August 7, 2008

Wednesday night miscellany

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!


26 thoughts on “Wednesday night miscellany”

  1. Ok wait. So you literally flushed your dessert down the toilet? Were you at home? Or did you carry your gooey shortbread all the way to the bathroom through the resturant? This is actually a great visualization, but I think I am misunderstanding.

  2. I had room service in my hotel room, and knew it would tempt me if it was sitting there. So just into the toilet in the hotel bathroom it went 🙂 I was a little worried it would clog up or something but it went down just fine – I figure toilets are made to handle much worse than a bit of cake.

  3. i bet it will be nice to be home for a while!!!

    good idea – i should start flushing desserts too 🙂

    glad i’m not the only one who thought the crowd was ehh… i totally agree with the whole part of i am running by and you are standing there staring at me – great.

  4. Spearfish is one of our favorite places! We just drove through last weekend on our way to Montana, and we even have our favorite house there. Totally middle-of-nowhere town, but cool area. However, one thing to be aware of is that the Sturgis Bike Rally is this weekend and lingers into next, so you’d just need to be prepared for lots of leather-wearin’ bikers. But if you’re going to run a marathon in South Dakota anyway to meet your goal, the Black Hills is by far the prettiest place you could do it.

    Thanks for checking in on me, by the way. I’ve just been really unmotivated/busy to blog of late.

  5. Destination racing is sooo expensive, stick to having the firm paying for it and spend the $$$ on shoes, looks like you’re gonna need them!

  6. I’ll be in nashville in April!

    I also recommend the Huntsville, AL marathon. I did it last December and LOVED it. I’d go back, except that this Dec. I decided to try memphis, tn instead b/c I heard so many good things about it.

  7. Hey – sorry I haven’t commented in so long. Great job on the SF Marathon – you are so awesome!!

    Too funny that you mentioned the Leading Ladies Marathon! I looked into doing the half a couple of months ago, but the logistics (and plane ticket) were too crazy. I will do it one of these days (maybe 2010 because next year I’ll be in Greece).

    Part of me says go for it – because my motto is you’ll always make more money – but then the other part of me says heck, let your company pay for the travel! If the plane ticket from BOS wasn’t $800+ I would come and do the half – although I’m too old to stay in a hostel.

    I love your spreadsheet of possible races – there are a few (halfs) that I’m thinking about.

    Good job on the dessert front too!

  8. I’d recommend the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC (end of October). I also liked Myrtle Beach, which in in February.

    If you can fit in the marathon with your work trips, that might be a great deal. best of luck!

  9. Don’t you have enough frequent flier miles to get free tix yet? I only used 12,500 miles for my tix to Portland, OR in October and $22.

  10. The Flying Pig is way fun (and the swag is awesome) and Chicago is crowded, but hey, it’s Chicago.

    What about Detroit!?!? It’s an international marathon — Canada and Michigan! Plus, you run a mile under water! I think you should add it to the list! 🙂

  11. Flushing a gooey butter cake down the toilet in STL is a sacrilege. Make sure you don’t look anyone in the eye as you leave town…they’ll know…and you may not make it out of dodge.

  12. Everyone – I’ve been adding most of the suggestions to the list 🙂 Thanks!!!

    Jennifer – nothing on my list is definite at all; it’s just potential ones to consider that either look fun or I’ve heard good things about. Until it says registered or definite, it’s totally up in the air.

  13. Quad Cities Marathon! Run across the Mississippi River, plus hit two states at once. C’mon! I’ll make sure you get ice cream when it’s over.

    BTW, the sport beans I used were cherry with caffiene, and I *heart* them.

  14. I love your spreadsheet! You’re awesome. You know I have to throw my 2 cents in for the Portland.
    1. It will cross another state off your list.
    2. Lots of fun chick bloggers will be there (including me)
    3. We are totally going to booze it up afterwards.
    4. I am hoping hot boys will be there.

  15. Sounds like a spendy weekend, but hey you are trying to get 50 states in so…yeah.

    You MUST do Nashville. It is seriously amazing as a city, but the race itself is awesome too with great fan support and bands along the way. It helps to like country music, but it will be fun either way. I’ve run the 1/2 marathon there both in 2006 and 2007. The best part is running through the nice neighborhoods and seeing everyone eating brunch and drinking mimosas while you’re sweating your a** off. Ok, really it’s just entertaining.

    And, the free concert afterward is just another plus. And the nightlife. And the Opryland Resort (a must see). And the southern accents. I could go on and on. I think I need to go back next year.

  16. I know you have Detroit on there but I really think you should check out the Grand Island Trail Marathon on Grand Island Michigan. It’s an end of July race that I am hoping to run next year. Grand Island is so beautiful and there are no cars on the island, everywhere you go you have to foot it or bike it. It’s great!


  17. Jenn, I was looking at that one this year… I’m just really nervous about a trail marathon. Roads are hard enough! When I did the five mile race at the end of trail running camp, my time was about twice what it would have been for a regular road 5 miler. Does that mean it would take me 8 hours to do the marathon??? Maybe… scary.

    Heather, are you doing Pittsburgh?

  18. You should totally do Houston. I did that as my first one. It is sold out for 2009 though, but they have a bib transfer policy.

    The Four Seasons is basically across the street from the start / finish and gives a really good rate.

    The concierge there was awesome and took care of all my reservations and made the trip awesome.

  19. I have another suggestion for you. I lived in Oklahoma City when the bombing took place back in 1995. They now have a marathon there every year on April 19th. The memorial is amazing as were the people of the city when that disaster struck. You don’t have anything for Oklahoma yet so may I suggest this one.


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