Alright, Iâ€™m going to shorten this post and save you the trouble of reading about how we moved from an expensive â€œbudgetâ€ hotel, where we were getting two identical rooms, one a â€œsingleâ€ and one a â€œdoubleâ€, but both with two beds, and where we had a great breakfast, and where wireless internet was free, and where the front desk recognized us and helped us find out way around, and where we were 4km from the start, to a “5-star” hotel (I’m typing this in a white bath robe with matching slippers)where we pay $100 a night more for what they call a â€œtriâ€ room, which was advertised as â€œspacious living space and bedroomâ€ and which is just 2 km from the race start, but takes 5 minutes to get to the street (I hate huge hotels), and where I am now sleeping on a cot in the corner of a small room dominated by the two twin beds that my parents occupy, and where it costs $9 an hour for internet (Iâ€™m typing this in word), and has no breakfast buffet (I finally found a hot plate and made my own oatmeal this morning, so that wasnâ€™t so bad.). But Iâ€™m not going to bother going into any of that.
Iâ€™m also not going to waste your time with how Thursdayâ€™s Team USA meeting, at the official Team USA hotel, took a train ride plus over a mile walk to get to (starting from the race site) or how I was following a hand drawn map because the hotel is so far from the city center that it wasnâ€™t on any of the printed maps. Or how after the meeting I waited around for the Official Team USA shuttle that takes people to the race course from the Official Team USA hotel, but after standing there for a half hour we were told that it was actually the Official-Team-USA-members-that-booked-through-the-team-usa-travel-agent-for-a-hefty-premium shuttle, and the rest of us could pay to be part of it, but were otherwise on our own (I ended up catching a bus back with Jesse Thomas [the guy who nearly made up a 4 minute gap on me in the run at Nationals], his girlfriend, and lisa or Rebecca orâ€¦wow Iâ€™m making an ass of myself by forgetting girls names this weekâ€¦)
Iâ€™ll just start by saying I was in a really good mood (actually thatâ€™s true, the stuff I neglected to tell you above was nothing against my positive attitude and focus. It was raining, by the way, all of Thursday. Felt like home.
At 6pm I heading out to the open water swim (one of two times they let us into the lake before the race) with my parents. The water was cold, and brown.
And surprisingly it tasted a lot like boat fuel.
I missed the team photo. It was taking place as I was getting out of the water, and I decided to eat dinner instead. Iâ€™m told Photoshop can make it look like I was there (along with the entire German army). I almost skipped the opening ceremony entirely, but made the choice to stand in the rain and represent my country, for a little while anyway. It was fun. I really do like this whole Team USA stuff. (even if I sound a little bitter above, itâ€™s all in jest; the USAT staff is doing a remarkable job). You get to see every country put on all their team clothing and wave flags around. The pictures speak louder.
I was asked to be in this because of the hat. The UK admitted they were expecting to see mostly out backs in the race.
The young lady in the middle is Peggy MacDougle. Sheâ€™s gave me the hat last year in Lausanne. There was also a much bigger parade last year, with really nice weather.
See? Peggy and I go way back. (We met in line for packet pickup at â€™06 nationals, and it was a long line, so by the time we got our packets we knew each otherâ€™s life stories. I wonâ€™t say whoâ€™s story was longer, but adult children definitely add depth to a story.)
I started a hilarious book called A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby. Itâ€™s about four people that meet on New Years Eve on a rooftop they were all intending to jump off. Sounds like a downer, but itâ€™s pretty funny.
I’ll leave you with this. It’s my mom and a balloon!