September 6, 2009

Night Before the Race: New Mexico Marathon

Despite allowing what I thought was plenty of time to get to the airport after the Seattle debacle, it turned out that I hadn’t accounted for just how long you have to wait for a train when you’re headed to the airport at 6 AM. My flight to Vegas was at 8 AM, and 7:40 found me sprinting through security to reach the flight. Upon arriving at the gate, the agent told me that she had had real seats, but gave them away to people who were below me on the standby list (because I wasn’t checked in or at the gate so she sassumed I wasn’t coming). She said I could still fly jumpseat if I wanted to, and since I was already wide awake and just planning to read on the flight anyway, I decided to take that option instead of waiting for the next flight. When I boarded, it turned out there was an empty seat after all, so I happily took it, relaxed, and even got a little nap in.

Arriving in Vegas, the other passengers clapped and cheered as we pulled in to the gate. Several of them seemed like they were already a little drunk (thank you, buy-on-board alcohol), and there was a majorly excited atmosphere to the whole cabin. It reminded me of how all the little kids are on planes bound for Orlando, which makes sense when you consider that Vegas is basically like Disneyland for adults 🙂 After the throngs of people headed off eagerly to the casinos, I forlornly headed for the terminal where my flight was to leave Vegas. Such a short trip! I couldn’t wait to get back the next day to party with Boyfriend after the marathon.

At the food court, I was faced with a dilemma. What to eat? They had a Wendy’s that actually served baked potatoes (I love their side orders of baked potatoes, but rarely find them in airports – they’re one of the items that seem to be in the standalone stores only). But should I just get a baked potato, which had plenty of calories? Or should I splurge and get more? I opted to live dangerously and get the sweet and spicy Asian boneless wings, even though I had recently seen it featured in a Hungry Girl article about how unhealthy they are, including a recipe for a healthier make-your-own option. In the end, I was happy I did. Maybe it was a bit unhealthy, but I loved them, and I’m definitely going to try out the swap now.

I got really lucky on the flight to Albuquerque – the plane was pretty empty, and I actually got an entire exit row to myself, even though it was another airline and I was bottom of the standby priority list. I arrived in ABQ at 3:45 and promptly called for the hotel shuttle, hoping it would be quick and that I’d make it to the host hotel in time for the start of the 50 States Club Quarterly Meeting at 4:00pm (guest speaker: Jeff Galloway).

I ended up being a few minutes late, arriving just a few minutes into Jeff’s speech. However, I actually wasn’t too disappointed, as I didn’t enjoy his speech that much. A lot of 50 Staters are walkers, which I definitely respect, but since I don’t follow a run-walk plan, I wasn’t that interested in what Jeff had to say. Still, I paid attention, and I was intrigued to hear just how fast you can go with a run-walk plan. The more I listened, the more I wanted to try it – maybe planned walk breaks would be just what I needed to get a really fast time and qualify for Boston! (Yes, it’s still a goal of mine). However, I realized it was probably a poor idea to just all of a sudden try it out during a full marathon. Also, there was a lot of talk about figuring out exactly the right ratio of run-to-walk and how fast to go when you are running, so I think I’d need to do a lot of research in order to implement it successfully. I decided that I’d just research it on my own later, and then test it out on a run with Boyfriend – he’s probably do well with a run-walk program anyway.

A lot of 50 Staters turned out for the meeting, and it was really fun to see a lot of old friends and make new ones. While it wasn’t an official Maniac reunion, there were a lot of Maniacs there as well. They certainly raised some interesting questions when Jeff said that he didn’t recommend doing more than one or two marathons a year. Someone else later relayed to me a funny story about how one time during a Q&A, Larry Macon (of 105 marathons in a year fame) asked, jokingly, how many marathons Jeff thought it was possible for one human to do in a year. Before Jeff could make a fool out of himself, someone else jumped in to point out exactly who he was talking to, and the whole room had a good laugh. What a great story! I wish I had been there to see it. Unfortunately, Larry wasn’t at this meeting to pose another similar question – he was currently en route from Idaho, where he had run the Pocatello Marathon that morning. There were several people doing this option, and several more who were running New Mexico on Sunday and then Colorado Springs on Monday. Brave! As for Larry himself, he was running all three – typical 🙂

After the meeting, there was some informal chatter, and I *finally* signed myself up for the 50 States Club. When I finished my first ten states (the requirement for entry), I celebrated and planned to join the club immediately – but just never got around to it. Finally, I printed out the app and brought my checkbook – figuring I could just hand it off to Paula at the meeting and not have to worry about the mail. Perfect 🙂 I was rewarded for this by joining the group photo:

After the photo, everyone went their separate ways for dinner. I ended up eating with a really nice group at the host hotel, where they had a pasta buffet set up for $18/person including tax and tip – not too shabby. There were four of us, and as usual, it was nice to compare notes about the different states we’ve done and races we’ve run. I ate a ton of food, and left feeling stuffed and kind of piggish. Even if I ate nothing after the race on Sunday, I had probably eaten back all the calories I was about to burn off in the marathon – oops!

From there, it was back to the hotel with my roommate, Cheryl, for a good night’s sleep. Despite the fact that my body was on Eastern time, the 10:00pm time on the clock made it psychologically hard for me to hit the hay, so instead, I read for a while, and then called Boyfriend to say goodnight when my eyes started drooping. A good day and a good night – now, for the race tomorrow!


1 thought on “Night Before the Race: New Mexico Marathon”

  1. So, being a closet 50 state wanna be (#6 in 3 weeks) I can’t help but notice how older everyone else is in the pic. Of course, it seems that there is def a gap in runners…. The XC / high school types and then the late 30s / 40s crowd.

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