Monday, May 2, 2011

Gettysburg Relay Recap

On Sunday, I ran the Gettysburg Marathon Relay with three friends supported by a fabulous friend and runner who had to make the difficult decision not to run at the last minute for personal reasons after planning the entire adventure.

It was so much fun to be in Gettysburg having graduated from both Gettysburg College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettsyburg. On Saturday, I met up with my friends, had a great though chaotic dinner at Mamma Ventura's an Italian restaurant we had frequented in college, and walked around town a bit.

Sunday was race day. I was scheduled to run the second leg of the relay, which was 7.2 miles. However, I also needed to do an 11 mile training run for my upcoming half marathon, so I would run the second leg and just keep on running for another 4 miles after that. Our first runner made great time on his 5.8 miles, and so off I went. It was a hilly course, but honestly not much hillier than most of my runs where I live in the middle of rolling hills. A few were a bit steeper or longer. Don't get me wrong, they hurt, but I was pretty prepared for it. Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I did finish my run just before one of the big hills on the course so I got a little lucky.

My refueling plan was a great success. I decided to eat one honey stinger chew at each mile marker and follow it with a sip of my electrolyte water. Aid stations were every two miles, and there I grabbed water to balance out my intake. It was perfect. Everyone was so nice. It was an out and back course, so on my way to the halfway point, the fast runners were coming back on their way to finish the marathon. Not only were they doing great, but they even found it in them to cheer on the rest of us much slower folks!  I was amazed.  The camaraderie over the entire race was a joy to experience. At mile 7.2 of my run, just past the 13.1 mile course marker (and turnaround), I found my next teammate who jumped right in checking in on how I was doing, and I was delighted to say that I felt great!  She took off for her leg as she's much faster than I am, and I kept right along running for my last 4 miles.

My energy, my breathing, my stamina, and my outlook all were great through the entire 11 mile run.  I was amazed.  No trying to convince myself not to stop, no gasping for air, no thinking I might die when all was said and done. At mile 8, I was actually wondering to myself what I might do if I finished my 11 miles and still felt good.  Maybe I'd keep running? Yea, I needn't have tried to think that far ahead but that's how good I was feeling. My muscles hurt but everything else felt great.  But by mile 9, my muscles were really hurting. And by mile 11 (which was at mile 17 on the course), my body was telling me to stop, and I did. If there hadn't been a giant hill in front of me at that point, I might have added one more mile in, but it was a wise decision to not.

I'm super sore today. I have a nasty blister on my foot that made my husband gasp aloud when he saw it. My foot with the inflamed tailor's bunion is not bearing weight well. My hamstrings and lower back are killing me. And I have some unfortunate chafing from my sports bra that was made much worse by not changing out of any of my running stuff for nine hours after the race. Oh yea, because after all was said and done, I had to drive myself home which took 5.5 hours as a result of an accident and other traffic. The drive home hurt more than the running itself did.

Overall, it felt great. I enjoyed running 11 miles. 11.2 to be exact. Seriously. I'm not evening kidding. It was fun. I was sad my friend couldn't run it as she planned, but I am so thrilled and excited to run the half marathon with her. Two more weeks, and I can't wait!


  1. Awesome job!!! Proud of you.

  2. Jamie, this is awesome & so inspiring!!! I'm still working back up to a comfortable 5k. I told my mother in law I'd run an 8k with her in June...
    Slow & Steady is my game right now.
    Feeling a little let down that in the last three weeks of running I haven't lost a bit of weight, but, maybe soon.
    Congratulations to you - great accomplishment!

  3. Hi Jamie!
    That course was very hilly. Glad you felt so good! Looking forward to reading about your half marathon success in less than two weeks now. :)

  4. Superhero here she comes :-)


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