So we made the 4 1/2 hour drive from Den Haag, The Netherlands to Wiesbaden, Germany. This was my first time in 3 years driving in the Netherlands, and the first time in 9 months driving a stick shift, and the first time in 3 years driving a rental car... However, I am very happy to report that drive was pretty uneventful.
We are staying at the lovely Radisson Blue in Wiesbaden. My only pet peeve is the price of valet parking (25 EUR/day for them to park our car in a public lot...). So I parked my own car, thank you very much, for a price not much below that... So parking in Wiesbaden is a rip-off.
On the (very) bright side: the city is completely, and absolutely STUNNING! (sorry, pictures will need to wait a couple of days). So, if all goes to bits on Sunday, at least I will have a great walk through an amazing city.We also had some great all you can eat sushi, so all is happy.
Now, for the triathlon stuff (well, yeah, that's why we are in town). Since I have NOT been training for the past two months (my last real training session was early June, WHOOPS), I have decided that my goal for Sunday is to enjoy the race, and if things go really well, finish before the 5:30pm cut-off. There, I said it. I will be a triathlon-tourist. I will stay out of others' way, cheer them on, and enjoy the sights. And if I finish? GREAT! In my infinite (lack of) wisdom, I signed up for a half ironman that has 1,500 (5,000 ft) of climbing, and "technical descents" on a day like this:
So, at least I won't get too hot...
On an even funnier note, I manage to do my first huge silly ROOKIE mistake: I did not bring shoes. Yup! You read this right. I was soooooooooooo worried I would forget my running shoes, I decided to wear them on the trip and to walk around Wiesbaden. I have done so for all my races until now. But while driving, I realized I had to give my shoes on Saturday. See, for this race, instead of setting up the transition ourselves on race morning, we get to rack our bikes the day before (Saturday), and put all of our other stuff in three bags, two of which we need to surrender on Saturday. Also, the swim-bike transition is different from the bike-run transition and I don't think I get to see T2 until race day...
So long story short, I had to pick: option 1) surrender running shoes on Saturday and walk barefoot... 2) keep running shoes and walk barefoot, 3) buy a cheap pair of shoes... I present you, the shoes of shame!
If you want to see whether I finish, I am pretty sure that you can follow the race at: www.ironmanlive.com. Find Wiesbaden 70.3. I will be number 685 :-)