The lady behind me talks loudly into her phone, something about selling or renting a house that ain’t gon get em no money while the lady diagonal from me lovingly strokes her puppy— apparently they let pets on the Greyhound? The dude across the aisle from me finally puts his computer down and lays his head back. He told me he’s heading to Reno to gamble. Looking under the sunglasses he wears on the relatively dark bus, I can tell that the area around his eyes is distinctly red. He’s pretty keen for conversation, and, the social butterfly that I am, I’m happy to oblige, though of course we keep the conversation impersonal enough that I can only wonder how he broke his finger, or, y’know, why it’s in a splint. The girl in front of me lays out across both seats, apparently done texting and ready to get some shut eye, and I sit here looking out the window and writing this blog. This is my road to the US Championships in Sacramento.
Suffice to say, Ray might kill me if he saw how my travel for this trip worked out. Well, not all of it was my fault, really— a lot of this wouldn’t have been a problem if my flight hadn’t been delayed, and this really isn’t much different than us flying in to Portland and driving to Eugene like we did for NCAA nationals (though I don’t have a car)—, but It’s definitely been an adventure. These things happen when you’re balling on a budget. Still, I’m in good form, both physically and mentally prepared for the USATF Championships. For those uninformed, I race Friday and Sunday at 5ish and 2ish, respectively. It’s supposed to be over 100 degrees every day I’m in Sacramento, so the races will be run in blistering heat. My goal is to make the final and compete well there, and after a strong time trial last Wednesday and a solid tune-up workout this Sunday, I’m confident I can achieve that and look forward to competing after a couple days of extreme sloth and ridiculous sleep.
Anyway, the following is a timeline of my misfortunes (and other mundane events) during travel today, followed by a small conclusion. I hope you enjoy.
5:30 AM: Wake up. A bit before the alarm, but I’d gone to bed pretty early. I prepped my running clothes so I could hop out the door early, so I was ready to go.
5:40 AM: Quick 6 miles. Starts pouring during 6 miles. The inner sole of my shoe scrunches up, annoyingly. I consider if the rain is a harbinger of bad luck for my travel, but dismiss concerns because I’m not superstitious.
6:20 AM: Shower and eat pre-made sausage/egg/cheese bagel. I prepared in the last night because I’m meticulous in travel planning. Look in fridge and consider putting last night’s fried rice, rice pudding, and turkey sandwich in backpack, as I’d made them specifically for this occasion. Decide they could use a few minutes in the fridge.
6:50 AM: Checked everything, head out to catch RIPTA
7:05 AM: On RIPTA. Realize I forgot all food in fridge. Try not to beat self up.
7:15 AM: Catch MBTA
8 AM: Lovely sister Venmoes $25 to make me feel better about food. It works.
9 AM: Arrive at airport for 10 AM flight.
9:30 AM: Get to gate. Unfortunately, Virgin gate is tiny and has minimal food options, so I end up with a turkey sandwich and a muffin.
10:00 AM: Flight is delayed a full hour. Not great considering I have to get on a train to catch the bus once I’m in San Fransisco.
11:00AM: Board Flight
Next 6 Hours: Eat turkey sandwich and muffin on plan. Get very hungry.
2 PM (West Coast Time): Realize if I don’t catch the next Yellow-line train I’ll be very close to missing the greyhound. No burrito in the airport for me. That fried rice would be really good about now… at least my roommate froze it for me.
2:30 PM: Make the train.
3:15 PM: Miss my stop on the train because I’m not paying attention. Also, BART, who names a line after a random intermediate stop? Yeah, maybe I should have paid more attention to the map or listened better, but the New Zealanders who had been at the airport with me missed their stop too for the same reason.
3:30 PM: Take train to West Oakland. Turns out my bus’ll be going by there. It’s a huge boon because, thanks to my delayed flight, I was not gonna have time to turn around and make it to the San Fransisco station.
3:31 PM: Lament the fact that I could have eaten if my flight wasn’t late.
3:32 PM: Lament the fact that I could have eaten if I hadn’t forgotten the meals I’d meticulously prepared and looked at this morning.
3:33 PM: Get over it and walk to the Greyhound station. No time to get food on the way. I’ve been in a lot of Greyhound stations, but this one feels depressing, for some reason. .
3:50 PM: Eat some peanuts and a CLIF bar I have on me. Not exactly a nutritious dinner, but it’ll hold me over until I get to Sacramento and can dig in. Ever since Shane and I had burgers before Armagh, that’s been my travel day tradition. Maybe I’ll go for burgers and fries in a couple hours…
4:00 PM: Get on Greyhound in Oakland. My dad sends series of annoying texts trying to micromanage trip. I have my conversation with the guy across the aisle from me.
4:30: Start writing this blog post.
5:03 PM: As I’m finishing up this post, I notice a theme park next to me in Valejo and think that’s a cool thing worth noting.
Update: That night, I got back to my AirBnB complex after going to Safeway. I couldn’t find my apartment in the complex. Carrying around groceries, I left my tray of water bottles on the ground as I went to the concierge because my arms were getting tired. They got stolen in the ten minutes I was away. The next morning, I left my phone in the the uber that took me to the track and took another hour and a half to get it back. Hopefully, I’ve gotten my bad luck out of the way before the race.
So there ya have it. I guess it really isn’t that bad besides the fact that I’m low-key hangry. Not the smoothest trip in the world, but not the worst either, and I’ve got two days to rest before my race. It’s gonna be an adventure getting back to San Fran before my red-eye flight Sunday night/Monday morning, and even more of an adventure taking my final MBA test, for which I can promise woeful unpreparedness, the evening I return. But my dad’s a doctor, and he’s going to work when he gets back, so at least I don’t have peoples’ lives in my hand, right? (I do believe in my dad’s capability and professionalism as a doctor and trust in his capacity to do so— previous statement is just a joke).
The race is finally here. I’m excited, in good form, and ready to go. Hopefully I’ll have good things to report after.