Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 1 - Runners World Heartbreak Hill Festival | The Luggage Story Begins

After months of planning and waiting I was up at 2am to catch an early flight.  Not a direct flight to Boston, I had a layover in Dallas, TX.  The day before, as I was packing, I laid out my racing kit/gear and there is Daisy Mae hanging out, keeping a watchful eye. Or maybe she is giving me the stink eye for leaving her.

I packed more than my standard amount of luggage.  I had to bring clothes hangers (the dorm room we were staying at, did not have hangers, bath towels and I needed to bring my neck massager).  That in itself was a small suitcase.

Ladybug stuffie and Ladybug's ball are ready to go to Boston!

I knew Boston was going to be humid, so I was looking forward to testing out my essential oils and my neck massager to see if I could keep the migraines away.  As I have experienced horrible migraines for the past 2 years at Disneyland, I needed to make a change.

At the Dallas airport, I was approached by a woman who asked me "do you like ladybug's?"

I wonder what gave her that idea? 

Finally arrived in Boston at 5:40pmEST.  I had been awake for 11 hours and with little sleep, I was tired. Yet, I was looking forward to meeting the fellow bloggers and the RW staff at dinner.

This is where it gets interesting...

My luggage arrived. Damaged.  Isn't it pretty?  (not).

I was given a cardboard box with American Airlines tape to replace my luggage. A box.  So, there I was with suitcase and a cardboard box.  One may think I freaked out, I didn't.  I was quite numb to the situation and the claim process took so long.  I am assured my luggage will be repaired or I will be reimbursed.

Met up with a fellow blogger and we drove to West End Johnnies for dinner and our first official blogger meet up.  And yes, luggage and the cardboard came came to me to the restaurant.  Quite a few glares and weird stares from others, to say the least. 

We were warmly and cheerfully welcomed by the RW staff.  I explained to them what was going on with my luggage (so they didn't think I purposefully came with a cardboard box to the event).  They were quick to help me resolve in any way they could.

Most of the bloggers were from the East Coast or MidWest and many knew each other.  I did not know anyone, but that was okay.  I found a place to chat with others and sit down for dinner.  I sat at the same table as Jason of StrengthRunning.com and Matt of NoMeatAthlete.com. We were joined by Laura Beachy who shared her Umstead 100 miler tales with us. I enjoyed that conversation, a lot.  Unlike many other Ultra conversations I have been in where someone attempted to bully other runners who make them feel they were a less of a runner because they didn't have a buckle. Laura was great and explained a lot to many of us.  

We had the opportunity to watch the Saucony sponsored movie, Find Your Strong.  It was very powerful and I enjoyed meeting the Rep who previously competed at the international level.

After dinner, we went to our rooms, we were staying in the dorms of Boston College.  I didn't mind at all, that way, we could walk to the Start line, each morning. 

The first night in Boston was good.  I couldn't wake up to go on shake out run in the AM.   My thanks to the RW staff, West End Johnnies and Saucony for a wonderful introduction to the weekend. 

Day 2 - guest speakers, sponsors and GF food!  

*Disclaimer:   I was an invited guest blogger to the Inaugural Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half Festival in Boston.  The views, reviews and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the organizers nor sponsors or any other company/individual affiliated with the event.

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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