3 Half Marathons in 5 days
“Have we lost our minds?” Tony Copeland-Parker
Catherine chuckled while she answered, “Yes.” That is how we roll. On the edge of sanity and sometimes, but not very often, over the edge. Not to worry, I have everything under control. Oops, I forgot to book a rental car in Atlanta and because the travel boom is beginning to heat up Hertz and others are a bit behind getting their hundreds of thousands of vehicles back out of storage. No big deal. Mass transportation will be our mode of travel this time around and i will have to plan better moving forward.
Those of you with Mainly Marathons this is nothing for you folks. We are doing three races with them every other day with the Prairie Series. Most of them are doing all eight states as Marathons. They have a race for those that want to do a 50K, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K or a combination over the 8 days.
2021 Prairie Series
Sunday, May 9 – Sunday, May 16, 2021
Days 1 & 2 (Sunday, May 9/Monday, May 10): Breckenridge, MN/Wahpeton, ND
Day 3 (Tuesday, May 11): Baltic, SD
Day 4 (Wednesday, May 12): Sioux City, IA
Day 5 (Thursday, May 13): South Sioux City, NE
Day 6 (Friday, May 14): Hiawatha, KS
Day 7 (Saturday, May 15): St. Joseph, MO
Day 8 (Sunday, May 16): Miami, OK
Once again the rental car shortage hit me with Hertz wanting a total of $5,000 for the week thus discouraging someone from picking up a car in South Dakota and dropping it off in Missouri. So we flew in and out of Kansas city and then drove to South Dakota and then did the races back south to Missouri. Me being the driving wimp, that I am, I stopped overnight in Omaha on our way north.
The first race, for us, was in Baltic SD at River Park, the course description was, gravel path with scenic views of a waterfall. We had to do 11 out and backs and our Gaiters once again came in handy to keep the gravel out of our shoes.
I was very satisfied with our performance on the first race but I have to wonder how our bodies will fare, moving forward. It was a good idea to take a day off between races but who knows maybe one day we will try to do multiple races back to back. I am now starting to see the allure of this type of racing.
The second race, once again, for us, was in South Sioux City, NE at Crystal Cove Park and the course description was wide concrete path around a lake with moderate shade. We had to do 6 back and forth and around the lake and the it was perfect weather. Lisa and Rick met us there along with two other folks, Marie and Rosa, from our Marathon Tours days. They were doing multiple days back to back as half marathons.
I was shocked on how well our bodies responded to doing another half marathon with only one day off. We actually cut our time by 8 minutes, which was unexpected. Each mile faster than the one prior. That helps when you start out really slow. I also wondered why, when doing a race around a lake, why they don’t just go all away around. Now I understand, it is because this gives everyone the opportunity to interact with others with many taking walking breaks to socialize with their friends or just walk the entire race with them or others as they go by.
We had 222 miles to cover the next day back to St. Joseph, MO, for our last race with Mainly Marathons this time around. We will meet up with them again in June on their Independence series in Maryland and New Jersey. We did the Dust Bowl series with them back in March in Guymon OK. You can read about that race here.
The course description was smooth concrete path along the river with moderate shade at Heritage Baseball Park. Turns out there was about a half mile section that was packed dirt and gravel with some water and mud hazards from the rain the night before. No big deal, at least it didn’t rain during the race. This time it was 7 laps for us.
We have decided that we really like the every other day idea. Especially since we pretty much bring everything we own with us in two 55 pound bags. That makes packing and unpacking every day would be a bit much. Turns out on this series there were two opportunities to stay in one hotel and do two states but we already had those states.
We might try it when we go and do the Independence series. They do NJ which we are planning on doing and then NY the next day so I might have to look at the hotels and see if we can stay in the same hotel and do both states.
This race was once again a negative split, thanks to Denise Sauriol She suggests that in her book, Me, You and 26.2, which I highly recommend. We started out, once again, really slow on this race and got faster by the mile which actually felt great. Turns out we were only 1 minute slower than the first race. She also suggests that runners not clinch their hands, which I did not realize I have been doing all these years. I really think the track work Denise suggests in her book really helped us for these races.
We are headed back to Atlanta on Monday then off to Chicago for the Chicagoland Spring Half Marathon next Saturday and spend some time with our dear friend Deborah Dean. They had a lottery for this race in Schaumburg,Ill and then you had to verify that you were going to actually run the race. That will be state 34 for us and our 11th half marathon this year.
Little know fact, at least by me. St. Joseph is famous for the Pony Express and this is where Jesse James lived and died.