Saturday, August 9, 2014

Farewell to trail running - Big Butts 50k

Wearing the giant underwear that I got in my race packet!

I guess I should get this post up.  I'll make it short though because there's not much to say about running around in circles for 8 hours.  Two weeks ago I did my second ultra marathon - the Big Butts 50k here in Jackson, MS.  I actually was signed up for the 100k, but due to it being hotter than hell that day, I decided pretty early on that I was going to drop to the 50k.  Actually, I knew before even signing up for this race that I would not be able to finish a 100k in July in Mississippi within the 14 hour cutoff.  The course was a 10.4 mile loop with probably about half of each loop in the direct sun.  Give me heat and humidity any day, but put me in the direct sun and I'm done!  The month of July was actually pretty mild for Mississippi, with 3 different cold fronts coming through throughout the month.  Guess which day was not during these cold fronts?  Yup, you guessed it - the day of the race.  "Feels like" temps approached 120 degrees F!!!!!!!

A nice reminder of how effin' hot it was after each loop.

We arrived at the race start/finish and set up all of our crap.  One of the many things about trail running that I will not miss is all the crap you have to haul around with you!  I had some glimmer of hope that the 100k would work out for me so I had everything that I needed labeled and ready to grab after each 10.4 mile loop.  I wanted minimal thinking.  The race starts at 8 AM which I think should be illegal in Mississippi in July.  The RD wants it to be hot and hard!  

All ready for 8 hours of hell.

We (JB, TW, MS, and me) started the first loop.  JB and I planned to keep a 9:1 interval for the first 2 loops with maybe 5 minutes at the aid station after each loop.  First loop was actually not too bad.  For the first mile or two we ran through freshly mowed grass.  The sun was still a bit low, so we had some shade.  We entered the trail (where we spent pretty much every Saturday).  We did a couple sections of the trail that I had never done before.  And I hated these parts.  One area was all covered in grass and you couldn't see what you were stepping on!  It was awful!  I imagined all sorts of creepy crawlies or dead bodies waiting for me under the grass!  We approached the only aid station on the course (besides the start/finish) around mile 4.5 and grabbed some ice.  We were making decent time, but soon after that we began running on the blacktop portion of the loop.  This is pretty much maybe 2 miles (maybe a little less) on pavement in the direct sun.  It sucked but we pushed through and made it back to the trail.  I finished the first loop exactly on target, but pretty much resolved at that point that I was only going to do the 50k.  JB decided to also drop to the 50k and to wait for her aunt and finish the last two laps with her, so I was on my own for my final two laps.  I'm not a big fan of running trails by myself.

She's a lady!

I swear that each lap got longer and longer (or is it that I got slower and slower??), especially the portion from the 4.5 mile aid station back to the start/finish.  Physically and mentally I felt absolutely fine.  It was just too damn hot.  So I walked much of the last two laps.  In the beginning miles of my last loop I came upon a very large snake that was spanning the entire trail.  He/she saw me and slithered back into the woods, but I was not interested in running by him/her by myself so I waited for the next runner to come by me and followed him.  I probably stood there and waited at least 5 minutes.  Runners were pretty spread out.  So the entire last lap I was anxious and on alert for snakes and other creepy crawlies!  I could not wait to be out of that hell and be done with trail running.  It is definitely not for me!  To make a long story short, I emerged from my hell just after 8 hours.  I collected my finisher's cap and drink receptacle and sat my ass down and drank the most deliciously ice cold Pepsi ever.


Well that's the story of my second ultra and my farewell to trail running.  I miss the road!  My next marathons are in three weeks with a "sort of" WY/CO double.  I say "sort of" since there is a day between the two races - Jackson Hole Marathon on Saturday then the American Discovery Trail Marathon on Monday.  Don't worry - this race isn't a gnarly, rooty, stumpy trail.  It's just a crushed gravel/dirt bike pathThis type of "trail" is acceptable to me. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I only fell on my face once - Native Jackal Trail Marathon 2014 Race Recap

Yup.  You read that correctly.  TRAIL marathon.  An actual rooty, stumpy, dirty trail. No water crossings though because I'm pretty sure I am not yet mentally prepared to handle that.  Maybe later though.  Plan was to use this race as my last long run before my upcoming ultra at the end of July.  Because it's just "easier" to do a training run when it's an actual race.  This race is day 5 of a 5 day series known as the Jackal Marathons in west Tennessee (Jackson, TN and surrounding areas).  Hence the reason I ran a marathon on a Wednesday!  The drive up was long but I got to see parts of Mississippi that I'd never seen before - Starkville, Tupelo, etc.  We ended up staying in Corinth, MS, the night before the race because there really weren't any hotels right near the race.  We crashed pretty hard once we got to our room.

