We're home! We even managed to get a bonus night in Dallas.
Monday was Go Home day in Sacramento. That morning the hotel had a pretty obvious switch in clientele - from people there for the marathon to people there for work. Everybody parted ways and we bummed a ride to the airport. Then things got less-than-perfect.
In fact, we'll hold off on that for a bit while I tell another story. I don't think I mentioned the post marathon food...
After I staggered across the finish line (I actually held my arms up for the picture, I'm confident the photo will be horrifying) and collected my shiny blanket and my finisher's medal, I set out to find the drop bags and the food. While I was collecting my bag, I kept seeing all of these runners walking around with a plate full of pancakes and strawberry syrup. The syrup had big hunks of strawberries in it and I was excited. Julie hadn't been able to find me and I was still flying solo, so I decided it was worth my while to wait in a 30+ minute line for some awesome strawberry pancakes. I waited at least 30 minutes. The line was long.
When I got to the end, they were out of the strawberry stuff. (I'm not a good enough writer to express my emotional response. Imagine a really sad poem.) I syruped up, bit off enough pancake so that I wouldn't die before our after party/lunch and headed to the hotel. I'll bet the sub-4:00 finishers got strawberry pancakes.
Many hours later, once the fog lifted, I realized that the hotel breakfast on Saturday had French toast, Belgian waffles and a bowl full of strawberry (with big chunks) syrup. Time passed, Belgian waffles were made, and cameras were grabbed. Here it is.
I thought the whipped cream made it fancy.
And for that waffle, consumed with excellent company in the comfort of my hotel lobby, I didn't even have to wait in line. Ahh, waffle...
As I was saying -- after the waffle, we bummed a ride to the airport. At the airport, we found out that our flight to Dallas would be delayed about two and a half hours. Unfortunately, that was exactly the size of our layover. The clerk asked me (essentially) what city I wanted to be stuck in overnight. I think I could have chosen from Sacramento, Seattle, Chicago, and Dallas. Easy! Dallas. She gave us our tickets and we flew on to Dallas, 2.5 hours behind schedule. Somewhere in that stretch, I learned how to use my phone to track airplanes.
Sure, it's neat and stuff, but how do I fire the missiles?
In-flight trivia: Julie demanded I give her my half of our "for sharing" sandwich. I refused.
I checked the time on my phone as we were emerging from the de-planing walk tube thingy into the airport and it showed 7:20. Coincidentally, our flight back to Manhattan was scheduled to leave at 7:20. The emergency connections guru they stationed at arriving gate told us what departure gate to head for and wished us luck.
Having both been beaten senseless by a marathon the day before, neither of us were at our fastest. We took the nifty elevated train they have in the airport, but unfortunately our destination was on the opposite side of the route. 10-15 minutes later we showed up for our flight. We'd missed it. The lights were low and I think I heard crickets.
A few minutes later, we happened upon an airline person with a computer and we made the necessary arrangements for a different flight. Fortunately, there was a reason Dallas was a good city for getting stuck. I called Anu and Nagesh. They came through for the rescue. They gave us rides to and from the airport, they let us sleep at their house, they openly offered us their coveted cranberry bagels, and we even got to meet their puppy. I enjoyed missing my connection - though I do wish we would have gotten stuck a bit earlier in the day and maybe had a chance to meet up with some more Dallas friends, catch up without being half asleep, that sort of thing.
The next morning, we were off to Manhattan.
In-flight trivia: Julie took away my phone, learned/mastered fruit ninja, destroyed my high score, then returned my phone and said "that was for eating my sandwich". Ouch.
This evening, we decided to just go marauding at the grocery store instead of actually preparing anything or going out to eat. I'd been ogling a particularly massive sandwich and decided there would never be a better time.
With great shame, I admit, I did not finish the sandwich.
And that's the end of that. The timing of this race is pretty convenient because you end up taking a few weeks off during the holidays. Any kind of methodical training during that time can get in the way anyway, so I figure it's time to trim the bushes, vacuum the rug a few times and do all of that stuff that we've been trading for assorted training runs. I've got some big plans lined up for 2011.