In Pursuit of a Half Marathon in all Fifty States

“The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.”                                            -Charles Dickens

With our new goal of running a half marathon in all fifty states the only thing left to do is to actually do it.  We started off 2021 with our 24th state in Kingwood, Texas.  The first thing that comes to mind about this race is the phrase, helter-skelter.  Don’t get me wrong the organizers of this event did a great job.  It turns out this was their 22nd year and they were determined not to let Covid stop them from having another great race.

One of the founders of the 50 state marathon club, Steven Boone, was there. I was able to get a picture of him with Catherine as he congratulated her. for completing a marathon in all 50 states.  He is a running icon, in his own right. We have seen him many times during our running all over the world adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They do everything big in Texas, including there medals

Texas Half Marathon

Since we were only doing the half we only had to do the run through Greentree Park twice on concrete trails, which were only about 6 feet wide in most places.  It rained cats and dogs the entire day prior so there were some water hazards to contend with.  Now throw in 500 people passing you and coming in the opposite direction which we had to dodge just about the entire 13.1 miles.  That all made it very hectic to say the least.

Rick and Lisa from Catherine’s 50th state race in Rhode Island last year were also there with Lisa running the marathon.  We drove to nearby Houston to meet up with James and Lois from several Marathon and Tours trips for an outdoor socially distant lunch.  Turns out Mary, who we know from several Marathon Expeditions trips also lives nearby. We met up with her and took a tour around her impressive property, dog buddy and all.

 

Where are we now?

We are now relaxing and at the same time training back in South Carolina.  This time on Hilton Head Island in another Marriott Vacation Club Villa called, Barony Beach Club.  I use the term, training, rather loosely since we are not trying to necessarily improve our times for upcoming races.  More to stay upright and on our feet as we enjoy the scenery go by ever so slowly.  When you tour by foot you have the opportunity to run across the hidden gems you would miss if doing so by car.

Surprisingly enough, my right knee and groin injury are doing well after my trip and fall on Christmas day as we ran 9 miles to pick up a car at the airport in Myrtle Beach.  They both did hurt a bit during the first part of the race.  Who would think that it would be a good idea to run a half marathon that close after the two injuries, For some strange reason my body seems to respond better when I stay active.  I also think being Alcohol Free for the last nine months has something to do with me bouncing back so quickly.

The mid 50’s here make it very enjoyable. I am now planning on us doing an uncertified, non virtual, half marathon all along the beach either next week or the week after.  We will be here till the end of the month.  I really like doing a few laps in the outdoor heated, salt water, pool after either running along the beach, on the asphalt paths that connect the many parks in the area.  That would include the stationary bike in the extremely sanitized fitness center. The indoor hot tub is icing on the cake.

Upcoming Races

The planning continues for the upcoming spring racing season as we prepare for a race in Tennessee the later part of February, New Mexico and Louisiana in March with Utah in June.  I am sure we will find a few more races, thus states for the months of April and May.

We are mostly going to do small races in out of the way cities which is good since we have done all the major city races as marathons.  As an example the one we did in Maine last year and New Mexico this year the races are held by Mainly Marathons.  They have various length races as a series.  In other words, you can run several races in different states over the course of a week.  So far we are not in that good of shape so we only do one of the races in their series at this point.

Speaking of Marathons I am now thinking of doing two more before I turn 70 in 3.5 years.  That would be 70 marathons by 70.  That will also give Catherine 85 marathons.  It would be great to find two outrageous marathons between now and then.  If anyone has any great ideas, please let me know.   

How do we feed ourselves?

Some people might wonder how we go about feeding ourselves since we have not had a home and most times a kitchen in over 6 years.  The simple answer is that you have to be flexible.  When we first started, most meals were either in a Marriott Executive lounge or in a nearby restaurant.  Some were on cruise ships or provided by various tours we have been on.

With us moving every 3 to 4 days it is difficult for us to cook even if we are in hotel that has kitchen facilities.  How does one buy all the supplies actually needed when cooking?  Right after Covid hit we did stay put for several weeks at a time. We then had to shift to folks like Grub Hub to have dinners delivered and at the same time go to the grocery store for breakfast items.

