I did my first “fun run” this weekend. Austin Peay hosted their own color run, but for a third of the price of the original.
At check-in, I got my white t-shirt that had the words “The Gov Run” on the front and the names of sponsors on the back. All around there were people wearing stick-on mustaches in honor of our mascot, who has just been changed to look meaner on behalf of our football team. The friendly mustache is like a throwback to when he looked like the peanut bag guy. Anyway!
During the run (which was somewhere over a mile, I think….I wasn’t wearing my Garmin) we were sprayed with flourescent liquid, and shot at with colored cornstarch powder at different intervals. Once we finished, we were directed to the intramural field and given a packet of colored powder each. Then at the end, we waited for the time to come when we were told to throw our colored powder in the air as a unit.
Waiting to throw the powder was boring for me, since I wasn’t really dancing or down with the beat. I had the misfortune to meet a large-bottomed student who asked me if she could could move up to the front with me, when she really meant was that she didn’t care whether she pushed me out of the way or not with said large bottom but was going to do it faux-nicely.
Nevertheless, I stayed until it was over. I managed to catch (and break) an APSU frisbee thrown my way, a skittle packet, and an extra packet of colored powder before it was all over. And I got thoroughly covered by colored liquid and colored powder as volunteers made their rounds. I took a few pictures of myself before leaving. I also got some yummy “street tacos” from the taco truck parked next to the intramural field.
It was fun. I would do it again, but I would try harder to recruit a friend next time.
This past weekend I did my first-ever relay. However, if you count other types of relay, it isn’t exactly my first. I did the 4×8 my last year of high school. This, my friends, was a bit different. Where the 4×8 was four girls running half a mile each, this baby was 8 (7 since we lost one) people running what added up to 116 miles. The race went from Paris, TN to Pickwick, TN.
What led me to do this, you might ask? I didn’t look the event up and then decide to do it. About two months ago Jan and I went to support fellow runners/nab free food 😉 at a race. A mutual runner friend walked up and was chatting with us, and asked if we might want to join this race he was doing if someone dropped out.
I didn’t think much about it after that. A week ago, I got a text from a former teammate from college and then I got a message from the friend Jan and I were talking to in February. Once I cleared it up that they were on the same team, I looked up the event. This was the first year that the Tennessee River Relay has been held. The event didn’t yield many results on my search, and though it had a facebook, the website for the actual race didn’t have a lot of information. Nonetheless…Jan and I got set up to join, as more people dropped out of the team and were replaced by us. The day before, someone had to drop out. By the time of the race there were seven of us instead of the race director’s preferred number of eight members.
I didn’t sleep very well that week, and the night before the race was no exception. I got an hour of sleep. One of the team members, Kent, picked Jan and myself up in his vehicle. He and Brandon rode over together. We met up with my former teammate Tracee nearby. Next we all rode over in our respective cars to Paris, Tennessee, where the race was set to start. Here we met our remaining two team members.
There weren’t many teams signed up. For a second I was disappointed, but then I thought about how we could win. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts, as the rest of the team started talking about how we wanted to do really well.
We ultimately decided to do evenly measured distances for everyone, until we got tired or needed to adjust our strategy. Ultimately that worked better than Jan and my initial plan of having one longer distance in the middle of two shorter race legs.
Someone proposed our team be called Team Terminus. The ‘Terminus’ part comes from the last half of Walking Dead season 4, in which the characters keep seeing signs for a “safer” community called Terminus. The name stuck. After Brandon, the team leader, wrote the team name and drew a zombie on the car, I started drawing too. We covered the side windows of both team cars with drawings from the show.
The race proved to be pretty exciting. Another team had a back and forth with us early in the race. They even passed us. We changed up our strategy after that, and were able to pass them again.
Much of the day was spent munching on food and driving to stopping point of the runner running the current leg of the race. We changed our strategy as necessary if someone got fatigued or we needed to extend our lead over second place. Ultimately, I ran 7 legs. 5 of them were 3 miles, and the last two were less than 3 miles. I ran nearly 17 miles in total, Jan ran even more.
I hadn’t met 2 of the people on our team before. I enjoyed getting to know them as the day went on. For the entirety of the race, we were on roads like the ones pictured above. We were rarely in the downtown areas of where we ran. For the most part, we did have a shoulder to run on, except for a few scary times when we did not. There were a few times when we ran past barking dogs. We ran past roadkill and litter. Kent had a hurting foot, but otherwise the only injury any of us got was a sunburn.
The race was such a fun time. As the race neared to a close, we started worrying that second place was closing in on us. Though they were nowhere in our immediate sight, we acted as if the threat were real, and kicked it in for the end. We started doing shorter distances or taking breaks. All of us were pretty tired by this point. In the end, we won!! Well, kind of. Though we beat the second place team by well over 5 minutes. (We finished in 15:23 and they in 15:29). The race director considered the second place team the true winners since they had a full team of 8 members and we only had 7. We disagreed, but none of us was going to cause a scene.
After taking pictures and talking to the other team, we went out to eat. We had originally decided to camp out in tents after the race, but thankfully we decided against it. I don’t think our bodies would have responded favorably to sleeping on the ground after the exercise we we put them through. We got hotel rooms and called it a night after that.
The next day we ate breakfast and said some bittersweet goodbyes.
