Half-marathon report (part I - the journey)

This is going to be quite long, so I thought I would break it up into three parts - getting there, running it, and getting back. Trust me, once you start reading them, you'll understand why I broke the story up like that.

Okay, so, my last post concerned a tune-up pace run on Thursday, and a rant at UPS. I'm happy to report that the whole UPS thing has been resolved - the company had pre-printed some shipping labels, and it was one of those tracking numbers that the company had given me. My order is actually moving, and should be here today.

But, back to the story. . .

Thursday night - I have the car packed up (almost - my wife still had a bag or two of stuff to pack, but everything important, like my running clothes, is in the car) and ready to go. I am making dinner, while Kevin is playing with several pots lids. You know, the standard toddler routine, where you bang them together like cymbals, and produce an ear-splitting cacophany of noise. Suddenly, he starts screaming, and runs from the room. Then he comes running back in, and starts standing on one leg, holding up his other foot for me to kiss. He's bawling at the top of his lungs, and he doesn't want me to touch his foot at all. He breaks away, and runs for it, but only gets into the next room before he drops to the floor, and increases the volume of his cries.

After a few minutes, I manage to get him calmed down enough to determine that he had dropped a pot lid on his toe, and its a "big owie". He won't let me take the sock off to look at it, however, which does not bode well. Still, my wife will be home in a few minutes, and if he has managed to break his toe, it's not life-threatening, and we'll just head over to the ER when she gets here. In the meantime, Kevin is distracted with a Caillou DVD. I go back to check on dinner, which is on the (electric) stovetop.

You did note that the stove is electric, right? And that Kevin is watching a DVD, which is helping to distract him from the "big owie"? I mention these only because, at that moment, we lost power. Poof. Dinner no longer cooking, and more importantly, Kevin now screaming because (1) his toe still hurts; and (2) Caillou is now gone, and he doesn't understand why.

So, we go out to sit on the porch - I am hoping that there are enough cars going by to distract him. This works, and I manage to get his sock off (with no small amount of screaming), and see that one toenail is completely blood-red, and his whole foot is swelling. That's not a good sign. I put the sock back on, at his demand, and we wait for my wife to come home.

A few minutes later, she arrives, and I explain that (1) our son might have a broken toe; and (2) we have no power. So, we head off to the hospital, pausing only long enough to ensure that the stove is off and that some lights are on (so we'll know as soon as we get home if we have power or not).

The hospital turns out to be a small nightmare. Fortunately, the toe is not broken, but it took me, an orderly and a nurse to restrain him while the doctor used a laser to bore through the toenail. If I thought he had hit maximum volume before, he proved me wrong right there. Fortunately, once that was over, we got him settled back down, and he was almost jovial as we headed home, with a slight detour to pick up dinner on the way. Fortunately, power was restored, and I was able to toss the ruined dinner from earlier into the trash, clean the dishes, and finish loading the car. A mere 2 hours after we wanted to leave, we were actually on the road.

This brings us to me huge rant: WHO IS IN CHARGE OF CONSTRUCTION ON THE TRI-STATE TOLLWAY?!? Okay, I understand that they need to do resurfacing, and I understand that doing so at night is best. What I do not understand is who thought that this would be a good idea:

3 lanes into 1 lane - 1 lane lasts for 3 miles
1 lane into 3 lanes - 3 lanes last for 2 miles
3 lanes into 1 lane - 1 lane lasts for 2 miles
1 lane into 3 lanes - 3 lanes last for 3 miles

Just leave it all at one lane! C'mon - otherwise, the traffic comes to a grinding halt everytime it drops back down to 1 lane. People were merging fine into the 1 lane sections. The road work wasn't finished on the 3 lane sections. What the heck were they thinking?

(Oh yeah - I forgot about the part where they closed off the bridge on the border between Michigan and Indiana. One car per time, on the far shoulder, while they did something on the bridge.)

I swear - 4 hour drive stretched almost into 6. To say that one mile in three was under construction would be an understatement.

continued in Part II - the race report


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