Friday, June 26, 2009

Thur 6-26

Well the Ironman blog will take a sabbatical and become the Dunkle family European blog. Forced recovery from training and racing. KP says 3 weeks is what the body needs to heal from IM. Usually about 10 days and I am ready to hit it hard again and then I get frustrated, want to log long rides, runs, he says No and I have to listen….so this time, well good forced recovery. Will be good so I can hit it hard when I return on 7/13 and get ready for Kona.

JD and left 25 June with the Carmel Valley Manchester Soccer Club- JD’s U15 Competitive soccer club. We are headed to Callela, Spain to play in the Copa Cataluna Tournament. We are traveling with the team and families. Steve (JD’s coach) is bringing 2 of his teams- U15 and U17 boys. Steve is Scottish and has taken other teams of his to European Tournaments and thinks it is a great opportunity to see Europe and see what soccer is like over there.

We arrive in Barcelona and will stay for 2 days and head to Santa Susanna where we will stay 5 days and play in the tournament in Calella. We will be in a village in Costa Brava, on the beach and swimming in the Mediterranean. There will be soccer late in the day/evenings and sightseeing and leisure time during the day. Following the tournament the team heads to Lloret de Mar for some beach time and local touring. We plan to leave JD with the team and head to Monaco for the start of the Tour de France. We are planning to follow the tour for 5 days back into Barcelona and then we head home via Newport RI for a few days with John’s family.

John and Riley head over on the 28th, arriving in Barcelona the 29th (RM’s 13th birthday) They will join up with us and then determine how much we stay with the team or take off and do some exploring on our own. John has some friends to visit nearby.

With an 8am flight, and my recent unfortunate travel issues, we arrive at SAN at 6AM and cleared security and were at the gate by 7. After missing a flight, I am happy to wait. The boys all smartly dressed in their Manchester golf shirts and Adidas outfits, we were off. SAN-JFK was painless and the team was dispersed all over the plane, mostly sitting as families, so no unruly boys on board. JD and I had a different flight from JFK to BCN so we left the team and did the 15 minute terminal transfer…. Trains, trams, escalators and a lot of walking to the two Iberia Airlines gates. With time to spare, I partake in my last Starbucks for a few weeks and JD of course if hungry. Iberia is not an upscale airline… think Southwest or less across the Atlantic. Poor audio and seats were marginal. Fortunately JD can sleep anywhere and the post Ironman and lack of sleep since my race allowed me to sleep as well. The 7 hour flight to Madrid was painless, after the 14 hour flight to Australia, this was easy. Changing planes in Madrid was quite a feat as well. As with many major European airports, Madrid is expansive, artichecturally stunning and a pleasre to navigate. Posted on directions to our terminal was time to get there. When we saw 20 minutes, I balked, but well it was 18 minutes after we cleared customs, took 3 escalators, walked .25 miles, up the what seemed like the 3 escalators we just came down, tram ride, down the 3 escalators again, back through security (with out shoes on) and back up the 3 and to the gate.

I slept through breakfast and was famished- double espresso with leche and a chicken/herbs crepe- spicy and delicious. And here we are on the final flight to Barcelona……