Jet-Setting

A fortnight ago I was returning triumphantly from Germany on a flight to Heathrow. 36 hours later, after a couple of lovely days with my girls, I was on my way back to Heathrow having been picked up by the taxi at six am.

This time the trip was all about business. Honest!

Back on a plane.
Back on a plane.

I was going to miss my girls, but boy was I glad to leave this crappy rain behind!

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) were flying myself and a few other ‘Educators’ (the American’s love to call teachers that) over to Savannah for their annual Film Festival. I was looking forward to watching a few films and getting to grips with all that the university has to offer.

Without wanting to rub it in too much, we enjoyed temperatures comfortably in the mid-20s every single day. The mornings were a little humid, but this dissipated quickly.

I’ll not go into too much detail, but it is safe to say that we enjoyed an amazing hotel (the Andaz), amazing food (at a variety of restaurants; The Gryphon, Circa, and The Grey). We saw some phenomenal art departments from Graphic Design, Jewelry (yup, they spell it weird), Fashion Marketing, and Painting. Each had taken a building in Savannah (SCAD have re-appropriated 73 buildings in the town and fully ingrained themselves in the area) and whilst putting their own spins on them, they totally retain the history of the buildings that they have inhabited.

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I was still very much recovering from the marathon, but I took a set of running clothes on holiday (I mean work trip) and I managed a couple of very early morning runs (what else are you going to do when so jetlagged?) These were a great opportunity to get to know the area. It is such a beautiful town. I fell in love with it.

The Educator Gang
The Educator Gang

The final three of us boarded our tiny plane back to Chicago just as we found out that our onward flight to London had been cancelled due to the crappy weather holding England in its grasp. Belinda went to work on the people at Amex over the phone, and before we knew it we had a room at the airport Hilton and a seat on the 6pm flight on the following day.

Teeny-tiny plane.
Teeny-tiny plane.

For a moment in time I thought that the airline had lost my bag as the other two received theirs when requested, but mine seemed to have gone walkabout. It took until mid afternoon for it to reappear, but with the hotel so close by it wasn’t too inconvenient. Once I got it back I donned the running kit again and hit the hotel gym for an ‘easy’ five miles on the treadmill. It was hellish. I hate treadmill running!

On Monday, enjoying the beautiful sunshine in Chigaco whilst England was bathed in more fog, the three of us headed into the city for an explore. It’s an incredible city, and surprisingly quiet – nothing like the bonkers-ness of London. Even in the shopping district and the area around Macy’s and Target we could walk around happily without elbowing people out of the way.

It was also cool to see the Anish Kapoor installation in the park.

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The return flight was an over-nighter (leaving at midnight UK time, arriving at 8 am.) I had hoped for at least some sleep to see me through the day at work on Tuesday. I even snagged one of these bad boys to try and help:

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But it did not work. I got zero sleep. I got through the taxi ride home, dashed into the shower and got picked up by my colleague to get to work at 10am. I can’t lie, I was tired and starting to flag a little by the end of the day, but I saw it through and was so excited to get home and see my girlies for the first time in a week. It was lovely. Somehow I stayed up ’till half ten before collapsing in bed and I motored through the remainder of the week, including a trip to London for the King’s College London teachers day.

View of London from the KCL Geography dept.
View of London from the KCL Geography dept.

Saturday saw me back in the GGAC vest again as I toed the line of Surrey XC Division 1 racing again. It doesn’t seem that long since the last one thanks to everything that has happened recently. We were back in Wimbledon again, but it was a different course. Walking from the car I was sure I had made the wrong choice in turning up in spikes rather than trail shoes as the paths were solid apart from the odd patch of mud or puddles. I only had what I had though, so I was pleased when I found the top end of the course was so boggy. Actually the paths weren’t too bad in the spikes anyway.

Marc’s instructions were simple: Race Intelligently; Enjoy it; Don’t get overtaken in the last 800yds; Overtake two at the finish (unless they are from Belgrave in which case take three!!)

I think I set of at quite a reasonable pace, and tried my best to keep with some other Gee’s just in front of me. I was surprised to hit a short sharp hill on what I thought was a flat course, but this hill worked for me on the second lap as I caught and overtook three runners (one of whom was a Belgrave runner) and I made a conscious effort to appear strong off the top of the hill. I knew from here that it was flat to the finish and I tried to keep my effort up as best I could. Marc was on the corner with 80 yards to go and he warned that there was someone gaining on me. I knew he wasn’t taking me, because I pushed so hard to finish. He didn’t come past me.

I’ve not seen much of the official results from the race, but it looks as though the Gee’s are still sitting at the bottom of the league.

After a 2 year olds’ birthday party I ran home this afternoon. I don’t know why, but I thought that I had read six miles instead of four. Oops. Oh well, I banked a few extra miles in the legs which are, if anything, still feeling a little lethargic.

I think the ‘recovery period’ will last a couple more weeks as I ease into it – not that I have anything significant planned in the near future anyway. All I can hope for is some sleep.

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