Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Las Vegas Ragnar – Pre Race

The road leading up to this Ragnar was not so smooth. In fact, it was ridiculously bumpy. As in, it fully sucked. There you have it.

I trained well. That wasn’t the issue. It was all about the money – of which we have none right now. If you really want to know more about that sob story, you can head on over the Giggs and Raz as I think that I’ll be posting a little bit of that story soon.

I paid for this race with my tax return back in February. I committed nine months before the race was scheduled. And, I was going, come hell or high water. (Where does that term even come from? Odd…) Carol and I looked forward to this event forEVER – so much that when she told me that she was injured and might not run it, she almost cried. We had SO been looking forward to it, and now she might not get to enjoy it.

Well, she wasn’t the only one. Despite my attempts to save money over the course of those nine months, crap just kept happening, and happening, and happening. Like that damn piece of shit Honda that we own. (If one more CRV owner tells me how wonderful THEIR car is, I’m going to punch them in the nose.) In three years, we have replaced the entire damn engine, and then some valves. We have had tune-up after tune-up. We have been crashed into twice, and we (ok, not actually ME, but someone else in our house that has a driver’s license) crashed it. We have replaced brakes and filters and belts and timing chains and blah-deety-blah-deety-blah. STILL, the frickin’ engine light is on.

Anyway, that was quite the side-track. My point: I couldn’t save the money.

And that, my friends, was a big source of contention. Big. HUGE. And awful.

How are we going to afford this trip? I don’t know. How are we going to be able to do anything fun? I don’t know. What is the point of even going? We already promised the boys.

So, I managed to get a voucher for $200 of our $300 hotel fee. I got some free dinner vouchers. We (over) packed a cooler with sandwich stuff, cereal, cheese, fruit, veggies, cereal, milk, and granola. But, in the end, we didn’t have the money to go.

It was finally decided that Carol would, in fact, run the race, but she rested her knee for more than a month prior. One of my besties from California was driving to Vegas for her first relay. My weight instructor from work was on the team. Another co-worker was running and was bringing her friend to run, too. Two co-workers were going to be our cheer squad. I felt like I couldn’t just leave the team in a lurch. After all, I HAD RECRUITED EVERY ONE OF THEM. I wasn’t about to let them down.

So, Bub and I fought about this. A lot. And, it sucked. I have denied our family doing just about anything all year long, but here I was taking us all on a trip to Vegas. I know. Not the best decision, and it showed in how much we argued and bickered about it. If I were to do it again, I would back out two months before the race when I realized that I wasn’t going to have the money saved up. But, I didn’t have that foresight. No, wait. I did. I was just being too selfish. There. I said it. If Bub read this blog, she would be screaming “I told you so” at the top of her lungs. No, wait. She’s too nice for that. That’s something reserved for petty people. Like me, sometimes.

Shit – when did this become a confessional? This is supposed to be a race report.

So, we packed our cooler and our travel bags into the car and drove off on a Thursday afternoon when the boys got out of school. (When I registered for this thing, I assumed that the boys would be in AM kindergarten. This PM crap has really messed with us. Just sayin’.) When you leave Tooele at 3:30pm and have a six-hour drive ahead of you, you are going to have to drive in the dark. Bub hates this. We fought about this, too, but I wouldn’t let the boys miss another day of school. Meatball had already missed six days for being sick!

So, we head south and into the wind. Did you know that Vegas in early November is just lovely? Well, it is – unless you’re traveling with us. Just like April in Vegas is supposed to be PERFECT – unless you’re traveling with us. I hate Vegas for SO many reasons – one of them being the fact that the weather SUCKS whenever I’m there. Stop going, I will!

The wind was absolutely awful. Did I mention that we drive a POS? Yeah. I don’t think that our gutless wonder ever got above 60mph – you know with the wind and the check engine indicator and the diminishing sun light and the stopping every 37 minutes to get a snack or pee on the side of the road or buy gas or blah, blah, blah. Anyway, miserable ride to Vegas.

We checked in at about 9:30pm. UG. Luckily, we were Van 2. Roch (my bestie from CA) arrived at exactly the same time that we did. That was the only time she has ever (or will ever) arrive anywhere on time – especially in the next two days. (Love ya, Cream Puff!)

We were all frazzled and ready for bed. Oh wait. Did I say “all?” Yeah, so not the case. The grown-ups were ready for bed. The little people were ready to jump on the bed. Big difference. Dang it! We did finally get to sleep.

Peanut was the first one up in our room. Shocking? No. Meatball immediately woke up, too, because we were, after all, in a hotel which means that FUN IS JUST WAITING TO BE HAD! When they are awake, I am too, so I ushered them out of the room as quickly as I could to let Roch and Bub sleep. That was my olive branch to Bub. Some extra sleep. She never gets any, and I was trying to suck up.

So, I took the boys to the lobby with their toys. No. I don’t really give two shakes if I bother other people with the crashing of the trains and the running around and the loud Leapster and, let’s be honest, my bed head and exercise shirts with smelly pits. I had planned to use their weight room for a weight workout, but couldn’t really do that with the boys in tow.

Arriving in the lobby, I find Carol, the weight instructor, and our two cheerleaders – all getting ready to eat and all sipping some coffee. They had even gone out of their way to buy me a hot chocolate from a place about a mile away. How sweet are they? I repaid them by letting the boys talk and talk and talk, oh and run around in their jammies in the lobby.

Bub finally joined us after taking a nice long bath. Just about then, we got a text from Van 1 saying that we needed to meet them pretty soon. We all kicked it into gear and headed to the first exchange. Once we got there, we started contacting our other teammates who left SLC at 3am in order to make it to the first exchange by 9-ish am. We checked in and got our van number, pottied in the Porta-a-Jane (their tag line is “Port-a-Jane – because John can’t aim” – ha-ha-ha-ha), checked out the freebies and the other stuff (that I couldn’t buy), and waited for the first set of runners.

During this time, we “enjoyed” a brisk breeze.

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