A few weeks back I had posted about running a marathon. However, since my father’s passing, maintaining any kind of training has been difficult. I really haven’t felt much like running so I have skipped a lot of days, and when I do run, I feel as though someone has pulled my plug. With nothing to do but think while your running, I’ve become prone to crying in the middle of a run. I pretty much bagged the idea of the marathon.
I had also, several weeks ago, signed up for the Richmond Half Marathon. I wasn’t sure if I could even finish that. I’ve read articles that claim 90% of running is mental, not physical ability. That would explain why I suddenly run like an 80 year old with an activity history of 60 years of being a couch potato. So, leading up to the half marathon I was thinking that I would wake up Saturday morning and decide whether or not to drag my carcass out of bed and make the hour or so drive to Richmond and participate.
So yesterday morning, armed with one credit card, my drivers license, a printed map, my cell phone and one sleepy Buzzard who insisted on going and being my cheerleader (DH and Bugs having gone hunting and Roo flatly refusing to budge from his warm bed–not that I blame him with a crisp 27 showing on the thermometer outside), I got in the car at 5:30 and headed to Richmond, still not sure about what I was doing.
After a couple of wrong turns, and a gut instinct telling me I was making a huge mistake, I found a parking lot not too far from the starting line with 2 spots left and took one.
Buzzard found a spot to settle himself, and I joined my wave start group. Found someone I knew and we talked for 15 minutes or so until the gun went off. The race went fine, and I had a respectable time. Buzzard was right there at the finish line waiting for me, cheering me on–what a doll!
Surprisingly, the trouble started at the finish. You are probably thinking, you finished the race, you didn’t suck, what else could have happened? Remember, this is me we are talking about. Remember the parking lot? Well, I couldn’t find it. Seriously. Could. Not. Find. IT.
Why, why, why, would I go to a town I’m not that familiar with, where 17,000 people have converged in a relatively small section of the town and where there are probably 20-30 parking lots FILLED with runners cars and not make a note of where I parked? Because I have fog in my brain, that’s why. And poor Buzzard. He was freezing, because he was standing still for an hour and 45 minutes while he waited for me to finish, while I was warm because I’d been active. We wandered for about an hour and a half before I approached a policeman and told him I’d lost my car. He spent 30 minutes trying to find out if it had been towed, then put us in his police car and drove us around trying to find it. No luck.
We got out of the car and walked for another 20 minutes or so before I finally couldn’t go anymore, and sat down on a curb. I called a friend back home who had a knack for being logical, thinking that she would spot the obvious solution where I could not. We brain-stormed for a few minutes when she suddenly said, “I know, I’ll call my brother-in-law. I bet he can find it! And he lives there!”
Her brother-in-law came and picked us up and drove us around, but because the marathon was still going on, and streets were closed, it wasn’t very effective, so we got out and walked some more, trying to jog my memory. One of my little toes felt like it was going to drop off, and I’d developed a huge charley horse behind my left knee. We got back in his car, and he started driving again. I was beginning to think I’d need to find an alternative method to get home, when he turned a corner and pulled into a parking lot.
“Is this it?” He asked.
“No, but it was similar to this,” I said, pretty much all hope gone.
Buzzard, from the back seat, with his young eagle eyes leaned forward and yelled, “I see it! I see it! Up there on the right!”
Truly, I had to squint. Halfway across the parking lot we were in, across a street, and all the way to the back of the next parking lot was the corner of the front bumper of my car peeking out from behind another car. I looked at the clock, which said 1:15. I started my race at 7:30, and finished at 9:15. We’d spent four hours looking for my car.
I hugged my friend’s brother-in-law, and thanked him for hanging in there with such an airhead. Poor Buzzard, I bought him a huge McDonalds lunch to eat on the way home. And when I got home? I figured out how to drop a pin on the maps app on my phone so that would never happen again.
And today? I’m so sore I can hardly move, but grateful to be home. My dad would have gotten a kick out of that story. I’m sure he’s chuckling.