Big Weekend

[It’s been awhile. I think I ran last Tuesday the 17th. Then I walked 10 miles on Saturday and another 13 on Sunday. Yesterday I ran 2]

Life has been very interesting recently.

The COVID-19 response ramped up last week. By Wednesday there was an edict from on high that all essential people at the office should start working from home. So I transferred the electronic bits that I had been working on, and did just a little bit of work from home before the end of the day.

Thursday and Friday I had already down for vacation time.

Thursday we drove to Chicago and picked up a rental mini-van. Then we proceeded down to Knoxville, TN.

Last year my wife ran the 100k in a race called the Pistol 100 (named for the creek along which it is run). She signed up this year to run the 100 mile. It was scheduled for March 21-22. In the days leading up to the race it was unclear whether the event would be held. Eventually the race was cancelled.

But, then the remnants of the race moved to “virtual”. In the running world a virtual race means that you do the distance on your own time route. Some require proof in the form of a distance log from a GPS watch or similar device.

We already had the no-refund lodging. So my wife put together a virtual race for herself on the original course of the Pistol 100, in Tennessee. There would not be an official starting line or any water stops or hoopla. There was a time range for completing. (Corona was also a serious consideration, which I can expand on another time.)

We drove to Chicago and picked up the rental mini-van to use as a base of operations. Then we drove on down to Tennessee where she did her running, finishing around 9 pm on Sunday. On Monday we drove back to Chicago, did the car swap and on home. Tuesday I did a whole day working from home.

Everything went OK with the travel and the run. It was strenuous and long in multiple ways.

The most difficult part of the travel was picking up the rental mini-van in Chicago. We looked up the address and plugged it into the GPS which took us there. But there didn’t seem to be a front door to the place and the driveway was blocked off with “busses only” signs. So we split up. She dropped me off at the airport and I took the rental car bus back to the building. There were few people in line, but still a few. I got the van and we met at the off-site long term parking place, transferred the stuff, and continued on our way.

On Monday we had it more in hand for the vehicle return. There was a small parking lot nearby (we already knew from our previous struggle). We picked up the car and did the transfer then both went to the rental place where she parked in the lot while I took the van through the return gate. Then I learned I could walk out a door and down a sidewalk to that very lot. So no bus trip this time. We had been in the right place before… I had just needed to walk over to this nondescript entry and go in. So much for that!

On the return there was almost nobody in the car rental place. This was 5:50 PM. Seriously empty.

Empty car rental OHare Airport