Saturday, June 02, 2007

A Hot Summer Relay





Pictures are compliments of Margaret. I did take the camera, and I believe I took one picture.

The morning started with Margaret picking me up and us meeting up with the rest of the group at the Y. The team consisted of Margaret, Melissa, Michelle S., Linda, Sonya and me. We should have called ourselves Four Gimps and a Couple of Runners - Melissa, Michelle and Sonya are all suffering from knee problems related to ITB issues. I've got my calf thing going on. Margaret and Linda are healthy - thank goodness!

We drove up to South Prairie where we had a quick stop at the fire station to get our packets and t-shirts. I ran into some kids from Riley's cross country team who were running the relay. After a little trash talk, we all climbed back in the cars to drive to the start. Saw the kids again there, where I threatened them with my running prowess, offered to take their picture and generally harassed them. Melissa and Michelle decorated the car, while the rest of us sat inside avoiding the biting bugs. We scrambled out to the start with the rest of the runners and we were off - Sonya had the first leg. Our team is well-known for drive-by cow-bell ringing and lots of hootin' and hollerin'. Today we added Melissa's ear-splitting whistle to the mix.



We were surprised to find some of the exchanges moved from the previous two years, but the course was marked better than in the past and none of us got lost. We did hold dead-last position for the entire race. The past two years we had plenty of teams around us, so I'm not sure what happened this year - we were alone most of the relay. Maybe something to do with four gimps?




It's unfortunate that I can't share a lot of what happened today with you - due to the first rule of relays: what happens in the van, stays in the van. I can tell you that I ran leg 6, in very hot weather, and managed it quite nicely. It was somewhere in the 80's today - I know it was exactly 80 on the waterfront at 7:00 tonight, and I'm guessing it was 85+ earlier and inland. Leg 6 was 2.76 miles and my average pace was an amazing 10:59. I wrapped my leg in an ace bandage (seems to work better than the brace), loaded up this scarf-thingie we bought from zombierunner with ice and ran. The scarf has a chamois sewn inside which stays wet and cool while running. I tried tying it to the straps of my tank top and having it hang down my back - which felt wonderful, but came undone. Then I tied it around my neck, but it was choking me. I finally swung it around front, where it bounced. So I tucked it in to my shirt - success! It stayed cold and kept me cool.




My second leg was the final leg. I had four miles to cover - from the Art Museum to the park. This time I tied my scarf over my head do-rag style. It felt really good. I started out a little slower - I'd been hobbling around since my last leg, icing periodically and hoping for the best. I don't know what worked, but there was some initial pain, then it started feeling pretty good. I got a long, long shady stretch, which was wonderful. As I came running into Old Town, I saw Barb running toward me. I thought maybe I was hallucinating, but it really was her. She'd been for a walk down the waterfront with a friend, and was sitting outside Starbucks waiting for me. She asked how I was doing and I said good, but I could use some water to pour over me. She ran up to her friend and grabbed her cup of ice - I have no idea what was in it originally. I scooped out handfuls and stuffed them down my bra and into my scarf. I left Barb at the corner - after waiting for a very long street light. I ran one block and got stuck again at a light. This one took at least three minutes. I finally got across and on to the sidewalk on Ruston. It was jammed with walkers, strollers, families, dogs, roller bladers, kids on bikes and kids in prom attire. I wove in and out, in and out. The ice in my bra was rattling around and driving me nuts, so I started pushing up from the bottom and forcing it out the top. I'm sure I was quite a sight, running along spurting ice from my shirt!

I could finally see the bell tower in the distance, then began to hear the cow-bells, the yelling and Melissa's whistle. As I crossed on to the grass, Eric ran up - he ran 12 Summits today (34 miles of trails in the mountains) and got to our finish about 20 minutes before me. He rang me in, and the entire team, plus Rick and Wendy were waiting at the bell tower. I ran through, rang the bell, and it was over. We were the last ones in: 9:30:09 for 50 miles - an average pace of 11:24. A little off of last year's 7:56. It was a lot warmer today, plus we had a lot more injuries going in. The important thing is this: we had a blast! Everyone ran well and seemed to feel okay. I laughed once as I looked around the car - I had ice on my leg, Melissa and Sonya both had ice on theirs. I'm sure Michelle would have, but she was running.

This relay last year was the start of my year-long toe problems. I lost my initial toe nail after this, and had bad blisters. Today I came out with one small blister on the tip of one toe. Not too bad! All in all, I'm pleased with my heat management and my blister management today.

