6/5/09

Fly to South Dakota...

"Almost every first-time marathoner says the same thing at the finish line: 'Never again.'" Bob Glover, The Runner's Handbook

Ok, not getting much sleep last night as I went to bed at 2:30 am because my roommate gave me a movie to watch and it was a chick flick of Bridal Wars...

Anyways, my flight is in JFK today at 9:30 am which means subway in it over and getting up at 6 am...I like to be there early without any issues and totally plan ahead.

I awoke this morning at 5 am, not really knowing why, though I think I heard a mosquito in my ear buzzing. Then I just awaited and napped for my alarm to wake me up at 5:50 am...I got up, got ready quickly and just left...wheew! I hope I have enough warm clothes as I don't know or have a clue of what the weather is like...but brought or over brought many items...opps!

I usually over pack as I usually am ok and should be use to these away marathons...though, this time around, I didn't bring my laptop, since I got this baby of a Blackberry...

As I await for my subway to arrive, one goes by, then the other one is in like 15 minutes...I make it to JFK but have troubles with my ticketing due to the flight to South Dakota changing...weird! Uh, somewhat getting scared, but ok....day off, no crowds and I'm early, so I will make it through...I confirmed over the phone, but oh well...taken all of my items off and scanned through..

I had some time and checked the weather for Sunday... GREAT! SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS!!! Whahoo! Wonderful and 50 degrees as well...As we fly over the flat planes of America and slowly ease into the mountainous regions of the west, the land becomes rugged and roads are only foreseeable. I await to land in Salt Lake City, Utah for my connection to Rapid City, SD.

As I get of the plane and move to my next destination, I get an e-mail blast from the Association and CS, MM and JL, who are putting this together with me for the Alzheimer's Association Run 2 Remember...I notice that we had lost two members as well (probably from their chances in getting into the lottery in their acceptance) but hopefully they can get more people on the team...

As I wait, I see people smoking in a smoking room...WHAT! I couldn't believe it! The airport actually has a smoking room at the terminal...weird, I guess you barely see that anymore in the least...

As I just wait, I see another runners sitting next to me, we chat and talk. I get the signal that they are runners from the new balance shoes + the fact that they are wearing a Bill Rodger's t-shirt...we chat a bit as they recognize one of my teammates who is also in the 50 state club and marathon maniacs...KK!

As I finally get into the little jet plane to Rapid City, SD...the small child in back of me and mom is changing his diaper! Oh my gosh, I can't believe this! What! An enclosed environment and sitting next to me! Ok, the smell subsided, but as we were taking off, the kid kicks and hits the back of my chair! Wonderful! I take a nap...all good.

I talk with this guy that has a Bay to Breaker's shirt on and ask him if he was doing the marathon... he said no, but he lives in San Fran and he saw that I had a Yanks hat on and said he was originally from Rhode Island (Red Sox nation)...we have a friendly rivalry...all good.

Anyways, finally arrive at Rapid City airport and whooaa! Small airport! Crazy! Rolling hills of the quiet out west...but absolutely beautiful! I finally get picked up by SM's sisters who drive me to the cabin...

I realize this...the comfortably that her sisters have towards me is amazing. Picking up a stranger (one of your sister's friends that you do not know) is strange...no? Well, they opened up with welcoming arms as they were hilarious!

Fun people...

They sort of had a backup and a traffic jam as they are not use to this due to construction. This is typical in NYC on a Friday afternoon and they said that this is not typical in South Dakota...

We headed in as they gave me the background of Stugges (biker rally in the summertime as it is PACKED with bikers and beer and women). We headed into Deadwood as we then went to pick up our race packets...

Picking up our race packets was rather funny as we got our packets from a list (find your name and number). Then, they picked up all of their race packets for all family members and friends...they picked up about 8-10 people as I got SM's...absolutely nuts!

I was really surprised that they even were allowed to get more than one packet without checking ID's, but this was a small race. They were pretty inexperienced with getting all of these things as they referred to the chips as "scanning devices like items in Walmart"...oh that is way too funny. I talked to the race director about water and power aide as it is only offered every 2 miles...is this going to be a problem? Also I asked with intentions of knowing what the age group awards will be...as I saw from last year's results that I could come close in my age group of winning an award, as well as coming within the top 10 overall I'd things go well...

Although there is also the fact of ALTITUDE, which I was well aware of from the Steamboat marathon, which has proven to being my personal worse of marathon times...

Anyways, we strolled around as the sunset and got some burgers at a local place.

We arrived back at their family owned cabin as it looked pretty small from the outside (but looks are deceiving!). From the inside, it was amazingly large, filled with beds, couches and a loft...it was amazing and an architectural splendor. We waited for the rest of the family (SM's mom and two other younger sisters as they had 5 in the family and SM is in the middle.) They arrived later on in the night as SM also arrived even later...though I was pooped and went to bed!

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