Am having a ball. Swam two races on Saturday (800 Free, time 11:02; 200 IM, time 2:46) and a relay yesterday (the 4×50 medley, in which we won our heat). Times have been—well, hardly spectacular, but definitely respectable given the intermittent nature of my training up until this point. I touched out one of my regular TNYA lane-mates in the IM, neener neener. Relay tonight; 100 IM tomorrow, 400 IM Wednesday. Possibly another relay in there somewhere. All the swimming events between now and Friday are to be held in the evening, for reasons I can only guess at, so the swimmers are all living like Spaniards, having dinner at eleven o’clock. This is more difficult than I’m used to, given that Chicago is not in Spain, and is a town that seems to shutter its restaurants at about 10. But we’re figuring things out. The boy-watching is up to its usual standards; there are a number of specimens who obviously live on chicken breasts and egg-whites. We admire their dedication, and the results thereof, but agree that life is too damn short. We are all losing our voices, because the pool facilities, like most of their kind, are a gigantic white-noise generator, and you have to kind of shout to be heard. And then there’s the screaming exhortation of one’s teammates, of course. I am rapidly turning into Thurl Ravenscroft.
Weather is outrageously hot and sultry, and promises to remain so until at least Wednesday. Apparently the city of Chicago has been in some sort of ‘heat emergency’ for the last day or two, and the various medical institutions around here are all saying that to hold outdoor athletic events in such weather is insane. But Chicago is bidding for the summer Olympics in 2016, and is therefore the city doing its best to demonstrate that it can handle such eventualities. There are firemen at some of the playing fields, hosing down the crowds. That sort of thing. (Word on the street is that the firemen are an added bonus unto themselves.)
We are a seriously motley crowd, as the (waay-too-long) opening ceremonies Saturday demonstrated: sweet grandparents and blue-mohawked twentysomethings and demure accountants and burly men with beards and bald heads. It’s great. I met a bunch of fabulous dykes in cowboy hats from London on the train last night, here to play soccer. I may go watch their match today.
Internet access has been spotty, so I don’t know when the next report will be. Hope everyone is well.