I have a feeling that may not be the last time we all see each other. I think they were great people to meet and I am glad I got to run with such a fun and energetic group of people.
I really enjoyed this race, mainly because of having the people that were on my team. I also liked the competitive nature of our run. I think the race itself could have some improvements in communication and resources for the runners.
I am thankful I was asked to run on this unexpected adventure.
I am in the a big running rut. I ran a marathon this February and it was awesome. My first marathon ever. I ran it with Jan and we both loved the process leading up to the race and the race itself. As the Spring went into Summer, I just….fell back. The process has continued. These days I don’t really “crave” going on a run that much, even when I haven’t run in a few days! I’ve never felt quite this unethused about running, though the year I ran in college does come pretty close.
Does anyone have any tips? What helped you? Please comment below and help a displaced runner out!
Friday was the deadline for the 3rd and last race in the Rotary Park race series held this year. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, so I didn’t sign up early. As time went on, I forgot almost completely about the race. Jan reminded me two days ago about the race registration deadline on the 10th. I went to register online, only to find out the deadline was at 2am that morning. Undeterred, I asked the running group on facebook if they knew whether I could sign up. Long story short, I was able to register. In fact, I paid this morning 😉
The run started out the way the other two did, with a long, sloping uphill designed to separate the runners from each other. More of the race was downhill than last time, which was nice. The end was up the same long, sloping uphill and it is difficult the second time around! I find it harder to write about these trail runs than road races because the race feels like a blur. I was in with a group of men for most of the race, passing a person or two. I was the second woman to finish.
After the race, the Runners Hub gave out medals to the people who did all three races. I got one of these. They were made from real wood too, and smelled really nice. For being the second woman overall I got a bamboo plant. For being first in my age group, I got a glass with the race’s name on it. A good haul! My bonsai tree from the last race died so I was happy to get a “low maintenance” plant this time. I’m slowly populating the house with my race plants 😉
Last Saturday I ran the Rotary Park Race 2.0. This was at Rotary Park, same as the first race of the series. It was 5 miles. The course was about the same, but there were more parts of the park used to get the additional mileage. There was also an uphill ending…
This race was longer, and I had been training with Jan for it for the several weeks leading up to it. We’d occasionally run at Rotary Park to get some practice in and so I could adjust to the hills. The male and female winners of the race got trail shoes like the race before, and this time I hoped to win them. Last time I was very close but apparently my shoes touched the sensor pad less than a second after the first place person.
I spent too much time in miles 2-3 running behind someone who was a little slower than I was, and now I see that it (and my failure to be quicker and adjust my pace as I knew I should have) contributed to my greater defeat this time around. Though I knew I had waited much too long to speed up, I broke as I was passed, even walking to the finish line.
I walked around with Jan for a bit and then shook the first place woman’s hand. She said I had made her work hard.
For second place, I got a Bonsai tree and a pair of socks. The Bonsai tree is very pretty, but I think I’m going to give it away because I see that they are high maintenace and I dont’ want it to die. …Unless someone comments on here and tells me that a novice plant owner is likely to be able to keep it alive and has good tips 😉
I have many feelings about this race, but suffice to say that I see that I have some work to do and that I can learn from this experience. It stunk to be beat, and especially in a situation where I wanted the prize so much, but there are other races to be run and other goals to be met.
It was harder than I’m writing on here, but I wasn’t sure how to express it. At Jan’s encouragement I took a week off of running and now I feel like I can get going again.
Sometimes it’s been hard for me to come up with things to talk about because I often feel that if I’m not traveling or have a “big plan” that there isn’t much others would want to read. I know that this isn’t really the case. If I have a friend or two who cares about what I’m doing and likes reading my blog, then that is all that matters! Quality over quantity of readers, I say.
I have come to realize that I’ve got to get to know myself better before I can accurately pick my “dream” career…which is hard for me to accept because I want to figure it all out at once! I want to move out within the year. I would really rather not continue living in my town because I’m afraid that I’ll just end up always living here. However, I know that a journey begins with a single step. And maybe I have to take on small challenges like making basic everyday decisions getting a full-time job and moving out before I can take on bigger ones like moving away from here or deciding if I want to go back to school.
Cool things coming up:
Morgan’s wedding, in which I am a bridesmaid! Jan and I will have fun dancing at the reception too 🙂
Rotary Park 2.0 Race! You’d better believe I’m excited about this one.
Mom’s wedding….this doesn’t fall under “cool” as much as I wish it did, but c’est la vie.
Possibly another wedding in June for Jan’s friends Sam and Valerie.
Pet-sitting! This isn’t really an event but I think I’ll be pet-sitting in June for one of my favorite families. I enjoy pet-sitting very much so this will be fun.
-I got a part-time job at the library here- I am still working up the courage to apply to graduate school – I found out my mother is getting married (hmm) – I helped host my friend Morgan’s bridal shower – I turned another year older
That’s a loose summary of course. I didn’t sit down with anything specific in mind to talk about, but I figured it had been a while since my last post. As far as running goes, my marathon recovery has come along nicely. I feel back to normal, except that I have to work on my speed for shorter distances. I haven’t signed up for my next race yet, but it’ll be in early May, the Rotary Park Trail Race 2.0. It’s supposed to be a little longer than the last one. I am hoping my “rival” from the last race will be there. It’s all in good fun of course! 😉