In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I decided to tackle a new project and would share today what that’s all about. Call me crazy, but I decided to run another marathon – the Avenue of the Giants Marathon! In the first decade of this century, I ran a total of five marathons. I ran the Chicago marathon twice, the Fox River Valley marathon twice, and the Johnstown Marathon located in Pennsylvania. At the time, I thought it would be a good idea to stop at five and stick to shorter distances. Well, that all changed this past week.
I said I’d never run another marathon but visiting Madison, Wisconsin, made me change my mind. I saw a LOT of runners while we were out exploring and that running bug was biting me big time. Mind you, I still run a few days a week but not nearly enough miles that put me in marathon shape.
As I was toying with the idea of tackling another 26.2 miles, I remembered how much I wanted to someday run the Avenue of the Giants Marathon through the redwood forest of northern California. The next thing I knew, I was hitting the sign-up button!
Here’s some of the scenery I’ll get to enjoy while running that race on May 1st. Gorgeous, right? Despite the pain my body will feel toward the end of the marathon, I’ll enjoy every minute of these breathtaking views.
Since we’ll be out there for the race, I figured why not make a vacation out of it? I’ve been to southern California but never the north part. So I booked this cute little Airbnb in Ferndale halfway between the airport and the start of the race.
Below is historic Main Street in Ferndale. I’ve already looked into where the coffee shops and restaurants are located. Please let me know if you’ve ever been there and what we should see during our stay.
If I can still walk after the marathon, we plan to visit some of the lighthouses in the area. This one is in Trinidad.
Here’s the lighthouse at Cape Mendocino.
And this unique-looking lighthouse is in Eureka, California. You could say I have a thing for lighthouses. My favorite is the one at Harbor Town on Hilton Head Island.
Also in Eureka (as well as in Ferndale) are beautiful, historic Victorian homes. I can’t wait to see them in person!
We plan to visit the Lost Coast, too. It’ll be too cold for getting in the water, but it should be fun to explore.
Training for the Avenue of the Giants Marathon is going to be brutal. I’ve never trained for a spring marathon – I’ve only run fall marathons – so we’ll see how I do running long mileage in the middle of winter. I think the longest I’ve run in winter is 14 miles, but I’ll need to do about three 20-mile runs to properly prepare. Ugh. What did I get myself into? LOL.
Here’s a few pics from past marathons. This is early in the morning before the Fox River Valley Marathon that’s close to where I live. We all look so fresh and chipper here. That’s me in the orange sweatshirt, in case you didn’t know.
And here we are, running the first part of the race and still looking energetic. I’m #244 in the purple tank top. I ditched the sweatshirt when the starting gun went off.
As the marathon went on, some of the group took off ahead, and some fell behind. T.J. and I were left together for a while. I don’t know what I’m saying to him in this picture. Unfortunately his girlfriend didn’t stay with us. T.J. ended up falling behind too. This is the race where I ran my best marathon time in three hours and 58 minutes. All my marathon race results are listed here. Breaking four hours was my big goal and I started crying (happy tears) when I crossed the finish line that day. I also placed first in my age group, which I wasn’t expecting at all. It’s my claim to fame. LOL.
My goal for this marathon is 1) get to the starting line and 2) cross the finish line. I plan to run slower to avoid injury and to save my legs for the remainder of the trip. Wish me luck – I’m gonna need it!