Thursday, June 2, 2011

Travel time - Germany part I

For the Memphis in May Triathlon I attempted a new kind of travel. The in-n-out travel (no In n Out Burgers in my bags). I flew to Memphis on Saturday and home on Sunday after the race. That was the plan at least.

Well here is how it went, including the mistakes I made:

When travelling at 4 am, no breakfast is NOT a good idea. I thought I could eat on the airplane, but a Clif Bar is just not enough...

When travelling through lunch time, bring a snack just in case...I thought I had enough time to get a sandwich in Charlotte, but we had a delay and therefore I had to run to the plane that got me to sandwich...again, a Clif Bar...not enough for lunch either.

I got to Memphis and got picked up by my very nice homestay. We built my bike on the way to the Pro meeting, listened to the rules and went for a ride/run. Sweaty but happy we went to April's house (homestay coordinator and very good cook) for delicious FOOD.

The next day was one of the craziest days in Triathlon that I have ever seen. A HUGE storm rolled in and half way through the start of the age groupers thunder and lightning was everywhere...I hid in the car and was still scared of getting hit!!! Damie, my homestay is so brave. She did great out there and even rode a flat for 5 miles!!!

We started with an hour delay...after sitting around without food or water or a blanket. I am not sure where my race mode and my battle instinct went but it seemed to be gone for the swim. I got on the bike and was just worried about crashing or getting hit by lightning in this storm, so I rode careful. I still managed to get a sub 1 hr time, which I was super happy with.

The run was very scary again, with lightning everywhere...I have been in storms before, but this was the scariest thing I have ever raced in. I got 8th place and was really happy with it!!! Turns out that the same storm was the reason I had to spend the night at the Chicago airport a few hours later. JR got me a room (it was paid and I had a confirmation number) and when I arrived they told me they no longer had the room...soooo...soaked from the rain I went back to the airport to sleep on a bench. Nice.

I couldn't leave Chicago until noon, so I even missed work. But I got to meet some super nice people who were also stuck and I tried pretty much all the coffee places at the airport!!! Yeah!!!

At home I unpacked...then packed. For GERMANY!!!

The flight was great, Continental/United are great with bike boxes. I went for a run and felt great after the long flight...the forest and the endless trails are great. I have been a runner for a long time and I have to say no matter where I tried different trails (Spain, Italy, Switzerland, USA, ...) Germany has the best trail system!!! No single trail, but the best trails for a "normal-terrain" runner like me.

I have tried the pool as well...multiple hopes it would get warmer. It is 65 degrees in the water. Today I did a 1500 m TT and I wasn't able to feel my left hand anymore after 1000 m :-) Ooops. The good part is: The pool is very empty. Usually in Germany the problem is all the people swimming in the pool...I have had 20 people in my lane before. At 65 degrees, even German's stay out (except for the 3 in my neighbor lane with wetsuits on).

On Sunday I get to compete at the Germany 5150. As of now we are not a lot of people in the race, but the 6 that I saw are super stars in Europe. I have to admit I am a little nervous, but VERY excited to race. The work is done...all I can do is go hard and enjoy!!!

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