

After the trip landed me in Dubrovnik, in the very south of Croatia, I had originally planned to spend a day and then go to Stockholm. The combination of good company, good coffee and never ending sunshine, though, prompted me to extend my stay. So, I’m relaxing here for a few more days and then going directly to Motala on Sunday for the race (which will still give me a few days to settle in with the rest of the team). At this point, I have plans to run a bit but mostly I’m loving the taper and trying to eat like a reasonable human (is it normal to have ice cream for every meal?)

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I think I had forgotten how much I love the Dalmatian coast. Traveling alone has been a breeze as there are so many people to meet and the locals are really warm. The beaches are rocky, but if you don’t mind that, the Adriatic is unbelievably calm. Check out the yachts docked just outside the coffeeshop where I’m working!

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days about the race and this summer. Logistically, Motala is still pretty cold, and the water temperatures are not looking good for a race day swim. I have a pretty strong feeling that if it doesn’t get cancelled altogether, the swim will be shorter than 4 km. The biking has built up some confidence (I really started attacking the climbs) so I’m hoping that my bike fitness is enough. I haven’t been running much, but I think by the time I get to it on race day I may be able to just power through. I had no illusions about winning the race, and I like my goal of showing up, having fun, and finishing the longest distance I’ve ever attempted.

Next stop, Motala!

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