Skip to main content

My First Relay

Oh where to start.... I had friends who ran the Harrisburg Marathon relay last year, and I had considered it... but passed. This year, I had a friend who was running the full, and had a couple of relay teams running it with her as a tourist run. What's a tourist run? It's a run where you run the course strictly for fun ... sometimes hopping off to take pictures with strangers, statues... in our case a dead squirrel ha ha. So yes, lots of photos were taken this past Sunday.  OH, I should mention she had beer stops along the course. I think there were at least 8 during the 3rd leg? I don't drink (other than an occasional sip from Hubby's craft beer. Although I did have a sip or two of a chocolate martini once. I think I could probably go for that.. but that's another post for another day) So I passed on the beer.. plus I was basically running on an empty stomach (I'll get to that in a minute). We were the Taking Our Time Tourist Team - Because sometimes the time on the street is better than the time on the clock!

I have to say as I drove to City Island, I remember the last time that I was there for a marathon.. it was my own in 2013. That race still leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth...  You can read about that here (I Gave Up During My 2nd Marathon)

But as with any race, the closer it got to race time the more excited I got.. and some nerves kicked in. I haven't been running a lot of mileage. In fact, my longest run for the last 4 weeks or more.. I'm not even sure? Was only maybe a mile and that was probably with Miles.

I was running the last leg which was 4.9 miles, but I have to say I was nervous about it. I mean my friend was running the full. It would be very bad if I had to ask her to stop and walk for me because I needed a break. Umm... hello.. she would be over 20 miles at that point, I'm there to encourage her not slow her down.

Anyway, we got to the island at 7:20 for group photos. The energy of the River Runners as always is electrified. We are one rowdy, encouraging, diverse yet unified group of runners.

As I stood at the start line cheering my friends on... I felt excitement that I would be running today... and relief that I wasn't doing the full. Yep, since my last marathon experience / training, still at this point I have zero, zilch, nada, no way in h*ll desire to run a full. I'm not even into running a Half Marathon at his point. But, I am ready to up my mileage past a mile run :)

Seeing how this was my first relay, I really didn't know what to expect. And I made some major rookie mistakes. The main one being FOOD! Yep, I had packed a little snack bag, but on my rush to get out the door I forgot it. I did manage to get in touch with a friend and she brought some granola bars. But let me tell you, after getting up before 6am, eating toast with banana and peanut butter, by the 8am start I was hungry. I hate half a granola bar. By 10am I was hungry again and ate another granola bar. By the time we actually got to start running I was a little shakey. I had assumed that there would be something at the relay point (bagel, banana or something). I should have looked into that a little more. And honestly I should have packed a sandwich or some type of substantial food.

We didn't start running until after 12:30pm. So I'd been there since 7:20.

The fun part: Cheering on the other runners. That was awesome. I saw their faces. I remember the struggle - the guy who was less than half way with visible calf cramps. He was in pain. I could see it on his face. I could also see the muscle physically cramped. (This was me in 2013 when I cramped up). I remember it, and I felt for him. And I screamed my heart out that he was doing awesome. I saw the front of the pack whiz past me with a look of determination and focus. And I saw the middle of the packers with the same look of determination and focus. And I saw and ran with the back of the packers with determination and focus. Because, as you will find out, no matter your pace or your place, we are all runners. One thing I will point out is by the time the back of the packers come through the course support is slim to none. I saw people with long stretches where they were the only ones running. That can mess with your head sometimes especially when everything hurts...

I met a lady who was running her first marathon. I don't remember her name, but I remember her face. We cheered her on. Told her to keep going as my rowdy group passed her.

I saw her after she crossed the finish line. I jumped up to run to her and congratulate her. I saw her tears of accomplishment. I felt my eyes tear up as I gave her a high five. I feel the moisture in my eyes now as I type this. I may never see her again, but I was a small part in celebrating her accomplishment.

For me personally, it was a great experience! I have to admit the waiting was hard. I mean waiting 4+ hours to run wasn't easy. We were the very last relay team to take off, but I thought we probably would be. Hello - tourist run.

And although I may have run the shorter leg of less than 5 miles, I still felt a sense of accomplishment because I knew that was actually a push for me since I haven't been running a lot of mileage. I was able to have fun with my friend as she finished a marathon. It was great to run with my friends on the relay team (some new some old) and be a part of the Harrisburg Marathon. And I would definitely do it again.

“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” ― Kathrine Switzer, 26.2: Marathon Stories

Writing is one of my passions, and I'm stepping out there on faith to follow my dream. If you like this blog or this post, please take a moment to share it with friends. Thank you for helping me follow my dream.

Share this on Facebook?

Share on Tumblr
Add to Flipboard Magazine.
I'm A Top Health & Fitness Blogger @ Top Mommy Blogs - Please Click To Give Me A Vote

Please Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the affiliate link.


Popular posts from this blog

Running My Life

Wow, has it really been 2 years since my last post? I suppose that I allowed life to get in the way. For any faithful blog readers, I apologize. Although, I'm not sure how many people actually read blogs anymore. I think most people use other social media platforms.  (By the way, drop by and say hi on Insta. )  But for some reason, each year when I pay for my google domain, I can't seem to let it go. As silly as it sounds, this little space is mine. And lately I've been struggling with ownership and acceptance. And my domain renewal was a not so gentle reminder that I have a voice .  Seriously, you'd think by 48 that I'd have this figured out - nope - apparently not. However, I am wise enough to know that we have a choice to allow situations to harms us or make us stronger. I'm choosing to let this mid-life quandary make me stronger. And because of this, I'm setting goals, taking charge, and reexamining priorities.  Movin' on... 

Self Care Is Not Selfish It's Necessary

It's not selfish to take care of yourself. It's not selfish to take care of yourself. It's not selfish to take care of yourself. And I'll say it just one more time in case you didn't hear me. It's not selfish to take care of yourself. I have found through experience that when I'm not taking care of myself, not only do I suffer but my family suffers. So ditch the mom guilt and take the time that you need! I have a tendency to keep pushing my needs aside until I reach a breaking point. We've had a very busy fun summer so far. However, I've struggled to get some quality ' me ' time to decompress. I'll spare you the meltdown that ensued. But the reality check that followed prompted me to take action.

When The Planner In You Must Be Flexible

In case you haven’t figured this out by now, I’m a planner. I know - shocker right?!? :) So although I love substitute teaching, it’s making the planner in me anxious. And it’s been reeking havoc on my workouts. Basically the morning of or maybe the night before, I find out if I’m working. So my day ( that I thought I had planned ) can be turned upside down in an instant. But, truthfully, isn’t that really the same with everyone?