Friends, Iâ€™m coming to you from Chattanooga, TN right now!
Several weeks ago, I got an email from the kind folks at Reebok asking if I wanted to run the Tennessee Ragnar with them. EFF YES.Â
^^ My general attitude to races/race opportunities.
This will be the third relay Iâ€™ve run (my first [nearly 5 years ago!!!] and second), and I am that weirdo who doesnâ€™t mind (too much!) sleeping in a van and running at weird times (like overnight.)
This trip/race feels so much like it was meant to be â€” Iâ€™d really wanted to travel alone somewhere this year (Iâ€™m going to stay in Nashville, where we end, an extra night to explore), I wanted to really get back to my running and Nashville has been on my shortlist of domestic places to visit for a long time!
Iâ€™ve been ramping my running up and am a bit nervous about running three times in 24 hours, but Iâ€™ve done more/harder things before. ..so I should be ok?
BRB, running to Nashville; catch you on the other side!Â
Have you ever done a relay? Would you do a relay? Am I crazy?
As you know, I didn’t race Princeton the other day, but I DID run the Run 10 Feed 10.
The race is for an amazing cause â€” for every entry, 10 meals are donated for those going hungry in local neighborhoods. (I got a free bib, but I will also be making a donation.)
And I accidentally PR-ed!
After Reach the Beach, my legs were feeling rather cranky. I went to my NYJL run club Saturday, and I felt like I was running through quicksand, getting nowhere.
One day, we will find a new spot for a pic. Or not.
Earlier in the week, I was all about a PR. I texted Jordan, though,Â and told her my legs didn’t feel great, I wouldn’t be going for a PR, and we should totally run together.
I am absurdly predictable in my race-day attire. Lululemon skirt, NB 880s, and a Sparkly Soul headband. The only wildcard is the top, but that’s usually a bright color.
The race started at freaking 7am, so Jordan and I met up at 6:30. I don’t know if it was that I was half-awake, or what, but the race announcer was absurdly loud, and I wanted to turn her volume down a bit. They led us through some stretches, we heard from a live little band, and we were off.
AND GOOD GOD WAS IT HUMID. My weather app said 93% humidity, which…was a great start to the day, clearly.
Our loose race plan was to run around 9:00 miles and pick it up if we were feeling good. Suddenly, I looked down at my watch, and we were throwing down 8:09s. “Jordan, let’s slow down,” I said. “We’re going out really fast and my legs feel shot.” She said the plan was completely up to me…and so I slowed us down to 8:19s. Oops.
The race takes you down the West Side Highway. When I usually talk about running on the WSH, for you non-New Yorkers, there’s actually a path closer to the river that I run on. (NEVER THE BIKE PATH, THAT’S FOR CYCLISTS AND HOW YOU GET RUN OVER IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL.)
But for this race, the actual highway was closed, which was fun. Street closures for races are probably much more exciting in NYC than they are for the rest of you, huh?
Anyway, we got about two miles in and my legs felt SLUGGISH. It was around this point that I ran into my buddy Melissa Z, who hopped in with us for a bit. She stopped around mile 3.5 or 4, and unintentionally, Jordan and I picked up the pace. I still wasn’t feeling great, and just wanted to be done.
We hit mile 5 around 42:00 or so and I thought I’d be pretty close to PRing but honestly didn’t feel like pushing it. However, we were keeping an 8:13 pace at this point, so I decided to just hold on. I kept asking Jordan how she felt (she’s a newer runner, so I feel like I play Mama Running Bear a bit to make sure she’s okay with the pace), and she said she actually felt great. Okay lady, it’s on.
I was feeling a little nauseous, probably from the heat, so I honestly didn’t want to pull it up to 100% effort at this point. I’d say I was at about 90ish until just before hitting mile 6, when I realized I had a real shot at PRing.
I don’t even remember if I said something to Jordan or what, but I started picking it up, and so did she. My PR was 51:54, and I knew it’d be close. I crossed the finish line, and my watch read 51:55. Had I just missed a PR? Unclear, depending on when I’d started my watch relative to when I’d crossed the start/finish. Either way, I was happy with a much stronger than expected run.
How ’bout dem splits?!
We started walking away from the finish, and Jordan turned to me and asked, “Is it normal to feel this nauseous?” …just as I was thinking the same exact thing.
And then we worked on our jump shots. She is much closer to the ground, so she has a serious advantage on getting air. Or I just kind of suck.
I also ran into my long lost buddy Hallie in the VIP tent afterwards and exchanged shweaty shweaty hugs.
After hanging out for a bit, Jordan and I headed for breakfast at the Theatre Row DinerÂ because we needed to eat IMMEDIATELY.
I don’t know how I got so lucky having an awesome boss/friend/running buddy all rolled into one, but I’m not complaining. Especially if she is willing and ready to take jumping pictures immediately after a race.