Thursday, March 9, 2017

More Road Trip Plans

I’ve raced a halfway decent 5K and a half since turning 35 but my only 10K has been Peachtree last year, which was a disaster.  A post-35 PR would be pretty easy.  There is a good local 10K this coming weekend but my gut feeling is to skip it.   Instead, I’ll do a 10-12 miler followed by some shorter and sharper stuff race week.   I don’t really care if a race effort leaves me slightly less than fresh in NYC but I REALLY don’t want to risk an overuse injury after the quality long run last weekend.  Any other 10Ks coming up?  There’s usually a 5K/10K combo at UAB in April and there is also one in Tuscaloosa.  I wouldn’t mind a little regional travel this Spring.  Pensacola and Tupelo are options for a repeat and there is also Cotton Row in Huntsville on Memorial Day.  I think I'd lean towards the Coke 10K in Corinth, Miss because I've never done it before.  

If I don’t relapse, I’d like to make plans for an epic road trip.  I can check off Wyoming and Montana with 2 half marathons on back to back weekends but the most fun will be had in between those dates.  Here’s the preliminary plan:

6/2- Fly into Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Drive through some of the Grand Tetons
6/3- Grand Teton half marathon then into Yellowstone.
6/4-Sample Yellowstone, spend night in central Montana
6/5-Drive to Calgary.
6/6-Tour Calgary and go to Banff
6/7-Drive through Canadian Rockies
6/8-Back to USA, Sample Glacier NP
6/9- Drive to Helena
6/10- Race in Helena, back down to Jackson Hole.
6/11-Fly home.

The Grand Teton half is known for indescribable scenery but at 6500 feet elevation, a good time is out the window.  Unlike Tahoe however, the course is mostly flat.  Helena is a race that I am only interested in to check off another state.  It’s a mostly rural point to point course that’s gently rolling but the 4000 feet elevation will hurt.  There is a race in Yellowstone the same day but word on the street is that it’s poorly organized and the trail can be treacherous plus it’s a long drive from Glacier.  Helena would break up the trip.  If for some reason, this falls through, the backup option is exciting as well.  I would race Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota’s Black Hills and see Mount Rushmore.

I see 3 interesting possibilities here depending on my fitness level.
Option 1-Detroit Free Press-I’ve wanted to do this one since 2012 but it never fit my schedule.  It is a PR course and if I’m in competitive shape, that’s the frontrunner.

Option 2- New England Double- There’s a race in New Hampshire on the last day of September and another in Maine (3 hours away) on the first day of October.  Of course, both will be training runs and I don’t care about my times.  My fitness would have to improve to the point in which I can tolerate back to back 13 milers in training.  Even with the recent improvements, I’m not there yet.

Option 3- Albuquerque, New Mexico- Another race chosen only for the 50 states project but I’d like to see West Texas (Amarillo and/or Lubbock) as well.  There is a local couple that are planning to finish up their 50 state full marathon project and I may alter my plans to support them.

I get in Friday morning (3/17) and the plan is to see Times Square first while the crowds are not too overwhelming.  Nearby is Grand Central Station, Trump Tower and the Rockefeller Center.  If I have time, I’ll do some browsing on 5th and Madison Ave.
Saturday, the plan is the Seinfeld café for breakfast then the Yankee Stadium tour.  I can then sample Central Park and the Upper East Side.  If I have time, I’ll go downtown for the Freedom Tower and do a junk run in Battery Park.
Sunday is race day and because the finish is downtown, I can catch the quick stuff while I am there such as the NYSE and the 9/11 Memorial but the priority will be Brooklyn and the bridge.
Monday- I don’t leave until evening but I’ll need plenty of time to get to the airport.  I can pick up some of the quick stuff I may have missed that morning but I want to have lunch in Queens just to do something in that borough and maybe save some on the cab fare back to the airport.

Next year:
Yes, I’m already thinking of it.  For the Spring, I’m thinking Vermont plus a road trip into Quebec and/or the capitol of Ottawa.  I’ve already got California but San Diego has a race in August called America’s Finest City that’s been on my list for a while.  When I’m there, I can take a day trip to Mexico.  Tijuana is only 17 miles away but it’s a hassle getting in and out.  Tecate is about an hour away but it’s an easy crossing and I only want to get a meal and a drink just to say I’ve been there.  Canada and Mexico in the same year would be pretty cool.

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