This race is so much fun, I'm already looking forward to next year. But before that, we've got the big one coming up - the overnight Rainier to Pacific. I can't wait!




(PS. I'm sitting up waiting for the prom kids to get home, so I can chaperone at this end too. H's parents are out of town, so she's staying over tonight - no run for me in the morning, but in my typical slacker fashion, I will make it to coffee!)

25 comments:

Jon said...

My wife told me that there were two female runners that were approaching Wedge Park before the Fife Aid Station near the Dairy Queen and the Fife Fire Station and they almost went down a dead-end road.

She was pretty suprised to see a race going through an area we drive by so often to visit my sis-in-law. She's thinking about letting me do that race in the future...but that solo Rainier to Pacific run sounds alot more tempting. :-D

JustRun said...

Thanks for a little "relay inspiration." :)

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

I am so glad everyone had a good time and survived the heat. I thought of you out there several times, wondering where on the course you might be. My leg was very sore from the Graston tools work on my leg, so it was double good I didn't sit in the car all day. I'd have had Ice on my foot and thigh all day! I must apologize for not making it to the finish. Friday I forgot all about the relay and purchased a ticket to the school's Night of the Arts dinner and entertainment gala. I felt bad about missing you come in. So, Congrats to all, Bistin for Ruston!
Jenny

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Sorry, make that Bustin for Ruston!
Jenny

Darrell said...

That really does sound like a whole lot of fun!

wendy said...

Congrats Michelle, and Bustin' for Ruston!!!

I loved seeing you dance around with your do-rag at the finish, you crack me up. =)

It sounds like you guys had lots of great conversation - all very "appropriate", I'm sure! ;-)

It sounds like so much fun, I might have to run a relay next year! Although, if I ran the last leg, I'm not sure I'd have the energy to be bustin' the moves like you were at the end. Good job!

Joe said...

What a great story, Michelle, glad you ladies had so much fun!!

sounds like it was as hot in Washington as it was in Indiana on Saturday..ugh!!

Hope the prom went well...know well the "stay up late to check" routine there!!!

olga said...

Good fun is what matters:)

Meghan said...

What a fun day! You ladies look insanely happy! Too bad it was so hot but thank goodness for the ice from the cup that contained who-knows-what. :)

I'm kind of worried about your calf, though... I hope it's back to par soon, very soon!

Meghan
www.running-blogs.com/meghan

Sarah Elaine said...

So... lemme get this straight: You can't talk about what happened in the van, but you openly share that you stuff hand fulls of ice down your shirt and bra.

Right...

Nicole said...

Nice job! Hope the "prom went well"

Sarah said...

Congrats! Yes, the important thing is that you had fun. Glad you didn't have any problems in the heat. Woohoo! : )

Juls said...

My guess to why there was nobody around you is that you all entered different predicted finish times than what you were able to do once you all got injured. Congrats for hanging in there. I like your back window.

Try@thlete said...

ITB must stand for "I'm Truly Bustin'".

Good job everyone!

Jack said...

Congrats to everyone, it sounded like loads of fun!

Wes said...

Hey! No fair!! I want a little insider information on the van :-) Is bribery a possibility??

scott keeps running said...

nice catching up with your last couple weeks of posts. congrats on all the races! you're absolutely inspiring. and here i am dreading just one in october...

robtherunner said...

Sounds like fun out there, but I can't say that I wish I was there. I hope all the gimps heal up quickly.

runliarun said...

I don't believe I could have done this, even with ice stuck all over my body. On a hot day I get listless indoors, never mind running outside. It would be life and death that would have me run outside through the heat.

Randy said...

Sounds like you had a great time even in the heat....some interesting methods to beat the heat too.....
I've got to agree with Wes...a few hints would be good....how else are we to learn how to properly act around other club members when sharing rides if we can't learn from the more experienced groupies....*S*
Have to admit that you have piqued my interest in a relay in the future.

RunnerGirl said...

Nice job!!! Makes me want to try a relay someday! SOMEday.

Journey to a Centum said...

I DON'T even want to know what you girls talked about during your relay.

Nice run Team!

Eric

Addy said...

Great job out there! Sounds like you all had a fun time despite all the injuries you guys were sporting going in.

As an aside, my younger sister had prom this last weekend too! Hope the chaperoning went well :)

E-Speed said...

sounds like an absolute blast. I hope our relay goes well too this weekend!

psbowe said...

I swear you have way too much fun at every event!