This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Running, Fractured Toes, and the Mad Dash to La Guardia

Brooklyn view from my hotel room
I was in Brooklyn the last days of April (27-30) for a work related conference. It was, as expected, amazingly awesome. NYC is my second home, after three visits.

Upon my return, like, IMMEDIATELY setting foot at RDU, I noticed I had to start adjusting my gait because my right big toe hurt. Uh-oh, I think to myself. I recognize this pain. This is similar to the pain I had in 2009, when I had a stress fracture on my LEFT foot. I ran through it, not knowing it was a stress fracture, and now, I was thinking: has this been going on and I've been running through it? No. I've had pains everywhere else BUT my right big toe.

I didn't do that much walking in Brooklyn, which, coincidentally, I think - a conference in LA - aided in the stress fracture of my left foot in 2009 (I was in heels and walked A LOT on tired runner's feet). So WHY NOW?

The only thing I could think of was the mad dash to La Guardia.

We (my colleague and BFF, Sam) had a flight back to RDU from JFK at 2:55. At 2:15, we were told the flight was canceled. Not postponed. CANCELED. Fortunately, technology for me was faster than everyone else at the airport, including Sam, as I received the text message quite a few seconds before anyone else, and managed to get us to the front of the gate check-in (second, specifically) before it was announced to the waiting passengers.

I heard the "friendly" (sarcasm) airline employee tell the old lady in front of us that the next flight available to RDU was at 9:30 at La Guardia. All flights at JFK to RDU were canceled. Of course, the next question is always: can't you find something earlier? And for some reason, they do...he found a 6PM at La Guardia...but only one. And she took it.

We're next. We get the same spiel. I ask the same question. He says no. I ask for the 6pm flight. He says he gave away the last ticket. So I said Book It Dano (not really, since I was feeling very festive).

Sam is not happy. It's 2:45ish now. 9:30 is a long time away. And when you're ready to go home, you're ready. But I knew my next step was to call my company's travel department because, I just don't believe nor trust airline employees. Surely, there is a flight out of JFK, or something sooner than 9:30.

The sweetest, most patient person was on the phone, despite me yelling (not angrily) WHAT? CAN YOU REPEAT THAT? over the loud noises of intercoms at JFK. But she did confirm that there were no flights out of JFK...however, there IS a flight leaving La Guardia at 4:30. Maybe you can catch that?

Well, despite NYC being my second home, I've lived near, and have worked in Cary, NC, for over 18 years, and I still can't manage that town without my on mother nature's green earth do I know if I can make it to La Guardia from JFK, at now 3PM to a 4:30 flight in La Guardia?

The sweet voice was like: I think you can make it and I was like: let's do it.

So it was a race out of the airport, after I told Sam what we had. I ran along Sam's fast walk and STILL could not keep up. And how lucky was I that I did NOT check in my bag, as I usually do.

We were on one end of the airport, running (well, I was) to the ground transportation area. Once there, the line for taxis was way too long, and we were told that the bus to La Guardia would not get us there in time. So I flagged down those illegal "taxis" that solicit near the "no soliciting" signs and asked how much to La Guardia. He said "$17". I repeated "$17?" and he corrected "$70". Seventy? I repeat back? and I'm thinking: WTF am I repeating back - let's go!

The whole drive my friend Sam is like: we will not make it. we are never going to make it. I am unusually calm. I have faith in mr. illegal taxi man. In a line of traffic, Sam asks: what time do you think we'll get there? He says: 3:30. She scoffs back: hahahahahaha! you are kidding? we will never make it.

And guess what? He got us there at 3:33. Security check-in was a breeze and naturally, our flight was just a tad delayed before we boarded the 4:30 flight.

So...when I had my right big toe examined by an ortho two weeks ago, he asked me what activities I had been doing that may have led to this toe injury. I explained the running-through-JFK event.

Doc: "What kind of shoes were you wearing?"
Me: "Wedged combat boots".
Doc (with a tone): "_Wedged_ _combat_ _boots_?"

It's the only pair I took with me! I packed light!

No fracture. Just a bruise, akin to a sprain. He told me to take two weeks off of running and do some hot/cold bath thing that i didn't do.

Run on Mother's Day - Lake Lynn
So last Mother's Day, I went for my first run. Started out great, but then an unforeseen emergency hit me that required me to turn around and get back home immediately. Nothing major. Just something that trails can't help a runner with.

And then this busy week kept me from my run routine so I went out today and had a kick-ass short run. BUT I can feel the toe. Is it pain? I don't know but I feel something. Will I run again on Tuesday. Yup. Let's see how this plays out...

In the meantime, this was my playlist on this lovely, cool but cloudy day, 61 degrees:
Dirty Laundry by Bitter:Sweet
Painted Faces and Long Hair by The Orwells
Cruci-Fiction in Space by Marilyn Manson
Ottoman by Vampire Weekend*
Normal Person by Arcade Fire
Other Voices by The Orwells
Target Audience by (Narcissus Narcosis) by Marilyn Manson
Safe & Sound by Capital Cities
Breezeblocks by Alt-J**
Sunday Morning by Velvet Underground*
Loud Pipes by Ratatat*

* From a mixed CD that CJ put together for me for Mother's Day
** From a mixed CD that CJ put together for me for Xmas

Mixed CDs from my daughter are the best. She also introduced me to The Orwells.

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