Monday, March 2, 2009
Gasparilla Marathon Relay
If you have not done one, try one. What a great time. You get to be in the marathon crowd, cheer on your teammates, see part of the marathon and participate in a team effort.
Our team was the 4 Joules because of the electricity we have shared with friends-long story. The plan was for a fun run no pressure. What you don't think about is that a team has the potential for injuries that affects the whole team. Our efforts were strong. Thoughts of Pr's were looming. Then one teammate had a piriformis issue. Next member a cold on race week. Next member Achilles tendinitis(me) and the last fell over the hurdles in track practice leaving her with a banged knee. So far, so good. Not too big of a problem because this team was part of the medical community with resources. Antibiotics were started. Antiinflamatories and icing was initiated. Still problems loomed. I was MRI ed and had my ankle injected with steroids (not the a-rod type, the old lady type) and wrapped and unwrapped. Still the day before limping was obvious with simple walking. Getting around the expo took effort. My leg was to be the 8mile leg. Luckily the TEAM stepped up and insisted the order be rearranged. Not quite legal but necessary for survival. Plus we were not contenders for the prizes anyway. So I was moved to the 4.2 mile clean-up leg, my daughter who fell over the hurdles and last long run was 3 weeks ago at 4miles took the 7mile leg and Tom took the 8mile leg. Carol with her ailing hip stayed the course in the 7mile lead off leg.
The morning of the race it was windy and rain and falling temperatures was predicted. We all went to the start to see Carol off. Great fun. She took off determined and we went back to the hotel for more ice and a little wait. Back to point 2 for the hand off. Carol finished strong and Addie took off confident. The wind and rain started. Intermittent gusts and downpours. We took the bus to the 3rd point. Addie finished ahead of predictions smiling and wet. Tom took off strong not fearing the extra mile. The rain and wind got heavier. The temperature fell. I was afraid to go back so I took the bus to the 4Th point to wait for Tom. It was cold and wet. My ankle was feeling the best it had so I was hopeful. I was also so cold I was determined to run hard just to warm up. I even made several trips to a port-o-let to get out of the rain. (It was out of the way and in good condition). I got the call from Tom. There was a mix-up in the park at the banana station and he went the wrong way. He was to run nearly 2miles extra to get back. He ended up with about a 10miler in pouring rain before the hand off. Luckily, we had purchased cheap ponchos the night before. I ran with mine on the last leg with rain pouring and the wind howling for the first two miles. It then let up and was just cool and windy for the remainder. It was great fun to run the last 4.2 miles of a marathon and actually enjoy and not just survive it. I could encourage others and enjoy the crowd seen. It took my mind off my gimpy ankle. I chanted the mantra that it was only a little bruise and abrasion nothing but a little discomfort that should be ignored. It worked. I kept a decent pace and was met by the other 3 Joules to run the last .2mi to the finish. We got our metals and took pictures and enjoyed the post race celebration.
I must say it was one of the most positive fun weekends and runs despite the little bumps along the way. We had a great team that pulled for each other and would not be stopped. Great fun and great stories. We plan to run more relays after everyone heals a little from this one.