We didn't have to trespass.

In the morning, we got ready and started the hour drive to Chickasaw State Park in Henderson, TN.  This race was a loop course.  Each loop was 2.65 miles long and we would repeat that 10 times.  The plan was to do two extra laps to make it a 50k.  We had no idea how difficult the course was going to be, but we did know that it was 2880 ft of both elevation gain and loss.  We naively set a goal to complete each loop in 30 minutes, giving us a 5:00 finish time, but also said that this might change after we ran the first loop and saw what we were actually up against.  This race was very small.  Only 15 people were registered, 14 started, and 10 finished..........

From the Jackal Marathons Facebook page

Immediately upon starting the first loop, we were going up on asphalt.  In the first mile (or at least I think the first mile since I don't wear my GPS for trail runs), we were going up up and up.  This was obviously going to be a tough day.  There were beautiful views of a lake next to us though.

Pretty lake.

After going up up up on the asphalt for about a mile, we entered the trail part of the course.  It was a lovely single track trail.  Very rooty and stumpy in some sections, but otherwise nicely manicured.  You definitely still had to watch the ground the entire time.  

Here we go.
Somewhere soon after entering the trail we started up the first "oh shit" hill.  This hill made your entire body hurt climbing it.  Several times I had to stop and catch my breath and that was just walking up it!  In the first loop, I was pretty sure that a 5:00 finish was not going to happen.

Pictures don't do "oh shit" hills justice.  This climb was almost vertical.

After the "oh shit" hill, we made our way down and then around a pretty muddy section.  Later on in the race, someone had made a small bridge of branches over the muddy sections.

Someone made a nice bridge of branches over all the gross mud.

As I said before, the trail was pretty rooty in some sections so you constantly had to pay attention to where your feet were going to land.  

I pretty much walked this section every loop.

Other sections were less technical but it was still a good idea to pay attention to the ground.  There were several places where we did cross water, but there was always a little bridge to run over.

I like little bridges.

Somewhere along the loop there was another "oh shit" hill and then several other climbs that involved some "stairs".  We also did a short section right next to the lake again. 

The other "oh shit" hill.
Trail along the lake.
Who doesn't love stairs?
I liked seeing these stairs because it meant I was almost done with the loop.

At the end of each loop we descended a very uneven set of stairs which brought us back to the start/finish area.  I finished the first loop in 34 minutes so I revised my goal to under 6:00.  After each loop I took in some type of nutrition (Hammer gel or half a Larabar) and a salt tab.  It was pretty hot/humid out.  This worked well for the first 5 loops and after that I started to take things off the aid station table - Coke , Sprite, Gatorade, and OREOS!  I've never had so many Oreos in my life!  Those things were so so so tasty.  I also doused myself with 50 different types of bug spray every couple of loops.   If you don't know, I am TERRIFIED of horse flies!  I even carry a flyswatter with me when I run trails (the other runners got a kick out of this).  I am dead serious when I say that I have not really been bothered by the horse flies ever since I started to carry this fly swatter with me.  They must know that I mean business!  My loops were staying anywhere between 34 min and 45 min, plus a few extra minutes whenever I stopped at the aid station.  Somewhere along the way, a 6:00 finish was revised to a 7:00 finish.  I only fell on my face once and that was because I looked behind me to see if anyone was there.  Yeah, don't do this when you run trails.  By the end of the day, we were out in the full sun when we were on the asphalt (first part of each loop).  It was pretty hot, but I have been spending a fair amount of time running in the heat so I was definitely prepared for this.  When I got ready to do my last loop, I was told that only one woman had finished so far.  I didn't really think much of it though, so I took my sweet time and took pictures all along the final loop (all of the above pictures were taken in the last loop).  I think I did the last loop in 45 minutes and upon finishing was presented with an award for being overall second place woman.  Say what???  Oh, and my finish time - 7:03:53!!!  My second worst time ever (but I guess my PR for a trail marathon).  

