Three hours later, it was 14:45 and I was (a) finally fully awake and (b) starving. Have I mentioned that one of the biggest downfalls of this place is that you can only eat when the Powers That Be deign to open the dining hall? That being, an hour and 15 minutes in the morning, two hours around midday, and an hour and a half in the evenings, starting at 17:30. It's 16:10, and I'm counting the minutes.
Since I seem determined to torture myself by talking about food... I had another of those wonderful Albert Heijn salads for dinner last night (supplemented by a container of cucumbers/baby tomatoes/onions/olives/feta cheese). And I was so hungry after swimming that I couldn't wait until I got home, and so just started eating it (with the oh-so-thoughtfully provided plastic spork) while standing in the freezing bus terminal. Not exactly ideal fare for a night as cold as last night was, but it tasted good.
In the 21 days I have left here, I intend to eat, at least one more time:
(a) a broodje kroket (defies explaination), with mustard
(b) a broodje Mario (hot Italian sandwich) from the green-striped tent on the Oudegracht
(c) one of those amazing pizza slices from Bakkerij Bart's (yes, now I'm salivating), and
(d) of course, a patatje met (French fries with mayonnaise), probably also with pindasaus (peanut sauce) and chopped onions.
I'm sure I'll think of more as the days roll by, but that's all I've got for now.
To take a break from my culinary-directed thoughts: the exercise-induced asthma had another flare-up in Waddinxveen last night. It's weird because I haven't noticed it for a long time now - not even during the 45-minute treadmill sessions - which makes me wonder if it could be hormone-related. I also wonder if it could have to do with some combination of factors at that individual pool, such as the bathtub-like water temperature, the roughness of the water (since everyone is swimming fast and they don't use proper lane lines), which makes unimpeded breathing no easy feat anyway, and, perhaps, even the chlorine content of the pool. Technically, I guess that shouldn't vary all that much between pools, but I almost never have problems at the Krommerijn, and it makes sense that since the Waddinxveen pool is used for little kids' swim lessons, that it might have a higher chlorine content. On the other hand, the Krommerijn is also much cooler and much smoother (since 90% of the swimmers are old people doing head-up breaststroke).
Anyway, I'm still trying to work out the pattern, but the point is, I usually only need the inhaler in Waddinxveen - nowhere else - and one puff on it prior to the workout is usually enough to stave off any problems I might otherwise have. Yesterday, though, we were doing really fast stroke sets, and since I was sharing a lane with three ridiculously fast grown men, it was challenging to keep up as it was (read: the intended 20 seconds of rest became, for me, more like 8). Usually I only notice the throat tightness (and subsequent desire to cough) on the breaks in between sets, but the longer I ignored it, the worse it got and the more I started to notice it affecting me during the actual swimming as well. So I finally gave in and hauled myself out, trotted into the locker room, and did two more puffs, but by the time I got back out, the workout was nearly over, so I ended up swimming only 3500 meters. Grrr. I wish this thing had a more predictable pattern. For the record, we're midway through Week 3 on the hormonal calendar - as if the Internet needed to know that - so we'll see if that yields any revelations.
The high note of yesterday: for the first time, I swam 100 straight meters of butterfly without stopping, as part of a 400 IM (after which we did a few 75s fly as well). It was very slow and most likely not that pretty, but the fact that I was able to do it made me proud, since butterfly has been a major challenge to me ever since I started swimming. I've raced the 200 IM before (so 50m fly), but more than 50m never really comes up in practice, so I'd never even really tried it before. So, hooray for Jess. I almost never race anything but sprint freestyle, but I do have to swim the 100 IM in Delft next weekend (not really a true event, but fun nonetheless), starting with 25m fly, but that should be a piece of cake.
Cake. You see? I'm back to food. *stomach growls*
Sigh. 45 more minutes.