Landing on Lanza

Landing on Lanza


Wednesday, 4.05am. Beep beep beep beeeeeeeeeeep. The cat lifted her head from the duvet and gave me a slightly confused and decidedly annoyed look.

“Jeez woman, it’s not even been an hour! I barely got to the part where I can chase the mouse…”
“Sorry puss, you’re getting an early breakfast this morning.”


But she was right. Terrified of missing the alarm and consequently my flight, I hadn’t even bothered turning the light out when I finally lay down at 3am; it was now 4, I’d barely snoozed and my phone was beeping insistently. I dipped through the shower, hurriedly dressed in appropriate travel-wear and made a beeline for the coffee machine. I was going to need it if I didn’t want to wrap the car round a tree on the way to the airport.

The reason I had finished packing my bike at 2am before a 7am flight was because I had agreed to give a short conference to future sponsors Interrush the evening before leaving for Lanzarote. My enthusiasm for the theme and the desire to leave a lasting impression meant I got virtually no sleep in the week leading up to it; between training and video editing – a skill I clearly haven’t quite mastered yet – I had little time for rest or travel prep.


Trying to get to grips with iMovie and Powerpoint…


By Tuesday morning I was in a state of manic exhaustion, body in spasms and mind in overdrive: basically sleep-deprived and over-caffeinated, and as high as a kite. I hopped on my bike for an early turbo session and washed it down with a second coffee. Both only served to intensify my self-induced Parkinson’s.

I showered, put a swimming costume on under normal clothes and tweaked the last video. I stuffed makeup, a dress and a pair of boots into a separate bag for later that evening and headed to the pool. I of course double-checked my computer and cables, not the second bag. Mistake…


The talk began at a time I would rather have been visiting Bedfordshire, yet in the end –perhaps thanks to the sleepless hours I put into editing my videos – it went really well. I was quite proud of myself for keeping a roomful of men giggling for the best part of 45 minutes.

I just wonder how many of them noticed I was wearing mismatched shoes… and no underwear.


That moment in the changing rooms when you realise you went to the pool in your swimming cozzie, and forgot to pack undies for afterwards… and spend the rest of the day commando.

(Seriously girls, I’m not the only one here!)

That second moment when you contort yourself into a dress in the back of the car (a Renault Espace is naturally the easiest place for a change of clothes) in an underground car park… avoiding turning the light on so no one can see when you whip your sweater off (no undies remember?)… When you pull one shoe on and expect the other to slide comfortably onto the other foot… and realise you have two right feet of two different pairs of black boots.


So do you wear your combat-style winter trusties with an evening dress and black tights, or put the bigger of the not-so-dissimilar classy boots on the wrong foot and hope no one will notice?


It’s interesting how you can stand in front of 50 people and act perfectly normal when your left foot is pointing resolutely outward and your tights are working their way up your fanny crack.


Anyway. They laughed, they didn’t stare at my feet or my crotch, I survived dinner without drinking any wine and as everything takes 5 times as long as it should when you’re exhausted, I got the bike packed by 2 something-or-other in the morning. It didn’t help that the damn thing is too small to fit in the case so I had some adjusting and extra tying to do. #poorme. I lost another hour doing God knows what and finally lay down, hardly daring to close my eyes lest I sleep through the wakeup call.


Easier getting myself in the bag than the bike


I didn’t.

Cats fed, Nespresso button depressed and shaky hands on point, I made it to the airport in plenty of time; nabbed a parking spot next to the lift and got a friendly and efficient check-in lady who waved my bike through without so much as a question; slept with my neck bent at a 90-degree angle all the way to Madrid and stuffed my face full of pain au chocolat as I waited for the next plane to Lanzarote; wrote most of this then slept some more on the final leg.


Hello Costa Teguise!


Lanzarote landscape


My triathlon career depends on the next two months on the island. My foot is showing clear signs of cooperation, and I’m crossing everything I possibly can in the hope that it will continue to improve. If I can be patient and disciplined and refrain from chasing the army of other triathletes all training their backsides off here, maybe, just maybe, I can pull it off.


Hasta luego chic@s


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