December started off cold and rainy and with my first ever marathon relay. Actually, this was my first relay ever. Lisa, Michelle and I had decided that we wanted to run the White Rock Marathon Relay and we needed 5 people to run so I asked my cousin Ryan and his wife Abby if they would be willing to run 4-5 miles each. I was so happy when they agreed because I love spending time with them and I love sharing running with others in my family.
The forecast for the day was less than spectacular with rain, rain, cold rain, and more rain. Lisa ran the first leg of the relay and Michelle ran the second part, so I never went to the starting line or any part of the race area before the race, it was very weird. Both Lisa and Michelle had 5 mile portions and they were both finished very quickly. Thanks to my mom who was our amazing race chauffer all day long I got to sit in the warm, dry car until it was my turn to go. I decided to just go for it and get wet that day and took off without my rain gear for my 6.5 mile portion along White Rock Lake. I went out pretty fast and maintained a good pace for me. I was at mile 11 of the race and it was an odd feeling to be quite literally jumping into the middle of a race. I was running with people who had already gotten their second and third winds and who were just maintaining a decent pace, all the while I’m still trying to settle into mine. About mile 15 it started POURING on me and rained pretty hard for a solid mile. We were running on a bridge at this point and it was pretty cold. I couldn’t see very well either because of the rain in my eyes. I was approaching my exchange point where I was giving the ankle strap to Abby for her 4.5 mile portion, however, due to my exchange point being in a neighborhood slightly off the course I was sitting at 7 miles for the day. I was glad to hand off to her and go find my mom in the warm car! I rode with her and Ryan to the final exchange point to wait for Abby to pass off to Ryan so that he could finish us out with his 5.2 miles. After dropping Ryan off and heading back to the car with Abby, mom drove us to the finish area so that we could wait for Ryan and watch him cross the finish line. It was so cold and still raining and I remember being excited but also miserable. Once Ryan finished we were able to get into the runner finisher area and get our medals. There was some confusion and we actually lost Ryan for a bit because he dropped off our timing chip and got our medals and then walked out of the building and once you walk out you can’t get back in. He also didn’t have his phone with him so by the time Abby and I got into the building and met up with Lisa and Michelle, Ryan had left and we couldn’t find him. About 20 min later we finally realized what happened because he called Abby using someone else’s phone. At the time it was stressful but it’s funny now!
The rest of December was spent just trying my best to follow my training schedule and slowly building up my mileage for marathon training.
On December 10th I ran my first ever trail race by running a 5k with Alex. This was Alex’s first organized race. I also ran 7 miles before this race and finished up with 5 treadmill miles after the race for a total of 15 miles for the day, my longest distance yet.
On Christmas Eve I had probably one of my favorite runs during all of my marathon training. The weather that day was perfect running weather in that it was cloudy, overcast and cool. I set out about 7am with a plan to run 16 miles as best I could. The first 13 miles were great! I remember feeling strong and comfortable and kept my pace right below 12 min miles. I knew the last 3 miles would be the hardest but I kept at it and ran 2 more miles. I walked some during the last mile but I finished 16 miles in 3:11. That was another personal best for me and my average for the day was under 12 minute miles so I was so happy with that.
On New Year’s Eve I had a half marathon, part one of the New Year’s Double.
Mom was doing the 5K that day and I was really excited to be doing this with her. I didn’t have too many expectations for the day other than to have fun. The weather was pretty nice, kind of warm by the time we started. The course for the half marathon was 2 loops of the parks paths. I don’t remember exactly what time I crossed thru the start area the first time but I do remember wondering why I wasn’t seeing my mom. My phone kept getting text messages and finally about mile 8 I decided to check all the texts. Apparently mom had tripped over the timing mat and fallen right at the finish line area. Her face and nose were scrapped up pretty badly and unfortunately the race site didn’t have proper medical personnel and equipment so she had to go home and get herself cleaned up. I told her that I would be more than happy to get off the race course if she needed me to but she was already on her way home. Thankfully she didn’t break her nose or have any teeth issues but I know it was very upsetting to us both. From that point on I was just worried about mom and frustrated with the race being unorganized and lost a lot of steam. I don’t think I ran much more of the race and finished right about 3 hours. I got the first half of my medal plate and headed to the car to check on mom. I knew we both had a 5K the next morning so we both spend the afternoon napping and watching movies, just taking it easy to ring in the New Year.
Part 2 of the New Year’s Double tomorrow – did Mom go back again for day two?