Second female!

And there was absolutely no doing two extra laps to make this a 50k training run.  I think that 7 hours on my feet will have to do for my longest run for my upcoming ultra.  This course was way harder than the course for my ultra in July so I'm just going to have to call myself ready as I'll ever be.  I have one more hard weekend (July 4th weekend) with three consecutive days of running double digits with one of those days being 24 miles.  That'll have to do.

I absolutely loved this race.  Everyone was so laid back and friendly.  I hope to do a race or two (or five) in this series next year.  
  • Registration for this race was $38.25 (trail runs are usually cheaper than road races).  
  • We stayed one night in a hotel and my part was $54.  
  • My part of the gas was about $30.
  • We ate dinner in Starkville Tuesday night and dinner in Oxford Wednesday night.  I spent about $42 on food (I treated JB to dinner Tuesday night).
Well now I have 4 weeks until my next race which will undoubtedly be my first DNF!!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I have no shame - Hotter Than Hades 2014 Half Marathon

Well the name of this race says it all.  It's hot.  And with virtually no shade on the course you pretty much run to beat the sun.  This race was in Leland, MS, about two hours from me, so I decided to just drive up that morning.  This made for a very early start to the day after not a whole lot of sleep.  I arrived at the Mitchell Distributing Center at 5:00 AM to catch the bus to start.  The whole ride I had some lady's butt on my shoulder.  I just hoped she wasn't gassy.  Yikes!  For those that don't know, Leland is the Mississippi Delta.  This means it is FLAT and full of farmland.  The bus dropped us off on a dirt road at a farm.  I promptly had to pee but the line for the port-o-potty was LONG so I dropped trow and peed behind the giant wheel of one of the tractors.  Many others were going into the rows of corn for privacy, but I thought this was a better spot.  I waved to the passersby.  I have no shame.  I covered up my pee with dirt like a cat and proceeded to make my way to the start.

Start was between a field of corn and a field of soybeans.

As we walked to the start I noticed that the sky was just absolutely gorgeous.  The early morning sun behind the clouds was just breathtaking.  Pictures couldn't possibly do it justice, but I tried.

It really was spectacular.

We lined up in front of a large combine and I immediately regretted my decision to not douse myself in bug spray.  These mosquitoes were BIG and voracious.  I'm sure I have West Nile Virus now.  


As the 6:00 AM start approached, HWW4 and I still couldn't find the other members of our group (JB, MS, and SS).  They didn't ride the bus and were supposed to be dropped off at the start by PB but they were cuttin' it pretty close.  This is a very small race so it was kind of hard to miss anybody.  The start came and went and still no peeps.  Our strategy for this race was to run as fast as possible for as long as possible to get in as many miles as we could before the sun came up and made over lives a living hell.  Once off the dirt road, we made a right onto the main road and were greeted with the most gorgeous sunrise over the farms.

Again, pictures just don't do this justice.
Pretty much what 100% of the course looked like.

Our plan was going along well with the first few miles in the 9's.  It was still hot and humid, but we are used to that.  The aid stations were all "themed".  You had the angels aid station, the 80's aid station, the devil aid station, the Christmas aid station, and the water sprinkler aid station, just to name a few.  Aid stations were every mile and contained ice cold water.  I think there was Gatorade every three miles.  Several of the aid stations had cold paper towels and delicious Sonic-style ice.  Others had an assortment of other goodies.

Devil aid station
Aid station at mile 8, called "Leaving 7th Heaven".  This one was my favorite because they had a sprayer and lots of delicious ice.

The sun actually cooperated with us until about mile 9, at which point it came out and shined down on us like a hot laser.  I fizzle in the direct sun, so the next few miles were rough and very slow.  One good thing is that we did start to get a little bit of a breeze, but that definitely did not compensate for the angry ball of fire directly above us.  By the time we got to mile 12, the sun got covered by some clouds and I was able to push it to the finish.  I think this ended up being my second slowest time ever.


