Since the Double Half Mary is being held on rails to trails paths, starting in small towns, I thought it would be wise to go FIND the starting lines before the race days themselves. It would not do to get lost on the way to the starting line!
That would be the worst!
So, after my sleep in morning and breakfast, I set out to find starting line #1, and SUCCESS! In a town the size of Valparaiso, Nebraska, I figured if all else failed, I'd find a gas station and ask. As it was, I didn't need to. The trail head is in a park right off the highway.
I hoped it would be this kind of trail. I did not take photos, mind you, but it is a pretty, flat course through farm fields, with bridges over creeks and at grade road crossings of the traditional "mile roads" we are familiar with out here in the country.
As it turned out, while I was getting out of the car and getting myself organized to start, I observed a young woman set out on the trail ahead of me. I never did catch up to her, as I reached my turnaround point after my five miles, and started heading back. I intended to do this all with 1:1 intervals, but the run intervals did stretch up to as much as 4 at times. Runkeeper tells me I went 10.16 miles at an average pace of 11:29. Allow that the first five minutes was walking, and the rest intervals. I'm hoping tomorrow to hold it down to 12 minute miles on average, but do a similar distance.
When I got back to the trail head and was stretching out and hydrating a bit extra, the young woman I'd seen starting out returned. Turns out (of course I had to go say "hi") she has a similar training vision to mine... she did 12 miles as an out and back on the first day's trail this morning, and is ALSO thinking of heading to the second day's venue for her workout tomorrow. My new friend has two half marathons under her belt and is probably less than half my age. But she's clearly as hooked as I am, and pumped for the double half Mary coming up. AND she also had signed up for Lincoln as a full and had to drop back to a half, as I had in May... and is also thinking that if she completes both halves, she'll check it off as a Full on HER bucket list, too. Small, small world! You have to love the kindred spirits in the world!
Have a wonderful Saturday, Spark buds, and take good care of YOU. Life is good... Spark on!