Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Relay Marathon Story

About 7 years ago, I was single, living at home and working full time.  Trevon was on his mission.  I had a lot of free time in the evenings.  My cousin, Ashley, came down to live in Utah for the summer. She was thinking about going to UVU and wanted to get a job close by and check things out.

I love Ashley (as I love all of my cousins). Since we were born we have been like sisters. Her dad would come down every weekend, and Ash would come down with him.  So when she said she wanted to move down here, I was beyond excited.

One thing Ashley and I both love is running. So naturally, the second she got her things moved down here, we started running together.  Ashley pushed me to run further and harder than I had on my own. Soon we were running 9 miles a day in 100-degree heat. I was in the best shape I've ever been in.

My mom had heard about a relay marathon that was coming up within the month that we had been running.  We all decided to do it. My mom would run 8 miles, and Ash and I would both do 9.  We were excited and ready.

Race day came, we all woke up early and drove up the canyon to the starting line. We all used the bathroom one last time, and then they started dropping people off at their handoffs.  My mom was starting, I was second, Ashley would finish for us.  They dropped me off right at Vivian park and then took Ashley to her spot.  Then I waited.  I wasn't very nervous. I was excited, and I felt confident that I could make it.

My mom came down the hill, tapped my hand and off I went. I felt really, really good. I was going at a good pace, the weather was perfect, and I had some great tunes going.

About mile 6 my foot fell asleep.  I still don't really know why this happens, but every now and then my foot will fall asleep for a while. Anyone else have that problem or know why?  It only lasted for about a mile so I was comfortable again soon.  But as I was nearing where our handoff was supposed to be, I couldn't find Ashley. I figured I'd just miss judged the mile markers or something. So I kept going.

By mile 12 I knew we had something was up, but I kept going.  I still felt really well.  By mile 14 I found the guy that dropped us all off and I asked him if he had seen her run by, thinking maybe she had started before I found her.  He hadn't seen her and he said we definitely missed our hand off several miles ago. He left to go find her and have her start running my way.  I kept going anyway.

There was a guy that I had been running by the whole race. He knew what had happened with our handoff and he was so awesome to keep me going and push me on.  I still felt really good and was really surprised about that, but he would run with me and keep me going.

Around 18 miles I had to go to the bathroom. SO BAD. My mom found me on the course and asked if I'd found Ash, and to see how I was doing.  My only complaint was that I couldn't find a bathroom. I was going to have to hold it.  But shortly after I had run into my mom, I knew there would be no more holding it, I'd have to find a bush.  The problem with finding a bush during a race is that there are usually several people around you and you can't go hide very well.  So I had to wait for a little break. When the opportunity presented itself,  I ran to a bush, but before I could do much more than that, I had already gone.  It happens to a lot of runners, right?  So the next time I saw my mom, was at the last mile, and the first thing she did was ask if I'd peed my pants.  So I had to explain that.

Those shorts are super attractive. We were exhausted. 

I finished the race and waited to see Ashley finish. She did shortly after.  You guys, I ran a 20-mile race. I'd never gone further than 9 miles at a time before that. What this taught me, is that if you feel like you can't go a further distance, you really can.  I started to say "If you can run 3 miles, then you can run 6" and for the most part that's true.  I've noticed that when I put myself to the test while being prepared and hydrated, I can usually about double the distance I'm running.

Listen to your body. Stop when you need to. But try to push yourself a little further next time.

Any relayers out there?

When was the last time you surprised yourself?

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