Tuesday, September 10, 2013

London: Settling In

So that I don't have to fill up my race report with other stuff, I thought I would share a few details along the way.  There isn't one big story, just a bunch of smaller ones....

- While I feel bad for the mother, a crying baby two rows up makes for one hell of a long transatlantic flight.

- I came here expecting curveballs.  Attention to detail makes it easier to adjust along the way.  First, the apartment manager wasn't there to meet me, so I ended up at a hotel nearby. It's a pain, but we'll get it figured out tonight and they have been very apologetic.  Second, it took far longer than I expected to find the registration.  It wasn't just me- I befriended a couple of Aussies who were also lost.  You would think they would have signs all over the place.  Thinking we were going to be late, our long walk was fairly aggressive.  That counts as my warm up run for the day.

- The water is "cold," about 61 degrees.  I got in a warm up in the Serpentine, just on the other side from the course.  After about 700 yds I felt good and got out.

- It's cool to see uniforms from all over the world- Japan, South Africa, UK, Ireland, Australia, Norway, just to name a few.

- It's even better to see the venue.  It's precisely where the Olympic races were held.  And we will swim the same course and go down the same finishing chute.  Goosebumps!

- America is known as The Melting Pot, but it has nothing on London.  Even away from the race site, it's incredible to see the diversity.  It makes you think we live in a very homogenious society, both culturally and ideologically.  And that others may not think too highly of us Americans. The 10 minute walk from the apartment to Hyde Park has a heavy islamic influence. Right or wrong, I decided not to wear my USA apparel this afternoon.  I'd rather not feel like a target.

- I successfully got a one month membership, to be used just three days, at a very nice healthclub on the way to the race. They have a 20m pool and tons of bikes. I have found that a good warmup is critical for my race, and there's no way to get in the water or take my bike out on race morning.

- Tomorrow I compete in the Aquathlon, a 1.5K bike and 5K run.  I've never done one before, so why not make the first the World Championship?  I'm doing it to get familiar with the course, to replicate  race morning in all aspects, and to force the time change.  I don't want to feel out of sorts on Friday.  One change, however, is that I will run with my Garmin so I don't run too hard.  I'll also back off the swim after the first 200 yards.

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