PNF: So are you prepared to go over with him? You know that’s a new dynamic, taking your significant other when you’re both racing and there’s limited energy, love and attention to go around.
MC: We’ve thought a lot about that. It’s not something we’re taking lightly. The last two years he came and was there to support me, which was great for me. If I needed something from the grocery store, if I was freaking out about something, he was there and he was calm.
PNF: So what happens this year?
MC: This year we’ve got support. I’ve got a lot of friends that will be there. Siri will be staying at the same place as us, and Siri is that person that you can go and talk to and freak out or whatever and she’ll bring you back. You can talk out anything with her – which I think is her main role as a coach for me now. Its not so much the programming, it’s the mental support. That person that knows exactly what you’re going through, has been there and knows what it feels like. And Tim’s got his coach Cliff English; he’ll be there. Also Wendy Ingraham and Shannon Delaney, my managers. I’ve got a lot of support and Tim does too, so I think he’ll be all right.
PNF: It’s always interesting, because the couple’s thing sometimes works out for both, but it usually swings in favor of one rather than the other. I know we [Paula and her husband, Paul Huddle] went many, many years together and somebody usually gets the lion’s share of the energy that’s getting dished out. You’ll definitely get the lion’s share of the attention once you step out the door. Are you ready for that?
MC: I feel like last year I got a lot of attention.
PNF: Are you ready for more this year?
MC: I don’t know how much more there will be.
PNF: It’s a little intense. It just gets to be a little bit more intense, every time you step out the door to go for a run, or go to the grocery store, or anything.
MC: I definitely remember actually, last year one day I planned to do an open water swim. I think it was on the Wednesday [before the race]. For some reason we planned it at 9:00am, when everyone was there. I was riding my bike and I came in off my ride and people were everywhere. I freaked out. I just had people in my face: Sign this! I’ve got this for you! Can you try this product? I called Siri and I said, “We can’t swim now. I cannot deal with this. Too many people, we need to get out of here.” For the most part I was pretty well sheltered, smart about planning where to go and when to go. You ended up scooping me up to drug testing, and that was probably a good thing. I got out of the craziness.
PNF: And you know there’s always a melt down in the week before. You know that, right? There’s always one absolute implosion. If you don’t have it then something’s wrong! I always had one. Always. Always one drama, one melt down, one freak out. I’m going to come last. I suck. It’s never going to happen. So as long as you know and as long as T.O. knows there will probably be one melt down, and Siri’s ready to be on standby for that.