I am so excited. Lately I’ve been feeling rejuvenated. Running is fun again and I think it’s the sense of accomplishment and community I’m feeling. Just when I thought “racing” wasn’t going to be a luxury I had anymore, I’ve gotten to do quite a bit of it lately and I LOVE IT!
I’m running happy!!!
This past weekend, I joined a team supported by Lululemon St. Louis to run another race that’s been on my “list” since it started
The event really started BEFORE the race when the team went to the Central West End to get team gear to run in! It was my first time meeting the team and my first impressions were great. I started thinking about the fact that this is my third relay race and all three times I joined a team of people I didn’t know. Hood to Coast and River to River were the first two. I’ve lucked out all three times!
The race day started at 5:45 in West St. Louis County. I was assigned leg 2 without knowing much about what I was getting into. At that point I was just willing to do whatever to run.
The first leg was a short 3.5 miles which meant I was running by 6:30 A.M. which would normally mean cooler temps and mild conditions but it’s summer in St. Louis and you could see the humidity.
Leg two was still leaving St. Louis County. It was mostly in the sun, flat but not much to look at for almost 4 miles (3.93). But I was just so excited to be running I didn’t care. I made sure to take Gatorade Endurance with me in my handheld bottle and I’m glad I did. Today was NOT a day to toy around with hydration. It was going to be a long day and I knew it. I came into my first exchange feeling good but happy to have the first run under my belt.
After the first leg we found a gas station and changed into new clothes. I also too a minute to recover and stay hydrated before running off to meet runner 3’s first exchange (Meghan).
Did I mention everyone on my team was super fast?!! I loved it!
My second leg was supposed to start in Weldon at Lost Valley. John (runner 1) was coming off a challenging 5.73 mile legitimate trail run when a shelf cloud blew in bringing thunder and lighting.
Have you ever wondered how a relay race handles bad weather? Turns out the best they can. If you think about it, there were 1200 runners all over the region in various states of exposed. Kinda scary when you think about it. At the first sign of lightning, the coordinator at our exchange delayed the race. So runners came in expecting to hand off to eager runners but all they found were a bunch of people looking concerned that they would show up only to be told the race was delayed. I’ve never seen so many disappointed faces. BUT it was the right thing to do.
After hanging around for 33 minutes, I was given the all clear to start my second leg a 4.43 mile shaded Katy Trail leg. The only problem with the delayed start was that it allowed more groups to catch up to us so that when we started back up again, it was like starting a road race. There were runners everywhere. It was hard to pass because some runners were running three wide.
I had read that this leg went through Defiance where there was a biker bar right along the trail. I was SOOO ready to sacrifice my pace for a stop in the bar BUT what I got was a solid 4 miles in the rain so I didn’t take anything more than my waterbottle which meant no cash for that shot I was hoping for. The good thing about the storm was that it brought in cooler temps for my leg and some of the next which was a nice break but it wasn’t long before all that sitting rain got steamy again and back to the humidity that we were used to. Ironically, the rain cleared just as I was coming into the exchange.
Meghan and I had flawless handoffs. 🙂 She took off and we loaded up once again. Relay races are so crazy. I always think I’m gonna have tons of time to prepare for my next leg but inevitably the time FLYS and each leg is here before you know it. Same thing here. We were having so much fun. Each exchange was a chance to get to know other runners and it was a BLAST. If you don’t personally know me, I’m kind of a ham so I love these chances to be part of the community!
My third leg was definitely my hardest for a lot of reasons…the humidity, the sun was beating down and my body was not too thrilled with a third leg (like everyone else at that exchange) but none the less, John came in off what was probably his roughest leg and I took off.
The day got hot just in time for everyone’s last legs but the team had an absolute blast. We made it in to Hermann and ran the last of the last leg together
The day was an absolute blast. Lululemon brought us all together (and a lot of coordination rom John). I got to know some pretty amazing people and we laughed a lot!
Would I run this again? ABSOLUTELY!
Take a look at John’s site for a great selection of shoes and gear >> TakeItRunning
And as for the Lululemon gear I wore and LOVED check out these links >>
Hang with me because I still have one more race recap to write and post!