Monday, February 21, 2011

I actually have pictures!

Yesterday was my first relay race - the George Washington Birthday marathon relay. Before we started, it seemed like the hardest part was figuring out the logistics. We had a 3 person team, but we each were running two legs of the race to count as our long run for the week. So basically we each ran 2/3s of a marathon, with me driving the car back from the relay point and waiting while my teammates finished the final leg. That took about 10 minutes to come up with.

I ran the first leg (9.7) miles solo, and to be honest, I was struggling with motivation. The whole time I was just counting down the miles to when I saw Mike and Lily, my teammates who would join me for the second leg. The race was just three giant loops around Greenbelt, MD. There were rolling hills and it just seemed tough! I am way too spoiled by always running with my friends. It was also a small race and no one seemed to want to chat with me. I think I kept up a decent pace though.

10:55 (water/ port- o - pottie break - damn my small bladder!)
10:38 (water break)
12:51 (this was where I hit the relay exchange point, I took a quick break to switch the relay sash, stop at the car to ditch my gloves, etc)

 Looking at these times I'm impressed, I thought I was running slower the whole time!
I ran the next 7 miles with my teammates, we took it a little slower but it was a lot more fun. Even though we weren't talking much somehow having that support just helps.

This race was not exactly terribly exciting. There was no crowd support, and I think the pictures will say it all.

 So we started with this. Scenic, right? I was thinking this would be a pretty race.
 You know this is always a good sign during a race.
 Can you believe this is only 3 miles from the Washington, DC border? Check out that hill in the background too....
 Ok, still not bad.
 OH, wait, is that a truck coming directly at us on the race course, and no shoulder whatsoever?
 Then we got to see all sorts of scenic stoplights and traffic - just beautiful.
 Team Andy Rooney!! 
 Small races have their benefits, but I think I officially prefer races with finish lines like this                                                                  and not this.

We also decided that we have the utmost respect for the full marathoners in this course. The boring loops, seeing the mile 24 sign at like mile 7 (then again at mile 15 or something), the rolling hills, lack of spectators, dodging cars...those that can run the full 26.2 here are amazing.  17.1 almost killed me.

After I finished, I had about an hour and a half to wait for Mike & Lily, so I changed and went to the awards ceremony/buffet to hang out with all the 3:00 marathoners and felt super slow. They had vegetarian chili in addition to all the usual post race stuff, so I was in heaven. Have you had a party, and you put food out and turned back to your guests, and the whole tray disappeared before you turned back around? It was like that, except it was just me eating. This race started late, so it was after 2pm by this point, so I was way more starving than I usually am after long runs.

They also had an gorgeous cake, so after staring at the table creepily for like 5 minutes conducting a detailed frosting analysis, I finally picked the piece that had the maximum icing amount to devour.

The relay was fun, but I'm not sure I'm sold on that type of racing. I left my apartment before 8am and didn't get back till after 5 - basically it was a full day of work. That's a lot of time taken away from watching reruns of The Office and reading blogs.

At yoga last week the teacher taught us this awesome tennis ball thing to relieve foot pain and gave us the tennis balls. I highly recommend it. Check out my cute race shirt too, you can't see it but it has a picture of George Washington. In the background is a clue to what Eric does all day while I am running.
 I'll leave you with a little gem I snapped when I looked up from beginning to write this blog post - totally not staged, he didn't even know I was taking the picture. You're welcome.


  1. hahahahaha LOVE the final pic. Also, did you go back and pick up your free manure at the end of the race ;)?

  2. That is quite the man-snuggie! :-)

    From the pics, that race looked kinda nice and peaceful. Except for the whole oncoming trucks issue. Plus, I've been paying for my manure all this time. To think I could get it for free.

  3. Haha...I love the snuggie picture. Too awesome!!

    That run sounds tough, but fun! Great times :)

  4. hahahaha... perfect snuggie shot! And I also loved the part about the cake and choosing the one with the best frosting. :)

    Great run! That is a really long day though. I'm doing a half marathon relay in May, which will be my first relay, but I'm thinking it won't last as long as your day.

  5. Lol, that run looks like my runs down here in the boondocks. I spend most of my time running on the actual road and dodging hicks in pick up trucks. And smelling manure, don't forget that part :)

    My marathon next month will be small like that, but at least it won't be 3 loops!

    I love that final pic :)

  6. hahah that snuggie pic is awesome! So your friend likes the middle distance saturday and a long run sunday, hugh? Maybe I will give it a shot. The good thing is you get in a lot of your mileage on the weekend :)! Great Job on your relay! I can totally see how it was hard to find motivation on that course!

  7. Love the last picture! Great job on your relay run. I hope you went back to pick up your free manure!

  8. Some of those pictures made me want to stop running...and I'm not even running right now. Too lonely and too many scary trucks!

    Still sounds like a great way to get in a long run...relays = comraderie and all that. I've turned down relays a few times because they usually involve sleeping in vans or running at 2:00 a.m., and I'm just not awesome like that. I like sleeping. in beds.

  9. The picture of your husband is hilarious! :) I love using a tennis ball for my arches, so much cheaper than the things you can buy for this.

    Nice pace times on your marathon relay! I did a marathon relay 2 years ago, but we had maybe 7 people on our team? So my leg was only just under 4 miles. It was along a towpath and the driving between stops was a little crazy. It was also pouring. Fun stuff!

    Your first couple pictures look like parts of my long runs (except for the free manure :)


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