Monday, January 5, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

What did I say in my last post? That it was too bad that I only got one run in at the Mission Creek Greenway while on vacation in Kelowna? That Saturday's run was to be my final run in Kelowna? Apparently somewhere I forgot to knock on wood... I had the final flight to Calgary with Air Canada booked for Sunday evening. As we were driving to the airport snow was falling. Massive fluffy flakes of snow. I got to Air Canada's line up and the fellow in front of me flagged down an employee to find out if there was a priority check in line.

.AC employee: "Oh well, all flights are cancelled so it doesn't matter."
Me: Huh? Everything was on time when I checked before leaving for the airport...

AC employee: "Except the flight to Calgary, but the runway in Vancouver is shut down
so everything else is canceled."
Me: Phew..

I handed my luggage over and sat around with my folks for a bit before heading through security. We knew the inbound flight was delayed coming out of Calgary, but it was pretty disconcerting to see all of the delays and canceled flights on the status boards. It was just one big mess. Finally I headed through security, confident that since my plane was in the air and weather in Calgary was okay that I'd be on my way home. That was not to be the case. Just as the airplane approached Kelowna they closed the runway. The plane had enough fuel to circle for about half an hour, in which case if things hadn't improved the plane would be heading back to Calgary. And the bad news was that the direct flights to Calgary were so booked up that they couldn't get you a seat out of Kelowna until 8 pm on Tuesday.

By that time my folks were home and there were rumours of available seats out on West Jet on Monday, so I had my dad do some digging for me. When they cancelled the flight and diverted the airline back to Calgary I had my dad pull the trigger on getting me a West Jet ticket. At least this way I'd be back home Monday night instead of waiting at the airport all day, hoping for a standby seat with Air Canada. I got my refund, collected my suitcases and my parents came back to the airport to drive me home.

On the plus side of things, since my flight didn't leave until 5:15 pm that gave me plenty of time to get my run in on Monday morning. I had a 49 minute run with 6 x 1:00 hard, 3:00 easy intervals on the schedule. So I headed back out to the Greenway. Only a small loop around Mission Creek had been plowed so I ran a few circles around the creek. I ran 15 minutes at a warm up pace then started in on the intervals. I didn't feel like I was pushing hard enough on the first three. Maybe I was tired, or not quite into it. Finally on my fourth interval something clicked and I was on. I was speedy! I don't normally mention pace too much around here, but I thought it was worthwhile throwing up the graph of my heart rate and pace from this run.You can definitely tell from my heart rate where my easy and hard intervals were. Most importantly, you can see the dramatic improvement in pace between #3 and #4, and that I kept improving. After that I cooled down for 10 minutes, then headed home.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working up my marathon plan for my coach. It really helped me to focus on the upcoming race and think about what I need to do over the next few days to ensure I am ready. Then it was on to the airport where there was a whole lot less drama... The winter storm had passed through and things were running pretty smoothly so I made it back to Calgary without any issues.


Lily on the Road said...

Glad you made it home safely!

Winter flying in Canada is always fun!!!

Alexandra said...

Glad you made it back finally! Now you have barely enough time to unpack then pack again for your next trip!

Melanie said...

at least your next trip is to somewhere where there is no snow! :) glad you made it back safely :)

Marlene said...

Looks like you made good use of your extra day. Awesome job on the intervals!

RunToFinish said...

wowie! I am not a fan of hanging out at airports, but I suppose it sure beats being unsafe.

Send me your HBBC points today so I can make sure you are in the drawing

Viv said...

you made it back safely. Marathon planning and looking forward to events is always exciting!

Marathon Maritza said...

What an ordeal at the airport! So glad you made it home safely and got your run in!

Danielle said...

Wow, that sucks about the travel. Yuck. I can relate living where I do as well!