It was supposed to have happened a year ago. Donna from Running to Travel had just three states left in her quest to run a half marathon in all 50 US states, and she was going to knock off Minnesota, her antepenultimate state, before gutting it out in Iowa and, finally, checking off her bucket list goal with a glorious finish in New Mexico.
Naturally, the Viral Menace put paid to her plans (COVID’s 82,346,995,217,623rd ruined event at that point in the US alone). She hunkered down at home in North Carolina and bided her time.
Over the year of hunkering that followed, pandemic spikes came and went, vaccines were developed and administered, restrictions were relaxed, and half marathons returned. With the return to normalcy came Donna’s renewed determination to complete her objective.
So it was that the husband and I made our way to Minneapolis to meet Donna and her daughter, who was also running the 13.1 miler, for lunch.
Before leaving home, I had implored the husband to “act normal” during our lunch (his baseline is quirky enough). I’d say that, for the most part, he did—Thanks, honey!—and the four of us spent a couple of hours getting to know each other beyond our blog and podcast selves. Perhaps not surprisingly, running and travel dominated the conversation, though some good-natured ribbing of Donna’s daughter, who just completed her year of high school chemistry, did occur. The husband is a chemistry teacher, you see. He just can’t help himself.
As we were saying our goodbyes, the husband made sure to give Donna, seasoned half marathoner that she is, some race-day advice. Something along the lines of don’t go out too fast, pace yourself, that kind of thing. He’s a former running coach as well, you see. He just can’t help himself. Fortunately, Donna took it in stride (get it?). I think if we ever find ourselves in the Tar Heel State, she’d even be willing to meet us for lunch.