Monday, November 17, 2008

Rock and Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Race Report- part 1

Overall it went well. I finished strong, and though not my fastest half, it was decent and I could still walk afterwards, which was important, because there was a lot of walking left to do, as I'll tell you about later.

The first problem was with packet pickup. It was only open from 11-7 on Friday and 9-5 on Saturday. Having to work both days in Austin, the plan was to go to Ceci's house Saturday night after work. Well, with the crazy Saturdays we've been having and not getting done until 3-4 pm, that may be a problem. And of course, only you can pick up your packet. I understand the reasoning- they want a captive audience for the vendors and 30,000 people is a lot of money to them. But I emailed and called, and got no response. My dad offered to write a power of attorney letter so Ceci could pick it up for me, but that seemed like overkill. They would help me out and let me pick it up on race day, right?

Wrong, so I got to drive to San Antonio in Friday night traffic, and barely made it to the expo by 6:30 and there were tons of people just coming in. The announcers kept saying the expo was closing and everyone had to leave, but I'm sure the vendors would have liked a little more time to sell running paraphrenalia. And then I got to drive back to Austin for work on Saturday.

And of course, this Saturday wound up going quickly and I was done at 1 pm. Figures. But it did give me time to run some errands and get organized, which put me in Saturday night traffic and in a minor accident where I rear ended a truck in front of me. Really it was a license plate bender, because that was the only damage- his trailer hitch bent my front license plate. But it did shake me up and get my adrenaline going! But thank God- it could have been a lot worse!

We go out for some carbo loading, but of course now it is 7:30 on a Friday night and everywhere is packed. We find EZ's which is only half full and have a nice meal and then go to bed early. About 3:30 I get woken up by an alarm, but it takes me a little while to realize it's not my alarm clock. It is the low battery chirp alarm of the smoke detector in Ceci's spare bedroom. It chirps about once per minute for about 10 minutes, and then quits. Then it starts up again. I try the emergency ear plugs I have from camping with the kayaking guys. I try the pillow over the head. The chirp penetrates everything.

Finally about 30 minutes later I give up and try to dismantle the smoke detector- I know from experience that if you take out the battery it gets really loud and angry, so I just wanted to unhook it from the ceiling and hide it under the couch cushions downstairs. But it is wired into the ceiling- like it's connected to the alarm system. So I don't really want to mess with that at 4 am, so I just take the blanket downstairs to sleep on the couch.

I can still hear the chirping, but is much further away, and I'm able to sleep a little bit before my real alarm goes off at 5:45. And of course, at that point, it has stopped chirping completely! So why did it have to go off tonight, of all nights, and at 3:30? When there was a guest actually using the spare room, and on the night before the race! Argh!

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