Sunday, August 26, 2007

IM LOUISVILLE!

Part 1:

I arrived Saturday morning by plane, around 9:40 am. It was a quick and smooth flight. My flight was scheduled to leave at 7 am, so I figured I should be the airport no later than 5:45.

I had been terribly busy at work Friday trying to get ready to be out of the office on Monday and getting last minute things done I had neglected earlier in the week that needed doing before my boss came back on Monday. I managed to get in a swim in the morning, with the intention of getting to work at least on time, working through lunch which is the norm, and hoping to get out early to get in another bike ride that evening. Naturally, none of that happened. I got sidetracked at the gym by a woman who was asking a lot of questions about running, that she wanted to start, but heard it was "so bad for you." Yeah, if you do it wrong! And if you think its "so bad for you" why do you want to do it?? That caused me to be late for work right there.

Fast forward a few hours and I had one thing after another to get done, and then several other last minute things cropped up, so by the time I actually was able to leave work, it was after 6. A pop-up storm had hit earlier in the day, but now it was partly cloudy but windy, but more rain was threatened. Our Thursday night ice cream ride had been cut short by a pop-up storm, so I really wanted to get in another bike ride before being gone for the weekend. I questioned the weather Friday night, but got dressed for a ride anyway. Then my sandle strap broke, the one pair of comfortable shoes I could likely wear all weekend without messing up my ankle or making my feet hurt. Great. So I decided to make a quick trip to a couple of stores like Target and Walmart to see what they possibly still had in stock in late August. As I suspected, nothing I could or would wear, and nothing in my size anyway! They did have a wide assortment of fall shoes and winter boots to choose from, however! Luckily, I was able to find some leather super glue, and so far that is doing the trick.

By this time, the sky was darkening, and I decided not to risk another stormy ride. I had much to do to get ready for the trip, and I still had to finish planning a family picnic that was to take place on Saturday as well. Not to mention I was a little paranoid of getting struck by lightning.

I did manage to get to bed fairly early Friday night, being exhausted from waking up at 3 am that morning from a barking dog that never quit for more than an hour, and which I didn't even know lived in the neighborhood! With no air conditioning, my windows stay open until it snows almost, so I get to hear everything that happens in the area in the night. And once again, Saturday morning, I was awakened before 3 am by a loud motorcycle roaring by, not once, not twice, but three times, back and forth, back and forth. Just where are the cops at this time of morning?? After laying there awake for 20 minutes with my mind racing thinking of all the things I had forgotten to do, I decided to get up.

I was still feelilng slothful for not having done my bike ride the night before, so I decided to get in a short run, on the treadmill of course. That was at 3:45 am. Despite the coolness of the morning, the humidity was so high that by the time I got done 20 some minutes later I was completely dripping with sweat. Completely head to toe. That caused me to have a hard time cooling off, so by the time my daughter arrived at 5 am to pick me up, I still couldn't get dressed because I was still sweating!

Finally, I had to be ready and we headed to the airport.

Part 2: At the airport

The Delta ticket counter wasn't that busy, which was the carrier I was using. The Northworst ticket counter, however, was jammed, so I was glad I had steered clear of them once again. So I had more than an hour to wait for my flight and sat and played a hand-held electronic game I got from one of the kids. I didn't feel like reading yet. It was still dark, and stayed dark until past 6:45. Just before we were scheduled to depart, I decided to use the airport bathroom before getting on the plane. There was an old woman in there who reminded me of my grandmother, tottering around, very slowly. I didn't give her another thought until later.

I had decided to go hands free on the plane, other than my purse and book which fit in my purse. My biggest gripe about flying is what I consider to be everyone's rudeness and inconsideration about carry-ons and use of the overhead storage bins. There was actually a family of two kids who before the flight had eight bags to check, checked their allotted 1 each (4) and then each carried on one each (4 again). So you know where they stowed all that stuff! More on that later.

There was a woman sitting next to me who was about my age, and struck up a conversation immediately, so we actually spent the entire time talking, making the flight go by quickly. I had very little ear discomfort this time, so at least I could hear her as well.

