A belated post: A rollercoaster of an expedition.

And it’s just begun! I’m in DC for the National Marathon, which I’ll be running tomorrow. For some reason, when I was looking at spring marathons and chose this one, I decided it would be a great idea to go on a solo adventure. Of course, I’m all about “girl power” and being an independent woman (thanks, Mom!), but there are some things that are really hard to do on your own. Let me start with this story, from the beginning…

Brian sweetly helped me finish my last minute packing, brushed off the car, and helped dig us out yesterday morning. We were on the road at five am, just like we’d planned. The roads weren’t terrible, so after a quick stop at Kwik Trip for cash and cottage cheese with pineapple (yum), we were at CWA by 5:30. Since my flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 7:05, we were there with plenty of time. Then Delta made an announcement: they had overbooked my flight, and were willing to give a $400 credit, lunch voucher, and free bag check to anyone who would be willing to hop on their shuttle to MSP. Since it wasn’t even 6:00 yet, and my connecting flight out of MSP wasn’t scheduled to leave until 10:45, I thought, sure, I can make this work. They said they’d hook me up with the Skycap, and they’d rush me through bag check and security, so I could make my flight, and still arrive at Dulles on time. So it was a win-win: the mother and son on that flight could make it to their hockey tournament, and I would have $400 to put toward the trip for Portland Marathon in October.

Except… the shuttle driver was two hours late. And the windshield wipers kept freezing, so he had to pull over to clean them off. I totally missed my flight. There is some good news, though. It turns out that I was SO tired- I slept through the ENTIRE three and a half hour drive to MSP. I wouldn’t have been able to do that on those tiny, noisy, cold prop planes that fly out of CWA. And Delta was able to book me on a later flight that got in me to Dulles only four hours late. So, despite the fiasco, I made it here on the same day as planned. My rental car was ready and waiting, a cute little red Aveo. Maybe I should have rented a really fast car, to get me in the mood for Saturday.  Speaking of the car…

I already got a parking ticket. I went to the Armory this morning, to pick up my bib, chip and other stuff, and the traffic was disgusting. Something about DC traffic is very different than Chicago traffic, and I was totally out of my element. I drove around that darn building, reaching a top speed of 5 mph, and there was no parking anywhere NEAR the main doors. My left hip is a little achy, and I was on my feet this morning (more about that later), so I was trying to spend less time on my feet walking and more time resting. So when I saw a row of cars parked in front of the Armory, and a man in a Jeep backing out, I thought, “Great!” So I shimmied that little Aveo into the spot and ran inside. Of course, I forgot my signed waiver on my bed at Graham’s house, so after waiting for a long time in the line to get my bib, the lady at the front sent me off to another line to go get a spare waiver, and I had to wait in that line again. As I was waiting, I was thinking about that parking spot, and thinking it might just be too good to be true. So I didn’t look through the expo at all (not even at those CUTE headbands) and I forgot to grab a course map as I ran out the exit to move my car. There, flapping in the breeze, was a pink ticket tucked nicely under my windshield wiper. Well, I was pretty sad, and mad, and most of all, nervous about tomorrow. So I just jumped in the car and started to pull out. Of course, I stopped, and told the man pulling in that spot not to do it… wish the Jeep guy had told me. I drove around some more, trying to find the place that we were supposed to park, so I’ll be able to find it tomorrow morning, anyway. I found it, about a half mile away from where I had originally parked. I debated about going back inside to look at the expo, but it seemed so far away, plus I had to cross all that crazy traffic, and I just decided to head back to Graham’s house.

I’m not sure if it’s the traveling alone part, or the recovering from sickness part, or just general anxiety about the race, but this smiley girl is feeling TOTALLY out of her element. I’m willing to bet it’s mostly nerves. A PR of 4:20 is a lofty goal from my last marathon of 4:45. And I am certainly building character by attempting to do this on my own. I better say a few prayers, drink some more water, and put on my Zenzahs.

A chocolate bar and a sandwich later, and I feel a little better. In fact, I’m going to lay down for my afternoon pre-race nap, and try to shake this funk before tomorrow. 🙂

1 Comment

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One response to “A belated post: A rollercoaster of an expedition.

  1. Pingback: March 2013 in images… | artistandathlete

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