Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

An unplanned trip to 50 years ago...

So the rabbit is at the vet again.  Prognosis for immediate short term is good -- he can come home tomorrow.  Long term however . . .    Let's just say the mechanics have a pool going on which month he will die, and I don't think anybody's voting for anything past early spring.  *sigh*

Anyways - while waiting for the prognosis, Chris and I went to test drive a couple cars that are on the potential list.  So we went to VW in Burlington and I'm still slightly flabbergasted by the experience.  When we went in, the person who met us was particularly unhelpful.   First it was the completely disdainful tone when he asked whether we were shopping for new or used, with his entire body language indicating we should perhaps go to the used car store next door.   Now to be honest I'd consider either, but I was fairly appalled at the attitude.  At least the attitude Chris was getting -- since while Chris had mentioned twice that *I* was the one shopping, the sales ass (SA) had yet to actually address me.

SA looked particularly appalled when I answered instead of Chris, but so be it.  I mentioned that I was looking for some information on the Golf; did they have any 2016s left?  In the most condescending of tones "they've been gone for months."  Ummm okay.   How about 2017s then?   So he walked us over to the nearest one.  "Well this is our base model.  All the information is there." and pointed to the info flyer in the window.  Gee thanks.

Decided not to mention I'd already decided on the next model up and thought maybe I'd try leading with options to see what SA would recommend.   "I'd prefer a two door and will want the package that includes a sunroof --"  "Well this car doesn't come in two door."   Fair enough, had he managed to say it without rolling his eyes.  I hadn't even answered when he stalked off to pick up a pile of papers off a desk and flipped through them before stabbing one with his finger.  "There.  See.  No two door option."   Ummm okay dude.   But then he saw another note, "oh, this car is only available in manual."  "That's okay.  I actually prefer it."  "No, manual.  Five speed."  There was a long pause while he looked at me like he was waiting for the light to go on.  Then, slowly, "Can you drive a manual?"   Complete disbelief on his face; as though he was still sure I didn't understand what I was asking.  After I'd just told him I preferred it.  So that was the final straw for me.  But I was a little stunned trying to get my head around the entire experience with my internal filters working overtime rejecting everything that popped into my head.  Before I managed to come up with any response that wouldn't lower me to his level, Chris interjected with a very calm "Laur, let's go somewhere else."

Yes.  Best idea all day.  So we went to Honda, where the first person who saw us was about to meet another client but immediately went to find somebody to help us.  The person who came was A - willing to speak directly to me (imagine!), B - willing to discuss both used and new options with equal respect and effort, and C - answering questions as though they were reasonable.   Imagine that ;)

Sadly I actually really like my VW, but definitely won't be buying one from that dealership.  And when I bought my current one I had a similar experience with the VW dealership in Oakville.  Equally dismissive, but at the time my filters weren't nearly as well developed so that was ended significantly faster ;)   There are times I miss that me ;-P   I did eventually find a VW dealer all the way in Brampton who was inclined to treat me like a reasonably intelligent human being, may have to go back to her.  But really, how is this behaviour still acceptable?   Totally ridiculous.

For now, let's just hope the rabbit lives a while longer.  Because I have a feeling the next car will be a civic.

One more check for the list :)

Life goal accomplished!   Today I ran a half-marathon.  Weather was perfect, so got super lucky there being as it's November in Canada ;)

Chris drove me to the start bright and early this am, and even hiked to the start line to keep me company till the start (parking was about half a kilometer away).  So that was really nice -- and had the added benefit that I could keep my jacket till the last second ;)

First part of the race was good.   I was moderately amused by the amount of clothing that had been shed along the side of the road.  It was a longer trek along the road than I had expected, but nbd.  Then we ran down the highway, which was fairly surreal.   That was a long trek that was all down hill.  Very civilized :)   And finish was a run through a trail, which is where I generally choose to run, so I was all for that, and then along the waterfront, which -- being all of 10 mins from home -- is another pretty standard place for me to run.  So basically loved the last 1/4 or so of the race.  Except for the fact that by the end my body had pretty much shut down.  Ugh.  Fail.

The route (starts lower right corner)
My goal was 2:30 and I *almost* made it (finish time 2:32:27).  Somewhat frustrated at that as a km out, I still had more than enough time to make said goal even on a slow day, but I was done.  So done.  It took everything I had to just keep moving one foot in front of the other.   Why?  When 18km two weeks ago wasn't any big deal?

