Marvy Marin, Beautiful Bay … Good thing I like doing pre-race recon!

31 05 2009

Sally & Jim, Morocco
These are my parents a handful of years ago in Morocco …Mom’s 5’7″ Dad’s near Building Height.

If there is anyone I think is tops over my Mom, I don’t think I’ve met them yet. The gig with Mom is that she’s always had a bit of a … special … sense of direction. Once she’s been someplace, she’ll remember landmarks, but she’s the first to admit that. Knowing that it’s been forever since I’ve driven in the East Bay and that Mom believes that the training road to Purgatory travels along the East Bay, we decided to go over and grab my packet early and suss out where we were going for tomorrow’s race.

We got to the See Jane Run store in Rockridge … an hour and a half early. Ok … did the Trader Joe’s shopping, wandered the neighborhood, found a quaint coffee shop – Latte for her, Soy Mocha w/bran muffin for me … tossing bits of muffin back to her. Rockridge is one of the many really cute neighborhoods you find by turning off one road and … uh … there you are. Sidewalk restaurants, market and flower shop … and probably the scariest Safeway known to man!

The little line was starting to form outside the See Jane Run store once they moved the heavy iron bars covering the windows. Packet – a pretty nice tech shirt, race number — 2272 — and a red band … that’s proof I’ve past 21 some 23 years ago and I can drink. Yippy Skip. 

The store is nice. They noticed my racewalking shirt “Racewalking: Olympic sport since 1908” … incidentally the same year Larkspur became a city in Marin, I believe … “Is that really a sport” commented this rather snobby gal to her friend in front of me in line. You know … you’ve got your sport, ladies, and I’ve got mine … ok!

We got probably the worst directions I’d ever heard. I had thought the store would have a decent set of maps, but … uh … nope. This was the first time Mom had been to just a packet pick up and no ‘expo’. She actually looked a smidge bummed … I’ve got to bring her to Disney! I reminded her that the expo for this race is post-raceand she’ll have at least 2 hours and 50 minutes to see if there’s anything really interesting. She’s been to the San Jose Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon (which was huge) and the US San Francisco 1/2 Marathon (which was more slack) – both of which had fairly decent sized expos. This was a grab-and-go at a store and I think she was a smidge disappointed.

We hit the maze of freeways that the East Bay happens to be and … with Mom at the wheel of the Prias … promptly got lost. I was irritated because I’d never really gotten the hang of her on board computer and I’d been up since 4 a.m. No time like the present. I figured it out … and got us pointed in the right direction. Next thing we knew we were in a long tunnel.

“Lizzy – this is a really long tunnel. Where are we going?” said The Driver.

“Well, Mum, with any luck over to the start of the race … but we’ve got to get under the Bay here.” I smiled.

“I hope it doesn’t  leak.”

“Yeah, Mom … that would truly suck.”

“You’re right about that, Kiddo!”

We figured out where we were going and I really wanted to make sure that I knew Mom knew exactly where she was since we start and end close, but not exactly in the same place. PLEASE don’t get the impression that Sally-Jean is some dottering woman because she’s sharp as a tack … just still a bit out of her element. It was interesting, however, because we got on the topic of confidence and when people repeatedly say you’re not good at something, when you’ve found a way to make it work for you … confidence really can be shaken.

So here were The Blondes zipping along in the Blue Prias and Mom said “I SEE POTTIES!!! I SEE POTS!!!” Bopping happily … and she did! There was a small line of potties. She’s got this race thing down … when confused, find the largest concentration of port-a-potties that have zip ties keeping the doors closed and there’s a darned good chance you’ve found your race!

We found the parking and started walking around. In truth, I was most concerned with what the end of the race was going to look like. I’ve not done anything of this length in a long time save one rather painful training walk. I know I’m at sea-level, but there you go. I want to know where I’m going. Mom was on the look-out for more potties and saw them on the far side of the Bay. Ok … there we go. We trudged along to find the first part of the race and it is a really good thing Mom pretty much trusts my directions. I don’t much like being lost, but I try to have a good time while I am if possible so I can remember my landmarks … grouchy landmark memorizer … yup – direct mix of my folks!

I got us out to the main street and showed her where we were on the map. It was making sense and she made probably the best visual find of the day. She noticed photocopied papers stapled on telephone poles stating that the road was closed from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.  HUMMMMM …. they’d told us to park at a lot that was against that street … hummmmmm …. GREAT spot of Mom-mee’s!!!

The things Mom puts up with, hu? ;-)

The things Mom puts up with, hu? 😉

Mom’s good at finding those things. She looks for her landmarks and likes to know the lay of the land to the point where she picked up something many would have missed. Darned good thing!

I drove out so we could figure out what how to get back to the freeway. I was tired and missed our turn … Mom had her landmarks! 😉

Since my calf was feeling better today than yesterday, I was really hoping to get my sprints in … clear the head … but I ended up dropping Mom back off in Tiburon and turning around to suss out exactly how to get to the race tomorrow.

Mom’s extremely independent and the sheer fact she feels compfortable with my driving means a lot to me.

Race tomorrow … Sleep now!





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