My apologies for dropping off the radar. The past two months have been incredibly busy and full of hurdles trying to keep me away from my goal of finishing Ironman Lake Placid, but I have been doing my best to keep my mileage up to a level that will get me through the race. It has really tested my resilience, but with just two weeks to go I am feeling confident that I will be able to complete the distance (but no guarantees on how fast!)
The 50 hour work week has become the norm for me and Benjamin recently broke his first tooth, which resulted in a number of sleepless nights. However, these things are just small change compared to the week from hell Brynn and I experienced in Philadelphia.
I had planned just one big city triathlon this year and Philadelphia was going to be it. It’s a very popular Olympic distance course that has resulted in many athletes posting personal records. It seemed like the perfect tune up race in the weeks leading up to Lake Placid.
The trip did not begin well with the typically sub 3 hour trip taking well over 5 hours. We had planned on collecting my race packet and visiting a children’s museum on the Friday, but with the epic delays we cancelled all plans for the first day and were happy to just arrive at our hotel.
The next morning we headed down to West Fairmont Park to collect my race packet from the expo and visit the Please Touch Museum. We parked the car and had a very enjoyable visit in the museum, which I can highly recommend to anyone with kids under 10 years old. Benjamin had a blast just looking at all the colours and being able to push little carts around, but there is so much more there he will appreciate in a couple of years that I’d like to go back (if I ever feel up to a voluntary trip to Philadelphia again).
However, the weekend went terribly wrong as soon as we left the museum and got back to the car. Some $^%*head had smashed in two of the windows to steal Benjamin’s diaper bag (which contained… diapers!) and Brynn’s purse that had been concealed under a blanked in the trunk.
We walked away from the area immediately and Brynn called 911, who told her they would call back in a few minutes. When we didn’t hear anything for a while Brynn called back and was told that they had no reason to call her back and that there was nothing they could do so we should just deal with it. Thanks 911!
We then found a policeman in the park working as a guard for the triathlon who called in our problem after a bit of persuasion. His colleague was then able to inspect the car and write a police report. My initial plan from there was to get a taxi for Brynn and Benjamin and drive the car back myself back to the hotel. Brynn then called the taxi company, but they refused to come out because we could provide a cross street, but no building number (being a park there are no building numbers!) So I had to clean up some of the broken glass with my bare hands (which was a little painful) so we could all get in and drive back to the hotel.
Once back at the hotel I called my insurer and got the most stupid person I’ve ever spoke to in my life. When I got off the phone Brynn thought it must have been an overseas call center because of the way I had to speak really slow and spell many words (including b-a-g), but alas it was just someone who must never have seen the inside of a school. After I told the operator that the car had been broken into and the windows smashed, she asked me if there had been any vandalism.
From there I called up every “emergency” auto glass shop in Philadelphia to discover none of them are actually open on the weekend. Apparently “emergency” means they can fix things within a week, which wasn’t a whole lot of use to us.
I wasn’t keen on driving all the way back to Virginia with a baby in the car and two broken windows, but after exhausting all other options we made the decision at about 10pm that night that that was exactly what we were going to do. I had held out hope of competing in the triathlon until about that point, but we were all so exhausted it really seemed like the only viable option.
Benjamin’s teething was at an all time high that night, but somehow I managed to sleep through the majority of it. Brynn took one for the team and got up every time so I’d be fresh for the big drive and didn’t manage to get one wink of sleep. At the first break of light we were up and packing and soon we were back on the road to greener pastures. Other than a major storm that ripped the cardboard off one of the windows, the drive home was pretty uneventful.
Sometimes everything that can go wrong does go wrong.
I really don’t ever want to see Philadelphia again in my life, but ironically I am on an Amtrak train heading there right now as I type. This time it will be for business rather than “pleasure”, as I’ll be attending a work related conference there.