Trip #1- Virginia (4/24-4/28). I've been here countless times but never raced here at any distance. That changes on the last weekend in April when I tackle America's Toughest Road Half Marathon on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke. The course is so ridiculous that I have no time goal at all. It's purely a training run. In fact, there are 2 mountains that are so long and steep that I anticipate doing some walking. The first comes from about Mile 1.0-3.5 then it's sharply downhill until Mile 6. There's another monster from about Mile 7-9.5 that's not quite as steep but just as long. It's back down from there but I'm sure there will be a few rollers thrown it. All told, it has nearly 1,900 feet of climbs and 3,800 feet of total elevation changes. Ouch!
I chose this race for 3 reasons. First, it's a manageable drive for my parents so I'll get to see them. Second, it's really the only option in Virginia (State #19) for me that is can be driven. It's about 8 hours from Birmingham so a race in Virginia Beach, DC or even Richmond would be a flight. Third, I know that I am in no condition to run a fast time so why not just do a fun run? Louisville, Kentucky has a race the previous week that is also on my list to do but it is a PR chance and I want to save it for when I am in top shape. I do have the option to downgrade to the 10K if I really feel awful but I'd prefer not to do that. I want my Virginia 10K to be the Richmond Monument Ave. which is a mega race similar to Peachtree but on a faster course with better weather.
Road Trip plan:
-leave work early on 4/24 and drive part way. I'll probably be somewhere between Chattanooga and Knoxville then it will be a fairly easy drive the next day.
-After the race on 4/26, we are going to Lynchburg and Appomattox then Charlottesville.
-I'll take 2 days getting back and this time, I'll drive through Greensboro-Charlotte-Greenville on my way home.
Trip #2- Destination Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Blue Nose Half Marathon is just an excuse to go. I have always wanted to see the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. The race course is not as tough as Roanoke but it is not a PR course either and has a killer hill in Mile 11. Still, I hope to be in decent shape by then and want at least a respectable time (mid-high 1:30s)
Here's the plan:
5/15- I'll have to get up super early but it was the best available flight. I'll land in Bangor, Maine at 3:38 PM after a connection in LaGuardia. I thought about driving to Canada that evening but decided against it. After 2 flights, I will be very tired. Also, it will take time to get the rental car and I'll want a decent dinner. There's nothing in between Bangor and the border town so I'll just spend the night in Bangor. I have been to Maine before on a 2005 road trip but Portland was as far as I got.
5/16- The only downside to staying in Bangor is that the next day's drive could be tough. The plan is to get to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, which is just over 6 hours away. It's 2 hours to the border and I don't anticipate any major delays then about 1 more hour to St. John, New Brunswick. I figure that will be a good lunch stop. I'll also pass through Moncton before I reach the Confederation Bridge into PEI. When I get to Charlottetown, I will treat myself to a seafood dinner and a brief night on the town. It will be a very scenic route through lake country in rural Maine, the Bay of Fundy area in New Brunswick and I hear that PEI is beautiful as well.
5/17- If I get into Charlottetown later than expected, it's okay because I can take the morning to do a bit more touring. It's only 3-3.5 hours to Halifax from there. I want this day to be fairly relaxing. I'll go to the expo and maybe check out a park.
5/18-Race day and drive back to the USA border going the alternate way through Fredericton (5.5 hours).
5/19- Easy 2 hour drive from Houlton, Maine back down to Bangor. My flight does not leave until 4 PM so I have plenty of time.