run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, April 7, 2014

St. Louis Half Marathon Pre-Race

I survived last week! And as of 7pm on Friday night, I had finished every tax return that I had. It ended up that I prepared 46 returns throughout the course of the week, in addition to all my other work that I do on a daily basis. It was a whirlwind week, but getting all that done meant that I didn't feel guilty about getting in a car and heading to St. Louis for a quick road trip and race!

And, yes, I'm going to milk this into a few posts. Not because I PRed or anything (I didn't), but just because there are multiple things I want to talk about and instead of making it ONE HUGE post, I am just going to break it down into multiples. Fun times.

The KoB and I met up with Bitch Melissa and Sonofabitch Jeff on Saturday morning and we headed up to St. Louis. The car ride went by fast (because I didn't have to drive. Thank God), and we stopped for lunch along the way at Jimmy Johns, which... I thought I was okay to have gluten for LUNCH before a race. But, um, I learned that that's probably not the best idea.

You will hear more about the Gluten in the race report.
We got into St. Louis and checked into our hotel, The Drury Inn (Uhhh... terrible name by the way. Who wants to stay somewhere that sounds like Dreary? Also... it's hard to say.. it reminds of a 30 Rock episode).

The Drury Inn was a host hotel and while it was a bit pricey, it was a nice hotel with pretty good amenities. Each person staying in the room got a drink ticket for 3 free drinks in the evening. BOOM! And we were able to get a generous 1pm late check-out.

Another bonus of staying at a host hotel, was that there was a free shuttle from the hotel to the expo. Our other option was to drive to the expo and pay $5 for parking. We just decided to take the shuttle, rather than deal with driving through the city, etc. The race said that the shuttles would be running about every 30 minutes. So, we stood outside our hotel for 30 minutes and finally a shuttle showed up. At this point, I was definitely complaining about having to wait, but I also realized that I was being a little irrational, because it did say they would be coming every 30 minutes, and we must have just missed the last one.

But, it pulled up to the hotel, and it was ALREADY FULL of people. There was only room for 2 people to get on and there were about 10 of us waiting. W.T.F? There was no way we were going to wait ANOTHER 30 minutes, so we hopped in a cab and paid $20 for a cab ride to the expo. 

The expo itself was easy peasy. We got our numbers and shirts quickly and easily, and there were even a decent number of vendors there. Including one selling something ridiculous called.. The Handana.

From their website:
Handana® was made with the active person in mind. It’s lightweight, glove-like fit allows you to wipe sweat and nasal drip with both sides of your Handana hand. Your hand and fingers are completely free! No more stinging eyes, dripping brows or pulling at your shirt to reach your face.
Let me just say that I am one of the sweatiest people I know. I am constantly rubbing my face with my shirt and or gloves to get sweat off my face. But, I think that this product is such a waste of money. As we walked by the booth, the KoB said... that's what a shirt is for. Like seriously. What is the advantage of having a separate clothing item to wipe sweat and snot? It's going to get DISGUSTING after about 5 miles, because there is such little fabric to work with. Plus, in the summer, the last thing I want is my palm to be covered up and in the winter, I WANT my fingers covered. Am I the only one who thinks that this is just utter rubbish? Because there were 3-4 people shopping at the booth. SERIOUSLY????

Anyway, we left the expo, but not until I got my picture made with The St. Louis University mascot, the Billiken.

Please note, he is standing on box. Therefore, I am actually taller than him.
Our legs and heads are about the same size, though.

We got outside and instead of taking another $20 cab ride, we hopped in the shuttle line again, thinking.... well, at least it won't be full this time. It has to drop off everyone at the expo. We stood in line for OVER 30 minutes. It was ridiculous. Something about traffic or whatever. Apparently they just had ONE shuttle? For 3 hotel stops? WHY EVEN OFFER A FREAKING SHUTTLE if it's going to be so ineffective? If we had known that we were going to waste over an hour of our time waiting on shuttles and $20 for a cab, we would have just driven to the expo and paid the $5 to park. SO FRUSTRATING.

So, take note, if you run St. Louis Half Marathon next year... make sure you don't rely on the shuttles to get to and from the expo, unless you just enjoy wasting time and standing on concrete for long periods of time the day before a marathon or half marathon.

Anyway, we finally got back to the hotel, ate dinner, cashed in on our free drinks and headed to our rooms around 7:30pm. 

I had just gotten into my pajamas and all the sudden, a weird noise started coming from the fire alarm. I looked at The KoB and was like... uhhh... is that the fire alarm? Apparently it was, but it was a faint, terrible noise. If I had already been asleep, I would have totally slept through that thing. I changed clothes, and we headed out to the hallway, people were milling around and going back to their rooms saying... oh, it's a false alarm... but we were like.. well... HOW DO YOU KNOW? So, we headed down into the stairwell. Where we were met by people coming UP the stairs, saying... false alarm. 

The KoB and I have both read the same book about the terrible tragedy of The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and we were both a little afraid to just rely on the the word of other people. I heard the fire truck approach and I looked out the window and saw it pull up and also noticed that no one else was standing outside. So, we headed back to our room.

About 10 minutes later, someone came over the loudspeaker and said that it was a false alarm and that the fire dept had given us the all clear. Great.

Well, about 30 minutes later, a different, louder noise started coming from the fire alarm.UGHHHH. It turned out to be a false alarm as well, and I was afraid that it was going to be something that would happen all night, but thankfully that was the last time and I slept like a baby that night.


Carina said...

I totally love Drury Inns! I only get to stay in them in 2 cities for work, but totally love them -- but yeah, awful name. Even so, they're my hotel of choice due to the 3 free drinks per night and the "snack bar" that often turns into my dinner.

But sucks about the fire alarm on race eve. I'm with you on evacuating. Even if an employee is saying it's a false alarm, I'm like how do YOU know? Have you inspected every room to ensure this place isn't about to erupt in flames? We read a book about mass casaulties (it included this,, a dinner club fire in Ohio) and a lot of it was basic stuff like just heed alarms and warnings, even if others ignore. Better safe than sorry, right?

The gluten gif is awesome BTW. And I just posted today and had to caveat that I ain't shit for busy compared to someone dealing with taxes right now! Glad you're surviving.

Amy said...

OH MY GOD, that link! I'd never heard of that fire. I mean, I just can't imagine how horrific a huge fire like that is. With the Triangle fire (and of course, 911)... people were jumping out of the building to get away from it. I just can't imagine the horror of deciding that JUMPING OUT OF A BUILDING is a better way to die. Makes me sick for all those people.

Definitely better safe than sorry! But, at the hotel people with their kids were just trotting back into the rooms... like... WTF? You have kids... I'd be outside the building for sure if I had kids.

And yeah, the snack bar was nice, too! Free popcorn is my jam.