The past few weeks at work have been a bit crazy. The good news is, only one more day and I’m done in St. Louis! I’ve enjoyed it here, but I’ve been working long hours (nights, weekends, you name it – I even put in some hours in San Fran doing work). The project is going into a really relaxed phase, so I’m being dropped off the project starting Monday, and I may return to it in a few weeks, but that’s yet to be determined. In the meantime, I’m heading back to New York tomorrow and will be there for at least a week or two doing some internal firm work.
Unfortunately, this throws a crimp in marathon travel plans. I don’t want to spend a lot of money traveling places to run when I could probably fly there free (or at least cheaply) once I get on a travel project again. That said, I’m not giving up on my goal! So I discovered the Leading Ladies Marathon in Spearfish, SD next weekend. United has a really great last minute fare for $336 roundtrip with all taxes and fees. Even though that’s pretty cheap for a flight to a remote location halfway across the country, I’m still trying to decide if it’s worth it. Do I really need to rush to get another state done next weekend? Or should I take a break until I get on another travel project and it’s paid for? Completing the 50 States is going to be expensive enough just to cover race fees, hotels, and meals – maybe I shouldn’t be so hasty to spend money on airfare. I e-mailed a few Marathon Maniacs who are signed up for it to see if anyone wanted to split a hotel room or car, but looks like that’s a no-go, so I’m on my own for everything. I’d fly in Saturday morning, rent a car to drive from Rapid City airport to Spearfish, and stay at a hostel near the race on Sat night (only $25). On Sunday, I’d check out Mount Rushmore (30 minutes south), then head back to Rapid City to return the car and try to stay in a hotel with an airport shuttle so I wouldn’t need a car and could fly back Monday morning. It’s doable, and would be a cool trip (I’ve never been to South Dakota!), but kind of expensive for a two day trip. Decisions, decisions…
I created this little spreadsheet to help me figure out what marathons I’ve checked off (not many) and which ones I want to do (a lot!). Whenever I hear about one that sounds good, I’m adding it to the list. I probably won’t have time to do more than one per state, but I figure it’s better to put down all my options because there are going to be a lot of conflicts. Let me know if you know of any “must-do” races, either because of the race itself or because you’re going to be there. I know I definitely don’t have everyone else’s races on here – I just threw a bunch in randomly that I remembered off the top of my head.
In other news, apparently one of the signature dishes of St. Louis is “gooey butter shortcake.” Yeah, totally healthy, I know. However, I decided since it’s my last night in St. Louis, I wanted to treat myself to it. I ate fairly lightly all day, and then ordered grilled vegetables and shrimp cocktail for dinner. For dessert, I got the gooey butter shortcake – but flushed two out of the three pieces down the toilet before I let myself even try a bite. It was SO good – I’m so glad I got rid of it before I tasted it or I never would have been able to stop! Desserts 0, Laura 1. I also hit up the gym for 20 minutes of biking to ease up my leg muscles from the weekend, and 10 minutes of weights (arms/chest) just to get those muscles activated. I want to at least maintain my weight for Saturday’s challenge weigh in, and then next week I can work out and eat healthy in earnest when I’m home. Good luck to all the competitors!