I know that ever since I began my blog I have been eluding to my big move to join my Team USA Minnesota coach, teammates, and support crew… And it finally happened! My mom and I loaded up my little Ford Focus 3-Door with my belongings and headed out on Saturday, February 28th. On March 3rd we pulled into Minneapolis cramped and exhausted, but safe and sound, crossing 7 states in 3.5 days (30 hours of driving). Here a quick recap of some of the highlights.
After a 5am wake up call for an easy eight mile run, my mom and I packed up the last of our things and headed north on 680 and caught 80 just outside of Davis. Into Tahoe we started seeing snow and soon were stopped on the highway because of four major accidents and tire chain requirements. The roads were completely closed to traffic for close to two hours, so we got in some reading and some Internet browsing time with a lunch of trail mix and Annie’s bunny crackers. Once the roads were open, we chugged along for a few miles before deciding the chains must go.
With the stoppage and weather conditions, we got in fewer miles than we had hoped to, but ended up in Elko, NV for the night. We stopped for dinner at the Nevada Star Hotel and the only thing I can say is NEVER GO THERE. The food was hardly edible. Live and learn.
Up again, I ran 7.5 miles (30F temps) to finish a 78.6 mile week. I stepped into the hotel lobby to get some coffee and the man behind the front desk said he saw me out running on his way to work. Thats the thing about these small highway towns.. no one is out running, especially at 6am, so I was definitely a sight to be seen. It was a beautiful sunrise and we were coffee-d up and on the road by 8:30am.
My mom drove the whole day on Saturday so I took the wheel on Sunday and ended up driving the whole way, too. I wasn’t able to get any GoPro pictures but we did get some good ones crossing the Utah boarder and throughout Wyoming. We listened to podcasts to kill the time and stopped in Evenston, WY for some lunch at a local spot. The weather all day was beautiful and clear, seriously the best weather we could have asked for. We ended the night in Cheyenne around 8pm, got a hotel, and hopped over some snowy highway exits to the closest food source before falling face first into bed.
Yay, 19F in Cheyenne made 10 miles a bit more challenging. I knew it was only the beginning of the temperature challenges, but no treadmill meant I was going to have to tough it out. I followed the only sidewalk out and back and suffered my first panic of having my balaclava suck into my mouth while I was breathing. I since have purchased a neoprene mask to solve this problem.
We had breakfast at the hotel, hopped in the car on another clear day and headed for Nebraska. It was really windy and took some extra attention in order to drive, but was lightyears better than snow, rain, or ice would have been. More podcasts, a stop in North Platte for some half-decent Mexican food and onto Iowa we went. When I was the passenger, I was the master of Google Maps (and master of using all of my phone battery in a matter of a few hours) and was always looking for places to stop and eat. I found Louie’s Wine Dive in Des Moines and my mom and I were (finally) pleasantly surprised by some trendy, delicious food. Happy and full we got to the hotel and relaxed a bit before passing out for after another 8.5 hour driving day.
I had gotten a call from Dennis (my coach) on Sunday inquiring if I would be able to make a 4pm workout at the University of Minnesota indoor track on Tuesday. Because we had banked so much time on the first few days, I was able to say yes! We were on the road at 730am on Tuesday, with ice and sleet already coming down. My car is not made for any sort of elements, so it was an adrenaline-pumping, fishtailing kind of day. The ice on the highway was rough and it didn’t help that my windshield wipers were sub-par and the windshield-washing mechanism froze. At noon, we made it safely to Minneapolis that had just had a few inches of snow. We ate lunch at the Mall of America and settled into a new hotel before my workout.
I was so excited to be able to warm up and train with everyone. My teammate Meghan is running the LA marathon next weekend, so she timed my mile repeats. It was so helpful to have someone to give me feedback on every lap and to have Dennis there to see what kind of adjustments need to be made. I could definitely get used to this (:
Next up were all-weather tires, a mattress, and furniture then groceries and last minute necessities. I love my new place and living situation. Even if it is below 0F for most of today, nothing can bring me down.
With Gate River Run 15k just 9 days a way, I am excited to say I am getting into shape and really ready to rock this exciting event. NEXT UP…? Hope you’ll read my blog post on SATURDAY and check my social media to see which Marathon I am beginning my training cycle for!