Thursday, May 31, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I was at the airport in Austin on Thursday afternoon for my 45 minute flight back to Dallas. I found out when I arrived that all flights had been cancelled. The ticket counter area was packed wall to wall like some bad mass exodus movie. I left and found a relatively quiet spot away from the crowds and called American. 30 mins later, I got through:
Me: I'm at the airport. All flights are cancelled. Can you get me on the next flight to DFW?
AA: The next flight to DFW is at 6:00 pm tonight.
AA: Yeah, 6:00 pm tonight. They must have just added some flights.
Me: I'll take it!
AA: OK, you're confirmed on AA9332, leaving 6:00 pm, arriving 9:15 pm. (foreshadowing)
I head on back to the ticketing area to get my boarding pass, which of course doesn't spit out of the self-service machines. I wandered over to an American agent talking to another sorry sap, and I overheard her saying "You're all set. This is your boarding pass. It leaves at 6:00 pm for Dallas. Go downstairs and out to curbside and the bus will pick you up there."
Whack! Bus? BUS? BUS?
Yes, boys and girls. American BUSlines, now serving the friendly highways. Even that wasn't on time. It left late, took longer than the estimated 3:15, and dropped me off at DFW at 10:30 pm. At least I was almost home.
Fast forward to today. I signed up for this race after getting a comment from Susan asking if was going to run it. It was a small race, maybe a hundred or so runners. I saw Massoman there, who was giving massages at the registration tent, but no Susan - where were ye?!
I was thinking of just running the race slow and for fun, but when it started, I went out too fast again. The mile 1 marker was way way off and I hit it in 9:45. Mile 2 seemed properly marked. At mile 3 I could see the finish, and knew I had a chance. I crossed in 23:44 unofficially, a PR again by 14 seconds. I'm pretty happy!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
When sh*t happens, that's when I know I really need to work in a run. So at 6:00 am, the alarm went off. It took a few minutes to shake the cobwebs, but I was downstairs and out the door by 6:15. From my hotel overlooking Lake Travis, I ran back out through a nice residential area. I really like the look of homes here, many with limestone exteriors, wrought iron embellishments, lots of Texas stars, I even saw an iron armadillo weather vane! Halfway into my run, I paused outside this one house to watch 3 deer quietly grazing in the front yard.
The sun rose on a beautiful morning while I ran. It was 4 miles out and back of gentle rolling hills, and the deer were gone on the back stretch. Back in my room, I opened the sliding glass doors and looked out on Lake Travis. As far as the eye could see from left to right, there wasn't a boat in sight and the lake was a sheet of glass. Someday, I'd like to retire here. In the meantime, somebody's got to make the doughnuts ...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
After all that, at least the night ended on a pleasant note. The rental car agent was kind enough to give me a convertible instead of my compact car. I never took the top down, but it's the principle that counts. Then the hotel desk clerk gave me a nice corner room overlooking San Francisco Bay (photo courtesy of Hilton's website). A few miles away in the distance, I could see planes taking off into the night sky from SFO.
In the morning, I resolved to get out and at least get some running done. I vaguely remember running this path along the water some years ago when I first started running, but what sticks in my memory is that the path seemed to go on and on forever. I ran the entire length today and imagine my surprise that it was only 3 miles! The best part about it? I was done by 6:00am.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Who else is in? I know Super Dave is in. Susan isn't in (yet) but her sister Amy is. Anyway, I'm not in in yet, not until the lottery drawing. 170,000 entries and counting for less than 38,000 spots. Join the madness! Last day to sign up is June 1. C'mon people!
Saturday, May 05, 2007
It was overcast, slightly muggy in the low 70'sF, and definitely windy at 8:00 am. The last time I ran this race in '04, it was in a pouring rain and totally fun, but not today. We started at the entrance to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, and immediately ran out onto the city streets. I tried to start out fast (for me) again, and by the 1 mile mark it was just the same 4 or 5 of us in a group at roughly the same pace. I decided then to hang with them and not fade like I usually do in the 2nd mile. I even passed one girl soon after that, and then another guy and girl running together, but both girls came back in the last half mile to finish ahead of me. Even so, I had to be happy with the final result 23:58 ... a 1-sec PR!