Thursday, May 19, 2016

From the Heart Half Marathon Relay

Two weekends ago I did the  From the Heart Half Marathon Relay with a friend. It was a 2 person relay, so we each had over 6 1/2 miles to run. This is a local race that supports families who have someone battling cancer. It was their 8th year holding this race. They also do a 5k run walk and a half marathon, as well as the relay. The 5k has the biggest entries. When I got on the bus to be shuttled back from the exchange point, there was only 15 of us on the bus but I understand a couple people were picked up before I made it to the exchange point. So, there isn't a ton of people doing the relay; there are more doing the half marathon by themselves.

If you noticed, over the last couple years after I did 2 half marathons, I have really only been doing 5ks. I think I just needed a break from running so much and at this point I can just go out and run a 5k and it's not a big deal. So, this winter I approached my friend about starting to run together this spring and suggested we find a race to build up to. Building up to 6 1/2 miles by May 7th was pretty much perfect.

I have to say, this was a really fast half marathon pace. I pretty much kept my normal pace which typically puts me in the middle of the group, but in this particular race I was further back. But my friend and I were not running it to win a medal for time (they have them for this race). It was for the cause and to push ourselves to run further distances.

I had been running all winter with a friend who trained for this to be her first half marathon and I was happy I was able to run with her for my leg (the first half that was the hilly leg!) and be able to chat with her. Yes, we could have ran faster if we weren't talking, but it helped pass the time immensely and that is how we run together. It's a social sport for me.

The race started and ended at Lake Kohlmeier, which is why I took the cute picture of the grandpa and son at the Lake after I finished running. All I could think about after the race was eating the asparagus I picked from my garden with some eggs over easy and bacon. Yum!

There are a couple things I wish were different about some of the planning for this race. One of the things is there were only 3 bathrooms (porta-potties) total and we waited in line for 20 minutes and I barely got to the start line before the singing of the national anthem and there were a ton of people behind me and they were anxious too and asking if people ahead of them were running the 5k (which started a half hour later) or the half marathon or relay.

The other thing is that it felt like the relay is kind of just lumped in there. The relay people didn't get their own shirts like the half marathon and 5K people did; they all had shirts with their race on it whereas we got ones with half marathon it. I know some people have said they feel silly wearing it because they only ran half of the half marathon and don't want people to think they are trying to say they have run a half marathon. Since I have run two half marathons and feel like I probably could have if I wanted to that day,  so I don't feel that way but I get it  from people that haven't. The other thing is that they had not planned to give medals this year to the relay (to save money) but didn't communicate that to their volunteers prior to the race, but after all medals were given out and they realized they had a ton of medals left they gave them to the relay. Each person in the relay paid (we paid $95 for the relay) nearly as much as someone running the half marathon. It felt like we just got the leftovers and are an after thought. If I were to do this race in the future, I would probably just sign up for the half or the 5K. I did like splitting it, but not how it made me feel insignificant.

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