I am home and absolutely wiped. It amazes me how much more exhausting a race is from the other long training runs. The traveling, excitement and nerves probably feed into that. So I'm sure you are interested to know how it went...and you probably would also love some visuals (aka photos). Apparently I reverted to pre-blogger Tanya, and although I carried my camera with me, I failed to take a single photo the whole weekend! For now you will have to survive with the stories, and if I get a copy of the only two photos taken (on an iPhone, simple before and after group shots) I will share them with you.
Triple Lakes Trail Run is my favorite race of all time. The trails are beautiful and well-kept and although the race itself lacks organization, I love the tradition of girls weekend, the beautiful fall weather, and the scenery during the run. This was our 3rd year running the race and the weather was as beautiful as always! The morning began cold and I was nervous I would not warm up before my leg of the race, but alas-within minutes of shedding my coat, donning my race bib, and lacing my sneakers, I was warmed up and ready to go!
My section of the race was the last 11miles of a marathon relay. Jen and Angie were both on my team and did exceptional jobs! Jen brought in the first 8 miles at just over an hour (she's a rockstar) Angie carried 7.7 miles at a great pace and came through the relay hand off way before we were expecting her.
I set out...and like a bandit I flew from the hand off and quickly realized that I was setting myself up for failure. It took me a good mile and a half to settle down into a normal pace. And another mile and a half to grasp the task ahead of me. Luckily, by then I was already 3 miles in and had just 8 to go. The miles ticked by quickly and I watched as one by one I crossed a marker and before I could really wrap my mind around the total 11 miles, I was finished! This is not to say there weren't times of discouragement, pain or mental blocks. In fact, my feet hurt worse on this run than they have previously in training, I was mentally not prepared to run by myself and physically struggled through many of the hills. I kept thinking...this is going to be bad. But it never got bad. I have never run with that attitude before. It is either bad or good. But today I anticipated the bad but never got there. The race flew by in my mind. I hardly remember it at all. It seemed as though one minute I started, and the next I was finished. I remember watching the miles fly by and thinking that I needed to stop discouraging myself and just enjoy the run. The weather was great. I ran by the lakes for the majority of the distance, and a cool breeze was constantly blowing. I couldn't have asked for a better run. Just a better attitude!
Before I left for the race yesterday...I found this tucked away in my running clothes
Alex also wrote, "I know you can do it and I am proud to call you my wife!" and "I know I can't be there to cheer you on, but I will be thinking about you and praying for your feet to carry you on." and "I love you Tanya and wish you luck even though I know you don't need it b/c you are amazing at running!"
Isn't he the best?
Well, not as great as the guy I came home to:
He is the best! I cannot wait to use my new teapot! I am also thrilled it is red and matches my kitchen aid mixer!
The second reason for using the Garmin is because it has become a great debate amongst our running group around the actual mileage of the course. Almost every one of us will finish our route and say, "There was no way that was such and such miles!" Either it was more or it was less in our opinion. We decided to test it out with the Garmin. Here is my disclaimer, however, the satellites do not read as well in the woods and on trails as they do on roads. The distance will often vary dramatically or slightly. But notice above: 23.95 miles...I did mention we ran a marathon relay, right? Each member of my team wore the watch and passed it off, and we start and stopped in between each of our hand offs. There might be a slight chance we didn't start it back up at exactly the right spot, but we were pretty accurate.
After Jen's run it read: 7.6 (her leg was supposed to be 8.2)
After Angie's run it read: 15.2 (her leg was supposed to 7)
After my run it read: 23.95 (my leg was supposed to be 11)
So it is pretty clear that Jen ran a little less than her desired length, Angie ran more, and I ran almost a mile less than mine...according to the watch. I don't really care either way, if the course is wrong, or if the watch is wrong...it is just an interesting observation.
Like I said, either way, our team rocked! As did the other 2 relay teams we went with! Despite the confusion, this is definitely my favorite race and I cannot wait till next year!