I'd never even heard of Carmel, Indiana and here I was, in town to run the 1/2 marathon portion of their "Carmel Marathon Weekend." A friend who lives in nearby New Castle even made sure that I knew how it was pronounced...CAR-muhl.
I arrived Thursday afternoon, skirting severe thunderstorms and got checked into my very nice room at the Renaissance Hotel. The weather was really crummy for the rest of the day so I was perfectly content to stay put in my room getting caught up on two days' worth of emails, forum messages, Facebook posts, and then ordered room service for dinner: Minestrone soup and a Greek salad. The on-site restaurant is way above average!
My sister was considering driving down from Michigan to stay with me for the weekend and I was pleased to receive a text message from her, confirming that she'd be coming. She said she'd get there probably a little before noon, after I'd finished the race. Perfect! She'd be able to join me and some of my friends for a post-race lunch get-together.
Friday morning I lolled around in my room then finally forced myself to get up, get dressed, and get out into that cold wind and dreary dampness to drive over to where the Fitness Expo was being held. It's a gorgeous community park, with a huge and very-well appointed community center, lush grounds, jogging trails...wow! Carmel is a "planned community" with beautiful streets, large homes on lush lawns, a cuter-than-cute "downtown" that fits the pattern of those "life-style malls" that are becoming so popular. Made to look like old-style Main Street USA, but totally new and modern infrastructure.
Evidence of the upcoming race were everywhere: Big signs were placed along all of the streets in town, displaying the marathon logo and date; the street where my hotel is located had already been "coned" for the next day's race route. The Expo was small, not much to look at or to shop for, so I collected my race packet, including my race bib, my timing chip, and my event t-shirt, then got back in the car. I turned on my cellphone and asked it to find me a grocery store. There was a big Meier store not too far from the hotel so I headed in that direction.
At the top of my shopping list was some kind of tape or bandaid that I could wrap around my right big toe. The night before, I noticed that the nail had a split starting at the top edge and angling toward the side, creating a triangular chip that was very close to falling off. If it did, it would uncover a small part of the nailbed, which could be painful while running.
Next on my shopping list was some superglue or crazyglue. While fumbling to get the key-card into the slot on my hotel room door, my laptop case slid off my shoulder and hit the floor, a corner of the case making that initial contact. As a result, the bezel around the screen cracked and got displaced. I was able to snap it all back into place, but the crack, right there in the corner, would probably cause the bezel to become displaced again, hence the quest for superglue.
And then I needed to get bananas. So with these three items on my shopping list, I went into Meier's and got that task accomplished. I found a Subway nearby and picked up a sandwich to take back to my room for lunch.
When I got to the room, the first thing I did was work at getting as neat a glue job as possible on my laptop bezel. It's not perfect, but not bad, either. At least the pieces are "welded" together now. A little bit rough along the mated edges.
So I was sitting there with an open tube of superglue, a cute little one-time use size, and thought to myself, "Hmmm. I wonder if I could use this to weld together my cracked toenail. Worth a try!" So I experimented a bit to find the best way to hold the triangular nail chip in place, then went for it!! And by golly, it worked! I think I found the fix!
Now it was time to take it easy, rest my legs, vegetate in front of some good old movies on TV!
Room service again for dinner Friday night - crab cakes - and then I laid out all the things I'd need for the race tomorrow morning. It's going to be very cold and not warm up: 31 degrees at the start with a "feels like" temperature of 26 degrees, and not getting above 37 or 38 degrees by the time I cross the finish line.