Been having a lot of mind games going on asking myself "what makes you think you can do 100 miles" "How are you going to go without sleep and be in continual movement for 30 hours" "are you fucking crazy""Why is it you wanna do this""Have you trained enough" "Did the 100K mess with dropping and it being cancelled screw you up" "You missed so many miles babying that hamstring on and off" I had to revamp my training plan 3 weeks ago after the 100K didn't go as planned and had tapered leading up to it and had a fall back week on the schedule the weekend after...last weekend I got my runs in....23 on Saturday, Tiff went with me for 18.5 and Cory joined us for about 11.5 of it. Sunday was beautiful, sunny in the 70's but I would be going 30 by myself...the plan was for 4 laps if I felt like it which would be 32...I headed on lap one felt good refilled my water and grabbed my pretzels and headed for lap 2...as I got to about mile 3 I decided you better take the road on down and keep going or you will talk yourself out of the 4th lap...this way you will only have one more to get the 30 in, I did this but it was such a hot day I had to really watch my water intake. I was almost done with that lap which would get me to mile 23 and started seeing signs in the dirt, GO JEN GO and ITS DOWN HILL THANK GOD...then I saw someone ahead and it was my friend Louvina...she brought one of her friends out to run a bit and see what the fire road was like...Lou ran with me back to the car and she had some extra water on her then I refueled again. They had to leave so off I went to get the last 7 in and made....mentally I didn't want to but it was so pretty I told myself what else you gonna do its so pretty out enjoy the day!
So now this leads me to this weekend...the last long back to backs on schedule before Umstead...I knew I could NOT miss these no matter what and our forecast was calling for High 44 and 70% chance of rain on Saturday and rain and snow on Sunday....I now knew I would never keep myself out there for 25 on Saturday and 30 on Sunday especially by myself! So I searched the 50 states gadget for some back to back marathons in driving distance. I found a trail marathon in Chesterfield Virginia on Saturday then had a couple options for Sunday - Virginia beach marathon which I enjoyed last year but temps only 40s predicted and the hotel I stayed at last year was booked so I moved on...Cary NC...ok that sounds nice but online registration closed and can only register at the expo on Friday and Saturday and if it is possible they will sell out and i wouldn't get a slot...ok....now there Wrightsville Beach...its a 4 hour drive after the trail marathon which I assumed would take me close to 6:30 hours to do and it was suppose to start at 7:45 and if I go to Wrightsville Beach I can visit my Aunt and I have 2 cousins that live there....perfect thats it. The Blockade Runner was sold out but I found a place online that allowed me to book a room...didn't hesitate but now there was the factor of how do I get my packet since I would not be in town before the expo closed....couldn't get either of my cousins and my Aunt has MS so I hated to trouble her and her friend Cindy but they were awesome and said you bet we will get your packet!! Talked with my cousin Maggi and she and her husband had a Red Cross function the night before but I knew i'd be tired anyways and then my other cousin was busy with folks from out of town and never heard back from him. I woke up Saturday am around 6:00 only to find 2 BEDBUGS in the bathroom at the Super 8 Hotel on Hull Street Rd...DO NOT STAY THERE! Now Im feaking out and starting to itch...I had never seen one so took photos then googled then got the hell out of there and let the goofball at the front desk know...thats another story! I got to the start of the race and it was just starting to spit some rain and headed down the hill to the start line....here I ran into the Mullet Men who I had met this past October in Dover DE...I went and introduced myself of course as Richard Simmons as that is how I was dressed for the Monster Mash and how they would recall me so this was really cool...they were doing their first double marathon weekend and were going on to Cary NC for Sundays run. The rain started to come down pretty hard before the start and there was a delay due to the folks from The Fisher House wanting to thank us and wanted photos and the singing of the Nat'l Anthem then the rain really turned on and we were off....it was kinda pleasant and I brought a lightweight jacket with holes so it could ventilate and it seems like it stopped raining around mile 7 or 8 and was really pleasant, the trails were absolutely beautiful and was a nice rolling course. My hamstring did fire up a lot and i stopped and stretched a bit. Around mile 12 I took my jacket off as it was really warming up. I finished the trail marathon much faster then planned....5:20 and that included taking my shoes off since I forgot my gaiters to dump the gravel...there was 4 creek crossings but nothing like the Double Top 100K stuff! I'll have to play catch up and write about that one soon. I showered after this run at the campgrounds and thru out one of my bags there and left my towel in case and off to Wrightsville Beach I headed. I arrived at a decent hour and stopped at my aunts and gave them some doughnuts from our local doughnut place and some Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce...2 of their request and grabbed my packet and went to check in at the hotel then back to their house and we went to the restaurant across the street for a nice visit and dinner. Slept pretty well and parked at their house before the run and walked to the start. This run I wore my Hokas and really felt good...didnt have the hamstring issues and ran much faster then planned. It was kinda a 2 loop course and the second loop around my aunt had just messaged they didnt get up to watch us go by the first time which would have been around 6:30-6:45 and I realized it was another loop and I would be going by in about 5 min so i let her know....she has MS and is in a wheelchair so she was trying to get down on the elevator when I called and said im out front! She said shit im on the elevator...so I said thats ok I'll run over haha so I head over to her house and ran up the steps and Cindy was there and said wont you get in trouble? I said for what she said going off course haha I said Im not worried about my time and its only gonna add some distance and make my run longer and I would much rather say hi as I ran by...I think they both really enjoyed that...to have the run go by their house and their niece doing it. The shirts were super super small and they said we could exchange at the finish line anytime...so i ran with this damn shirt in a waist pouch only to find they had ran out....guess it was the same shirt for the half marathoners and most people had family that were at the finish waiting and exchanged for them...I didnt even think about that so that was a bummer. I had a slice of pizza and it was so good then had a beer and head to the shuttle to take me back to the start and walk to my aunts. I visited for a few then went and showered and met my cousin maggi and some friends at The Dockside for a couple then onto halligans to meet up with mags husband matt and some other friends of theirs. We had a great time but 2 marathons in 2 days and a slice of pizza and all those beers I was drunk! I left about 4ish and put the wrong name of the hotel in my garmin and ended up 30 min out of the way at Caroline beach haha. Made it back finally and ate at a great place she had recommended...if I knew I would have been that much later I woulda called my aunt and Cindy to come eat but thought Id be eating around 4:30 which i felt was too early for them and the Bucks were still on but by the time I got there I shoulda thought about it and called them. I was just so duhhhhh you put the wrong hotel in the garmin and was sooo hungry I wasnt thinking. Got back to the hotel and chilled out for a bit then went to bed. Had a nice breakfast at the hotel then stopped by Marcias and got to visit for about 45 min before leaving town. Sure do miss your family when you were so close as kids growing up and dont get to see them often but the little bit of time is better then no time at all! All in all I made the right decision....weather here Saturday was pleasant but then Sunday was a cold wet snow all day and it would not have been pretty all by myself all day in the forest for 30 miles plus I wouldnt have been able to spend time with my family! Again Im not proof reading this post so if anyone does read the stuff I apologize for all the jumping around and incorrect grammar....I just type as the shit rolls off my head and it comes out kinda fast and all over the place :) I'll add some photos later too.