Archive for May, 2013

Maiden Voyage

The maiden camping trip with the new travel trailer is now successfully completed. It was a wonderful weekend, other than my rotten head cold (an end of year gift from one of my students). As the breeze blew, so did my nose. It felt good to get things organized in the new living space, but I did not feel like hiking or sitting by the fire, which was a bummer.

The best part was the finale:  I drove the camper from home to the storage facility and backed it into the parking space with only a minor adjustment! My copilot guided me, of course. I was so excited I told Terry I wanted to drive to the campground on our next trip. He expressed his concern, but then relinquished and told me to go for it. I wonder if the cold medicine had any influence over my bold driving and parking skills? I guess I will find out in two weeks!

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Another Indianapolis Mini Marathon is now complete. I had a good time; I beat my time from last year. The weather was nice, but there was a strong headwind for the second half of the race. The most excitement actually came before the race.

My husband, Terry, and I left with time to go to our favorite parking spot. The lot is usually half empty. This year, unfortunately, half of the lot is now restricted parking, and they moved the full lot sign across the entrance just as we got there.

Terry said, “Now what?”

“Uh…uh…,” I replied, as I tried to get my bearings.

“Tell me something!” He isn’t native to Indy.

“Uh, turn right, I guess.”

So he turned right.  No parking places were in sight. I told him to circle back around and park on the street curb. He wondered if we could get closer. I understood his concern. We were so far down the street that there were no longer any parking meters, the race started in 20 minutes, and we were still a mile from the start. At this point, we were in danger of not getting to the start line in time to get into our corrals. What is the point in getting seeded if you can not get in your corral?

I looked around for my race bib; I did not see it.

“I can’t race today,” I said, dejected.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t have my race bib,” I said, my head down.

“You didn’t notice it sliding across the dash with all the turns we made?”

I looked up, and there it was! Relief!

We got out and started down the street. The man who parked in front of our car joined us. He was Michael from Illinois, middle-aged, and he was very excited to be at the Mini. He talked a blue streak and was literally hopping around us. A woman, mid twenties, joined us a few feet later. At the cross street we had to walk in the bicycle lane due to construction that closed the sidewalk. A car passed us, stopped at the next intersection 20 yards ahead of us, and the car door opened. A woman leaned out and lost her breakfast, or at least the energy drink she had for breakfast.

“Did she just throw up?” asked our young companion, with a look of shock on her face. We all confirmed that she had indeed tossed her cookies. “Don’t look at it!” she commanded, as she turned her head. We gingerly stepped around the wet spot as we passed.

We were getting a little nervous about making it to the start, so Michael, Terry, and I started to jog as a warm-up. I started to walk, again. I mean, I was already running 13.1; I didn’t want to overdo it. Michael started jumping around.

“Come on, Dawn. Keep going. We want to make it the start. You can do it. It’s just a warm-up,” he encouraged.

“You have a lot of energy,” I calmly grinned. So, I started jogging, again. The National Anthem started to play; we jogged a little faster. At the corral, they dropped the flags separating the corrals, and the bodies started pressing together. I quickly hopped the corral gate. Well, maybe not quickly, but I did climb over it in time to get a spot. Later, my husband would tell me how Michael was high-fiving and talking to everyone in their corral. That image still brings a smile to face.

So, we just made it to our corrals. At about mile 9, I was wishing I could have that warm-up mile back, but it was worth it for the memories it created. Now, every time I hear the name Michael, I will think of the that energetic runner who took the tension off of a frustrating start to the Mini.

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