Well It's actually very very hot here. But Des Moines is sooooooo cool! I'm having a lot of fun. After Couteau de Lac we spent another 4 days training in a little town outside of Montreal called Rigaud. That part of the trip was pretty chill. We were in a cute family owned inn that would cook us whatever we wanted for breakfast in the mornings. For half the trip we were the only ones staying there. We swam in both the Couteau de Lac river and the local school's pool. We had to drive to the next town to find restaurants, but it was kind nice to be training in such a relaxed place. The roads for riding were beautiful, but really bumpy and cracky from their winters ( that’s how I broke my race wheel- I wish I had a picture of the death pothole to put up.. looking at the hole afterwards I was pretty surprised that I hadn’t died when I hit it). Coming here was a huuuuuge change from Rigaud. We went from old little town inn in the countryside to a super fancy new hotel in the middle of a brand new shopping and restaurant district. It's Great! We're right beside a Super Target which is like.. an even better version of a US Walmart! It has absolutely everything. I had to refrain myself from buying every unnecessary yet fun thing I saw- Snow Cone Mix anyone? We also have a neat health foods market right around the corner that is great, so I was able to stock up on gluten free treats! They even have a little restauranty thingy inside that we’ve eaten at twice now.
So anyways- I came charging back into my room to tell Marianne about the best grocery shopping trip everrrr, only to find that they had delivered us each big gift bag things full of treats and shirts and bath/body products, and just so much stuff, plus 4 flats of water and propel to each of our rooms! It was sooooo cool! ha. We both couldn’t stop talking about how exciting everything was. The hotel pool here is half outdoor, half indoor. We weren’t able to get in for a swim anywhere yesterday, so Paula and I tied ourselves to poles with our stretch cords and swam stationary for a while. I just had fun sproinging backwards every time I stopped swimming.
I think we all felt a little out of place at the pre-race meeting. Not only were we the youngest by far, there were so many big names… and then there was us. Most of the athletes there got to watch themselves in the ITU promo video they played before the meeting. Its weird being at a race meeting with the people you usually only watch on tv.
Apparently they spent more on the race set up here than at the Olympics (2.5 million!). There's a huge grandstand, advertisements and vendors everywhere, even walkways above the transition zone, so you can watch from above. Not only is there $200 000 for winning ($1000 just for finishing) - there is a $5000 swim prime, and 3x $500 bike primes! And you don’t have to finish the race to win the prime. Definitely a very exciting place to be.
West Des Moines itself is beautiful. . I lovveee the lake/river that the race is at. Everything is very green and clean. And hot. Water temperature was 29 degrees yesterday- In normal circumstances I would be absolutely ecstatic to swim in a lake that warm, but since it’s so hot outside a little bit cooler would be nice. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this kind of heat+ humidity before except for maybe in the heat chamber. Just jogging outside the other day was really hard. Fingers crossed that it’ll be a bit more bearable for the World Cup tomorrow.
At the moment an outdoor concert thingy is going on outside our hotel. I'm thinking maybe I should go check it out, since there is no way I'll be falling asleep anytime soon. The boys are also on this Tetris kick, so I might just have to go show em how its done.
I was given the choice to either watch the women’s race or the men’s, so I think I’ll go cheer on Paula at the women’s tomorrow. Pretty excited!
oh and ps. helmet was found. So the casualties from my trip to Rigaud only include one broken race wheel, and one floor pump left behind at the race course.
Me at the hotel pool: