LOST & FOUND…
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks (hence the lack of posts). But since I last posted, following the LA Marathon, I’ve run the Hollywood Half Marathon for the 6th time (which was a bit of a redemption run). And I also recently had a freakout moment.
Let me ‘splain.
This past week I had to fly to Georgia for business. It was also a chance to see my family during the trip (a sweet bonus). As I packed, still recovering from the H’wood Half, I wondered whether or not to bring my running gear on the trip. I was vacillating back and forth between taking a four day break (I’ve been training hard this year and could certainly use a breather) or bringing along some gear and doing a short run if the opportunity presented itself. Which to do?
You guessed it; I brought my gear along (in a small duffle bag).
My trip from LAX to Atlanta was standard fare…
- Lyft to LAX
- Patted down by TSA (apparently my shoulders always set off the body scanner)
- Aisle seat on Southwest
- Diet coke in a small cup; micro-sized bag of peanuts
- Candy Crush, comic books and movies on my iPad to kill time during the flight
- A long walk to baggage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- Shuttle train to Enterprise rent-a-car
- Forty five minute drive to my folks’ house
Done it a million times. But this time there was a little unexpected chaos thrown into the mix.
As I got out of my rental car and grabbed my bags, one was missing. My running bag was nowhere to be seen. Oh shit.
I replayed the entire trip in my mind, trying to recall when I last had seen the bag and where I could have accidentally/stupidly left it.
The potential choices were:
- Next to the bench while waiting on the shuttle train
- At the Enterprise rental counter
- At the Enterprise parking lot (while waiting to put my stuff in the car)
- Colonel Mustard in the study with the lead pipe
My vote was at the Enterprise parking lot because there was a bit of a snafu getting my car (having to run around the parking lot and then wait repeatedly).
I considered hopping in my car and driving right back to the airport in the hopes of finding my bag still sitting where I might have left it. But given that the drive would have been over an hour at that point (rush hour traffic in Atlanta blows), the odds of my bag having not already been picked up (by someone nice or not-so-nice) were kind of slim.
So I decided to let my “fingers do the walking” (anyone remember the reference) and dial “A” for assistance.
It turns out that getting Enterprise rent-a-car airport locations on the phone is an absolute impossibility. So in the end I had to call the Enterprise’s general 1-800 number to file a report, which I then also did on line. And just to be thorough, I filed a “lost items” report on the airport’s website. Gotta cover all of your bases.
And then I waited.
In my mind I had two different images of my running bag’s fate:
- Being scanned by a bomb squad robot (looking oddly like Johnny 5) before being vaporized in an explosion by a MOAB (Mother of All Bombs).
- Being taken by a 1930s type movie serial bad guy, complete with a Snively Whiplash mustache, putting on all of my gear and letting out a devilish “Bwa-ha-ha-ha.”
Now I knew there was a strong possibility that my bag was “Gone With The Wind” (yup… Atlanta lost bag pun everyone). And I thought about what I had possibly lost.
- My New Balance 940V2 running shoes
- A pair of custom orthotics
- My Road ID tag
- A Garmin Forerunner 220
- An iPod shuffle
- Sports headphones
- A full running outfit
- My Amphipod handheld bottle
- A generic sports duffle bag
On the upside, none of the items in my bag were irreplaceable. My running shoes were halfway through their lifespan and I have their replacements standing by. I also have a second identical pair of custom orthotics. And I have a dresser full of running outfits. The rest of the items are just a few Amazon clicks away from being replaced.
Of course the downside is I’d be out about $1000 worth of gear (the big cost item being my orthotics which go for about $600 a pair and are of no use to anyone on planet earth except me). Also, my running plans would be disrupted for about a week while I broke in new shoes and rounded up replacement gear.
I was really more upset at myself than anything. How could I have been so spacey as to leave my running gear somewhere? True I did have a lot on my mind that day, but I’m not usually so darn forgetful. Grrrrr.
As it turns out, I didn’t have long to stew and self-flagellate. The next morning I got a call from the Atlanta airport saying someone had turned in my missing bag. Since I needed to head past the airport for my business trip that day anyway, it wasn’t a big time waster.
Now as I made my way to the airport’s lost and found department I knew that there was no guarantee that ALL of my stuff was going to be there. I figured there was a decent chance that either my iPod or Garmin (or both) were going to be absent.
Yet when I opened my bag at the L&F, everything was right where I had left it. Let’s hear it for honesty! Someone out there who I’ll never meet did me a solid and I am indeed grateful.
The rest of my trip went well, yet ironically I never did find time to workout until I got back to LA.
Although I’m sure nervous sweating and worrying must burn some serious calories.
Keep track o’ your things… and Run on!
Have you ever left your running gear (or luggage) anywhere or have any good lost & found stories to share?