Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Highland Fling 1 - not the ideal preparation

(Another copy of a Fetch blog post)

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I often get nervous before races - not about the running, but more about getting to the start, finding a car park, somehwere to stay, etc, etc. So, captaining a relay team for a race on the other side of the country while my mrs was to be running a 53 mile ultra might not have seemed like the best plan. Nevertheless, the organisation went pretty well, and despite having to make a late substitution because of halfpint's injury, we were all ready, everyone knew where they had to be at roughly what time, and had organised transport, accommodation, and (where necessary) child minding.

And then a volcano erupted in Iceland. And our babysitters are stuck in Malta. So I go back to full scale worry mode - plans B, D, E are formulated, evaluated and rejected. Substitute runners, babysitters, and accommodation are tentatively sounded out before plan F is decided on which involved a switch to leg 4 for me, Ian and Andrinne having to get up early, and halfpint having to tie our kids to a tree in Tyndrum while waiting for mrs s to finish. Not ideal, but a plan that would work, and an end to the panic and the worry and the not knowing.

So there we are on Friday morning, getting packed, dividing food into drop-bags for mrs s and generally getting ready for a weekend of running and listening to moaning kids when the call comes in. The in-laws are flying back in the middle of the night. Suddenly, alternatives are available, reality shifts again, and new plans are formed. We take the kids to Milngavie, the in-laws meet us there at stupid o'clock am, after they land in Glasgow, they take the kids away, and everything else reverts to plan A. My brain just about explodes but we have a plan, the school bell is ringing and it's time to rock and roll. Or something like that.

The car journey was great - we had a few phone calls to let us know that the flight would be earlier, then later, then roughly the same time again. Littlest shanksi took a dislike to the fair city of Perth and showed his feelings through the medium of vomit. But, before you could say "are we there yet" 32 times, we were in Milngavie and at the restaurant, and everyone was there and there were hugs and kisses and "Happy St George's Day" wishes and "Shut the Englander up" requests and beer and pasta and olives and the kids were actually quite well behaved and we were having a good time.

We left the party a bit early because we expected to be awakened early and headed to the hotel where the staff were being as friendly and helpful as they were last year and assured us we'd be able to make our breakfasts in the morning etc. And so to bed, not entirely sure if we'd be woken by an alarm clock or a phone call, but knowing it would be early in either case. It turned out to be the alarm - no call from the in-laws, maybe they'd been delayed a wee bit, but sure they'd be in touch soon. In any case, time for mrs s to get up and get her breakfast and any last minute preparations. Still no call, I'm getting a little bit worried again, as I was expecting a text from the airport. And then "We're in the car park". Except they're not. Eek. What's gone wrong. They've ended up at the wrong hotel, but it's OK because it's only 5 minutes away, and the reason they didn't call earlier is that they've been sitting there for an hour and a half so we could get a decent amount of sleep. How brilliant are they?

And finally, the kids are being bundled half-asleep into the in-laws car and they're setting off up the road, mrs s has porridge inside her, her drop bags are looking good, flip and santababy have been spotted getting ready, Dod and Lintie have texted to say they're on their way and did mrs s need a lift (not needed, but thank you), and we've picked up a hitch-hiker in the shape of JenJ and are off to the station. The hotel room still needs to be cleared, but I've plenty of time to do that later. The important thing is that it's race day, mrs s is in plenty time for the 6 o'clock start, the kids are in safe (but other) hands, and I can relax for a bit and enjoy the day.

Sorry, but as ever I've rambled on in my usual way, and haven't even got to the running bit yet. And there are tales of meeting Fetchies and drinking and dancing to come as well, so stay tuned - but don't hold your breath, it takes me ages to get going on these things.

And then I have trouble stopping, obviously!

Thanks for listening.

Assuming you have been.
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