Thursday, March 23, 2006

Seattle=Hills

Seattle, March 23—After spending too many hours in the middle seat on each leg of my journey from D.C., with my knees under my chin, and two largish people on either side of me (yes, on both planes) for many, many hours, only to be followed by standing for hours in the Science Fair at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (all, I might add, in hopes of winning one of the many I-pods or Nanos we were promised the vendors would be "handing out like candy") whaddya know, my back hurt. Plus, I didn't win a single stinkin' thing.

I've become convinced that running makes my back feel better. The hotel actually has a little laminated card with a three- and a five-mile route on it. Cool. Except the concierge told me to "forget that," she knew a much better route. I was very excited! (This was around 6 p.m.; I had to be back in the conference saddle by 7:30.)

So off I went, having put all my faith in the non-running concierge. (Clue: Don't take running advice from non-runners.) The route concierge gave me first went up a big-ish hill and then down the biggest-ass hill I've ever seen. ( You know that crazy twisty street in San Francisco that goes up the side of a mountain? This was that. ) How hilly was it? I had to walk down this hill. In the rain. And, once you are at the bottom, you are so not at the bottom. At the bottom of this hell—oops, I meant hill— there are about 10,000 stairs down leading to a tunnel that goes underneath the freeway so that you can get to the sidewalk on the other side that runs along the Puget Sound. I felt a slight twinge when I realized that what goes down must come up; but countered it by busily feeling superior to all the other conference participants who were locked up in the hotel workout room, forced to watch Fox News, or worse.

Out I ran, to the start of a park that was under heavy construction. Um, not so scenic. And oddly, there were no other runners about. After 20 minutes or so, I got spooked and decided to run back. Cuz it was creepy. So, I ran like the wind. Like the wind who had forgotten completely how it had arrived where it was and so completely missed the underground tunnel, and the 10,000 stairs back to the bottom of the giant hill.

I had to backtrack. Tick-tock. God knows how, but I finally found my way back, cursing loudly, side stitch in full bloom, to the bottom of the 10,000 stairs which took me up to the bottom of the big, bad hill. Crawled up hill. Ran back to hotel. Where I really wanted to advise the concierge of the error of her ways. But, she was busy.

Tonight: Big geek party at the Space Needle!! I gotta go get my groove on. (I wonder if they'll have karaoke—?)

8 comments:

Bob said...

Rock on girl, make sure you visit pikes peak market and send a nice smoked salmon back across the country. You won'tregret it, I promise. Have fun, you rock girl.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

party on!

whew, what an awesome run you can brag about now! think of it! all the other participants holed up watching fox news, and you were out and about, baby!

21st Century Mom said...

I love conferences!! Oh how I love them... I'm jealous even if you did have to run a big ass hill.

My kid got accepted to the University of Puget Sound but I don't think she is going to go there. Seattle is kind of a cool city and kind of a nightmare so I'm good either way.

Ditton on Pikes Place Market - most excellent. Watch for the fish throwers. And get yourself some honey sticks while you are there. You won't regret it.

a.maria said...

ohhhh. hehe, i'm laughing. cuz... although sucky, that's really kinda funny. i can just picture you missing your turn, going back, being at the bottom of stairs/hills and cursing the concierge.

good times. hills suck. i love 'em!

Elle said...

I love big geek parties...in high school all the kids used to make fun and say "oh look here comes Elle and her Nerd Herd"...sadly I wasn't ever cool:(

Oh my how things stay the same.....

craig said...

Console yourself with the knowledge that your experience was worth a few chuckles on this end even if it wasn't what you were looking for on your end.

Elle said...

Running makes my back feel better too...though I can't rule out the suicide yoga...

Rae said...

Ha! Gotta love the non-runners!

I love seattle! The Pikes market is awesome, so is the aquarium! I drug a $5 bouquet of flowers all the way back through the airport, the planet and all the way home because they were so beautiful. I know my plane-mates loved me!