The first part of the trip took me to Cincinnati, and from there I would fly to Louisville. Time to get off and I thought being hands free I could hop up and deplane quickly, since I was also sitting close to the front. No such luck. I get out of my seat and the old lady appears in front of me, blocking me from getting by. Not only that, but she had a huge purse and a carryon stowed, so I had to wait for her to first very slowly get out of her seat fully, then get her stuff organized to deplane. Could you NOT just let me go ahead of you??? And to make matters worse yet, the family of four were in the front of the plane and naturally the dad hopped up immediately to get their overhead stuff out, four bags remember, so again, everyone in the plane had to wait for this dimwit to get himself out of the way. Then the old lady says she's waiting for her wheelchair, which isn't there yet. Again, why are you even out of your seat?? I could have been off the plane in a few seconds and on to my next gate had it not been for these people. Made me wonder why I even bothered to be organized. These are the things that annoy me about flying!

The leg to Louisville was only 17 minutes, so that too went by quickly. Again, very smooth. I got my rental car while waiting for my luggage so I could be out of there as soon as possible. I had directions to the hotel from the airport, and having arrived earlier than expected, I figured the guys would still be at the Gatorade swim, so I decided to wait to call until I was on my way. Surprisingly, I found my way from the airport to the hotel, which was only about 5 miles away. I was impressed with the ease of getting around. The signage was very clear. The hotel was actually just over the border in Indiana at exit 2, so still very close to the race site. Going across the huge bridge spanning the Ohio River, I tried to get a peak below to see if I could see any of the swim area, but I couldn't. The buoys weren't up yet either.

Part 3: Meet up with Suzanne

The guys arrived back at the hotel just about the same time as I did, and we were able to get the second room right away, so I didn't have to wait all day to get my stuff unpacked. I called Suzanne and we planned to meet up later that day. The guys were actually going to go out and run a couple of miles, still would have to shower, and then we wanted to get lunch, so I knew it would be about 2 pm before I could meet her. I had forgotten too about volunteer check-in, so after lunch the guys insisted on showing me a "shortcut' to get to the race site, and I did the check in then. Then I called Suzanne and she came to my hotel to pick me up.

What a thrill to finally get to meet! She's a lot of fun, and we had a great time. She took me to a bike shop/cafe, and we had another bite to eat. I hadn't really eaten much that morning for breakfast, and hadn't eaten much for lunch, so I was still hungry when we met. So over delicious sandwiches and a beer, we talked about all kinds of things, but mainly running and triathlon, what else?? As I said before, she reminds me a lot of when I first hit the running scene MANY years ago, so it was fun talking about the running experiences, and of course she had questions about triathlon and Ironman. She's a pretty good runner and is becoming a good biker, so I would guess it could be a matter of time before she gets the bug for the Louisville IM. What better opportunity, right there in her backyard? Another pop-up storm hit while we sat on the patio eating, drinking, and talking, but we just kept talking until it got so bad we were forced inside. And its funny how quickly time flies when you're having fun! When we left we took a slight "detour" through the downtown area where the race finish will be.

Naturally, all good things have to come to an end, and it was time for her to head home and me back to the hotel. A group dinner was planned, which actually didn't happen. The directions we had got us wandering around the entire downtown and near downtown Louisville, with no sign of the restaurant mentioned, so we ended up going to a Fazoli's. Bruce, one of the guys in the group, likes to keep it simple. He just wants to get in, eat, and leave. Nothing more, so since he was driving, that was our exciting dinner!

I was tired though, after having been up 2 days in a row at 3 am, so it was good to get back to the hotel to relax and try to get to bed early, since Sunday would be another early wakeup call!

1 comment:

See Zanne Run said...

oh! too bad your big group dinner out had you wandering around louisville! i thought of a couple more places where you could have gone, but didn't bother calling you - i looked at clock by then & it was 7 ... figured you had likely arrived someplace already!

i stopped by to see the swim start - it was at about mile 6 during my 16 mile training run .. it was so exciting! i got chills & totally teared up a bit!

i know you'll have a great day cheering on all your friends & volunteering in the tent - maybe we'll meet up again today (we'll be watching run portion from 3rd street starting around 2) - if not, maybe at ironman louisville next year!

it was so fun to meet you too ... there was certainly no shortage of conversation - i could have keep yapping! fun, fun way to spend what turned into a stormy afternoon! so happy it worked out!