Jet Lag Before a Half Marathon

It was 1:30 in the morning Los Angeles time.  As I stood at the kitchen sink drinking a glass of water the moonlight glistened off our swimming pool and all I could think about was running the half marathon in San Diego, but I had decided not run it because of the Jet Lag.  I’d arrived about 10 hours before from Hong Kong and was attempting to sleep but I knew it was futile. The fourteen-hour flight had left me dehydrated and anxious.  Being confined to a flying tube in the sky that long always does that to me but the wine at lunch prior to boarding probably didn’t help either.

Caprice - Hong Kong
Caprice - Hong Kong

The day or night before (I had no idea what time my body thought it was) my friend Les Luxford had taken me to an amazing lunch at a French restaurant in Hong Kong’s city center called Caprice.  The establishment sits on the 6th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel.  It’s opulent as hell and has an amazing view of the harbor as well as sporting 3 Michelin stars!  We dined on Truffles, Foie Gras, Australian Wagyu Beef, Roasted Chicken and some of the finest cheeses I’d ever eaten. It was a perfect send off as I’d had more than my fill of won tons, dim-sum, and noodles.  Besides being a great executive producer, Les is a well-known restaurant critic with a commanding knowledge of food.  He’s also been to Hong Kong several times and had me check my bags at the train station located inside the hotel so we could relax.

When I have the opportunity to dine with him, I always take it as those experiences are some of the most memorable I’ve ever had in restaurants from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia.  The meals are usually accompanied with copious amounts of wine and liqueur for desert. Since we’d wrapped our production, there was no reason to not enjoy some of Caprice’s cellar offerings.  So, after a bottle of perfectly selected Chardonnay the Grappa went down like water.

hk_photo_airport-express_signAs I stumbled to the train for the airport I waved goodbye to my friend and hoped I’d be able to focus enough to read the signs once in the terminal.  He yelled from the platform as I boarded, “Exit the train on the left.”  I entered the car and noticed that the seats faced both directions.  Depending on where you sit, left could be right and right could be left.  What??  As the train began to move a video (in Chinese) began to play confusing the situation even further.  Above the screen was a digital display showing the proximity of the train to the airport and I realized that as the cars streamed out of Hong Kong that the left of the train meant that I had to face the direction it was traveling and then exit appropriately.  Seems easy but after the Grappa, it took a few moments to get my bearings.  I settled in for a nice ride.

View From Train
View From Train

The train makes its way under the harbor and across to the mainland and finally ends at the man made island called Hong Kong International Airport.  I exited “left” and made my way to the Cathay-Pacific screens.  The monitor read, Gate #G10 followed by a flashing “boarding” alert.  Where’s G?  Okay.  Keep walking, there will be a sign.  There… Stumble, stumble.  I have :30 minutes and the plane is starting to board!  Keep walking.  Up an escalator, down a long hallway, on a people mover treadmill, down an escalator, catch an inner terminal train, more people movers, :15 minutes to be on the plane, up an escalator, where is this gate?? Keep moving.  I’m going to miss this flight…  Follow the arrows past the little kid having a tantrum. Is that it just past the bathroom?  Perfect! Random bag check at gate. Thank god I checked my bags early.  In my business-class seat with 5 minutes to spare.  Champagne?

Hong Kong International from the Tram.
Hong Kong International from the Tram.

Back in my kitchen, it was all a blur.  My dog Brody grunted as his lumbering body rolled over on the tiled floor, “Why are you up?” he seemed to imply.  His audible disgust helped to move me away from the travel fatigue.  I decided to check the two week pile of mail and inside found my racing bib number and digital foot tag for the San Diego, America’s Finest City, Half Marathon.  “To bad I won’t be running this,” I thought.  I stared at the number, “2517.”  The digital toe tag whispered to me, ‘come-on wimp!’  It occurred to me that I’d be laying awake the rest of the night and wondering why I hadn’t just gone for a long run!?  Barb and the kids were still away in Montana on their annual trip so what was keeping me from going?  Hangover?  Sleepiness? – bah!

At 2:15 I threw my running clothes on, filled the water bottles and jumped in the car for a 3 hour drive to SD.


tom lowe photo, llc

tacoma, wa 98406


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