Sunday, December 13, 2015

Race Recap: 2015 NERC Interclub Relay

Today I ran 10 miles on the Towpath. . . in capris and a t shirt.  Last week at this time, I wore tights, shorts, a long-sleeved shirt lining, a t shirt, a jacket, a hat, and gloves--and I was still freezing my tuckus off. Welcome to Ohio, Peeps.

Last week was the Northeast Running Club (NERC) Interclub Relay and Fun Run at The West Woods Park.  I'd tell you where that is, but I haven't a clue; Sheila drove me so I didn't pay attention.  She could have just dropped me somewhere by the side of the road, and I would have died of hunger there after I ate my one GU.  It's a good thing she didn't, or she and Shelby would have had to run the eight mile leg of the relay.

I knew nothing about this race when I signed up for it.  I thought, "Yeah, trails, a relay, I'll do eight miles.  No biggie.  No pressure."  Then I looked at the list of runners: Snakebite Racing Team with my fellow Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador Pam and her husband.  Crap.  They are serious badasses, often taking first place in their AG or even overall in races.  My only consolation was that Pam finished her second Iron Man not so long ago, so I thought maybe she'd back off today.  Yeah, right.  Also I saw Nate and Giovanna, who are ultra runners (and Nate is a tri-athlete).  They both ran the Ragnar Appalachians Trail Relay this summer as part of an ultra team, and I see Nate zipping by in the neighborhoods when I run in the mornings sometimes.  Lucky for me, Giovanna told me she was taking it easy that day, so I was able to relax a little bit when we started.

The routes had been posted a few days before the race, but I am not at all familiar with this neck of the woods (see what I did there?), so it meant nothing to me.  Guy Gadomski, the race director, explained our eight-mile leg to us, but that meant nothing to me either.  I just hoped the course was clearly marked and I wouldn't be completely alone for eight miles.  I didn't need to worry; there were volunteers pointing us in the right direction, and I was able to run with and/or near a group of nice ladies for most of the race.
I'm smiling here because A) it's in the first few miles and B) I'm relieved that I'm not lost and alone.
The course was ALL HILLS.  If it had been snowing or icy, I wouldn't have run this race because there were also stairs.  My music died in the first 200 feet, so it was me counting my breaths and trying to make conversation with the runners around me.  Then I realized that they didn't want to talk to me, so I went back to counting my breaths.  It wasn't so bad running without music, even with the brutal hills and tired legs from my trail race the previous day.  I walked some of the hills, more at the end, but I feel like I finished strong and made a decent showing for my team.
At least I mustered up the energy for a thumbs-up towards the end of the race.

Those aren't fat rolls you see on me.  I put my gloves and phone in my pockets.

After the race there was a chili cook-off.  I didn't eat any chili, but I did shove a cookie in my head, as well as a homemade energy bar that was the bomb-diggity.  Then I did my selfies:

Team TORN: Shelby, Sheila, me.  Shelby is REALLY happy to be there.

Look!  I found CleMarathon Ambassador @pam_mcgowan!

All in all, this was a very nice day in the woods with some very nice people.  I've told you before that trail runners are good people, right?  Plus, you can't beat a free race, which this was. It was good to know that I can do eight miles of up and down, up and down because guess what?  I just signed up for Leg #7 in the Burning River 100-Mile Relay.  It's fifteen miles and change, and I'll be running at night, Peeps.  Crazy, ammirite?

I'll start panicking in a few months.  Until then, run happy, Peeps!

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