I didn’t have it penned in my planner. It was a sudden adventure asked of me by my good friend Tammy. One of their relay runners was injured and she asked me to fill in to run the relay for the CIM 2012. I eagerly accepted the offer. Excited to have a chance to be a part of a full marathon. Even if it was a relay.
She excitedly shared with me the details of my leg. I was runner #2 and I was to run 7.6 (rolling hills) miles. I am not a fan of hills… now that I live in south Sacramento where I do not have hills to practice and run on. But I knew that I could do it. Bring it on hills.
The last time I ran hills was when I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon a few weeks ago. I was ill prepared for the hills… but always ready to take on a challenge.
A few days before the race, I began watching the weather. Holy triple storm Bat Man! It would be pouring rain (BUCKETS!) with wind gusts up to 50 mph! This would not be any typical race. This would be an epic adventure! Bring it on Mother Nature!
I woke early and drove to meet the girls to head to the race. The roads were flooded. It was crazy and hard to see while driving. My running gear was SOAKED just walking TO THE CAR. At that point I figured it was a lost cause to attempt to stay dry. I was going to get wet. It was a no brainer.
We drove to the drop off point where we were to meet Runner #1 (Tammy). I stood (shivering and soaked to the bone) and waited for her to give me the hand off… our ankle bracelet. We were able to watch the lead pack blast through the course, as we waited. They were amazing and SO inspirational to watch! They are FAST!
I knew my turn to run was quickly approaching. Tammy is a quick runner (all the girls on my relay team are great runners). I didn’t want to disappoint them. I was psyching myself up to do my best, given the circumstances of the day and lack of training.
As quick as she appears, we exchange ankle bracelets and I take off to run in the pouring rain. Soaked. Cold. The wind. The hills. Oh those blasted rolling hills!! There was flooding in the streets. Many times you could choose to run around the puddle (like way around) but I chose to pounce through the puddles, channeling my inner child… splashing and giggling with each sloshy step through those chilling puddles.
While I was running, my teammates were off chasing to the next adventure… our next relay exchange point. They encountered closed roads, traffic, and street flooding. Mother Nature had it in for everyone today. They were running behind to get to my exchange point, that they were not there when I arrived. I did arrive 20 minutes ahead of my projected time. I was cold. I was wet. I wanted to be done running.
I ran up and down the relay shoot multiple times yelling my runner’s name. Only to be left out in the rain. I texted and called the girls… frantic asking where they were. They were running behind and were shocked confused impressed with my time. The hand off was a success, and I was able to change into some dry clothes… until the next hand off where I would get soaked again.
My split for the relay was 7.6 miles in 1:10:37. Not bad for the rain, wind and hills. At least, I am pretty impressed with my time.
My relay team did fantastic. We were tatas and tutus… how fun is that name!? We finished 39/177 relay teams. Our final time was 4:17:56. I would love to finish a full marathon in that time. But at this point in my life, my training, and my running experience… I will only be running a marathon with that finishing time when I run it with my girlfriends.
It was an epic race. It WAS fun. It WAS wet. It WAS windy. It was definitely an adventure I will giddily share with my children’s children one day.. the day I ran in the crazy California International Marathon relay race!