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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Vienna Half Marathon Part II (alternatively titled I am The Worst Blogger Ever)

Remember April 18th?  When I promised you the exciting conclusion to my half marathon day in Vienna?  The amazing adventure that only began after the race ended?  Well, here it is: my cell phone died.

Yep, that's what you've been waiting so long to hear all about.  In my defense, being stranded without a communication device is a rare occurrence for me.  I typically carry two blackberries and an iPad (and sometimes a netbook, too).  On that particular morning, however, I had only thrown one blackberry into my race-day bag because the other was charging.  It had looked like I had enough battery to get me through the day.

Maybe, I should just tell the story.  So, my final sprint brings me across the finish line in just under two hours.  I'm hot and beyond thirsty.  I desperately need water.  I see people with water, but I have no idea how they're getting it.  I'm handed my medal.  Great.  Where's the water?  My legs are all but useless once I stop running.  I can slowly shuffle forward but I can't really pick up my feet.  I'm certain that I'll rip a quad if I try.   I follow the crowd as it snakes around the awesome palace that I'm totally not appreciating.  Eventually, someone hands me water and a bag of munchies.  Excellent.  Except, I've yet to recover enough coordination to actually drink my water.  Ah yes, race-brain.

Now I'm in a sea of tens of thousands of racers and spectators outside the palace.  I want to collect my bag so I can find my phone and meet up with my friend who is supposed to meet me at the finish line. I wander, but get nowhere.  I want to ask someone where the bag check is, but my German vocabulary consists of "ein cappucino"* and a few Yiddish swear words.  I spot a guy in a University of Ohio sweatshirt who has already picked up his bag.  Bingo.  He must speak English, right?  Perfect - except that at that particular moment, I don't.  I'm still so toasted from the race that I can't form actual words.  I paw at his shirt to get his attention, say "bag" and make the universal shrug of sheer helplessness.  He points me to the bag pickup.

When I recover my bag, my phone still has some life.  I see that my mother has already texted from New York to see how the race went even though it's 6am there.  I try to respond, but I have no signal.  I try and I try, but nothing will make this phone find signal.  So I take out the battery, put it back in... and it comes back on just in time to die.

Great.  So, now I'm looking for my friend in this massive crowd.  I'm under 5' tall, so I can't see very far in any particular direction.  It's not long before I realize that this just isn't going to work.  My friend and I had already walked the city quite a bit, so I felt fairly confident that I could find my way back to my hotel eventually.  I set off in the direction I think the hotel is in... and, amazingly enough, that totally works.  My hotel was just a few blocks away.

And then there was a shower.  And then was (chicken) schnitzel and beer.  And then my friend and I went out to Schlossburg Palace because I am a total trooper.  There, I learned that Empress Sissi was totally into working out and had gymnastics bars and rings installed in her room.  I also took this awesome duck picture.

The End.

-Gym Belle-

*Although I prefer my coffee black, cappuccino conveniently translates to "cappuccino" in virtually every language.  It's far easier than learning to say "Black.  Just coffee.  No milk, no cream.  No, no  sugar, either.  No, no, no, please put down the cream.  Oh dear lord, how much cream are you putting in?  No, no, it's fine.  No problem.  Thanks," in various tongues. 

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