Today I wanted to share a little bit about my race that I ran in last Saturday. As I mentioned on the blog, I participated in a 100 mile relay race through the hilly land of Indiana. I was responsible for a little over 13 of the miles while my other six teammates ran between 20 and 10 miles. I tried not to be nervous in the weeks leading up to the race and just go into it with an open mind, but I kept getting questions from people such as:
1. Aren’t you nervous about getting lost at night?! — Luckly I have the best sister and fiance in the world who agreed to ride behind me in a car while I ran through the night. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without them. The headlights helped SOOO much, especially because there was almost no moon that night. They also were able to yell out to me when I was suppose to turn onto another road.
2. You can’t even stay up until 9 pm.. How will you ever stay up through the night?! —Honestly I was a little nervous about this one to0. I like my sleep and early bed time. I prepared by staying up until 10pm the night before and slept in until 8am. I also was slap happy around 12:00 and pretty much blacked out (aka became even more slap happy) around 4.. Then I slept for an hour and woke up feeling a LITTLE more refreshed. Again my sister, fiance, and other teammates kept me going :).
3. What will you do about bathrooms, showers, and food?!– There was a bathroom (aka porta potty) at every checkpoint of the race. I packed wet wipes and a new set of clothes to change into after every leg that I ran. I packed TOO MANY snacks and hardly ate any of them. The only thing that sounded good was the salty potato chips that my sister bought at a gas station before we left.
It is out of the ordinary for me NOT to worry. However, in this case it really ended up working out. Nothing bad happened and I had a GREAT time.
Now for the recap..
I woke up the morning of the race full of energy and ready to go. I made myself my usual breakfast smoothy and coffee. Aaron and I wanted to make it to my parents house early afternoon, so shortly after breakfast we packed up the car and were on the road.
Aaron doesn’t look as thrilled as me.. Maybe he is thinking about all of the hours he will be spending driving a car. However, he earned 9,000 brownie points for this event.
After arriving at my parents house we met up with my brother in law and waited to the rest of the team to show up. I knew that I needed to eat but had little appetite. I tried to force myself to eat some tofu and noodles and snaked on some chips.
My mom was a huge help and made sure that we had everything we needed to the race. She even let us use her car! Thanks again, mom 🙂
The team (plus my dog) before heading over to the start of the race.
My brother in law was starting the race. He ran 3.22 miles with a 7.74 pace!
After we sent him off we had a little over 3 hours until anyone in my car ran their legs. We ended up going back to my parents house to relax. We were all a little anxious and decided to head to the first check point a little early. I would be the first one running in my car and was started to get REALLY nervous.
My first leg was 3.85 miles, which isn’t too long but I wasnt sure how many hills I would have. I took off running VERY fast. At one point I looked down at my watch and had a pace of 5.45 min mile. I slowed down a great deal when I approached my first hill and even more when I approached a massive down hill (I NEVER thought about training for the down hill portion. I realized that I had NO idea how to run down hills. I still don’t…. I would say I looked a little like a chicken. I was kind of flapping my arms just trying not to topple over.. However, I felt strong and good the whole time and ended up having an average pace of 8:20.
After my other two teammates in my car ran, we headed over to the next check point. Again, we had a little over 3 hours until it would be my turn to run again. I washed off with towels, changed. stretched, and put on compression socks. Aaron though ahead and made sure that we had Office episodes to watch while we were waiting 🙂
However, I started to wake up quickly after I started to run.. This leg was 6 miles and had MASSIVE hills. It also had an unbelievable down hill. At this time it was pitch black and I needed the car to follow me so that I could see. It was a little weird to think that there was a car full of people behind me watching while I ran, but I quickly forgot after running up my first hill. At that point all I could think about was keeping myself running. I tried not to think about how many more miles I had to run, and more about just getting through each individual mile. I also passed some people on this stretch which really helped to boost my confidence. However, I was also passed by a high school boy who looked like he had been running since the moment he came out of the womb..oh well…. Towards the end I had to keep telling myself that the pain i felt would only be temporary and how great I would feel after. I finished with an average pace of 8:40.
This is were things started to get fuzzy… It was dark. I was tired. It would be hours before my last run. I started questioning why I would ever sign up for a race like this. I didn’t want to run my third leg. We drove to where I would start my final leg of the race and I was able to get about an hour of sleep. I woke up feeling hungry, but wanted non of the snacks I had packed. 30 minutes before I was to run, I choked down a Gatorade pre-game and a strawberry banana goo.
I debated sharing this picture of myself before my last leg. This is right after I woke up. I’m looking very crazy. Please don’t judge ;).
It was 6:44am when I started my final leg. It was starting to get light out and I immediately started to perk up. This leg was only 3.23 miles but was by far the hardest. My legs didn’t want to run AT ALL. My stomach was also acting up big time and forced me to stop for a minute. My pace was much slower at a 10.84 minute mile. At that point I really didn’t care and just wanted to get to the end.
I cheered on the last two runners from the car and was happy to see the finish line at 8:26 in the morning.
I’m ready to run it again next year!!!!