05 June 2010

Europe in T-Minus 14 Days...

It feels like just yesterday that I found out I was shut out of the Boston Marathon and decided to sign up for Ironman France instead. I feel like it wasn't that long ago that I started officially training for Ironman France. And the race always seemed so far ahead in the future. Annnndddd, now it's not - we leave for France two weeks from today and in three weeks and two days I'll be swimming in the Mediterranean, biking on parts of the Tour de France course in the Alps-Maritimes, and running along the Promenade des Anglais.

I'm so excited to be going back to Nice - the last time I was there was 8 years ago, during the summer between my junior and senior year of college. With my three-month work permit in hand, I headed to Nice with neither job nor apartment secured. Haha, in fact, I didn't even have my first night's hotel booked - it was all about winging it, and it never crossed my mind that maybe things wouldn't go less than perfectly. And, everything really did work out perfectly, right down to not having a place to stay my first night. I happened upon an unofficial hostel run by an old toothless woman who wore pink spandex pants, garnering the nickname "the pink lady" among her tenants. She crammed as many people as possible into a room with a shower that overflowed and a kitchen full of mismatched dishes. I only stayed there for a few days, but it was long enough to meet the people I would end up spending my summer with - Line and Agnes from Denmark, Christine and Erik from Canada, and Suzy from Germany. Through Suzy we met a number of French medical interns with whom we did bbqs on the beach, went to these islands off of Cannes, went to non-touristy French clubs, etc. I found a cute studio apartment right in the heart of Old Nice, just a few minutes walk from the beach. And I found a job as a waitress at Haagen-Dazs that provided just enough money to cover my rent, food, and fun. Best summer ever. Now that I have a real job and can afford the outrageously expensive ice cream sundaes at Haagen-Dazs, I'm totally going to my old Haagen-Dazs at Place Magenta and getting one. The Ironman transition area is going to be right next to "my" beach - the beach my friends and I always met up at - Beau Rivage. Oh, and I can't wait to eat a Magnum ice cream bar - those things are AMAZING!

Big training weekend this weekend - 11 hours minimum in the pool, run shoes, and on the bike!

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