This was a little aggressive. It has been two weeks since the desert 60K and I’m missing three toenails. Ha ha. I probably should have taken a little more time to heal, HOWEVER, I had a very enjoyable day with Seth and Claire. I met Seth in 2018 @ A1A Fort Lauderdale Marathon, and I met Claire @ the 2018 Boston Marathon. I coordinated with Claire for this race, but didn’t know Seth would be running as well. What a treat!
With all the brokenness mentioned above, I knew this was going to be a walk/run kind of day. I didn’t want to over do it with another epic race two weeks away!
I needed to be in Chicago Friday for work, so I left Chicago and headed to Jackson, Mississippi. I have never been. When I did Mississippi, I did the Stennis Space Center Race (gawd awful). I really had no plans ever to run Mississippi again. There really aren’t a lot of races for that state.
My first funny is: Carrie: 1 v. American Airlines: 0 on this day. 🎈 I had to transfer through Dallas. I had an easy layover with a departure time of 7:20 p.m.. When I landed, I saw that my departure time changed to 9 p.m. (maintenance 😡) Noooooooo! Nope. I checked flight aware and saw that the earlier flight to Jackson was delayed and if I tried really hard and ran fast, it could happen. We pulled up to the gate at 4:50 p.m. and the flight was scheduled for 5:32 p.m. — from A to B (which blows in Dallas). There’s no walking–you always have to take the stupid train. I ran. I ran fast. I get there and they were boarding group 6. The gate agent tells me there are three seats and 6 people on standby. I alert her of my status, she adds my name and I now became #1 on the list (see how that works). Sorry #4.
I got settled into my hotel (the Westin), and made a quick trip to Whole Foods for dinner and breakfast in the morning. My UBER driver to the hotel informed me how unsafe downtown Jackson was. My UBER driver to the grocery informed me how unsafe downtown Jackson was. My UBER driver from the grocery informed me how unsafe downtown Jackson was. Roger that.
Claire was doubling–heading to Little Rock after the race. I told her out of the gate my hamstring were really tender still and that I was missing three toenails. I had lofty goals of under 5 hours, but once we started running, I told her no way. I’ll do a run walk with her. Somewhere around mile 5, we found Seth! There were so many ‘legends’ running this race. It was so nice to chit-chat and say hello to the folks I’ve met along the way. It’s such an amazingly supportive community!
We just really had such a great day. The sun was shining. It was warming up. There was blues music at all the aid stations. Claire hung with Larry for a little bit and Seth and I kept on and spider-webbed stories for hours. Before you knew it, we were looking at mile 23. There were some beers and fireball shots toward the end to dull the pain, I took pictures.
I was pleased with the day given I was probably out there prematurely from the Black Canyon Ultra. These are the kind of races I love. I ask myself, ‘why the F am I doing this’ the whole way there, the night before, as I’m eating dinner, as I’m laying out my running shit, the minute my alarm goes off and as I’m walking to the start. A LOT. I then start planning a potential DNF before I even have my bib pinned on me. Ha, but once I get started and I get settled, I forget about the world, the week, the 34,587 things that I need to do for work before Monday. I didn’t even turn my music on for this race. I had amazingly deep conversation, and I connect with my people. We laugh. We talk. We move forward. We enjoy each other’s company. And when we’re done, we instantly miss those moments.
I’m not a loop lover, and this course was two loops. They even made us run THROUGH the FINISH LINE to go out for loop two (so cruel). The roads were in such poor condition, we were dodging Grand Canyon like potholes the entire time. The architecture and buildings in downtown Jackson were incredible, but falling apart. What a city this could be with all the amazing art deco buildings. The shame of our history lives here (racism), and there is a lot of remembrance (as it should be). I really liked the experience. I maybe would do this again. Maybe. Onward.