Well, I’ve made it through 5 half marathons in 5 days AND 5 recap posts in 5 days!!! I feel pretty darn proud of BOTH accomplishments. Ha!

If you want to read my previous recaps for the Center of the Nation Series just use these links:

Part 1: Mt. Rushmore and North Dakota race
Part 2: South Dakota race
Part 3: Wyoming race
Part 4: Montana race

This brings us to our final marathon/half marathon in Chadron, Nebraska.
We drove straight to Chadron after completing our marathon/half marathon in Montana and checked into a glorious Hampton Inn with some desperately needed FREE WiFi and a nice little restaurant next door called the Country Kitchen (where I had my one and only serving of pancakes the entire trip!). It’s the simple pleasures!

After a good night’s sleep we were off to Chadron State Park which was just about 10 minutes away.

chadroncollage

This was our first “loop” course of the week. Many runners initially were worried that we wouldn’t get to see as much of each other as we did with the “out and back” courses which had become one of the best parts of the week. But then Clint, the most fabulous race organizer said we could switch directions! How awesome is that?! And so our big happy family still had multiple opportunities for cheering each other even as we ran at different paces, directions and lengths.

A couple of pre race photos:

734399_10202030056134652_528712671_n

Getting ready to run the final 13.1 (Hey that rhymes!)

1374928_10202030056894671_1220458051_n

Mike and Lisa

Let me go back to Wednesday for just a moment. After completing their 26.2, Mike and Lisa took their shoes off and planted them into an ice bath that had been set up using a child pool filled with ice and water.

a lovely ahhh turned into a horrific AHHHH

a lovely ahhh turned into a horrific AHHHH

All of a sudden Mike realized he had a very big blister on his toe right under the toenail. OUCHIE! It was so bad that he actually went to the medical area where an EMT tended to it and gave him some gauze.

556509_10152223018690884_1301716269_n

He later added duct tape to his arsenal of “dressings” as he was told that it is a great way to protect compromised skin and good thing because there were more than just the 1 blister. After further examination he had more of those little suckers. So now fast forward 2 days (and about 50 miles later) and with less than 3 miles to go the pain got so unbearable that he decided he just HAD to remove his shoe. We were all in AWE that not only did he run with one shoe off and one on for the last couple of miles, but we couldn’t keep up!

minimalist running shoe: AKA the duct tape thong

minimalist running shoe: AKA the duct tape thong

Roger, Mike and Lisa were ahead of me after the first loop but waited at the aid station for me so that we could run together for the final day. I am so glad that they did. This course was very hilly! I mean we’re talking Mt. Killamanjaro steep! (ok slightly exaggerating). We walked up the hills and then ran everywhere else. The course went through a wooded area that we called “the enchanted forest”

The Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forest

At the top of the big hill we got to see our “turnaround crew”. Lisa gave them a hug on her final loop to thank them for all that they had done to help.

Finally! The "turnaround guys" (AKA the "ice guys")

Finally! The “turnaround guys” (AKA the “ice guys”)

I finished my half with the same time as the day before (2:38) and then went to collect my goodies….

1236266_10202030060054750_1213951570_n

and this time i am REALLY FINISHED!

1234757_10202030059614739_18236073_n

HAPPY GIRL! 5 half marathons in 5 days COMPLETE!

 

a bumpersticker…

65.5 miles done!

65.5 miles done!

and the final state medal as well as a bonus crystal medal for completing all 5…

Nebraska....finish time....state medal...crystal medal

Nebraska….finish time….state medal…crystal medal

oh, right, and my celebratory cupcake…

I love sweets!

I love sweets!

When the rest of my team was coming up on their last loop (the loop that Mike ran with his duct tape thong) I jumped in and joined them for their final miles. I ran ahead to get some really great finishing photos…

73611_10202030054854620_466825434_n

Roger, Lisa and Elvia DONE! 131 miles in 5 days…they are DA BOMB!

602022_10202030053014574_1578611807_n

this hug says it all!

996825_10202030054574613_1406307292_n

Elvia and Lisa with their new friend Clyde

1238246_10202030052774568_1135187260_n

They DID IT!!! 5 FULL MARATHONS in 5 states in 5 days!

Duct tape thong. The new trend for next summer!

Duct tape thong. The new trend for next summer!

601533_10151621277351437_379851888_n

that’s a long medal!

1013704_10202030209778493_26067471_n

the fancy shmancy crystal finishers medal

There was one last thing to do before driving back to our cabin to pack…

1231405_10151621278231437_864995212_n

all done….lay down dead and head back to South Dakota

1237557_10151621276346437_228233108_n

Nebraska was a great day!

We returned to the cabin, drank some champagne and packed up. What a sense of accomplishment!

a toast to reaching our personal goals!

a toast to reaching our personal goals!

1238134_10151621280666437_1125907068_n

Back at the cabin and after a glass (or two or three) of champagne I started to do a cheer routine until I realized I’ve never been a cheerleader. LOL!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

1238897_10202030207818444_524916288_n

a vignette of memories

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the week. I laughed. I cried. I reached personal goals and I was inspired by so many. I made new friends and found out more about the amazing friends I traveled with. With just 5 weeks to spare before turning 40 I squeezed in seeing Mt. Rushmore which was on my bucket list, and proved to myself that I AM an endurance runner. Not just a recreational hobby but a deeper thread that makes me who I am. It’s taken a while to get here. Always felt like I was impersonating a runner. But now I truly feel it. I look forward to many more wild and crazy journeys.

And the biggest achievement…..NO ONE OVERSLEPT and WE WERE ALWAYS ON TIME FOR EACH DAY’S RACE!

Question: Do you like adventurous vacations or more relaxing ones? How many State line signs have you had your picture taken at? Bucket list items?

 

7 Comments

  1. Sorry I didn’t meet you until we were taking pictures under the Nebraska sign. I enjoyed your recaps. See ya at another series..Happy trails..

  2. You are a running WARRIOR!! I’m totally in awe of your accomplishment, running 5 half marathons in 5 days. Not to mention your friends, 5 full marathons?! I loved following your journey and reading your recaps. I’m so glad you had a such a great time, sounds like it was a great event! =)

  3. what a great recap. so happy that you had such a great trip, and can’t wait to see you amazing people some time again in the near future!

  4. Pingback: Fatigue, overtraining, then signing up for another one |

  5. Today I was thinking how I wanted to do something amazing and feeling like I really wanted/needed to do something “big” in my life soon. As an avid/daily runner always looking for that next race I came across your blog and read all your recaps for the Center of the Nation. It didn’t long for me to think “Yep, and there is that next “big” thing I am wanting in my life.” Thank you for my next and greatest idea! :)

  6. Pingback: 2013: The year I ran like Forrest Gump |

  7. Pingback: More snow, the Cold Feat 10K and a 14 miler too |

  8. Pingback: Liebster award nomination and 5 things to do 10 days before a marathon |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *