6:45am: alarm goes off
7-7:30: pack stuff
7:30-7:40: run just one mile to start off the Runner’s World Run Streak. (One mile > 0 miles, and knowing I had a loooong day of travel ahead, I didn’t want to wake up any earlier than necessary.) Tina asked who was going to tell her she couldn’t stop when it got tough during her half this weekend, and I told her that she was. She was going to tell herself to just STFU and run. I’m going to take some of my own advice here and just STFU and run. Every day between now and July 4. I’m going to start marathon training on July 9, so this will be awesome pre-training, and on days that I would have otherwise rested, I’ll just run one mile.
(Besides, it’s pretty hard not to run when this is what you’re looking at.)
7:40-8: shower, get ready
8-8:30: double-check I haven’t forgotten anything in the house, say goodbyes
8:30: leave with Tina and Sarah; drop off keys at rental place, which is awesome, and which we’ve used four out of the five years we’ve gone down there.
8:45-9:15: drive to the bridge to leave the Outer Banks. We stayed in Corolla this year, which is a nice town and a little quieter than Nags Head/Kitty Hawk, where we’ve stayed in the past, but a bit further from the bridge to leave the island. Staying in Corolla, though, means you basically have to drive south just to drive an equal distance up north to leave the island.
9:15-10:30:: Drive from the bridge leaving OBX to the border of NC and VA. Stop for bathroom break #1 of quite a few.
10:30-3:30: Drive to Arlington, Va., to drop off my friends. Driving straight from OBX to NYC would be more direct (100 miles more direct, according to the Google), but driving alone that whole way on Memorial Day would suck. At some point in there, we stopped at Subway. After an indulgent weekend, I want lots of veggies.
3:30-4: Stop at Sarah’s and rest for a few before turning around and leaving again; text Anne and tell her I’m approximately a mile away from her and would love to meet up…but know that I have a gazillion more hours on the road.
4-5:30: Drive and feel exhausted and wonder how I’ll make it the whole way. Stop at Maryland House and contemplate taking 10-minute nap in car. Set iPhone timer for 10 minutes, close eyes, after 30 seconds decide to screw it and buy some coffee. Get an iced soy latte and veggie wrap at Starbucks (that place cannot ruin anything it puts in a whole wheat wrap, FYI) and hope it does the trick.
5:30-6:30: The coffee helps almost immediately and I start rocking out to Madonna.
6:30: Google Map the route the rest of the way, even though having lived in DC for 7 years, I’ve driven this way approximately one million times; notice there’s traffic and decide to skip the New Jersey Turnpike to take 295-N. Probably best decision of my life, as I didn’t sit and stare at taillights once.
7:30: Spy a “scenic overlook” sign on 295. Delirious on espresso and exhaustion, wonder if I’m seeing things. Scenic overlook in NJ? I know my home state has some pretty parts, but I didn’t expect to see any of them on my drive.
I had to walk on this overpass over the highway to get to it, but I was too curious not to.
Such a pretty sunset over the river.
…and there’s the smokestacks.
7:30-9:15: Keep driving, think of driving like a marathon and tell myself I’m almost there. Try not to think about the fact that I’ve been on the road since 8:30am.
9:15: Walk into my parents’ house to exchange car for dog; my awesome mom gives me a ride back into the city.
10:15: Walk back into apartment, deliriously tired, but happy to sleep in my own bed for the first time since last Tuesday.
11:20: Faceplant in bed.
An incredibly long day of travel to go 550 miles, but so worth it to have a fun weekend at the beach to mostly unplug and wind down and be thankful for time off and to go back to a secure job, instead of worrying about being laid off, like last year.
How was your Memorial Day? Favorite long roadtrip that’s totally worth it?