Tuesday, April 29. 2008
Just a quick update to let you know that things are going fairly well over here in Spain.
We have basically been training, eating, and resting since we got here. The weather has been perfect and the hotel is great. There is a lot of downtime, though, and being in close quarters with the same people all day long tends to lead to tension rather quickly. So far, things are actually okay... we'll see how everyone does as race days approach.
Today was an afternoon off from training for most of our group. We had planned to have a team outing to the city of Cadiz but when we got ready to go, one of the vans broke down. The coaches decided to take the four youngest swimmers on the trip (along with a few staff members) and the rest of us got left behind. I thought it was boring to be here when I was training two times per day... having the ENTIRE afternoon off and nothing to do is brutal. We couldn't go anywhere else until we got a new van (no idea why we couldn't pair up and jump in cabs) and then by the time we got the van, it was siesta time and everything is closed.
So... I've been watching CNN (the only English channel) and reading. I'm already through almost 2 books... and I only brought 5. I need to slow down. Other teams are arriving today and tomorrow, so I may go look around and see what friends I can find from other countries.
Saturday, April 26. 2008
Hello everyone -
The trip to Spain went very well. None of us really slept on the flight over (tough because it was an afternoon flight based on our time that got in early in the morning local time.) Needless to say, we were all exhausted last night and in bed by about 8pm. The food on the flight was also some of the worst airplane food I've had in ages. Unbelievable. Oh, and our entire team got rather lost in the Madrid airport. We only lost a few bags by the time we got to Spain, though, and most of them were found and delivered by this morning. So... all in all... not a bad start.
The experience at the hotel so far been pretty great. We're so spoiled here - we're going to have to watch ourselves to not balloon up and float our way through the races based on the food we're getting. We have unbelievable spreads of food for all of our meals. We have special catering for lunch and dinner that USA Swimming is getting for us. The breakfast buffet this morning (served to all hotel guests, not just the USA team) was like nothing I've seen before. I could go into detail - but I think I'll just leave you with one of the most exciting parts - the chocolate fountain at breakfast! Most of us were pretty good and avoided that this morning, but we'll see how long the self control lasts.
We have already had two swim sessions. We're struggling to get the pool owners to give us enough training time, but we have lots of USA staff working on it. Speaking of which, we have 9 staff members here for 10 athletes. That's quite the ratio! They're all pretty amazing people and I'm excited to spend 2 weeks with them.
Back to the training... you would not believe how cold the water was this morning. I never warmed up throughout the entire 8K session. Not fun at all. Plus, it was pitch black out for the first hour. We had to dodge the sprinkler system as we tried to find our way to the pool on the way into workout and then we were guided only by the moonlight for the first hour. Fun... in a way. Would have been more fun if we weren't so cold.
Anyway, the one major thing I did want to let you know is that we do not have the internet access here that we assumed we would. There is great internet service, but it costs about $20 per day. My roommate and I have decided to split the cost and to buy it every 3-4 days. I'll be in touch when I can.
I hope everything is going well at home.