Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bad Luck

I often joke about the Salkowski curse, which is basically a cloud of improbable bad luck which likes to invade my otherwise charmed life. Take the other evening, for instance; I had just entered the California International Marathon online through Active.com on the last possible day that offered an early registration discount. I added the $10 bus fee for transportation to the start and paid Active's gouging fee, then I pushed "submit" after reading the part about "no refunds for any reason".

The next website I visited was Northwest Airlines, as I was set to use the voucher the Penguin sent after stiffing our team for the Chicago Distance Classic this August. This voucher allegedly provided each team member with a free roundtrip airline ticket good for anywhere in the continental U.S..

I'll cut to the chase. Northwest Airlines doesn't fly to California, New Mexico, Utah or Nevada from Arizona. I call the number on the voucher and get laughed at by the Northwest's phone rep. I'm so upset at this point that Kiera tries calling for me but ends up with the same story. Also, the ticket is only good until March of next year so unless I want to do another marathon before then I'm out of luck. I looked into going to Austin in February, but of course Northwest only flies there out of Phoenix, which means an extra two hour drive both ways plus long term parking. No thanks. So I'm out another $280 or so for what was supposed to be a free flight, which is a real drag around the holidays, and of course it's too late to get my money back from the race.

I've worried that the Salkowski name and its bad luck would be passed on to the kids, and today's bike ride to school with Haiden in tow was a test. Just as we were careening down the big hill on Sabino Canyon Road, Haiden's Hello Kitty lunch purse is somehow jettisoned from the sidepack under her seat and comes to rest in the middle of the road. By the time we stop and turn around I'm sure it's too late, as two cars are rounding the bend and heading straight for it. Magically, the first swerves at the last minute and avoids it, and the second keeps it centered between the two front tires and rolls over it without squishing it. We retrieve the purse and finish our ride to the school, with me thinking that at least Haiden has escaped the Salkowski curse for now.

As for running, I got out for two miles then joined Lucas for 9 more early this morning. The legs feel so good that I'm hesitant to even mention it for fear of something going wrong. Another six miles are planned for this evening. Have a good day.

Training: 11 miles, 1:07:22, 7:02 pace. Started slow, progressed down from 7:40's

16 comments:

Omniscient said...

$155 roundtrip from Tucson to Sacramento on Southwest.

I'm sure the running blog community all could throw in $5 and finance this thing for ya. In fact, I will donate twice that sum in return for a good effort and possibly some scones.

Mike said...

I wish it were so, but that's only one way. Are you trying to get rid of me or something. No need to pass the collection plate, but it is a pain to think you have a free flight and then have it taken away. Damn you Penguin, you win again!

Omniscient said...

I just like the feeling of not having to stress about travel arrangements (and pay for them). Ahh, the benefits of a large D1 school.

Blaxabbath said...

I heard Dean Karnazes was stuck in Norfolk on a Delta flight that couldn't get off the runway for 8 hours due to sleet. He used this delay to be the first person to ever run a marathon on a Delta Airliner.

Consider yourself inspired.

Mark said...

You must be getting psyched as the race is only about four weeks out.

Looks like a fast course and with your training you should be able to tear it up!

D said...

I think I'm plagued with a similar curse.

Anonymous said...

Never accept gifts from anyone bearing the name of a Batman villain.

Send me the voucher, and I will fly down to Tucson, beat you down on a hard 20 miler, and eat all the fresh scones when we get back to the house.

tb1 said...

I'm good for $5 Mike. Heck, the play-by-play is worth at least that.

Greg said...

Ebay that voucher and recoup some costs. It's the American way.

Anonymous said...

Mike, any reason why you are not staying home and running Tuscon instead? Traveling is a bitch and I have always run my best staying close to home.

~Scott

Mike said...

Anonymous, I already have Lucas to beat me down and he only charges one scone for the effort.

I'll either ebay it or maybe trade it to my mom, who likes to visit my sis on occasion. NWA actually flies to where she lives, which is amazing.

Scott, 2150 of elevation loss is just too much for me, although I'm still cheating by losing 340 feet in California. Plus, I don't like how the Tucson race is just a big cash cow for one individual, with both the advertised charity and the runners getting shortchanged.

Phil said...

Bummer ... I knew I didn't like NWA. I sent an alternative plan to your eMail address. Good luck

Anonymous said...

Somehow those free vouchers never seem to work out. We had similar problems a few years ago and ended up not using them at all.

It sucks, but if you run 2:35 in California I bet you won't care about the money.

Anonymous said...

Mike, does Northwest fly into Nashville or Atlanta out of Tuscon? You could always run Rocket City in Huntsville, Alabama which always gets very good reviews. Smaller race with some decent runners running at your goal pace. Just a thought.

~Scott

angie's pink fuzzy said...

yikes.

Mike said...

Scott, the Rocket City marathon does look like a great race, thanks for making me aware of it. It looks like I'm getting some unexpected help from Phil with travel, so it looks like California is a go for this year.