Saturday morning I woke up bright & early, 4:15, so I could get ready for the ABB 5K. Luckily, I had been exhausted the night before so I really wasn't all the tired surprisingly when I woke up. I made sure I had everything packed: iPod, arm band, Polar watch, water bottle, camera...and then started my car so it would warm up while I made myself a smoothie. At 5 am I hit the road for downtown Houston with the address for a parking garage in my GPS. Due to the fact that it was the ass crack of dawn on a Saturday traffic was a breeze, even with shut downs & re-routes on the freeway.
I arrived at the parking garage around 5:45, at the same time I got a text message from Mr. Fireman wishing me luck on the race (good timing Mr.!). Unfortunately, that parking garage, along with most others that I saw, were closed to the public. Due to the chaotic mess of shut down roads the day before I didn't even try to get closer to the convention center. (Turns out I should have) Instead I found a valet parking garage that would let me park there for $10 for the entire day. I was so stressed out because, well driving in downtown Houston does that to me, that I thought I had put my car in park when really I only still had my foot on the brake. When I took my foot off the brake so the guy could get in my car started rolling forward... finally I got my shit together & grabbed everything I was going to need for the day. I didn't know exactly where I was so I whipped out my GPS so I could figure out how to walk the 3/4 miles to the convention center, at 6 am, alone, it was slightly scary & slightly exhilarating. I made it, unscathed, only to find out that on that day, unlike the previous day, the lot right in front of the convention center was open...for $10. I got my race packet, checked in my stuff, & then sat around waiting for the race to start at 8 am.
At 8 am the gun went off & I was on my way. It was a chilly morning so I wore my fleece zip up for the first half of the race until I got so warm that I needed to not only take it off but move my bib & arm band with my iPod in it. Skills people, I got skills. I took moved the bib from my fleece to my shirt, my armband from over my fleece to on my arm, & my zip up from on my upper body to around my waist all without stopping...granted I did slow down to do so. Official times still aren't in & I didn't do real awesome or anything (somewhere around 36-37 minutes) but that's around 6 minutes faster than the last 5k I ran in September. After the race I had planned to take pictures around downtown (which I did some with my phone) but it turned out that my camera battery had died so I decided to just snap some on my walk back to my car before heading home. For the record, the 3/4 mile walk wasn't as scary in the daylight.
On the way back I was craving pancakes like no other. I was hoping that by the time I got back home Mr. Fireman would've had a long enough nap that I could get him to go out for breakfast with me. Unfortunately when I text him about the race & what not afterwards he said he had just gotten home because they had gotten a call at 4 am. So instead, I let him sleep & headed to Whataburger. Twice before I have been a part of the whole pay it forward thing. Once in college at a Burger King & once not that long ago when I decided to start it by paying for someone else's Starbucks behind me. When I got to the window to pay at Whataburger it just so happened that the person in front of me paid for me so I did the only logical thing & paid for the person behind me. That was the icing on the cake. It wasn't even 11 am & I knew it was a great day. After not really hearing much from Mr. Fireman the previous 2 days due to his hectic work schedule I got an early morning good luck text, despite having not trained all that well I beat my last race time by 6 minutes, & then once again got the chance to pay it forward.
I was so exhausted when I got home that instead of showering like I should have I ate my breakfast & then passed out for a few hours. Finally I got out of bed & showered and then sat around most of the day just relaxing. The plan was for me to go over to Mr. Fireman's house that night around 6-6:30 so we could play card games & drink. Instead I got a text around 5:30 asking if he could come over instead. At 7 pm he showed up with a case of beer and my very own set of Phase 10 cards. We started a game & then ordered some pizza and wings. Once the food arrived we took a break from the game to eat & watch the end of Talledega Nights on TV. We then finished the game (he won) & then tried to watch some Breaking Bad. Unfortunately, something was wrong with my TV/laptop connection so the sound wasn't right. We found some Dave Chapelle on TV & he almost instantly passed out. The next morning we decided to play another round of Phase 10 (I won) & then we went out for breakfast.
All in all it was a pretty fantastic day!