I got my "medal", which isn't really a medal at all.  It's a piece of play-doh type material molded into the shape of Mississippi.  If you touched it while you were still sweaty and wet, it disintegrated in your hand.  Since getting it home, it's hardened up a bit.  Probably not the best thing to given out at a very hot and humid race.  We also got a necklace with devils on it so we had something to wear around our necks.  We found PB and asked him what had happened that morning because we never saw JB, MS, and SS.  He said that he had dropped them off literally right as the race started.  They made their way to the finish not too far after HWW4 and me.  The post race party was in the Mitchell Distributing Center so that meant AC!!!  They had an assortment of chips, pizza, bananas, and ice cold beverages (soda, water, and beer). 

The crew at Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon

If you want a true Mississippi experience, this would be a great half marathon.  Mississippi is known for heat, humidity, and farms.  This race has all of that.  I highly recommend bug spray and sun block.  This is a very small race and is also pretty cheap (I paid $49 after fees)Besides the race registration and gas to get there, there were really no other costs associated with this race for me. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A new low for race bananas - Hatfield McCoy Marathon 2014 Race Recap

The Hatfield McCoy Marathon has been on my radar for several years so I was super excited about it finally being on my schedule for 2014! This race starts in KY and ends in WV, so it can be counted as either state.  Since I have already done WV with the Marshall University Marathon back in 2012, this would be my KY race.  I arrived in Charleston, WV, pretty early Friday morning and had lots of time to kill before I could check into my hotel in Williamson, WV, so I decided to take a 90 minute drive southeast to see the New River Gorge Bridge.  The drive was absolutely gorgeous.  I passed at least two waterfalls (my favorite)!  Part of the drive was along a very windy road up a mountain which I successfully navigated by driving about 5 mph. 

The New River
The New River Gorge Bridge.

None of the viewpoints for the bridge were very good, but whatever.  Before making the long drive to WillIamson, I stopped for a few soft pretzels which I guess is now my new "thing" that I do the day before a marathon.  These weren't so yummy and they were kinda tough.  But what should I have expected after the girl took them out of the freezer and popped them in the microwave?  And not 5 minutes out of the parking lot I saw a Sheetz, which has pretty tasty soft pretzels.  Oh wellz.

After the nearly 2.5 hour drive to Williamson, I checked into my hotel and promptly headed to the expo to pick up my stuff.  I met up with Michael and Gerald and we eventually made our way to the 50 States Marathon Club meeting and then the free pasta dinner.  This was very brave of us considering what happened the last time everyone indulged in a free pasta dinner the night before a race.  After eating my tablespoon of pasta (seriously, they gave you the tiniest portion of pasta) I was surprisingly still hungry so we headed out to find more food.  Restaurants in the area included McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Long John Silver, Arby's, etc.  So pretty much every fast food place you can imagine.  Not good choices for someone that does not eat any food that comes from an animal.  We stopped in Wendy's so I could get a couple of baked potatoes, but of course they didn't have any made!  I mean why would they?  It's only the healthiest thing on their menu.  The cashier got a kick out of my dietary choices and chatted me up about the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan.  It took me a while to notice, but he had not a single tooth in his upper gums, and he had this moustache that just sort of framed it.  I ended up with two 7-layer burritos (made into 4-layer burritos) from Taco Bell.  This would probably not be considered proper (or wise) pre-marathon food but my choices were very limited.  Hopefully there would be plenty of port-o-potties on the course if needed.  After eating our Taco Bell, we headed back to Belfry High School to meet the RD and watch the Hatfield McCoy skit.

I still have no idea why the Hatfields and McCoys didn't like each other.
Still not a clue.

Back at the hotel I got all my stuff ready for the following day and tried frantically to connect to the interwebs.  My hotel apparently had wireless internet but I couldn't connect to it 95% of the time in my roomI could MAYBE get 4G if I sat on the very edge of my bed in one little corner in my room.  Seriously not exaggerating about that.  If I tried to sit back or face the other way - no internet!  I swear that I think I heard the phone dialing-up before connecting............................So if you need to be "connected", this may not be the race for you.

Race morning we were bused from the hotels in Williamson, WV, to the start of the race at the Food City in Goody, KY.  That's right.  This race starts in the parking lot of a grocery store called Food City (where I saw no less than two mullets the day before while sitting in the car for 5 minutes).

Classy.

