Okay, so today I was on my way to the Sports Expo top pick up my race bib and shirt, and on the map it looked pretty close to where I am staying which means of course it was further than it seemed, and then I got lost. HOWEVER
(and this is where I would usually insert a funny or ironic picture I swiped from Google images, but the combination of the limited RAM of my netbook and the extremely petulant WIFI where I am staying would cause at least my workstation and brain, and at worst potentially the entire city of Prague, to explode. So, I’m afraid you’re going to have to be satisfied by creating meaning out of these little sound symbols you see in front of you instead.)
HOWEVER, before things went too far amiss, I mustered up enough courage to ask a dude, “Yo, where’s Vystavyste?”
And he said, “Vystavyste?”
And I said, “Yup.”
And then he told me that it was straight down that way. I just needed to follow the curve around, past the yellow school, and then take a left under the viaduct and I’d be right there. And I said, “okay, thanks.”
Except, this whole conversation happened in Czech. Thanks, PIMSLER Conversational Czech!
Pimsler Conversational Czech was obsessed with whether Vodickova street was “here” or “there.” It seemed like 90% of their conversations included the wherabouts of Vodickova street. I don’t know why all the focus on Vodickova street, but kudos to the Vodickova street Chamber of Commerce. Because according to Pimsler, the restaurant you want to go to, and even the nice lady you want to meet: they’re all located on Vodickova street. (voe-ditch-ko-va).
Vystavyste, which is a convention center, is not located on Vodickova street. Actually, it’s located on U Vystavyste, which translate to, “Roundabouts the Vystavyste convention center”. This is a common name for things here. There is U Medvicku pub (roundabouts the little bear), U Maleho Glena (by Little Glen), U Vystrelenyho Oka (by the shot-out eye). You get the drift.
A week or so after the marathon, Vystavyste will be the site of the Czech beer festival, an event I am looking forward to nearly as much as the marathon.
But why am I going to pick up my marathon stuff today, before Nikki arrives (tomorrow! Early! I can’t wait!). Well, it’s because I didn’t want her to feel bad coming with me. This is because, by the time Nikki went to register for the Prague Marathon, the event was sold out and registration was closed.
Sad trobmone? No, even sadder. Bring out the world’s saddest violins. Bring out the Saddest Music in the World. Bring out Isabella Rossellini with a hollow leg.
After training together through most of our runs, Nikki, who is arriving from Chicago tomorrow morning to run with me in the Prague marathon, will be unable to run in the Prague marathon. At least, to run legally (she says sheepishly, refusing to make eye contact, but definitely EMPHASIZING that she is not implying anything by that comment).
Oh, people, Nikki is what got me through those 16 miles, those 18 miles, those 20 miles — even keeping me in it during some very blechy conditions. How can I run that distance alone? How can I run it without her? What will keep me going? But enough about me: poor Nikki has been training so long! And she was motivated by some unfinished business. In 2007 or 2008, she ran in the Chicago marathon. Although for certain reasons, including undertraining, she had to drop out about mile 14. And she’s had a mission to fulfill ever since.
The marathon site did have a place to leave your email address just in case something opened up, and we did leave the email address and our fingers and toes are crossed, but just the right amount so they don’t symbolically uncross each other, but we’re also trying to be realisic and expect that it is extremely unlikely that Nikki will get a bib and entry for the marathon. And although people run rogue every year, in almost every marathon (although there are lots and lots of reasons why this is not cool), runners without numbers can’t get refreshments, can’t get into the start corrals, can’t cross the finish line. It’s a sad situation indeed.
So, she’s arriving tomorrow, and we’ll make a final round of appeals here, to prospect out any glimmer of hope that may exist. She says, “Well I’ll have to suck up the fundraising aspect, and run the Chicago marathon for sure.” And I joked that this is why things aren’t working out with Prague. Chicago has some unfinished business with Nikki.
I’m working really hard to not let this affect my own energy, outlook, and enthusiasm. I mean, after all of the hard work I have put into this goal! After everything with the painkle and my tendonitis! Oh yeah, and that reminds me. Although I have been very careful about resting my ankle as much as possible, my painkle is acting up again. In fact, as I type this, it is quite swollen up.
Pep talks, anyone?