In an effort to continue running races in new states and use up a plane ticket voucher that would expire in April, I scheduled a second and third race four weeks after my marathon in Arizona. Since I had never attempted two races in two days, or ran any distance after running a half marathon this would be my first attempt at a double weekend. I was nervous to say the least. Making me even more nervous was the fact that life got busy and winter weather was uncooperative, so the longest run I did in between Arizona and Georgia was 8.5 miles. I know that to accomplish my goal of 50 marathons in 50 states I will likely have several weekends of double races in my future.
My first race of my double weekend was the Run the Reagan Half Marathon on Saturday. This half marathon was in Snellville, Georgia, a town of about 18,000 people outside of Atlanta. I flew from Madison to Birmingham, Alabama late Friday afternoon.
Every time I fly I am reminded of how much I love the feeling of the moment when the wheels lift off the ground. The feeling of going somewhere! To top off the feeling is my love for Delta’s biscoff cookies! They always remind me of eating windmill cookies as a child and the windmills my grandpa used to make in his workshop.
The only thing bringing me out of my biscoff euphoria was the guy sitting next to me on the plane blasting Evil Woman and ordering double Jack and Cokes. His only break from the drinks was during his nap which involved loud, head back, open-mouthed snoring. As soon as he woke up, it was back to the Jack and Cokes. He left his music device filled with woman hater music on his seat as he staggered off the plane. Rest assured, I did the right thing and returned it to him. I guess it could have been worse; he could have slapped a baby.
I arrived in Birmingham at 9:15 pm and headed to the rental car lot to pick up my rental vehicle. By 9:45 I was on the road. Apparently, Alabama shares a season with us called road construction. They also change the speed limits on the interstates and highways often. It must be like a game for them. During my two and a half hour drive the speed limit varied between 45, 55, 60, 65, 70 and back and forth and back and forth. Adding to my dismay was the realization that Alabama was not in the Eastern Time Zone rather it was in the central time zone. I would be arriving at my hotel in Georgia not at 12:30 am as I had planned, but 1:30 am. One hour of sleep lost. I arrived at my hotel at 1:30 am and was in bed by 2:15. Five hours later my alarm went off.
As some of you may have heard on the Weather Channel’s locals on the 8’s, (why I like to watch this even when at home I don’t know) most of the eastern part of the nation has been experiencing a cold front. In Georgia this means lows in the 30’s and high’s in the 50’s. I dressed in my lighter winter running gear and headed to Snellville, a 15 minute drive. Upon arriving to the start of the race, I picked up my race packet and headed to the starting line.
The race course was an out and back route with rolling hills the entire route. The race took place on Ronald Reagan Parkway, hence the name Run the Reagan. The race is a smaller race with almost no fans, but good race support. The route was not anything special or interesting to look like. The goal for the day was to take it easy and keep it feeling easy. I wanted to finish the race and not feel overly tired or sore later. I kept my pace comfortable throughout the entire race.
mile 5-9:58 (bathroom stop)
By mile eight I had started to get warm. By mile nine I was hot! The sun had come out in full force and I was dressed too warm. That always seems to happen to me. I fear being cold and overdress. No matter how many runs I do in different weather I seem to always question how to dress.
I came across the finish feeling strong. I did some stretching and headed to the Target and Starbucks nearby. I tried their new Vanilla Spice Latte, which I would recommend. =)…Love!
Then it was time to hit the road for my two and a half hour drive back to Sweet Home Alabama for the Mercedes Marathon.
Run the Reagan Half Marathon