Whew! It’s crazy how geographically, Lanzarote is technically one of the closer destinations I’m racing in this year (as the crow flies). Unfortunately, I can’t catch crows to races though, and so 23 hours of travel later I landed in Lanzarote! A little sweaty and tired but my sanity was (mostly) in tact. And, I was given the gift of arriving at sunset – perhaps the most beautiful first glimpse of the island possible!
I arrived at Club la Santa and immediately was impressed. Hillary had suggested coming out here early to get acclimated both to environment and the time change, and it was easy to do when this resort exists. So far, I have zero complaints about being here. From my perfectly clean, energy efficient room (requires my key in this holder thingy so the electric in the apartment works! Hence, you never are accidentally leaving lights on, etc. Also, super energy efficient in that there’s no TV……:) I’ve been getting by just fine!!) And the apartment also has the skinniest mirror of all skinny mirrors. If you know what I’m talking about with this, you know to fully appreciate this!
Outdoors, it’s an active person’s paradise. There’s always a class or activity going if you’d prefer something with a group. If not, do your own thing in the gym (with Woodway treadmills!), on the track, or in one of the THREE 50m pools. And if you don’t feel like being active? Yep, there’s a beautiful “leisure” pool for relaxing and just enjoying the breeze. I’m sure the weather isn’t *always* like this, but so far it’s been groundhog day everyday here with each day in the 70s, sunny, and a cool breeze blowing through. I could get used to this.
It’s also enjoyable in that they have clearly figured out athletes. I can relax with the best of them, but I’m sure that my relaxing is still in the “Type A” category. Everything here just runs so smoothly. Schedules and policies are around AND enforced to keep things running well. The staff is so great and haven’t made fun of any of my questions yet 🙂 Oh, and the best part, this place is actually affordable. I swear. They offer a great race discount and it makes it all much more affordable than any 2 weeks I’ve ever spent in an North American Ironman town.
So, now that I’ve sold you on Club La Santa, I’ll tell you more about the island: It’s SO COOL. I rode through Timanfaya National Park yesterday. This is where there’s volcanoes and it literally looks like you’re riding on Mars. There are also camel tours that appear to take you up into the volcano. I tried to take pictures but nothing came out properly like how it looked in person. But then I took this picture of a postcard I bought and THIS shows it perfectly. So, just look at this instead:
Tomorrow I ride up the infamous Mirador del Rio (Lookout of the River: BOOM Spanish translation for you) and I can not wait. One of the best parts of this job is getting to push me past my comfort zones, one of these things being riding and navigating in foreign places! The last time I had to do this alone was in Cabo, and really, that barely counts since it was just a couple highways. If you ever find yourself previewing a course in a new land, my tips are as follows:
-Bring cash in the local currency. Odds are you’ll ride into some small villages and cash on hand for water and snacks is handy!
-Bring your phone and don’t be stingy on the data if you need to use it. We live in a time where GPS exists on a handheld device. Use it if you need to, you’ll pay the $5 gladly afterwards I’m sure.
-Odds are that help won’t just be a call away – bring two spares, and multiple cartridges or a handpump!
-Go slow. Don’t make your first ride a hard one. Not only will you want to take in the views, but newsflash: you don’t know what lies ahead! Don’t go too fast and regret it.
So yeah, life is good. I am looking forward to tracking all my TeamHPB, TeamSFQ, and other friends at IM Texas tomorrow. Inspiration on point for sure!
PS – Yes I have also been smashing some brief time in the Sun (wearing plenty of sunscreen I PROMISE!). And yes, this picture is totally filtered and adjusted. I am *not* that tan……yet!