Move that body: 5.48-mile run
I have one word to describe today’s race.
Yeah, I said it boo-yah. You’re looking at the first-place female relay team – that’s me in the middle there.
My lovely teammates were nice enough to let me run the last leg so we could show up late and rush less in the morning. Mark, Miles and I arrived about an hour, hour and a half after the 10 a.m. start and had plenty of time to get situated. I went to the bathroom a couple times, drank some water and jumped around.
The only downside to being the last leg was trying to figure out nutrition. I ate a PB&J at 7 a.m. and then had a Cliff bar and banana at 10:30. I could have done without the banana.
Oh, and loaning my jacket to Mark and discovering he may look better in it than me. It was a bit chilly to hang around, even in the shelter and its two fireplaces, but it was perfect running weather – sunny and 45 degrees.
Team Victorious Secret – ready to rock. Before I knew it, it was time to head to the timing mat and wait for C, who was doing the second leg.
My leg started with a high five from C and enthusiastic cheers from L and ladies my teammates met in a half-marathon class.
From the moment I hit the trail, I knew I was starting too fast. The distance, 5.3 miles, is still not a comfortable one for me and I needed to approach it as a “long” run. But I just felt so good. My legs were fresh after a light-ish week, the sun was shining and I was running through a beautiful trail – I couldn’t help but see what my body would do.
Just after the first mile, 9:14, I saw my teammates and the half-mary class gals. It was so awesome to have them out on the course for support. It’s a small race and it’s not unusual to run the entire loop by yourself. It can get a bit lonesome if you thrive on the adrenaline of spectators and other runners. Seeing my friends/teammates (four times in all) helped encourage me to keep pushing.
Once I hit the 2-mile marker, I decided that it would be in my best interest to slow for a bit at the beginning and end of each mile and speed up in the middle. Somehow it worked out that I saw my teammates in the middle parts when I was really pushing.
The worst part of the course is a stack of hay bales that you have to climb over about mile 4.
I hated them last year and I hated them this year. It’s at a point in the course where you are ready to bring it home and the last thing you want to do is slow to climb over some hay.
Thankfully, I had my sight on a member of another relay team. Having a “rabbit” really helped me to stay strong in that last section of the course.
I finally caught up to her (sorry, Pattie) around the 5-mile marker. I don’t think she was expecting to see me, giving her a bit of a surprise. I stayed on her heels until we hit the final straight away, at which point I gave it all I had.
It was enough.
I felt a bit sick at the finish but I am proud to report that I did not toss my cookies. Thanks to teammate C for handing me the water. It was greatly needed.
One of the great things about the W.O.O.F. – in addition the gorgeous course (complete with bison), fantastic volunteers and being well organized – is the post-race party. There’s hot beverages, vegetable soup, bison burgers, baked beans, cornbread and baked goods. There were even local microbrews this year!
I had a bunless bison burger (x2) and vegetable soup.
Miles had a bottle.
As we were finishing up and getting ready to head out, we got the good news that we placed first in the relay. Mark packed up the stroller, and my teammates and I picked up our awards.
I guess we really were the Victorious Secret.
A big thanks to L for sharing her photos, C for being such a great cheerleader, C and L for being the best teammates ever, my husband for being an awesome support and Miles for sleeping most of the race.
Who else raced this weekend? How did it go?