Runs and Places

How to run two half marathons in two different states in the same day (Part 2)

You can find part 1 here….

After I decided on my goal of running half marathons in Las Cruces, NM and Las Vegas in the same day, the next two things I needed to figure out were how I was going to handle training and how I would be able to get to everywhere I needed to be in time…

Training was actually fairly straightforward.  I’ve been using versions of Hal Higdon’s training programs for years and figured that since basically all I was doing was a full marathon split up into two separate races, I should just train like I was training for a full but just do half of whatever workout I was supposed to do that day in the morning and the other half at night.

MarathonGuide4_md

I modified Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 Training Program to make it look like this:

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 5mPM: 5m
2 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 5.5mPM: 5.5m
3 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 4mPM: 4m
4 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 6.5mPM: 6.5m
5 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 3.5mPM: 3.5m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 3.5mPM: 3.5m AM: 7mPM: 7m
6 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 3.5mPM: 3.5m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 3.5mPM: 3.5m AM: 5mPM: 5m
7 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 4mPM: 4m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 4mPM: 4m AM: 8mPM: 8m
8 am: CrossPM: Cross am: 2mPM: 2m am: 4mPM: 4m am: 2mPM: 2m Rest am: 4mPM: 4m am: 8.5mPM: 8.5m
9 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 4.5mPM: 4.5m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest Rest AM: 6.5mPM: 6.5m
10 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 4.5mPM: 4.5m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 4.5mPM: 4.5m AM: 9.5mPM: 9.5m
11 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 5mPM: 5m AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m Rest AM: 5mPM: 5m AM: 10mPM: 10m
12 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m Rest AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 6mPM: 6m
13 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 5mPM: 5m AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m Rest AM: 5mPM: 5m AM: 10mPM: 10m
14 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m Rest AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 6mPM: 6m
15 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 5mPM: 5m AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m Rest AM: 5mPM: 5m AM: 10mPM: 10m
16 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m AM: 4mPM: 4m AM: 2.5mPM: 2.5m Rest AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 6mPM: 6m
17 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 3mPM: 3m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 4mPM: 4m
18 AM: CrossPM: Cross AM: 2mPM: 2m AM: 2mPM: 2m Rest Rest AM: 1mPM: 1m Race
Day

Setting aside time to run twice a day can be a little more difficult than it sounds but otherwise I thought training went pretty well.  I didn’t get every run in but I did manage to do most of them so by the time race week came I felt like I was ready.

The other big problem was logistics.  Races don’t typically have same day packet pickup so the trip wasn’t going to be as straightforward as flying to New Mexico, running, and then heading to Vegas.  And to further complicate matters, there is no airport in Las Cruces.  The city isn’t big enough to need one so anyone who needs to fly there typically flies in to El Paso, TX and drives the rest of the way.  So I had to find a flight in the middle of the day that would give me enough time to finish the race, shower and change, check out of my hotel, and drive to the airport in enough time to catch my flight.  One thing that did work in my favor is that El Paso is in a different time zone from Vegas so I was able to gain an hour when I flew there.  I found a Southwest Airlines flight that left El Paso at 1:50pm and arrived in Vegas at 3:30pm, which I figured would be plenty of time for me to make it to the start line of the second race since it didn’t start until 5:30.

Skyline-El-Paso-Texas

The last couple issues to work out were packet pickup, how I could make it as easy as possible to get between Vegas and Las Cruces for both races, and making sure I got the 4 1/2 hour flight from Chicago to Vegas in as far ahead of time as possible so that I wouldn’t be jet lagged during the race…. and I also couldn’t take too much time off of work.  Another stroke of luck for me was that Competitor Group allowed packet pickup two days in advance for this particular race instead of just one so that helped with that issue.  The race was on a Sunday (12/2) so after putting all of the different variables together, I was able to come up with this plan:

  • Go to work on Thursday and then catch a late flight to Vegas on Thursday Night
  • Book a hotel room as close as possible to the start line in Vegas from Thursday through Monday even though I knew there would be a night where I wasn’t actually going to be staying there.
  • Book a hotel room in Las Cruces for Saturday night.
  • Pick up my race packet in Vegas on Friday.
  • Leave all of my luggage in my hotel room in Vegas with the exception of a small carry on bag containing my running clothes for the race in Las Cruces, my running clothes for the race in Vegas, my race bib for Vegas, a toothbrush, and a few toiletries.
  • Fly to El Paso on Saturday afternoon and then drive to Las Cruces and pick up my race packet.
  • Do the race in Las Cruces on Sunday morning.
  • Finish the race, head back to my hotel, shower, put on my running clothes for Vegas and check out of my hotel.
  • Drive back to El Paso with hopefully plenty of time left to catch my flight (and get something to eat and stretch while I was waiting).
  • Take a cab from the airport to the start line in Vegas, drop off my bag and head down to the start line.
  • Run the race that night, rest, and then fly home on Sunday afternoon.

It was a pretty solid plan.  I also had a friend who was making the trip with me, and a couple other friends who were meeting me in Vegas and doing the second race with me so that made things a little easier too.

My next post will be about race day, what went wrong, what went right, and how I ultimately ended up doing in both races.

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