Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Race Recap: Akron Marathon Relay

I'm gonna just say it. I suck at taking pictures. This post should have way more pictures than it does, considering I ran one of the shortest relay legs.

Oh well, I began the weekend severely unprepared anyway.

Let's begin at Friday. I spent the evening in Akron at Emily's (my old roomie) place. When I got to work on Friday morning - mind you, it's a 50 minute drive - I realized I forgot to bring my watch, my socks and my running shoes. Whoops.

Thank goodness my Vibrams were in my car.

I had a master plan for the morning: drive downtown to meet my team for the start, drive back to Emily's  and run the 1 mile from her apartment to my relay exchange point, run my leg of the relay, run the trail along Sand Run Parkway back to her apartment. Total mileage: about 7.5 miles.

Way more than I've ever done in my Vibrams.

I couldn't sleep at all on Friday night. I don't know why. I wasn't really nervous, I wasn't going to run too far, I'd started and finished this race before. But I was up every hour. On the hour. (Just like the news!) I finally got up around 5:20 - ten whole minutes before my alarm went off and began my morning rituals.

I managed to make it to the start without too much difficulty, considering the road closures, and met Kali, Ann (our official coach/cheerleader/relay organizer), Paul, Ryan and Julie to gather our race bibs. Julie #2 was also there to hang out with us at the start! She decided to run the last leg of the relay for her team 11 hours prior to the race, and I have to hand it to her because running 8 miles at the drop of a hat is nothing to sneeze at.
{photocred: miss julie}

I also got to catch up with a good friend of mine who moved to Milwaukee a few years ago but always comes back to work the marathon with his family. It was so awesome to see him for a happy, albeit brief, reunion.

I drove back to Emily's, watched a recorded episode of Community, then put my shoes on and ran up to my exchange point. I got there before it got super busy, but I started getting worried when they began announcing numbers, one after the other, as fast as they could. What if I missed them calling our number? Seriously, it was like"

"7645......8001.....7556....8012...8075..7915.8145 8556 8475 8225 8222 7895 8129 6954 8035 8054"

Ahh! That's my number, time to go!!

Julie was right before me and looking pretty strong after the hill she just had to run, I gave her a "you go girl!" and headed down Sand Run Parkway. I know the road pretty well because I used to live a mile away and traversed it a lot when I was training for Akron in 2009. I have a love/hate relationship with Sand Run Parkway. I'll tell ya what though, it's much nicer tackling those hills on fresh legs than it is after having already run 15.5 miles! Just sayin'.

All I know is that I was feeling pretty good and before you knew it, I was looking for Kali at the next exchange point. I didn't have a watch on so I couldn't even tell you how fast (or slow - it's all relative) I was going.

Unfortunately I didn't make it back to the finish because after running back to Emily's there was no way for me to get there in time to see Kali finish...the road closures make things a bit sloppy. I didn't miss all the tweets though:

3:58!!!! That's really exciting to someone who has never run a sub-4:30 marathon. The official time:
So it looks like I was running about a 9:18/mile. I was feeling awesome the whole time and I managed to get in almost 8 miles in my Vibrams! I'll take that.

And I'll take pancakes at Fisher's and a two and a half hour nap before the tribe game. 

It was a good day :)

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