T-minus 11 hours and counting

8 01 2010

The past 48 hours have been an exercise in mental fortitude and a ridiculously sardonic demonstration of Murphy’s law.

First there was the weather forecast: 
a winter storm bearing 4-10 inches of snow that would begin approximately 9 hours before my scheduled flight to Florida.   I was originally scheduled to work a 13 hour shift the night before departure but got another doc to cover the last 4 hours for me so I could get a ride into the city from my son and stay at the hotel next door to the airport.

10:30 pm Tuesday night —
 the doc sends me an email to say he would likely be unable to work due to a family medical emergency.  Great.  I spend the better part of Wednesday morning making other arrangements and find someone to work.

Wednesday noon —
I get a call from my son.  His car won’t start.  Not only can he not pick me up but he needs a new battery for the car.  Okay.  I arrange for a cab to the motel (a mere $75)  and ask him to meet me there so I can loan him the cash for the battery.  This greatly diminishes my funds for the trip but I will survive.

4:30 a.m. Thursday —
Automated phone call from Southwest Airlines to say my flight has been cancelled.  I spend the next 45 minutes sleepily listening to muzak while awaiting “the next available operator” to make a new reservation for me.  We schedule a flight that has me leaving at 5:35 p.m. instead of 9:10 a.m.

Other than risking decubitus ulcers on my butt from sitting at the airport all day, the wait for my flight proceeds pleasantly enough.  Until….

5:00 p.m. Thursday —
My 5:35 p.m. flight is now leaving sometime after 7:00 due to delays at its origin point in Minnesota.  I’m going to arrive in Florida approximately 12 hours after I had originally intended, which nixes my plan to pick up the race packet, etc. on Thursday.

And just to put a cherry and some whipped cream on this vile sundae, the rental car was not ready when I got to Hertz.  I got one though.  My credit card got declined at the hotel.  I used a different one.  MY ROOM KEY CARDS WOULDN’T WORK  when I dragged my old tired ass up to the room!  I slogged back downstairs and the clerk gave me new ones.

I was starting to wonder if there was a freakin curse on me or something.  I got to bed around 2 a.m. and slept until almost noon.  Today went much better for the most part.

I headed over to the Health and Fitness Expo to pick up my race packet, T-shirt and other materials.  What a crowd of people!  If even half of those throngs are planning to run tomorrow, I don’t know if there’ll be room for us all.

I got lucky and found a Whole Foods market near the hotel and was able to get my usual supplies:  gluten-free bread, fruit, peanut butter and a bonus  — 2 six packs of gluten free beer.  Woohoo!  For post-race consumption of course.

I came back to the hotel and was enjoying my chicken and fried plantains dinner when I had a realization that made my blood run cold.  I FORGOT TO PICK UP MY TICKET FOR THE RACE RETREAT PACKAGE!

The Race Retreat package is a little “extra” that Disney makes a ton of money on each year.  Because there are so many runners, everyone is asked to arrive about 2 hours before the start of the race.  Even though this is Florida, the temperatures at 4:00 a.m. tend to be a bit brisk.  The Race Retreat provides heated tents, email access, snacks, private bathrooms etc. so that the wait is not as debilitating as it might otherwise be.  I gladly paid the extra $75 for it.  But unless some other stroke of good luck arises to thwart Murphy’s postulate of perversity, I will be huddled out in 30 degrees with rain tomorrow morning instead of lounging in a heated tent.


Well, I’m going to bed now to see how much sleep I can get before the alarm clock goes off at 3:00 a.m.  I arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 3:30 to take me to Epcot.  Unless the alarm shorts out and burns the hotel down or the taxi gets sucked up in a cyclone and deposits me in Kansas, I will be back after the race with the rest of the details on how I kicked Adversity’s ass.