So this is our fourth year of 5 days at the Reno national championship air races. M seems to live for these aviation adventures and I, being a reasonable partner, go along for the ride. Mostly. I sit in the stands and read. Talk to the people who sit nearby that we see year after year. Drink more coffee than any other time of the year. Watch planes go round and round several times per day. Relax. Blog.

Let’s talk numbers again, since I am a numbers kind of girl. There are 26 steps from the ground up to the second level leading to our seats on row 31 (we are at 13 when we emerge from the stairs). It’s another 18 rows or 35 steps (they are small, half-steps between bleacher rows) from start to our row. According to the fancy-smancy fitbit on my wrist, I climbed 38 flights of stairs today and completed 16,428 steps. But I think the walking lunge-apalooza and mini band sideways down the very long hallway are included in those counts. Books completed – 1. Emails written – 6. Text messages sent – too many to count. Selfies taken – I lost count after my first 6 tries, and seriously, how do people who thrive on selfies do it? Selfies transmitted – 1. Other reading (blogs, Facebook, articles, etc.) – a lot.

It was actually quite a productive and relaxing day. Between all that I watched a bunch of qualifying heats, the actual races, and a few demonstration practices. More of the same for the next 4 days. Good thing I really do love M or I might actually be on a beach somewhere doing all my reading and such.

But we are here and there are things I do enjoy about the experience. There are recurring themes each year. Will the elderly veterans seated near us be here again this year? Yes, all still in good and stable health, 2 new great grands born in the last year. Will the Europeans be back? Yep, even more of them this year. As I said, we see many of the same people year after year and have made air race friendships. M also spends a lot of time in the pits talking aviation with aviation friends actually racing this week.

The darker side of this particular vacay destination – I hate using the outhouses and every year I waffle between bringing my backpack in there or just leaving my phone and stuff in the stands. Because I always imagine the worst – dropping my phone or wallet into the depths of blue goo. I’d be getting another phone, canceling and requesting new credit cards and drivers license, and calling any cash therein lost. No way would I ever want that stuff back. Ewwww.

The food is also the equivalent of fair food – deep fried, salty, too much sugar, or all of the above. We stopped at a local grocery so I will not starve to death tomorrow, because no way can I subsist on bbq beef brisket meat (salty, dry), french fries (OMG – so yummy but so greasy and made me feel awful after just a few bites), and mini donuts (yummy in a greasy with too much sugar sort of way). M, who runs 20 miles daily and has “tapered” to a mere 5 miles while we are out of town can eat that kind of crap without much consequence. I, on the other hand, imagine fat cells swelling just walking by concession stands. We can bring our own snack food into the venue, so I got some low sodium almonds and apples to tide me over until I can have a reasonable dinner.

Legs are screaming after this morning’s work, so I am taking some aleve tonight before bed. But honestly, all the mountain goating up and down the bleachers  helped enormously with any lingering stiff soreness. Tomorrow I shall stick with simple upper body stuff or zombie waking up and down the endless hallway.

Speaking of year-to-year … this is far and away my best year ever at this event. I was able to go up and down from our seats to the icky outhouses without even breathing very hard and with absolute confidence. Before I would have a death-grip on any available railings going up and especially coming down. Today I went up and down the stairs without thinking much about it, other than watching for others traveling in the opposite direction. Same thing for climbing up the bleacher seats, something I never used to do. Wednesdays are typically pretty spare on spectators, so I could climb up and down the bleacher seats with impunity. So I did. Even M was impressed; I have always been way too much of a scaredy cat to even try it on my own.

It was cold in the shade and with the wind blowing. Walking around on the pavement it got warm, but sitting where we are is in the shade and brings a chill. It was fine; we had jackets and gloves and such. So pleasantly strange, though. We always expect it to be sweltering hot.

It was a really fun day.


One thought on “On the first day of air races

  1. Love the pic, Janelle! Enjoy your time away with M! It really is about the little things! 🙂 Everything else will be there when your return!

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