So many exciting things are happening that I don’t even know where to begin! Ok, maybe exciting is a bit of an exaggeration, but things are happening, so now I’ll tell you about some of them.
1. I’ve got a new look going, and it’s not the boob job you were hoping for.
You might have noticed that Trexrunner.com has undergone a bit of a transformation! As my blog has gotten more traffic and I’ve
been forced to adapt developed more refined tastes, the need to move things around and develop a new layout has grown. What you’re looking at now is the result of literally months of collaboration between me, Happy Place Marketing, and Ryan Glaze, the developer responsible for the layout. OK, fine. Mostly it was months of collaboration between Happy Place and Ryan, and I would occasionally add insightful design ideas such as “Can you put a border around the picture thingies in the slider thing?” You know, the important stuff. Fortunately, they were awesome about pretending to care about the things I deemed important, and I’m happy with the result. There will likely be some ongoing tweaking over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Because you care.
2. I attempted to book a trip to Alaska.
Amanda and I are going to Alaska (!!!) in June to run the Mayor’s Marathon for our Alaska race, and we are so excited! Our good friends JC and Eddie will be finishing their 50 states there, and JC will be running his 100th marathon, which is obviously not something we could miss. Like many other things in life that require great planning, however, I have been putting it off in a fit of denial. Book a flight? How hard can that be? Reserve a few hotel rooms? No problem. Activities? In the bag.
Ok, here’s the problem. First of all, flights to Alaska cost roughly $4 million (US). We had been stalking the prices since January, so we were prepared for the pain we would be facing, but I was planning to wait on my South Carolina state tax return before booking. Well, I filed that sucker in January and now it’s April, and I still haven’t gotten it back, and I’ve received no information as to why. I finally called, since the status on the website just says it “has been received and is being processed,” and after speaking to no less than 7 representatives, I find out that my W-2 has mysteriously disappeared from the process somewhere between my computer and the State’s system – typical. And no, no one was planning on notifying me of that. I got it all straightened out and everything is back on track, but I have a plane ticket to book, so let’s just say my credit card wept.
In other news, apparently Alaska is a very popular destination in the summer, and as such, all the hotels there near any possible attraction are booked like a year in advance. You do not even want to know the exhaustive amount of research that went into tracking down hotels that a) we could afford b) were not totally booked and c) were not hours from the activities we wanted to do. Which brings me to my next point – everything fun in Alaska is like 6 hours away from every other fun thing, minimum.
Eddie had the great idea of checking out Groupon for deals on activities we wanted to do. We quickly learned that when you’re looking at a map of Alaska, things that look relatively close together are actually really far apart. The city of Anchorage, where the marathon is held, and Denali National Park, for example, look like they would be about an hour apart if they were in South Carolina. In reality, they’re 5 hours apart. Ouch!
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that the solution was obviously not for Amanda and I to simply temper our expectations about the amount of activities we will be able to do while in Alaska. No no. Instead, like the
crazy people efficiency experts we are, we have maximized the number of activities and minimized the amount of sleeping. I’m pretty sure I’m only going to go to Alaska once, so I might as well make the most of it before they throw me in debtor’s prison. I’m pretty sure that’s still a thing. Activities on the list include:
- A full day of deep sea fishing for halibut and other such fish featured on shows on National Geographic Channel
- Exploring the City of Anchorage, including a stop at the Wild West Guns store (sorry Amanda, I haven’t told you about this yet…we’ll discuss later)
- Visiting the race expo
- Marathon Maniacs dinner
- Full day of kayaking and rafting
- Hiking in Denali National Park
- Midnight ATV ride (because it’s still light out there at midnight, duh)
- Oh yeah…running a marathon. If we have time.
3. I got weirdly nervous about a marathon.
When I first started running marathons, I got almost sickeningly nervous at the start of each one. I was never sure if I could finish them. That went on for quite awhile, but eventually, I realized that I might go slow, and I might feel bad, but I was pretty much always going to finish the race unless there was some type of tremendous incident. And honestly, there was a pretty good reason for that – I ran enough marathons that I stopped having to worry about it. With two marathons on the horizon this weekend (yet another of my brilliant ideas), I’m starting to doubt myself for a couple of reasons. First, I haven’t run a marathon in 7 weeks. I’ve gone longer than that before (between Missoula and Sioux Falls last year), but this time, I had that inconvenient surgery situation and took two weeks off of running and then built back up very slowly. Ok, slowly for me. Anyway, I’ve only done one decently long run – 15 miles – and although it went well and I felt like I could do more, who knows what will happen over 26.2 miles? That uncertainty is making me really nervous, and I’m sure I’ll be a mess at both starting lines. Of course, I know this is all my own doing, and I know I have to get back out there eventually. I was talking to my friend and 61-time marathon winner Justin Gillette about my tenuous return to the marathon double this weekend, and his thoughts were “You will either live or die, probably live. If you walk more than usual, that is life.” Well, there you go.
Leave a comment: So what do you think of the new look? Anything that desperately needs to be changed? Any suggestions on awesome things to do in Alaska, since we clearly don’t have enough on our agenda? Are you currently even more undertrained than me? Please sympathize.