Even when staying at a Marriott hotel we have not found any that have opened back up their executive lounges.  Now  we have to buy all of our meals.  We typically only eat two meals a day unless on a tour or cruise.  Now there are no tours or cruises on the horizon.  As time went on we started to still order food on Grub Hub but we would go pick it up ourselves.  I really got tired of watching our meals go to several other stops before coming to us.

We also transitioned to a meal delivery service call Freshly.  They can send you as many days of dinners you desire.  They only required a microwave for 3 minutes for each meal.  The other service which I like somewhat better is Sun Basket.  The change there is that you can order prepared meals like Freshly.  You can also order a few meals where they send all the ingredients and cooking for dummies type of instructions.

Lukes lobster also does a great job sending flash frozen lobster and there is also the  reliable frozen pizza or rotisserie chicken.  The chicken makes for two great meals.  We often grab a side for the first day then a chicken noodle soup which we then add the left over chicken.

I have to laugh because when my kids were growing up they knew dinner was close to being done.  They would hear the microwave ding going off every few minutes as I heated up left overs on Friday’s.  Back then my go to actually cooked meal was either on the grill or Stouffer’s baked lasagne.   I now do a pretty good tin foiled grilled salmon with mushrooms and peppers.

I got a text from a friend of ours about a delivery service called, GoldBelly.  They will ship some of America’s greatest iconic foods.  We still have not eaten inside at a restaurant since Covid.   I am not sure when I will feel comfortable enough to do so. 

Beach Half Marathon

Well we did it which I often do when I put my mind to it.  In this case it was to run a half marathon distance all along the beach.  While here I charted out the course we would use and today was the day to actually do it.  It was our first time running that long all along a beach.  We have run on a beach before, all over the world.  This was by far the furthest simply because the beaches here are very level and if you start in the morning there is plenty of hard packed sand to run on.

It went off with out a hitch.  We went right first out and back for a total of 3 miles.  Then back left for a total of another 6 miles.  Then back to the right and another 1.1 miles to the left.  We felt great the entire way with temps in the low 50’s with little wind.  We finished it off with a dip into the indoor hot tub to soothe the few sore spots.  I really like doing things I have never done before.  I have noticed that as I get older the list is getting shorter and shorter.

New Year’s Resolution

I often have a New Year’s resolution but most of them had to do with improving my body.  This year I pick one that will improve my mind.  They say the only thing you can control is your attitude so I settled on PMA, Positive Mental Attitude.  This is what it means to me.

I will always have a Positive Mental Attitude through Gratitude.  All self-destructive tendencies – pity, anger, selfishness, & resentment will not be tolerated.  All negativity, hurt and discouragement, will be avoided. I will always maintain my Positive Mental Attitude under pressure. I will keep Charles Dickens quote above close to my heart if I should ever struggle.

Triathlon 

Well since we did a half marathon with out getting a medal I figured why not do a Tony style Triathlon.  We first started off with 12 miles on a stationary bike in the fitness center.  Second leg was on the beach for a rather windy 4 mile run. Last leg was somewhere around 1/4 mile swim in the outdoor heated pool.  Once again no medal or T-Shirt .  We are really enjoying the rather moderate temperatures here on HHI, as the locals call it.

In years past we have spent the winters in the hot, steamy Caribbean.  It is much easier to run in these temperatures. In the heat I have convinced myself that you do not have to run as fast or as far to stay in shape.  Here we do have to put on a few extra layers of clothes as opposed to just T-Shirt and shorts like in the Caribbean.

We leave here in a few days and will be getting back to our usual 3-4 days per stop routine.  It has been fun to take a breather for the last 26 days.  From here we are going back to ATL to get our first Covid vaccine shot.  While there we will catch up with my daughter, Mariah.  She just announced that she is expecting her first child.  I am so very excited to give her and dad a big hug.

Book Update

Our upcoming book, Running all over the world, our race against early onset Alzheimer’s is now on to cover design.  It took my breath away to review the page layout which included over 69 pictures.  That was a task since the original document started out with nearly 1000 pictures.  It looks like the May 1 publish date is still on track.  Just in time for Catherine’s 60th birthday on that day.  If you are here for the first time please share and subscribe below so not to miss out on the cover reveal.

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