On Thursday, August 21st, I officially decided to participate in the 2008 Reach the Beach Relay, running from Franconia Notch to Hampton Beach State Park in New Hampshire. (That's 209.6 miles! divided among 11 in our team)
The thing is is that the relay starts on Friday, September 12th and ends Saturday, September 13th. That leaves only 3 weeks of training - yikes! And not hitting the gym since I pulled a muscle back in June, I had a lot to catch up on.
That mentality did not bode well with my body as I would soon find out and am feeling right now.
I ran an hour on the treadmill in the gym this past Friday and attempted the "Big" loop in Central Park - 6.0273 miles yesterday, which was an official organized group run with the team, team Big Apple Dumpling Gang (Jessica, Francis, Kevin - captain, Betsy, Elias, Gene, Joanne, Hoong-San, Elmer, Harry, and myself).
Brian also ran the loop as he's training for the Philly Distance Run (half marathon) which is a week after the relay, so although there was another spot on the team to make it 12, he opted out since he thought it would be best to run so much before the half.
The 10:30am run started around 10:50am as we waited for Elmer and Hoong-San to arrive, and then we were off.
I ran along with Hoong-San who was closer to my pace than anyone else. We took it easy, and had to stop less than a mile in since HS's calves were bothering her, so I showed her some stretches. A little further on, Kevin, who plans to eventually run a marathon in each state, runs back to check on us, which is pretty awesome.
I didn't even look at a map of the run nor did any research, so when the aptly named "Heartbreak Hill" stared back at me, I was like, "you've got to be kidding". We made it partway up before I decided I had to walk. Did I mention that it was a pretty hot 82 degrees yesterday? Fortunately there was a water fountain halfway to the top. Unfortunately, I had to use the bathroom. Where's a map when you need one.
Ah, tennis courts. There had to be a bathroom near there. We took a bit of a detour walking an unpaved path around the numerous courts and finally reached the public bathroom. By this time, everyone had finished or was close to finishing. HS had her iPhone and tried giving an update to let everyone know our status. What a relief! Now I can run more comfortably, yay!
After discovering that we run better by not conversing with each other and knowing that HS and Elmer have tango lessons at 1pm, HS plugged her earphones in, and we ran towards the end separately.
There is this point when the buildings of Columbus Circle come into view, and it's a beautiful sight - the home stretch. I made a valiant effort of finishing strong as I see the rest of the team waiting and stretching on the side. HS had stopped to down a bottle of gatorade, so she finished not too long after me.
We then treated ourselves to much needed Jamba Juice (3G Energizer - yum!) before heading to the New York Sports Club to shower.
So...now my legs are mush. Too much, too fast.
At least there's some light at the end of the tunnel. Kevin sent our leg assignments today: