Day of the Dead Series was to be 4 marathons in 4 days finishing 4 states. My first stop on arriving to El Paso was my mission to find a pair of cowboy boots as well as Day of the Dead beer. My plan was to drink one beer in celebration of the Day of The Dead Series and the bottles and package looked pretty damn cool! Day one started on Thursday the 31st which was Halloween, there was to be a costume contest and I knew having my Richard Simmons outfit was only fitting to wear at this event! Yes I ran the entire 26.2 miles with that damn hot wig on, stopping at times for those to check the bald spot on top to be sure I didn't need to apply sunscreen. The run was a loop no out back but some folks did turn around so we could see others, this event was very small compared to Center of the Nations, only about 35 or less starting this day and some of those were even half participants. We ran in a park around the lake and at one area you could see Mexico and the large red border fence, this was kinda cool.
It was very nice to see a few familiar faces from CON's - of course Clint the RD, his lovely wife and sister. Cathy whose husband Norm runs and she volunteers. A couple runners Jeff who is Clints brother, Bill and he had his son with him to do 2 of the fulls, which was his sons first double fulls and he did great!! Realized into the run on day one that Jenine was there, she looked very familiar but took her awhile to recognize me? Maybe since I was dressed as Richard Simmons ha. Met a few new friends this day too but it still was missing the magic we made at the Center of the Nations. The first half of the run I was feeling great, no foot issues, knee a little tweaking but not too bad, I was on track for a 5 hour marathon but the wheels feel off bigtime only half way through? My legs just ached and feet were hurting, little knee issues but nothing that was unbearable or what I havent dealt with in the past 4 years. Made it thru day 1 in just under 6 hours. Oh well I had been in a damn boot for 2 weeks had done the double Indy/Cbus then and was in the boot 2 weeks prior to that, goal was to finish the states and have fun. I know I will never win a marathon and have no desire to train to attempt it I just love to run and meet new amazing people but I will win a costume contest and that I did :)
After that run we then had to drive 238 miles to Wilcox AZ, that sucked but I made the best of it, on the bright side Wilcox is an hour behind TX and TX was 2 hours behind OH, I knew by the end of the week my internal clock was gonna be a mess, and on Saturday when going to be we had to set the clocks back an hour! So I get to Wilcox and find my hotel, we had the option of starting at 6am that morning due to the time zone change plus after the run we would then have to drive to Las Cruces so we would lose an hour during the drive. I chose along with a group of about 10 or so to take that 6am start, again very small turn out but this time the course was out and back and we had to repeat it 18 times. I had a shirt made that said WILL RUN FOR RUBBER BANDS, I chose to wear it day 2 well with halloween the day before and we did get 17 rubber bands that day and also because those that hadnt participated in any of Clints events wouldnt know until they were out there awhile on day one the fun meaning of the shirt, by day two and after collecting so many the day before and know this day would be another huge amount it was perfect! The run did start with temps of a real feel of 23!!! It however warmed up fairly fast but did take an a couple hours for even me to shed my jacket. When I got to about the half mark I stopped at the bathroom, my knee had been really starting to bother me bad and Im not sure if it was from trying to compensate not to land to bad on my stress fracture or just because I do have a really fucked up knee? When I got out of the bathroom whozers i could barely walk on the knee, I was nervous very nervous about finishing...I had to get this pain in check so I switched to a 2:20 run and 1 min walk, sometimes the walk even felt worse. I took some alieve and just kept trucking along, my time here was over 6 hours didnt really want that but I really dont worry much about my time and was just lucky I finished and am grateful I can do this. From here I drove to Las Cruces where I was staying with my friend from Grade School and Brownies yes it had been that long since she moved out of town but she is the one that came home this summer for a visit and decided hey do you think I could do a half? I said yes at these events there is no time limit and walk when ya half to walk job when you can jog and enjoy the journey. She got motivated and started training when she got back home that summer. When I got to her place we went to eat at a Italian Place that night I believe, it was delish!!! I went to bed fairly early as my clock was so messed up!!
My knee was soooo swollen and the medial condyle was even starting to bruise again from the bones rubbing on each other, I didnt fly out and take this trip to not get the 3 states in so I was going to do it! I debated whether to rest that day then do the marathon day 4 since they had a marathon in NM both day 3 and day 4 but decided it may be worse if I wait an extra day, lets just get it over with. This course was pretty seeing the organ mountains and all the others around each lap. The course went out a little over 3 then returned so we had to do it 4 times, Julie had to finish it twice! SHE DID IT!!!!! And with these events they give awards to those that finish last - so she even got the award for last and it was a really cool flask! She waited for me to finish and again I tried a run walk pace for as long as I could then the dreaded shuffle or slog as I sometimes call it felt better then to walk. At this point I did have to take a prescription pain pill, tried biofreeze and anything to get my mind off it.
I finished still this one again was over 6 hours but I was done, I came for 3 states got all 3 of them and now was the hardest decision because I also came for the series!! I knew it would be completely stupid to do the full for 4 days in a row knowing I had another marathon the following weekend and JFK 50 miler coming up November 23rd so I thought well I'll do just the half, Julie actually was so badass she had signed for the 5K that day as well as doing the half the day before, now this is why I also say badass - before doing a 5K she does the half marathon then a 5K the day after!! Awesome!!! After talking with the volunteers we decided all I had to do was the 5K and I would still get the "series" special award since I participated in the entire run series, Norm was having knee issues too and he backed to the half on both NM days...sometimes we do listen to our bodies :)
Day 4 with Julie and one of her friends, at the start I then debated do I just go for the half but then there was the renaissance festival going on as well as it was the Day of the Dead so that festival was happening as well. I stuck with the 5K and ran thru the pain knowing the faster I finished the quicker I was done and did the 5K in 31:09 ha. Waited on Julie then went back to shower got changed to go play, her award had broke so we stopped to exchange it and hung around and waited for a Jeff and Jenine and a few others that hadnt made the turn around to see them head back out for there final half. We had a super time at both festivals, she took me to a great place with terrific margaritas and then I wanted the Mexican place that we had eaten at one of the previous nights again! Morning came and it was time for Jules to get back to reality and work and me to head home. Had a super time with a super friend and am so darn proud of her and her strong mind getting thru her first half marathon and her first 5k!!!