Sunday, April 7, 2013

Go! St. Louis Marathon Relay: Team Canine to 5

This was my first time to run a relay of any kind. I joined team Canine to 5 and we raised money for Stray Rescue St. Louis. The team ended up raising over $2,600!

I ran the third leg of the route, which meant I didn't have to wake up that early and I could make the Soulard cheer station. I live right by the cheer station and it is truly the best cheer station on the route. All you have to do is go out in your pajamas to join in on the fun!

Me and my boy Gus. 
It's very exciting cheering on the runners. I love seeing the smiles and all of the positivity about living a healthy life. We also got to watch the elite come through and they are amazing. I hated leaving early, but I had to go get ready for my leg and get to Forest Park!

Josh dropped me off at Forest Park about an hour before my teammate was supposed to come through. We were all keeping in touch through text, so that made things easy. The waiting part was kind of painful because it was getting so hot!! I was wearing all black and I could feel the sun baking. I was kind of frantic when my teammate approached because I wasn't entirely ready. I grabbed the team bib and took off.

Waiting at the relay transition.
I really felt like I was cruising. I was passing soooo many people (usually I'm the one getting passed). This felt strange to me. I looked down at my watch and I was at around a 9 minute pace. I thought to myself that I should slow down, but then I told myself to kick it and see how long I can keep this up.

I had to stop to go to the bathroom early on, about a mile in. I've never had to do this before, but since I started later on in the day and I couldn't really leave my relay post, I really had to pee! There was no wait so it wasn't an issue.

I ran the full Go! course last year and I remember thinking about those relay runners and how they are only running a fourth of the route, but I really gave my 7 mile leg my all!! I was only running against myself so I tried to keep that in mind. I was 100% thankful that I wasn't running a full today though. It was so hot and I saw a lot of people struggling. I also kept having flashbacks to how I felt while running the full last year. I like to think I've improved a lot in my running in the last year and I do hope to finish another marathon again. Not sure when...

Looking awesome... not!
I made it to the transition and team Canine to 5 was there to cheer me on! It was so much fun being on a team, I really enjoyed it. I ended up running the 7 miles in 1:04:57, a 9:18 pace! Check out my splits:

So they are not negative splits, but I'm really like that 8:57 mile. The second mile was the bathroom break and I had to walk some of the hills near the end.

Our team cheerleader made signs for everyone!

Running to the finish line!
In the end, we finished the marathon relay in 4:33:44. Go team Canine to 5!

The team!
Next race is Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington DC. I cannot wait!! Shooting for 2 hour 1/2 marathon, but I'll take 2:05.

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