For the last few days Mary and I have been in Dublin, Ireland. We couldn't stay in London because we wouldn't have any pool time while swimming is competing. We were in Dublin in April before the Olympic Qualification so this time around we are pretty much locals! It's so nice being here. The people are so warm and welcoming everywhere we go. We met up with Caitlin Stewart, who is our replacement athlete and my good friend. I love having Cate here! She is such a breath of fresh air and always has a smile on her face. She is a great source of motivation for Mary and I and we can always count on her to crack a joke or push us through a tough practice.
Unfortunately we didn't get to see anything in Dublin other than the hotel and the pool. All of our time was spent either practicing or resting. Maybe one day I can come back and explore the city! The weather has been cloudy and rainy, but I actually really like it. And the sky is gorgeous here. I am building quite a collection of sky and sunset pictures on my iPhone so I got to add some from Dublin. We have the entire diving well to ourselves at the National Aquatic Center, which is a beautiful facility, and we can use the 50 meter pool as well. The training conditions couldn't be better! (and the pool temperature is great!) Our schedule has stayed pretty much the same - two water practices with a lunch break in between when we can see Holly (our physical therapist) or sneak in a quick nap. It's been kind of nice to go back to our training routine and get away from all of the excitement in London. We've been able to focus on our routines and make some improvements. I miss the village though! There's something special about the energy in that place. I can't wait to go back!
During our down time Mary, Cate and I have been watching the Olympics on TV every night. We've watched A LOT of swimming and equestrian. We watched womens gymnastics win gold in the team event last night and Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian! It's weird watching swimming events and knowing that we are going to compete in that pool in just a few days. We will definitely be competing in some golden water!
Yesterday we did an exhibition for the public at the NAC. We had a full crowd in the stands! It was pretty cool to see that many people who came just to watch us swim. When we were here with the team in April, our exhibition sold out! Although the crowd wasn't quite as big this time, it was still very impressive. Our swims went pretty well, but there is always room for improvement. I'm glad we did the exhibition because it gave Mary and I another chance to perform in front of a crowd and simulate the competition. Afterwards we signed autographs and took pictures. The people were so excited for us and we received a tremendous amount of support from the community. I feel like we have the whole country behind us as we go into competition, which is a cool feeling. I don't think we could have chosen a better place to train before we head to London and I am thankful for everything the Irish people have done for us.
Tomorrow we have an early flight to London and we will immediately head to the competition pool for music time. From now until the 5th we are going to have tunnel vision focus. Even though there are a lot of distractions in the village, Mary and I are going to keep our eyes on the prize. We've been making a lot of improvements in the last few days and hopefully we will continue getting better! Stay posted :)