Friday, September 10, 2010

Race Logistics

Can I just tell you that I have every single reason in the world to flake out on this 10k tomorrow?

But am I gonna? Nosireebob! I will be there one way or another!

First off I was supposed to stay in Chi-Town tonight so that I could pick up my race packet and then be all fresh and ready to run tomorrow morning. However, my daughter's plans fell through and she has nowhere to stay for the night. I was having a hard time justifying the cost of the hotel anyway, so it seemed like the right choice to just suck it up and travel the day of the race.

So now the plan is to drive in the morning. Now I'm not scared to drive through Chicago, or even to a destination within the city with a parking lot - like Soldier Field or the Shedd Aquarium or something. But I HATE having to park in the city. HATE IT! I'm sure it has a little something to do with the "Great Parking Garage Incident of 2004".

Until the Incident I could manage the city almost as well as a native. And I ventured downtown at least once every couple of months for work without much concern. This particular morning the normally 1hour 45 minute commute downtown turned into about 2 1/2 hours thanks to some extra special traffic on the expressway. Anywhoo, I was going to an attorney's office on Wabash and thought I knew right where I was headed. Short version is that his building was not the one I thought it was. I decided to just park the car and walk. (I think this is a good time to interject that I have Green Bay Packer licence plates on my SUV which seems to bring out the warm fuzzys with all the Bears fans.) I ended up in some shady parking structure that had two open spots clear on the top level. I get into the rickety elevator and it abruptly stops in between floors. Did I mention that I'm already running late? And that I'm claustrophobic?

It was no fun. I had to wait until someone else came to use the elevator. Thankfully it was only a few minutes - which felt like four and a half days!

So. I hate driving into Chicago when I don't know EXACTLY where I'm parking. It doesn't bother me in Milwaukee or Minneapolis or anywhere else I go.

This little phobia of mine has made me a very fond customer of the commuter train. We have a station about 30 minutes from me in a nice rural little town where I can park my big ole SUV with bright yellow Packer plates without worry.

Guess what? The first train into the city on Saturdays doesn't leave until 6:35am. Which means it doesn't get downtown until 8:23am. A little late for the 8:30am start. And, oh yeah, I still need to pick up that race packet.

So I found another rail line about 45 minutes from me. That train leaves at 5:38am and gets downtown by 7:08am. This is much better except for the fact that I'll have to leave my house by 4:30ish in the AM! But it would give me time to cab it over to Montrose Harbor, pick up my race packet, and run 6.2 miles all before lunch.

And, as if on cue, I get an email from the organizers of the race saying that the parking lot nearest the event will be closed on race day. They offered up suggestions of off-street parking and some parking structures in the area.

I'm still considering whether to drive or take the train. I'm sure whoever gets the pleasure of sitting next to my sweaty, stinky self on the train on the way home is pulling for the drive option.


  1. Kelly,
    Best of luck today!

  2. Thank you Flo. I finished! I will blog all about it when I get home. I'm at the train station now.

  3. Realy sounds like a job and a half getting to the race, then another job and a half running it.

    Hope you did well in it.