Last night we prepared for our big run in the best way possible -- by eating a gigantic meal. The race course takes runners from Folsom, CA to the Capital in Sacramento. For any race-nerds, here is the course map. The gigantic meal was doubly important as we all know big meals make you sleepy, and when you need to go to bed at 8:45 pm to get a full-night's sleep (the last bus to transport Zach left at 5:30am from downtown Sacramento), being tired is a good idea.
This morning Alex was nice enough to let Mer and I sleep for another hour while he took Zach to the convention center. We never got a straight answer from the race staff on whether or not relayers could leave bags on the bus to check -- so we dressed as light as we could for the weather. Zach got out of Alex's car in a pair of shorts, running tights, and a long sleeve shirt. Turns out that's not quite enough when it's 34 degrees outside. It was a cold, cold ride to Folsom. Luckily they let the runners sit on the bus until right before the race -- still, upon arriving at the starting area, he was less than warm. Lucky for Zach, marathon runners often wear layers to warm up in that they have no intention of wearing for the run, "throw-away layers," that get tossed at the starting area as the race begins. Also lucky for Zach, he has no qualms about wearing used clothes from strangers that may or may not have been thrown on the ground.
Off to a good start the rest of us alighted on our buses and headed to our check-points. It remained really, really cold (temps topped out around 37 degrees) and cloudy for the race, but once you were running it felt great. Mer and Alex were nice enough to let me run it in, which is pretty awesome. My leg started at mile 20 of the marathon -- since I couldn't check a bag (and since I waited the longest on my bus -- about 2.5 hours) I was wearing more layers than I wanted to run in, but decided to tough (sweat) it out because I wasn't willing to lose my one and only sweatshirt for the trip (also my Michigan HMP hoodie -- GO BLUE).
So, as expected, about two minutes into running I was too hot and took the sweat shirt off. The shirt had my relay number on it that designated me as a relayer and not a marathoner -- as it turns out, crowd support is pretty awesome. For my friends that are real marathoners, I apologize -- I soaked it up. After the Chicago femur fracture I doubt I'll ever get the feeling of having that many folks support me doing anything, so it was kinda awesome (even if I was pretty much a fraud -- sorry, I considered yelling, "I'M A RELAYER I'M A RELAYER" but thought that might annoy the runners more than my anonymous soaking of support).
I had a great run and ended up finishing well before I or my teammates expected me. All in all it was a great race, super fun. Thanks Meredith for signing us all up.
The rest of the day? Well. We've done almost nothing. Naps all around! And it was glorious.
Check out the pics from the race and look for more coming tomorrow!
PS -- As it turns out shopping directly post race with Meredith and Alex is pretty funny. They walk into the grocery, each grab a basket and separate. Back at the line --
Mer's basket: Milk, eggs, hash browns, fruit
Alex's basket: Half pound fried chicken and a dozen donuts