It all started out so innocently but then I guess everything always does. All I wanted was to run another marathon. Hmmmm…. Baltimore Maryland Marathon this would work into my schedule perfectly. That’s when the trouble started! My evil brain thought, “As long as you’re flying back east why not do more than one race! It will save you money.” So I searched for another marathon and I found out that sure enough there was a marathon being held the very next day in Columbus, Ohio!
For me to work out the logistics of doing 2 marathons in 2 different states in 2 days would take the brain power of a super computer and the crack timing of a Kung Fu Master, not to mention the fact that I would be running over 50 miles in a 24 hour period. Urged on by my stinginess I went for it!
My biggest obstacle to overcome was figuring out how I was going to be in two places at the same time. There was no race day packet pickup for either marathon so I would need to reach out to the running community and ask for help. The very wonderful Denise Hartmann answered the call. She had agreed to pickup my packet in Baltimore for me. I had never met her before in person and she was just a random Instagram friend so for her to help me out was truly over and above the call of duty! If you think that this would be easy, peasy you would be wrong. Because of security concerns there was a small mountain of red tape to wade through to make this happen.
After figuring out all the angles this would be the final plan to complete mission: “Double Marathon Weekend”
*Fly into Columbus on Thursday
*Spend the night
* Next day pickup my packet for Columbus
*Rent a car and drive 6 1/2 hours to Baltimore
*Get there in the evening and meet Denise and receive my packet from her
*Sleep a couple of hours and then go run 26.2 miles!
*Immediately after being awarded my finishers medal hop in the car and speed for 6 1/2 hours back to Columbus
*Sleep a few hours and then run another 26.2 mile marathon and finally fly home on the cheapest flight I could find
Well now, that’s a solid plan I thought. I registered for the races, booked the flight. Rented the car and the hotels. I then packed everything I thought I might need and headed to the airport. My first race in Baltimore turned out to be one of the toughest races I’ve ever run! All hills. My thighs felt like they were on fire! What would make this particular adventure so tough is the time restrictions. Both races had cut off times. I’ve run as many as 4 marathons in 4 different states in 4 days several times in the past but without any time restrictions. Multiple marathoners usually finish in slower times. So day two was going to be a challenge.
After the Baltimore marathon I found my car and headed out without delay to Columbus, Ohio. Well I did grab a Subway foot long before leaving so I could eat on the way. I also grabbed a large cup since I wouldn’t have any time to stop for pee breaks! I know ewwwww!
I got to Columbus late and only got what felt like a few hours sleep before having to wake up and run another 26.2 mile race. At this point I had not eaten very much which if anyone knows anything about marathons and ‘carb loading’ this is not good. Thankfully this course turned out to be one of the flattest and easiest courses I’ve ever run!
By mile 7 though I knew I was in trouble. My stump was swelling up and being very painful, I had no energy because my stomach was empty. My thighs still burned from yesterday’s painful race. But I knew that I did not come all this way to not finish. I just kept telling myself that I had to complete this in under 6 hours! As the swelling increased along with the excruciating pain 90% of my concentration had to be used for pain management. I knew I didn’t dare slow down or I’d miss the 6 hour cut off so I just kept my head lowered and ran as hard as I could.
I crossed the finish line at 5 hours 51 minutes! Woo-Hoo! I was awarded my medal and wasted no time looking for something to eat. I found a nice Chinese restaurant and ordered enough food to feed a family of five. After inhaling every bite I sat back and was amazed at how smooth everything had gone. The Lord really did watch over me and bless me and made sure I was safe on this crazy trip! ———————————————————————————————–
While everything seemed perfect there were a few glitches. Here are some of the OUTTAKES if you will….
1. I spilled an entire glass of tomato juice on my only pair of jeans on the flight in.
2. I totally underestimated how incredibly far apart Baltimore and Columbus are and nodded off to sleep while driving between them at least a dozen times!
3. I totally underestimated how physically demanding all this driving and running would be on my body and was tempted several times to quit.
4. I was crawling around my hotel room on all fours because my stump was too swollen to wear my prosthetic leg and bruised my shin bone so bad I didn’t think I’d be able to run again the next day in Columbus.
5. It took 13 hours of flying and layovers in the different airports to get home.
Remember you are stronger than you know maybe even stronger than Arnold. I love Arnold Schwarzenegger his statue is in Columbus Ohio by the way.