Well it turns out I'm a tad bit competitive.  Who knew?  ;)    N for the first 10km without really realizing I was doing it, I was making awesome time (for me).  I know I'm not fast, and I'm never going to win.   But anybody who looked like they were going about the same pace I go, I didn't see any reason I couldn't or shouldn't pass them.  And when my watch told me to take my first walk break, I didn't even really register it.   And the second one, thinking it was the first, I chose to ignore.

And were this a 10km race, I probably would've been pretty happy with the results ;)   But shortly after that I started running from break to break -- which I usually don't care about till after about 14km.  So not a good start.  At about 11km, I was past by the first marathon runner.  Sheesh -- that's not demoralizing at all (they started all of 15 mins before us, but the tracks only align for the last part of the race - their extra distance was almost all at the beginning).  Although was another solid 10 mins before the second marathon runner past us, so I feel the first one was an exception.   Several of the top marathoners had bike (either cycle or motor) assisting them so they could clear the pack and hold their line.  That amused me.  What really got me though was the ones finishing in the 15 mins or so before I did who were just loping their way to the finish.  Long solid strides that looked like they hadn't even broken a sweat -- keeping in mind, by this point I could hardly walk and had gone half the distance in more time.  Sheesh.

About kilometer 15, I had a really hard time and admittedly walked most of it.  This gave me enough energy back to at least jog if not actually run the next few.  But the last two...  Those were just brutal.  Usually I get an extra burst when the end is in sight -- even when I'm just running on my own.  And at that point, looking at my watch, I knew fully well I had more than enough time remaining to make my goal.  But no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn't even jog more than a couple steps.   I did manage the last 200m at a painful jog just cause I really couldn't handle walking across the finish line.  But I fought for that.  Hard.

Huge credit to the random spectators throughout the race cheering on and offering encouragement.  Actually made a HUGE difference.   Some were clearly race volunteers, others looking for specific friends or family.   Near the end there were even runners who had already completed.   And some looked like they lived in whichever house we were running by at the time.   But regardless, they were so positive and encouraging to everybody, and it really made a difference -- esp at the end.   That's actually the only reason I managed to run the last 200m -- random strangers encouraging and letting me know just how close it was ;)   There was a sharp rollback right before the finish line, so while I knew I was close cause I'd been there the other day to pick up the race kit and my watch told me I was almost there, I didn't actually know how close cause I couldn't see the finish.

Came across the finish line at the same time as a couple people so my name didn't get announced.  Surprised how disappointed I was about that -- it's not the kind of thing that generally matters to me, and not like I had a gaggle of people in the audience ;)  Ah well.   I crawled my way through the food tent and chose an apple over pizza.  This gives you an idea of how done I was. There is zero chance I could've eaten pizza and kept it down.  Not sure who thought that was a good idea.  Sheesh.  The apple was good though.   Picked the nearest available chair I could find and collapsed into it until Chris made it to pick me up.   And being the awesome husband that he is, he had brought my jacket with him so just as I started to freeze, I was able to warm up.

What did me in was actually the muscle on the outside of my hips.  That was a new one for me, but it basically seized up.  (Both were sore, but left was way worse -- my left hip has zero flexibility ever so not surprising it also complained more).   I wouldn't have been surprised by quads paralyzed with lactic acid, or calves screaming at me for the abuse.  But this was an exciting new version that when combined with a wicked side stitch basically hobbled me.  I made it to the finish on sheer determination and nothing more.   When I finally got up to walk to the car, I was hobbling like I was double my age.  Ugh.  And while not completely lame the rest of the day, definitely moving in slow and careful motion.   On the plus side -- I was able to run through the blisters that appeared about the 15 km mark and by the end was not even noticing them.  And knees and ankles didn't give me any grief at all, which is great.

So am I glad I did it?   Yes.   Am I proud of my little participation medal?  Absolutely!  Do I ever feel the need to do so again?   Not even slightly.  5km maybe -- I like the energy of races and 5km doesn't leave me broken for the next few days.  Nor does it take up my life to train for.  But this silliness?  No thanks.  I did enjoy disposing of my training plan though :)   It's the little things in life.