This is part 4 of a 5 part series about the 5 half marathons in 5 consecutive days in 5 states trip that I recently took which was hosted by Mainly Marathons.
Part 1, and Kentucky, can be found here.
Part 2, and Tennessee, can be found here.
Part 3, and Arkansas, can be found here.
By Day 4, this trip was really getting to me.... Not only Do we constantly move from place to place, never really getting to unpack and let ourselves catch our breath, but sharing hotel rooms with non-family who have different habits can really take its toll. Further, being constantly on the go, using up ridiculous amounts of energy on the race courses and not eating right can really have an affect on someone. And lets not forget that I am such a light sleeper that finding respite from REM sleep was a failure every night.
But once again, on Day 4, we were up bright eyed and bristly tailed... this time with the destination of Leroy Percy Park in Hollandale, MS. According to the state park website, Leroy Percy is the oldest of Mississippi's state parks, and is characterized by
artesian springs, cypress trees and ancient oaks dripping with Spanish
moss. Leroy Percy is the only state park featuring a wildlife preserve.
The seasonal pursuit of deer, squirrel, turkey, duck and dove beckons
to hunters in search of an unspoiled hunting area away from the crowd.
Leroy Percy is also known for its alligator population - visitors can
safely observe the scaly reptiles from two observation towers over their
hot artesian water home.
Our race course was a short loop through the campground areas, but it did take us by one of the observation towers above the artesian springs... which I was not inclined to be climbing as my legs felt like they were buried in setting cement. The cypress and oaks were beautiful with their draped Spanish moss, but I've been to areas in the south before... it didn't feel like anything I hadn't seen before. I hate to admit it, but this course really left very little impression on me.
I was tired. I was cold (the actual temperature was blustery and there was a windchill, but I still hadn't felt like I had warmed up from the previous day's half marathon swim). I just wanted to do my half marathon and get it over with. Just to check the box.
Seth, Brina and I have talked about check boxes before. Brina and I are both members of Half Fanatics, while Seth is a double agent with Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs. Brina is also a member of the 50 State club (which I actually plan to join). Since joining these clubs (which we all seem to really enjoy being a part of), we have noticed that sometimes it feels like we are off to challenge ourselves to the next big accomplishment. Its always about doing something more and more impressive. Why run a half marathon if you can run a half marathon every weekend? Why run in a few states when you can run in THEM ALL??? With that kind of mentality, its easy to see how sometimes the race can morph from doing the race because we really want to and we really enjoy it, to doing the race just to check off the box saying that we did it.
For me, the Mississippi race was a check box kind of event. I walked it with my dear friend Mildred, and we chatted, and it was good. I really don't have much more to say about it than that. I checked the box.
My finish time reflected as much. 4:30:10.
My slowest race during this series.
Sometimes we just have to check the box.
And then I checked the box next to 25 half marathon's completed.
And then I checked the box next to a celebratory shot of Fireball.
To be continued...
*Disclaimer: Nearly none of the
photos that you will see in the posts about this trip are mine. I chose
to not bring my camera with me during the races and instead rely on
other people. To the people who have contributed photos to help tell
this story, I am thankful.