Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 1: Heading South for the Winter

I don't mean to give away any spoilers, but have you seen GONE GIRL??!!  I mean, I am never
hoping that a flight will last longer than scheduled, but here I was afraid I'd miss the end
of the movie because we were landing in....Houston!  That's right, another trip, which
obviously means another race.  Let's face it, I don't tend to go too many places without there
being a running-related reason, and I'm here in Houston to race the Aramco Houston Half
Marathon on Sunday.  This is kind of a big deal for me, because it's the first time that my
sponsor is sending me to a race.  Thank-you Skechers! (Oh, I guess I'm not counting when Mike
 Dion took me down to San Diego out of his own generosity for Elliptigo purposes...Thank-you,
again, Mike, for that!)

Skechers is one of the premiere sponsors of the Houston Marathon and Half Marathon this
year, so they want to have a large presence at the race.  I'm so excited that meant they wanted
to bring me along, and even more excited that I may get the chance to meet Meb!  Kara
Goucher may also be here.  Funnily enough, I have met her before...when Mike took me on that
Elliptigo trip...  I feel like I'm pretty fit, so I hope I can live up to the expectations Skechers has
of me.  I've been doing workouts as per my friend ("coach", I suppose) Paul Zwama who I met
while in Rotterdam for the race last spring.  Let's hope that this isn't a repeat of Rotterdam! In
the meantime, Skechers has decided to treat me like a minor celebrity here in Houston -
admission to NASA, pre-race dinners and parties, a gift bag to welcome me to the hotel...I could
get used to a life like this!  It's possible that Mindy might get a little too used to it, as well.  Even
though she's not with Skechers, they were kind enough to have a loot bag waiting for her at the
hotel here as well, and they've added her to the invitation list for all the events. :)

Quick tip for anyone flying into Houston: figure out your transportation to your hotel before you
head out.  Houston airport just isn't that exciting a place to hang least not when you're
tired.  Public transit takes an hour and a half to get downtown (so the website told me....we
didn't test that), and even the shuttle we hired took about 15 minutes to get going for the 30
minute drive.  Not bad when that's the only "bump" on a trip from Toronto to Houston.  Unless,
of course, you include a coupe of minor...."amusements"...on the plane.  

Normally I go for the exit row on a plane for a little more space.  Mindy was fine in her seat -
willing to tolerate that it wouldn't decline at all.  My seat was made to fit a child.  Low, narrow,
and not even as deep as usual, I felt like I was perched on the edge.  We asked to move to other
 vacant seats (thankfully there were some!) and sat behind the other exit row.  That's when we
noticed that the lever for the emergency door was falling open!!!!!!  I may be exaggerating slightly.
The cover for the lever was falling open.  The actual lever seemed pretty solid.  The door didn't
accidentally open during the flight, at least.

As for Gone Girl?  Watch it!  Great movie.

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