Friday, September 18, 2015

Center of the Nation Series day 5: Nebraska

Day 5: Chadron, Nebraska. 

Two words: So. Hard. 

Woke up a few times in the night to terrible storms -- gusting wind and torrential rain. By the morning it seemed it might just clear up, but the weather here on the Plains seems to shift so quickly. 

Today's course had a long stretch of grass in it -- we had gotten a hint of this yesterday, so I wore my ASR GTX and Wil wore his Cascadias. Both of us knew we had made the right decision!

We bundled up in our Gore-Tex jackets, as did many of our fellow runners. Some of us even had plastic ponchos or garbage bags. 

Clint gave the race talk -- only 8 laps today, which just seems "easier". We were all pretty chatty this morning. I think everyone is getting a little giddy. 

We had three new half marathoners with us -- a mom and two little girls. Their dad had been running all week. These girls were faaaaaast! 

It was drizzling as we set off for our first lap. Out on park roads, onto a mown grass path, across a little bridge, farther along the path, and then out along more park roads to the turnaround. 

I'm not gonna lie, this bridge made me nervous EVERY TIME I CROSSED IT. 

The grass was slippery, a bit uneven, and I couldn't run on it. So we ran to the path, walked the path, and then ran on the roads. 

Ah, blessed pavement. 

At the end of the first lap, we both dropped our gore-tex off in our bag. Which of course made the heavens open up again and drench us about a third of the way along lap two. 

We picked up our coats for the third lap... Which of course meant it stopped raining!!

Food highlight: Norm made vegetarian chili mac. Manna from heaven!

We were super happy to be done. We even had time to go back to our suite to get cleaned up. 

Then on the road, where our first stop was Carhenge. 

Which was the site of today's plank. Of course. 


We stopped in at the Alliance Dairy Queen for, surprisingly enough, the FIRST Blizzard of the trip. 

Then on to Chimney Rock, AKA the "Elk's Penis". No, really. Luckily, no rattlesnakes. 

Then to odd little Sterling Colorado, where we checked into our nice room at the Sundowner, then went into town for a wander around. Main Street is very cute, with public art, pretty buildings, and ... tomorrow is the start of SUGAR BEET DAYS. 

Wil, to woman in a craft booth, with his best English accent: "What's happening here?"

Woman: "We're getting set up for tomorrow... It's Sugar Beet Days."

Wil: "What's that?"

Woman: "Well, it's... SUGAR BEET DAYS."

Tomorrow is DAY SIX. Can't believe it.  

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