The 10k may be my favorite race distance, but I am quickly becoming a fan of relays. I think it’s the comradery of having a team of friends that are all working together to finish a race. So when I found out the Frederick Running Festival had a relay race I knew I need to run it! I had previously participated in the Frederick Running Festival 5k a few years back but this year I managed to convince my sister to run the half marathon relay with me.
Being the incredibly organized pair of sisters that we are it was we decided on our legs of the race two days before. I ran the first leg (7.7 miles) and she ran the second leg (5.4 miles but with way more hills). Yeah…we love to procrastinate which was apparently the theme of this race.
Neither of us felt entirely prepared for this race. Due to a combination of horrible weather, and the fact that this race occurred right after the last week of my old job and right before starting a new one, I wasn’t able to properly train for the distance due to the stress of wrapping things up at work. However, both of us managed to run the Kennedy Krieger ROAR for Kids 5K without stopping the week prior, which made us feel better about tackling our distances in the relay.
The morning of the race, the weather was, thankfully, cooperating and I knew it was going to be a great day! Unfortunately, we didn’t properly plan for the traffic getting to the start line and my sister ended up missing the bus to take her to the relay exchange point. See, procrastination…theme of the day.
Luckily her husband was able to drive her, and two other runners we randomly bumped into who also missed the bus. On the bright side, this meant that she was able to cheer me on as I crossed the start line! Silver linings!
To say I was nervous about this race was an understatement. With everything going on I am still struggling to motivate myself to get out and run on a consistent basis and I didn’t feel as prepared as I did when I ran the Sole of the City a few weeks prior. However, I surprised myself!
Despite starting off my leg a bit too fast, I managed to slow down my pace enough so I made it four miles without needing to stop. After mile four I took brief walk breaks for each mile after but each walk was minimal. Then when I hit mile 7 something weird happened.
I became incredibly emotional. Please comment below if you have ever experienced this, but this isn’t the first time this has occurred. This doesn’t happen often, but occasionally, during a run, I will feel a huge swell of emotion (usually when I am really pushing myself and it is almost always during a time of stress in my life). Most of the time I am able to hold it together and suppress the tears but that wasn’t happening during this race.
The tears just started flowing, I am thankful it was just tears and not ugly crying, but it was enough that other runners noticed. That moment, my friends, was when I realized how much I LOVE the running community and how supportive they are. All of a sudden two runners beside me yelled “Relay runner! Yeah you! You’ve got this, you’re almost there you’re looking great!”
I wasn’t crying because I was struggling, but hearing words of encouragement kept me from feeling embarrassed, and pushed me to run even faster. By the time I reached the exchange I felt so proud of myself and with a quick hug my sister began the second leg.
My sister did great too meeting some of her own personal records, which I say made the Frederick Relay a success all around!
Afterward, I celebrated the best way I knew how with brunch at the Family Meal and then driving four hours to Roanoke, VA halfway to Asheville, NC where I spent the next week on vacation. In case you were wondering, driving four hours after running over seven in the morning didn’t become my favorite decision in the world. I wouldn’t advise it. However, I did manage to end my day with a delicious Patty Melt in my hotel room, #treatyoself!
Have you ever gotten emotional while running? Please share your story in the comments so that I don’t feel so weird and alone….🙂