I am biting a bit more than I can chew. I see it coming long before but I signed up more races than I can handle.
Which race is it? The current one that concern me is the Richmond Marathon. I deferred it from last year because of the pandemic – later though they did host an in-person virtual race on a different course over couple weekends last November (not a Boston qualified (BQ) course though). That was interesting in itself where you could run on an actual course with mile markers and water stations and a real timing chip, but it was virtual in a sense you pick the day to run and when to run it. There were be people out there on the course but it wasn’t a horde of people like in a normal marathon. My friend ended up doing it while I went and did a different one that weekend – I think it was the Seneca/Stone Mill I did.
So the story started there. I planned to run it this year same time (November) since the race is already paid for since it was deferred.
However, I realized I signed up for a 100 miler the preceeding weekend of the Richmond Marathon. Realistically, I can’t do both. In self defense, I signed up Richmond before I tangled into ultras thing. Now though marathons seem less appealing.
I am trying to convince myself still I can do the 100, and still do the Richmond.
There is no way I am giving up the 100 for a 26. To do both means I will walk the marathon. Likely a lost cause at it. It takes about 7 hours – very fast walk 3.7 mi/hr.
I don’t mind having a DNF (not finishing a race). I am unable to google the course time limits at the moment, but I think it should be around 7 hours. Generally 6-6.5 though.
Likely though I will have to give up on the Richmond Marathon.
Anyway, what brought me to this topic was I have couple races coming up and I am booking places to stay.
Both races are in remote areas – the suggested option is camping at the race site is the way to go. I am a camper person myself but not for races. I like a good bed to sleep the night before and the night after. A good good place – with mattress and all, no funky motel if that can be helped. Interestingly both race sites have really early start time. The one in May starts at 5 AM, given the race is super long. So for me, it means 4 AM on location to avoid any last minute goofed ups (no murphy law here to mess things up – the nearest thing that happened to me was traffic jam to the race venue in the Frederick Half – that nearly had me in a heart attack).
The nearest hotel I found for the race in May and I now booked is about hour and half away. I am looking at very little sleep night before and possibly will be up by 2AM.
The race in June, this one is even outrageous. I am busing from the finish line to the starting line, leaving my car at the finish. The race chartered busses for us. I think the bus time is something like 3AM in the morning. So I had to be there like 2 AM or earlier. People said midnight because the parking lot there is tiny like enough for 20-30 cars! So not likely to sleep at all because it means I will be up at lot staking my spot for my car. Yup, organizer advices people to carpool or being dropped off, etc.
The hotel for this June race is near though but the price is through the roof (looking at $200 a night). I haven’t booked it yet since it is hard to justify booking for the two nights in that I will spend very little time there because I will be running most of the time. Still having a good base of operation is a must, so I am on the fence for this one.
There are cheaper hotels that are an hour away ($50 a night), and this is very appealing, except the question is will I able to make the drive there after I finish running. I learned from my race in Houston is not to risk driving anywhere after running a hard race. I was a zombie and on the verge of asleep behind the wheel as I tried to get back to Houston. One time is enough for that kind of life-death situation. Not going to repeat that again. A lot of former runners said they slept in their cars afterward… hmm. So that is likely what I will do.
Until next time, bye
P.S. Smoky Mnt update: I narrowed down the paths I will take, likely will be Menton Mackaye Trail (BMT) – from Fontana Dam to Davenport, for the remoteness and challenges that will test my camping skills. I’m a bit ambitious to do it in 4-5 days, where others do it as a 10 day trip. This trip will take place after my long race, so running the BMT is out of the question.