Friday, May 2. 2008
Today is internet day again, so I figured I'd send a quick update to let you know how things are going over here in Spain. We've settled into a routine of training, eating, and sleeping... but tomorrow the schedule will change as we kick things off with Day One of the 2008 Open Water World Championships. The women will dive in at 10am for the start of the 10K. When all is said and done, fifteen of those girls will be on their way to Beijing to represent their country at the 2008 Olympic Games. The men will follow on Sunday with the same routine. I will update you as soon as I can after both races. I'm sure you will be able to find almost immediate results on the USA Swimming, FINA, or Australian Swimming websites. (Grant Hackett is here so the Australian media is all over this race!)
The USA is looking good - Micha, Kirsten, Chip and Mark (our 10K swimmers) all look tough, rested, and ready to go. We did a trial run yesterday morning - the whole team got up early, ate breakfast together, walked over to the starting area, got ready, and dove into the river together to simulate the start of the race. The water looks a little murky, but it seems rather clean and the temperature is great. There's a big buzz about all of the new suits but we're trying not to get too distracted by all of it. Basically, the idea seems to be that we're wearing whatever is most comfortable and not worrying about how buoyant it is or what fabric it's made of. We know we'll be fast no matter what we've got on!
The team is getting along well - it's tough sometimes to be around the same people in close quarters all day long like this, but I think we're actually handling it pretty well. There are lots of teams staying in this hotel - Netherlands, Australia, Hungary, Germany, and France to name a few - so it can be kind of stressful to walk around and feel like you're being watched all the time. At the same time, though, it's been nice for me to be so close to so many friends. We have been hanging out in the lobby downstairs and visiting in each other's rooms... it's so much easier than when we're thousands of miles apart! We're in a hotel that is across the street from the race venue. There is also a dorm-style residence at the venue and most of the other teams are there (Russia, Italy, Canada, China, Spain, Venezuela, etc.). I've been visiting there and they've come over here - it's a great little international village situation we've got!
I guess that's about it for now. We haven't really been out and about in the city too much (other than the drives to and from the practice facilities) so I don't have much to report about anything other than training and getting ready for the races. That's why we're here, though, so I guess we're doing a great job staying focused!
I hope everything is going well at home. I'll be in touch again after the races. Think FAST thoughts for our 10Kers on the 3rd and 4th.
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