Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Birthday (to me)

It started as a joke between Ray and I. It was just a way to ensure I got all 13 of my half marathons in before the end of the year... particularly because I knew that I would get really busy again with work in the fall.

I had found a running series that would take me through 5 states in 5 days, the week before my birthday in September.

And considering that the week before my birthday always tends to be high stress and I always seem to wind up feeling let down after my birthday... it certainly would be an interesting way of celebrating.

It was a ludicrous idea and we laughed about how absurd the idea sounded. Because really, I struggled with doing 2 half marathons in 6 days earlier this year. But the more we laughed about it, the more I found myself wondering why I was selling myself short. I wouldn't admit that to Ray though.

But then my good friend and running partner Brina suggested in passing that she wanted to find a destination race so that she could catch up to me and finish 13 half marathons in 2013 too.

So then I joked with her that maybe she could do this 5 races in 5 days thing. OK, so maybe I wasn't entirely joking when I brought it up to her... but as long as I passed it off as joking, she wouldn't think I was crazy when she heard this asinine idea.

But when she heard this asinine idea, she didn't think I was so crazy. We joked about it, and somewhere along the line, we started wondering why we were joking about it instead of planning to make it a reality.

And so we started planning. And we invited our friend Seth along for the journey too. We've still got a few logistical things to iron out (specifically the airfare), but we are ready to do this, and take the Center of the Nation by storm.
Center of the Nation Monument
  • September 16: Bowman, ND
  • September 17: Belle Fourche, SD
  • September 18: Colony, WY
  • September 19: Albion, MT
  • September 20: Chadron NE
Doing this race would also catapult us past the Saturn, and Jupiter, levels of Half Fanatics to land us squarely on Mars (3 half marathons in 3 days), but Seth kindly pointed out that if we added a 6th half marathon, we would qualify for the Earth status (6 in 16 days) at Half Fanatics.

So of course, recognizing that doing 5 in 16 days would be difficult enough, we rationalized that we might as well add our 6th half marathon while on this trip. Because when you are already doing something insane, what is just a little more cray?

A desolate road in Billings Montana
Then the question becomes, do we want a rest day in there? Do we want to tack one on for September 21 (my actual birthday), or do we want it the weekend prior to our running streak? And how much recovery time will we need after 6 races in order for folks to return to their regular responsibilities in the real world?

After weighing the options, it ultimately all came down to money. Which race was still in the early registration stages and would be the least expensive to tack on? And so we settled on the Montana Half Marathon in Billings Montana on September 15.

We are well aware of just how crazy this all seems. We won't be pushing for personal records on our times (although I need to get one race with a PR to have proof of time for my upcoming Disney Marathon in January), and the races themselves (other than the Montana half on 9/15) have no man left behind time-limit policies. But we are still aware of how crazy it all sounds.

It is going to take a lot of training, but I'm ready.

And the motivation is tri-fold...
  1. I will be doing something that will challenge me more than anything has ever challenged me before.
  2. These 6 races on top of the 7 I have already finished total 13 and makes me hit my half marathon goal for the year after only 9 months.
  3. If I am burning approximately 2,130 calories per half marathon, I can only imagine the amount of birthday cake I will be able to consume guilt free!
That sounds like a win-win-win to me!

(Aw crap, what the heck have I gotten myself into?)


  1. Certifiable, but sounds like a BLAST!! What a challenge! I'm excited for you.

    1. Thank you. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. If I didn't have so much training to do, I would be wishing away the next few months in favor of going already!

  2. Woot! I'm excited! This is gonna be fun...if it doesn't kill me first! I'd join you for Billings but if I do a repeat race in these states is gonna have to be a full. I'm just not that crazy to tack a full to 5 HMs just yet. ;)

    1. well either way, can't wait to get to spend whatever time we can with you! This is going to be SO much fun!

  3. I'm wondering how "helpful" you'll think my suggestion was on day six.