Monday, July 21, 2008

R2P

This past weekend I ran the Rainier to Pacific relay. It was a great experience -- teamwork, athletic challenge, time with friends, out-of-the-ordinary situations, but mostly for the chance to accomplish a goal that I had been working towards for so long. I've posted about getting in running shape again and how I've been worried about not being ready for this relay, but I did alright and it felt great to make it through better than I thought I would.

Drama! I forgot my running shoes! The only thing that I really needed to pack. Lucky for me, Eric was planning on bringing the kids to see me run my first leg (he rented a motor home for the weekend -- more on that in the next post). So 10 minutes before my run he came driving up with my shoes and saved the day. I said a quick hello to everyone, grabbed my shoes and got out to run just in time. That's me in the yellow, almost ready to go.
My first leg was along a gorgeous stretch of highway next to Alder lake. It was beautiful -- and I passed two people, that always makes running more fun. This relay is quite small, especially compared to the Hood to Coast that most of my fellow teammates ran last year, only 30 12-member teams. I can see how running with a huge number of people could be more and less fun. I'm really satisfied with how this one went and have no complaints. I hope the relay gets some positive publicity, just because it wasn't Hood to Coast or a Ragnar doesn't mean it was bad, just low-key.
Laine had a "gift" of flowers for me at the end of my 1st run. It was really special to see the kids and Eric waiting for me at the end. It probably made the guy that I passed feel worse when he finished and saw that I have 4 kids. He he he. I went with Eric and the kids in the motor home to the next hand-off then said goodbye until the next day.

My second run was around midnight. It was another stretch of highway but I couldn't see any of it except for what was lit by my flashlight. After our second runs we stopped at a high school and ate a pancake breakfast. We thought we were going to get some sleep but the guys ran too fast for that. So we packed up and went out to run again. Our first runner, Sarah, did an awesome job. She had the worst run of the event with the hills she had to climb. Part of her instructions for this last run were to wear a bandanna around her face because of the dust. Luckily is wasn't as dusty as it could have been since this leg was around 3am and the relay wasn't very crowded. We drove by her for much of the way since it looked like the woods were full of cougars and vampires. It was so black. When I was running my second leg a guy passed me and said "it's black as tar out here." Just strange experiences that every day life doesn't bring.

I felt so ill before my third run, maybe it was the pancakes and eggs, or the Goo I ate before my second run. But it went well. I ran it around 6am, a normal running time for me. When I passed my halfway mark I almost lost it emotionally. I kept breathing out sobs as I got closer to the finish. I felt like I was going so slow but I was actually keeping a pretty good pace and when I did finish with a high five to my next teammate to run, I just had to cry, not too much but it was so emotional I had to sob something out. I've been thinking about completing this type of a run since I was pregnant with Sommer and to actually finish was such a great and overwhelming feeling, especially when factoring in sleep deprivation.

And even though the Hood to Coast intimidates me (I understand that I'll have to run farther than the 13.5 miles that I ran) I'd run it. And now I want to run a bunch of relays with different groups of people -- family, my friends and their husbands, cross country reunion -- because it really was a great experience. Thanks Lauren for including me in the group this year! Your shenanigans made us all laugh and that giant bag of peanut M&Ms was the best post run food ever! (I'm sure Lauren will have a great story and team pictures to share soon so check her blog.) I won't say that it was fun like Disneyland fun, but it was great and I want everyone to experience the greatness with me. And during my runs I did wonder why in the world runners to this? But I'm glad that they do. Ready, steady, Let's GO!

14 comments:

Audrey said...

You are amazing. Anyone who runs anywhere, let alone a big thing like this, is just awesome! I'm glad you could do something for yourself and that you made your goal! Way to go! You are inspiring!

Davidsonfieldville said...

You are so flippin KOOOOL!! Yes, I said it- cool with a "K"...thats much cooler than regular cool. Absolutely amazing. I love how you saw forests with cougars and vampires and I think "black as tar" is an excellent description~ Way to go, what a great high that must have been...I'd have sobbed too.

Tricia said...

I can't even imagine doing something like that. You are so awesome. It reminds me of the El Roble bike marathon...but more!

Sally said...

Awesome, Paige! It feels so good to accomplish something that you've been working so hard towards. You have a lot to be proud of and what a great example for your kids! (And what a supportive husband to rent a motor home.) I can't wait to hear more about that. So, how far was the relay and how many people were on your team and how far were the legs? (I've always wanted to try one, but I've just been doing 5k and 6ks, so I'm not sure I'm ready.) What a great experience - you GO!

mindy said...

Congratulations Paige, I think that is wonderful that you did it and had such a good experience. Hopefully someday we will be able to do one together.

Great idea renting the motor home. I bet the kids loved that.

You are awesome!

Cammi said...

Wow! You never cease to amaze me... I have no excuses for being lazy :)

Jen Bailey said...

Sorella Mia,
I'm proud of you (but not surprised). Bravissima!!!

Paige said...

Thanks everyone! It made my day to see that you finally left a comment for me, Sorella!

Sally, I ran about 13.5 miles. The total miles ranged from 10 to 17 miles for the 12 people on our team. If you are already running I'm sure that you could build on that base and do a great job at one of these. I was worried that I hadn't been doing enough running and asked to have one of the shorter total miles and I didn't have any "hard" legs -- all uphill kind of things. By the end of the race it is all mental anyway.

And Mindy -- wouldn't it be so fun to run with husbands in one van and wives in the other? You're on my list of people to run these things with, don't worry. ;)

Torrie said...

i never have felt the need to run a race but you make it sound like a great high!
i knew you could do it!
way to go!

Torrie said...

one more thing
i just checked my blog and saw your comment and i wanted to say
i miss seeing you at the bus stop too, so we can chat morning and noon:)

Team Biddle said...

You rock Paige!!!! I'm so impressed....

Shannon said...

Paige, you are such an inspiration. Keep blogging your races...it is great motivation for whiners like me who think a couple of miles at 7 a.m. is hard! :)

K. Laura said...

That is so awesome Paige! I'd love to do something like that--be able to say you've accomplished something great like that. Way to go!

kelly said...

wow paige!
this almost made me sorry that i declined to participate. especially the peanut m&m part...
you rock!