Some days seem to last forever. Unfortunately, it’s never the super fun, relaxing days that drag on and on. It’s always the days when I’m exhausted, it’s too cold to play outside, and the kids just want to throw food on the floor. That was yesterday. After a long day of trying to keep a 1-year-old and 5-year-old from jumping off of tables and throwing apple slices and cheese, I was exhausted.
Then came the fun part of the day.
Before I begin this story, I’ll tell you two things:
1. I am a terrible driver. Well, I guess terrible is the wrong word. I am a very cautious driver with an extreme lack of confidence in my nighttime driving abilities. I’m the terribly annoying driver that is probably going 10 miles under the speed limit at night, slowing down even more when another car passes by in the other direction, for fear of brushing the side of their car with mine. Honestly, since getting married, I haven’t had to do much driving in the dark, or much driving longer than 30 minutes. Eric usually handles that sort of thing. And as I’m not really a fan of driving, I am perfectly thrilled to hand over the wheel.
2. I am no longer on speaking terms with my GPS.
Okay. So, I made plans with a friend to run the Southern Lights 5k at the Kentucky Horse Park. I was ridiculously excited about this and talked Shelly into running the race with me. I haven’t been to the Horse Park since my junior year of high school, so I wasn’t really sure where it was, but I figured my GPS would be able to get me there just fine. That was my first mistake. The parents of the kids I nanny were late getting home, so I was already running about 15 minutes behind schedule. But I typed the address into my GPS and started following its directions. Keep in mind, it’s super dark (because of that silly daylight savings time), and I have no idea where I’m going. So I’m driving along, thinking the GPS will lead me to the horse park.
Thirty minutes later, the GPS tells me that I’m close to my destination. At this point, I am driving through a trailer park. Not my destination. Then it tells me to turn right. So I turn right. Through a tunnel that passes under the interstate. And I come out of that tunnel onto a private family farm. Not the Kentucky Horse Park. At this point, I’m close to tears because the race starts in 20 minutes and I have no idea where I am. And it’s dark. And this seems like a good place to get murdered.
So I call Eric. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about that fact that Eric didn’t have any way to look up where I was because I had the computer (the downside of sharing a computer), and we’re still living in the dark ages with our non-smartphones. So I’m trying to describe where I am (a farm near a trailer park), but of course, Eric has no idea where that is. Together (me, Eric, and the GPS) make it back to a main road, where I see a sign for the Kentucky Horse Park. Unfortunately, it just has an arrow, with no other information. Still, I figure I can make it from there. Apparently not. Fifteen minutes later, I’m still nowhere near the horse park. I should also mention that I’ve been driving ridiculously slow because the roads are narrow and dark, and I’m trying to look at everything I pass to see if I am getting close. So I call Eric again and tell him the road names that I’m crossing. Of course, he has no idea where those are. So I call my friend Shelly, who is waiting for me at the park, and try to figure out where to go. After talking with her, I discover that I passed the horse park 10 minutes ago. So I turn around, drive back across these empty country roads, and finally make it to the Horse Park, which I must say, is not well marked, especially at night.
So, city of Lexington, I would like to register a complaint with you. As the ‘Horse Capital of the World’, I would have thought the Kentucky Horse Park would be a little more well marked. And how about adding some street lights around there? Perhaps I’m the only one who can’t find anything in the dark, but goodness, let’s throw up a neon sign or something.
Eventually, I made it to the parking lot. This was about 5 minutes before the race was supposed to start. At this point, I’m still in my work clothes, so I have to change before the race. There’s not a whole lot of space for changing in our car (2 car seats take up a lot of space), so I am forced to change outside. It should be noted that it was 31 degrees at this point. So I get out the car, take off my jeans, and change into some running pants. I’m running over to the start line in a short-sleeved shirt, shivering, and trying to put on my pull-over to get a little warmer. I met up with Shelly, who had so wonderfully gotten my registration packet for me, and brought me a pair of gloves for the frigid run.
So let’s recap where we are. I have been driving around Lexington for an hour. In the dark. I haven’t eaten in 7 hours (if you don’t count the handful of Ritz crackers I grabbed while giving the kids an afternoon snack). I also haven’t gone to the bathroom in an hour and a half. And I’m not sure when I last drank any water. And I have just stripped down to my underwear in a parking lot. This could have all been very bad.
Luckily, I think the adrenaline from such a horrible day edged out the hunger and bathroom needs, so I was able to run the 5k without dying. It was actually quite fun. The race course went by all of the Christmas lights at the park (The Southern Lights), which was super exciting (I love Christmas!), and Shelly and I were able to chat the whole way. Of course, the winner of the race was almost finished by the time we hit mile marker 1, but I would like to think that we enjoyed our experience a little more than he did.
After the race, Shelly and I felt like we should reward ourselves with a fine meal at Cracker Barrel (surprisingly, civilization was only about 2 minutes away from where I was terribly lost). It seems that a big meal of biscuits, bacon, and eggs can really perk up a bad day. So I send my thanks to Cracker Barrel, Shelly, and Erin (our super adorable waitress, working her first night on the job). I should also thank the cashiers at Cracker Barrel, who spotted Shelly’s race bib and asked if we had just run a marathon. Haha.
Here’s hoping the weekend is long and full of walks (not drives).