This race is pretty much for Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics, and 50 States Marathon (or Half Marathon) Club members.  There is a marathon and two half marathons (one that starts with the marathoners and one that starts at the marathon's 13.1  mark).  You also have the option of doing "double halves" where you run both half marathons, get two medals, and can cross off two states (both KY and WV).  I chatted up a couple friends before the start of the race and we talked about our experiences so far in this little corner of KY/WV.  Before I knew it, it was time to start.  There was no timing mat at the start of this race, so everyone was on gun time, but with a race this small it's not really a big deal.  I immediately went out too fast, with the first several miles in the 9's.  Within the first half mile we ran by our first road kill of the day - a deer that had pretty much been obliterated and then picked on by the vultures!  Sorry, I didn't stop for a photo op.  Besides all the roadkill, the scenery was breathtaking - mountains and rock faces all around you.  

The first mile
Fog lifting off the mountains.
Rocks all around us.
This little stream made lots of nice noises.
We ran past a lot of the Hatfield McCoy feud sites.  What the feud was about I have not a clue.

I was a pretty bad blogger and didn't take nearly as many photos as I usually do.  The first 6ish miles were pretty much flat (maybe a small hill or two).  At mile 6 we started our ascent up Blackberry Mountain.  This ascent is about 1.25 miles long and it will bring you to a slow crawl.  We made it about halfway up and then decided it was taking too much effort to run so we walked the rest.  The descent on the other side was even more brutal but we ran down it anyway knowing we may pay for it later.  Somewhere around mile 9, we passed the "World's Smallest Horses" out in front of someone's house. 

See?  The sign says "World's Smallest Horses" so obviously it's true.
This is Cookie and she looked absolutely terrified!

After the excitement of the horses, we came upon the "redneck" themed aid station.  All of the volunteers were dressed up (or were they?) in their finest redneck attire and they were even smoking cigarettes.  Have YOU ever been handed water at race by a volunteer smoking a cigarette?  I think not!

Gimmie that moonshine!

The excitement didn't stop there.  A little ways up we ran into fellow Maniac and 50-stater Amie, a few very enthusiastic dogs, and a couple of the cutest kittens.

Happy to share some miles with Amie.
Stay away dog!
Meow.

At this point we were almost to the halfway point and we were still in Kentucky.  Finally, right before the 13 mile mark, we crossed the bridge into West Virginia.  Once in WV, we literally ran around the block, dropped the half marathoners (or at least those that did the "1st Half") off, and then made our way back across the bridge into KY.

Finally made it to WV after nearly 13 miles.
Finishing the 1st Half
Quick stop to snuggle this adorable puppy..............
..............before returning to KY.

So we spent about a quarter of a mile in WV.  The second half of the course was mostly on very narrow back roads.  Roads so narrow they looked like running/biking trails, but cars were definitely driving down them.  

Trail?  Or road?

The weather was just about perfect for this southern belle.  It wasn't too hot, but hot enough.  There was also a very nice breeze blowing almost the entire race which kept me nice and cool.  Aid stations were about every mile and were very well stocked - water, Gatorade, fruit (watermelon, oranges, bananas, grapes), wet sponges, etc.  I unfortunately saw a new low for race bananas.  I absolutely HATE it when races slice the bananas in half and they get all brown and mushy on the exposed end.  Yuck yuck yuck.  I didn't think it could get any lower than that but I was wrong.  At one aid station a lady was wearing clear gloves and holding up a fully peeled banana.  You could see that it was all mushy and all the little indentations from her fingers pawing at it.  I should have taken a picture but at the moment all I wanted to do was get away from it.  Gross!  That image is forever etched in my mind.  I was making pretty good time and was definitely well within my goal of finishing under 5 hours (pretty much my goal for any race where I don't care about time).  Well that was until I hit the trail part of the course.  

Me no likey.

It had rained the previous few days so the trail was a muddy mess.  My road shoes have absolutely no traction on them so I was sliding all over the place. For a mile I pretty much danced around mud on my tip toes.  No bueno.  Once out the mud, we were dumped onto a pretty beat up road and then onto a beautiful golf course.  This is where the infamous swinging bridge is.  Yup, absolutely terrifying.

Wow, so pretty.
Ok, not very pretty anymore.
Please don't break, please don't break, please don't break.

