Woodlands Marathon Relay recap

Just realized this did not post!  Oops! So here is a little recap from my last race 😉

Since my last race of 2014 I have felt like a bit of a running failure.  I know I am not alone when it comes to having hiccups with fitness and running.  In November and December I finally felt like I was getting my running groove back.  Then my back had a few issues which caused my hips to go whacky and boom, running was slow and painful again. And having to drop out of my last half at mile 7 was really frustrating.

I didn’t run for a few weeks.  I tried to elliptical but even that was painful at first.  After a few weeks I finally was able to elliptical and then a few slow runs.  My plans to get faster again were out the window.  The pain was slowly getting better, so I was/am thankful for that.

Before all the horrid hip issues I decided to be part of a local race, but was not sure which distance I wanted to run.  After the hip flare up I decided the half was a no-go.  I ended up deciding to do the marathon relay.  I gathered a few friends and we made the most of it!

Race day came and I really was not sure what to think.  My hip was feeling so so, but mentally I was really not feeling it.  The weather was cold (for TX) and rainy and not exactly my ideal running weather.
I am glad I was part of a team or I am sure I would have spent the morning in bed.

Flat Esther

Flat Esther

Our team gathered at the start line to cheer off our first teammate!  IMG_8098 IMG_8102
Jamie was off and Brandon, Stacie and I headed to the first exchange point!
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Jamie ran a first great leg and then it was time for Stacie to run! And run she did!
While Stacie ran, Brandon and I took Jamie back to her car, got some gas and coffee.  Then headed to the next exchange point.  I was starting to get nervous about running.  According to the race information my leg was 6.65 miles.  So I made myself suck it up and realized I was going to finish my leg no matter what!

We met up with Stacie at mile 13.1 and I was off.  As soon as I started running it began to rain.  I chugged along for a few miles and felt ok.  It was a bit strange to see mile markers for 15, 16, 17 as I have never run that far in my life.  From the front you could see my bib as a marathon relay member, but from the back no one could tell.  I had a lot of people come up behind me and tell me it was awesome what I was doing and how inspiring I was to them!  All I could say was thanks.  They had run 15 miles and I was on mile 2, so of course I had fresh legs, but they didn’t realize that.

The reason I picked leg 3 was that it ran by the park the Hubs and I were married at!  Sadly though I did not see it while running.  The rain and the cold had me distracted.
At one point when I was starting to feel tired I saw someone waving and cheering while looking at me.  I was positive they were cheering for someone else, but no one was around me.  It was one of my friends I met through the gym!  It was SO sweet of her to come out and cheer me on, especially in the yucky weather! (THANK YOU ANNE!!!)  After we said hello and a quick hug I was off again. And then I started crying!  The emotions of running again and having such wonderful friends to run with me AND cheer me on just hit!  I was around mile 18 on the course (mile 5 for me) and people in their cars rolled down windows and clapped and cheered.  So many emotions!

As I approached where the next exchange point was supposed to be I started to get excited and happy!  I was so close.  My hip was a little tight but overall feeling pretty good.  I turned a corner and it was supposed to be the exchange and no one was there!!  I thought maybe my GPS was off, but then I saw the official race mile markers and realized that no, I was indeed at the right mileage…and no exchange!  I had sped up quite a bit but then slowed down when I realized I did not know where the exchange was or how much further I would have to run!
I texted my team but they were not sure how far they were from me.  Blah, that was for sure really frustrating.  I had to walk a little since the sprinting had irritated my hip.
IMG_8116 IMG_8117 IMG_8114 IMG_9500
About a mile later I ended up finally seeing the exchange!  YAY! It was a fabulous sight to see!
So even though I was not thrilled be have run 7.45 miles vs 6.65 miles, I think it was good for me to see my body can still handle more than 7 miles, and my mental game also received a boost.

Stacie and I headed back to the finish line and waited for Brandon!  He had a great run and we were able to run the last .10 miles and cross the finish line together!  They announced my name as we crossed since my bib was the only visible one 🙂
After we finished we walked a little bit and had some lunch.

Before we started the race my goal was to just finish.  I was hoping we could keep it under 5 hours for the marathon.  Since I was the slowest runner (and the longest leg) I was not sure if we were going to make it!  But…
IMG_8124 IMG_8123
Yay 🙂

Got some good steps in for the day, and was thankful for Epsom salts and essential oils to ease my sore muscles.

A BIG thank you again to Jamie, Brandon and Stacie for rocking the marathon relay with me!
Can’t wait till next year when we tackle the half 😉

Have you ever participated in a marathon relay?  Or any relay event?

PS, Don’t forget to check out the current giveaway!!!



2 thoughts on “Woodlands Marathon Relay recap

  1. Christine

    Good job, goal accomplished! I have never done a marathon relay, but I think it would be a lot of fun. I like the team aspect! Maybe something I need to look into.

  2. Pingback: Fitness Update | chocolate runner girl

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