5 1/2 hours in line!

I went to get my new license plates today. When I got there I had about an hour before my first appointment of the day. That should have been plenty of time, right? Not even close. The line had about 150 in it. It took over an hour just to get into the door of the building. To my dismay, once I got in the building there was another line of 75 people! At least it was air conditioned inside.

Another hour or so in there. Finally I got to the main desk. Whew! Come to find out, all of that waiting was just to get me to the person that checks and makes sure I have everything. He checked off all of my documents and then I was ready to sit and wait in another line so they could record my information. Another hour.

My number was called and the nice lady took my information and filled in the required paperwork. What next? Sit down and wait until it was time to make sure all the numbers (VIN, engine block, firewall) were correctly recorded. My name was called and I got to get out of the building long enough to walk the 3 blocks to bring my car in for the inspection. Surely that would be towards the end of my wait. Nope.

“Sit down and wait for your name to be called.” So I sat for another long period of time. Finally my name was called again. This time to go sit in the room where I had to pay my $120 for the privilege of waiting. I got called up to the register to pay. Now it should be about over, I hoped. One final waiting period and I was finally out of there in 5 1/2 hours.

I had taken a book, but when I went to have the car checked to see if the numbers were correct, I left the book in the car thinking I was just about done.

This is typical here. Whatever time it would take you to do anything back home, expect it to take many, many times longer here. I was telling a friend about my plight this evening and he congratulated me for getting through the process so quickly. It took him 8 hours to do his! Something is broken here.

5 Km Race

I met my former land lady Emilia at the phone company this week. We were both there having a nice wait in line. At least it was air conditioned inside since it was 97 degrees outside. She told me about a 5 Km race that was being run this weekend. I got the bug and had to give it a shot.

I saw Emilia at the registration tables before the start of the race. She and I chatted and actually started the race together. She has been running for 15 years, so I felt no need to beat her. But secretly, I really wanted to. We were not at all together for the first half of the race. I knew she was behind me, but I was not sure how far behind.

She caught me at the half way mark. We chatted a bit and she encouraged me through the rough part. She kept pushing me. When we got down to the last few blocks she was really trying to get me to move along. I was saving what little I had left for the final block and a half. I started to pull away then. I crossed the finish line just a few seconds before she did.

Looking back now, I believe she let me beat her. She has been doing this for 15 years and had nothing to prove. For me, this was only my second road race. Whether she let me win or not, I probably won’t ever know, but it made me feel great. Thanks Emilia!

I turned in a time of 30:42. I was 20th out of 25 in my category. But I was not last. I felt great all day.

“Dad, you are a champion runner!”

My son just blurted that out today at lunch. Not sure where it came from or why. He is 8 years old. I just laughed and said that I was pretty good (pat myself on the back), but to be a champion, that implies that you have won something.

Then I said. The only thing I have won as a runner is a bit of confidence. Some self esteem. Stronger muscles. Physical endurance.

On second thought, son, you are right. I am a champion runner.

Let me tell you about my run…

I can imagine that people hate hearing that from their runner friends. That is as bad as someone coming over to your house with their slide trays full and ready to show off. But since you are here and this is my place to write, you can either skip it or read it. You won’t offend me.

I had planned a 6 mile run with a bit extra planned if I felt good at the end. To start out, I did not feel good, so the extra milage would probably not happen. In fact 1 km into it and I was walking. My right knee had been giving me problems the last week or so. I walked for 3 or 4 minutes and then decided to start up again. I was determined to at least get 2 miles in, even if only walking.

I started up again and the pain in my knee was horrific. Worse than ever. Knowing that the pain is related to what is called “runner’s knee” (something that happens when your outer thigh muscles are stronger than your inner ones) I decided to try something different and run just on the toes of my feet instead of heel to toe. It hurt less. Then all of a sudden…*POP*! No, not a physical sound or even a feeling really. It just stopped hurting from one step to the next. I then started running heel to toe again and never felt the pain that I had just moments before for the rest of the run.

I ran about 50 minutes and the podcast I was listening to, Phedippidations, ended. Instead of listening to the next podcast in line, Genealogy Guys, I decided to look for some comedy on the iPod. Genealogy just did not seem like it was the thing to listen to on an hour run. I have some random comedy that I thought would take my mind off the fact that I had been running for an hour and had at least 10 more minutes to go. Big mistake. Ever try running and laughing so hard that you are crying? Does not work well.

Needless to say, between the walking at the beginning and the comedy at the end, my time was 3 minutes slower than the last time I ran that route. But, at least I did it. Had fun. And my knee is not hurting.