The second half of the course was a lot more challenging than the first half - a lot of ups and down, the muddy trail, and tons of just really bad road surface.  Plus, you were pretty much by yourself for many many miles.  There were no volunteers at the turns so you had to make sure to follow the blue arrows on the road (remember this race is pretty much for Maniacs and 50-staters, so people that have a lot of experience at running races and don't need a lot of directions).  The Weather Channel ranks this race as #14 in it's list of "The World's 15 Toughest Marathons".  While the course wasn't "easy" I definitely don't think that it's one of the 15 hardest marathons in the world.  Flying Monkey was WAY WAY WAY tougher than this race and that is not on the Weather Channel's list.  This begs the question as to why the Weather Channel is making up lists about marathons.  Aren't they supposed to report the weather?  We reached mile 23 and we could see in the distance probably the second toughest climb of the day.  I walked that bad boy.

Hill in the distance

Around mile 25 we were back on the main road and heading for the finish.  We all knew that there was a Dairy Queen at like mile 25.7, but I forgot to bring some cash so I whizzed by it.  Many many people stopped in for some ice cream on their way to the finish.  We finally crossed the bridge into WV and headed straight to the finish.  

Back in WV!

I crossed the finish line in 4:53:01 and was presented with a cold, wet hand towel, a medal, and a sweet mason jar.  Surprisingly, they had a great assortment of post race food that I could actually eat - grapes, bananas (all in the their peels and not cut), oranges, and watermelon.  I've never seen so much fruit at the end of a race.  They even gave each runner a box lunch of a turkey and cheese wrap and a bag of potato chips.  While I couldn't eat the wrap, I devoured those chips and washed them down with an ice cold Pepsi!  Delicious!

So much delicious fruit!  And this was at like 6 hours!
These guys stood at the finish line for the entire race!  And they took pictures with everyone!

After the race I fell asleep in my hotel room until about 8:00 PM, so I pretty much wasted the whole day when I could have been out exploring the area.  I eventually made my way up to hang out and drink moonshine with a few Maniacs/50-Staters.  

Because no trip to KY/WV is complete without drinking some moonshine on a hotel bed.
 
I am glad that I chose to count this race as KY since more than 25.7 miles of the course were in KY.  The only parts that were in WV were the finish lines of both the 1st Half and the 2nd half/marathon.  I don't really consider that "running a marathon in WV".  I obviously do recommend this race.  This is obviously the most exciting thing that happens to the communities of Goody, KY, Williamson, WV, and Matewan, WV, all year long.   The locals are so proud of this race and they definitely should be.   Every hotel room for a hundred miles around is sold out for race weekend so this is a huge economic boost for the area.  <steps on soapbox> Just one of the many many reasons that you should support small local races and not big city corporate races.  <steps off soapbox>  

As for costs/travel/logistics, this one isn't that easy to get to but is well worth the extra planning.  
  • Race registration was $54, which is as cheap as you're gonna get.  This includes plenty of KY/WV hospitality (your toothless cashier at the fast food establishment of your choice will be very happy to serve you), your race (aid stations, port-o-potties, etc), pasta dinner, tech tee, medal, mason jar, and tons of food/entertainment at the post race party.  
  • I flew into Charleston, WV, which was about 1.5 hours away.  I think this is the closest airport but it's also probably the most expensive for most people.  I got lucky and scored a pretty good deal on a flight out of Jackson to Charleston for $374.  This is the first flight that I have had to pay for all year long (Southwest doesn't fly into Charleston so couldn't use Rewards points).  Other airports that people used were Cincinnati and Dayton, OH. 
  • I got a rental car for two days for $46 (thank you Priceline).   
  • I also got really lucky when it came to hotels.  As you can imagine, there are not a lot of hotels right in Williamson, WV.   I got a room at the Mountaineer Hotel right in downtown Williamson (the finish line was about a block from my hotel).  I stayed two nights and paid $156 total.  Pretty cheap but you've gotta call the second they start to take reservations (I'd call in November or December to see when they will start to take reservations for race weekend).  I tried to get a roommate but no one was interested so I had a room with two beds all to myself.  A lot of people stay in nearby (45 minutes away) Pikeville, KY, or Logan, WV.  Another option for accommodations is to stay at the local firehouses (they have cots and showers available).  
  • I spent another $35 on food (a perk of going to a town that only has fast food options) and $30 on gas.  
  • So this trip cost a total of $695.  Not bad for a two night trip. 
So no new states for me until September.  I have a few local races planned for June and July and then I hope to rest up for a bit in August before starting back up in September.  This coming weekend I have a local half marathon.  Should be nice and hot for us!