I can't believe how fast this summer has flown...I feel like June was just last month, but that was July. I can barely even remember July happening. Right after USA Championships, I left on a month European circuit of racing for the entire month of July. I had never been gone this long from home, but I needed some sort of reassurance in my fitness after getting 4th in Eugene, so I loaded up my schedule. 6 races in 4 weeks...that'll do it! I handled myself pretty well overseas...for three of the four weeks....
I started my travels off in Paris, France. I had never been here before. When we landed at the airport and got into the van with the broken air conditioning to take us to the hotel, I couldn't believe I was actually in Paris. All I really wanted out of this trip was to see the Eiffel Tower, and maybe some air conditioning. It was SO HOT. One of my favorite parts of traveling to a new place is actually the drive from the airport to the hotel. All the athletes are so tired from flying 12 hours in a plane and are usually passed out by the time we pull out from the airport. But I always make sure I force my eyes open so I can take in the new scenery. We pull up to our hotel and the Eiffel Tower casually lingers in the background just a couple hundred meters from our van. WHAT! That's it? I was expecting the sight of it to take my breath away from the grandiose image it portrays back in the US. But it sat there so casually. People walked by it on their way to work or the market, no big deal. Hell, it was a huge deal to me! I immediately dropped my bag off and went for a "jog" to snap a couple pictures of this beauty. I later revisited with my friends to take some more pics!
After my race, I AGAIN went to the Eiffel Tower, and drank a couple beers to celebrate cracking the 1:59 barrier. Although I was never fortunate enough to have air conditioning in my hotel room that week, I managed to visit the Eiffel Tower 3 times.
I took off the next day to Switzerland and had 3 races back to back in this country. It is the most beautiful country I have ever been to. I visited Lausanne, Lucerne, and Bellinzona. One day, me and my friend Gabe took a boat tour in Lausanne. The views were unreal.
My last race in Switzerland was in Bellinzona, another beautiful city. This was week 3 for me, and I had about hit my breaking point. A lot of people think that the lifestyle that I lead is so glamorous. I do realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to travel the world while doing something I enjoy, but the conditions in which we travel are not glamorous at all. Up to this point in the trip, I had little to no air conditioning at my hotels. It would be manageable if I was vacationing in Europe and did not have to worry about being sleep deprived or dehydrated. But I am over there to work. To get myself ready every 4 days to compete at the highest level of competition. We have very few days of fun and touring around the cities. It is airports, hotel rooms, and tracks. I was starting to get irritable and feeling sick from sweating all the time and homesick and stir crazy and all of those things at once. The day of my race in Bellinzona I had a minor freak out on skype to my Mom and told her I didn't know if I could do it any longer. The same schedule EVERY day was making me crazy. Wake up, eat, sit in the room, eat, sit in the room, practice, sit in the room, dinner, sit in the room, go to sleep. Wake up, and do it again the next day. She told me to "get myself together, Molly!" I guess that is all I needed. I ran my second fastest time ever and got 2nd place: 1:59.05.
My last two races were in London and Stockholm, Sweden. Thankfully, the weather turned from hot and humid, to cold and rainy. I never thought I would be thankful for cold weather, but I was over the sweating. We got to race in the 2012 Olympic Stadium in London which was really cool. The race went pretty well and I got 4th and ran 1:59. You can watch it here.
I was so excited to get home and see Reed and my bed and my car and my own food. It was such a surprise a week after I got home to hear the news that I would be representing Team USA in Beijing at the World Championships August 26th-29th. I traveled here to the training camp in Tokyo, Japan yesterday and it is pretty awesome. Stay tuned for some updates on my races!