Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tacoma City Marathon

What a great last minute decision!  I got invited to run on a relay team with the Dirty Girls (a local group who does trail running).  The race was divided between 5 legs that varied between 3.9 and 6 miles.  My leg was leg 2 and it was 4.8 miles long. 

I got up at 4:30am to get ready and go meet my team in Gig Harbor.  I drove to Starbucks for my usual pre-race tradition...bad news, they weren't open!!!  Ugh.  I tried Cutter's go.  I even tried Fred Meyer...same thing.  Apparently, nothing opens by 5:30am in Gig Harbor on a Sunday morning.  I guess I was running the race  with no food or coffee.  Thank goodness my leg was less than 5 miles.

Oh yeah, this was our ride for the race:

We got to the art museum and met up with the rest of the other Dirty Girls Relay Team #1 for a photo shoot.  Alexa Martin wrote a book called "Girl Wonder" and Gateway was taking photos for it. :)  It was a lot of fun to be a part of this wonderful group.  Especially since I really didn't know anyone leading up to today.  They were very kind and greeted me like I had known them forever!

Jina Benson took leg 1.  It was 5.7 miles long.  We stood at the start line and cheered her on as she took off.  As soon as she was out of our sight, we headed to our leg 2 hand off destination.  It was here that we decided to add some warrior paint to ourselves.  Why not?  Let's make this race fun!  As we were standing at the hand off spot, I saw a few people I know come running by and was able to cheer them on.  I saw my online friend Claudia, 4:15 pacer Ginger, several people from the Route 16 crew, and of course tons of Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics!  Then around the corner we saw Jina!  We yelled for her and she finished so strong.  She did awesome!  We tagged off and I took off!

My leg was flat and pretty!  I ran along the water on Ruston Way for several miles.  It's funny running in a relay, you have fresh legs so you are able to pass people when they are tired.  It's a good and a bad feeling.  Good because you feel even stronger and you push harder...bad because you know you haven't been running nearly as long as them :)  I was able to pound up the first hill rather quickly passing several men along the way.  The funniest sight here was the police man with the speed gun faced at me!  Also, as I ran along Ruston I had several people calling out, "go Sexy Girl!" becuase of my war paint on my face :)

I was pacing in the high 8 minute miles for the first 4 miles.  Then as I passed through the tunnel something bad happened.  I'm not sure if it was the fumes, the sounds, the motion of the speeding car flying by me, or the fact I hadn't eaten but I got out of the tunnel and started gagging!  Uncontrollably!!!  Ugh, I hate my stomach sometimes.  I continued to walk but it definitely slowed my pace for about 30 seconds to a minute.  Once I was finally able to catch my breath, I started running again.  The final hill was a doozy.  I passed people who were walking up it and turned the corner.  There were my Dirty Girls cheering me on!  I willed my legs to sprint and finished as strong as I could and tagged Gwen so she could take on the 5 mile drive leg though Pt. Defiance. 

I stopped running and tried to catch my breath.  I then realized I had forgotten to stop my watch.  So my GPS said I finished in 44:10.  I think with the gagging and forgetting it really was about a minute less than that.  We didn't have far to drive for the next hand off.  I was able to stretch in the van and enjoy some Gatorade.  At the next hand off we decided to goof-off a little and take some pics.

When Gwen came out of the park she tagged Kjerstin.  We all hopped in the Dirty Van and took off to Cheney Stadium.  It's amazing how much territory we covered!  At Cheney, Nichole was able to get out and stretch.  She did all the driving leading up to this point so she really wanted to focus here.  We were watching the volunteer at the water station struggle to get the cups filled.  There were only 2 volunteers at this stop.  One for the Gatorade and one for the water.  Gwen and I stepped in and helped him fill cups.  Another guy from a relay team also jumped in to help.  Between the 3 of us, we were able to help him get the 3 bottles emptied and fill an entire table with cups of water.

At the final leg, Kjerstin tagged Nichole and we hopped in the Dirty Van to head back into downtown.  Our plan was to finish as a group.  The only rule was that Nichole had to cross the finish line before any of us or else it would register a false time.  We didn't have a lot of time because this leg was only 3.9 miles but we made it in time.  We saw Nichole running hard!  I gave Alexa my jacket and we all finished as a team. :)  It was so much fun!!!

Our Dirty Girls #2 Team finished in a time of 4:02:14 with a pace of 9:15! We came in 4th place of 8 teams!  We also came in 14th of 26 teams. The Dirty Girls #1 Team took home 1st place with a time of 3:33:33!!! Nice job ladies!

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like so much fun! What a great way to get the whole experience of this race. And how nice of your team to jump in and help the volunteers. I bet all of the runners coming to that waterstop really appreciated that as well.

    Congratulations on an awesome finish!