I ran a 75-mile relay last weekend with the same team I did last year, but with a few subs because one of the gals up and moved, another’s son was running for a college recruiter, and another one went off and got pregnant right after we signed up last summer. All good reasons to not run with the team, but I did miss each and every one of them.
We welcomed 4 new gals to the team and they were fun, but it wasn’t the same. I knew going into this relay that this would very likely be my last year running it (third year in a row), but by the end of the race, I knew I was done. We had an amazing lake house to stay at the night before the race, we had a full 8-woman team, we had a killer 15-passenger van with room to stand up and change inside (we removed 4 seats so there was room to walk back and grab snacks even while on the road), we had an awesome app that helped us arrive at each checkpoint in time for the specified runner, and we had perfect running weather (but not perfect spectator weather – a bit chilly). To have the same great setup again seems pretty impossible! The van was the best part, and it was supposed to be smaller but the company upgraded us for free – unlikely to happen again) and I don’t know if I could happily do this again in a smaller vehicle. It’s best to go out on a high note. AND… I was the final runner this time and got to lead us across the finish line. It was a great way to end this phase of running. If I do it again, I want to do it with a coed team with my husband.
I wasn’t as fast as I was last year, and that was OK with me. The first leg was pretty darned fast at an 8:19 pace. The second leg was an 8:42 pace, way off from last year but I didn’t care. The final leg was an 8:57 pace in the rain, and I was perfectly happy with that! To do all 3 legs under a 9:00 pace was my goal, and I met that goal. My average pace for the full 12.5 miles was 8:43. That works because I told my team to plan on me running an average of 8:45!
We were supposed to have thunderstorms along the entire route all day long, but somehow, we stayed ahead of it until the very end (my final leg). We got lucky, and honestly, the weather was perfect for running. Last year, it was really, really hot by 2:00 in the afternoon, but this year, it never got hot. It was nice. I didn’t mind the rain at the end either, because I knew I was done and it was a bit refreshing.
We finished the 75 miles in 12:40:35. That’s a 9:59 average pace which is what we told the race coordinators it would be (for staging purposes). Not too shabby!
Being perfectly honest, I relaxed this weekend after the half marathon in Sunday. I had to rest on Saturday and Monday, so yeah…
I have 11+ miles to run on Saturday, so even tonight (Thursday night, as I enter this note), I don’t care what my weight is on Friday morning. I’m going to burn more than I can possibly eat on Saturday given I’ll be in the car for 12 hours doing this relay – it will be energy waffles and PB&J’s all day long
Picture of the Week
The Week’s Workouts
Starting Statistics on 04/17/2018 (A Tuesday – not the typical Friday)
The weather was PERFECT, I actually was more prepared than two weeks ago, and it started out solid and strong. My paces per mile started out similar to my first half marathon of the season, and I was shaving off time through mile 3. Then mile 4 hit, and I slowed a bit, but it was still recoverable. Then I got to mile 7 and I fell apart.
I was exhausted, and honestly, I think I was just beaten down because the course going into mile #7 got boring and dreadful. Very little crowd support, a trail with no signs of life (other than water stations and other runners) for 5.5 miles. I decided right then and there that I prefer road running and that if the bulk of a race is in this particular park, that I will not do it. I knew that half of this race would be at this park, and I was hoping I could mentally get through it. I couldn’t.
The field wasn’t very competitive either. Not like it’s the job of other runners to motivate me, but I am more motivated when I’m surrounded by fast runners. People were walking early and for long stretches. My finish time, although respectable, wasn’t worthy of being in the top 21% in my division and the top 24% of women.
But, and there’s always a BUT, the weather was spectacular and the post-race party was the best I’ve ever attended. It was a great way to end the race, with a glass of sangria surrounded by friends and family!
It wasn’t my slowest half marathon pace in the last 3 years, so I can live with it (which is great because I have to live with it!).
This year’s race stats are (I did not run this last year or ever before):