A few months ago, I expressed interest in running the BoMF 42K relay to a couple of my Perfect Strangers. Shortly thereafter, I received a confirmation email congratulating me on registering! I was slightly perplexed as to how I could be receiving this email despite not even confirming that I was in. Just then, an email popped up from Dana that said, “I hope it’s okay that I signed you up!!” I gave her the benefit of the doubt and marked 10/13 as ‘busy’ on my calendar 😉
Last year I ran this race with legitimate strangers. Michele, Leona, and Kelli and I met that Sunday morning as Team RunNerds and left as friends by the afternoon. We had an absolute blast. I knew this year wouldn’t be any different, even though I literally JUST unpacked my running shoes from my suitcase the night before (if that gives you any indication as to what I’ve been up to since the marathon ::ahem,nada::).
On the planning forefront, nothing was decided until Friday afternoon. We figured since we all had neon, why not wear some of that? Oh, and don’t forget the kneesocks. I’d bring the nerd spectacles I had from the year before to add a little flare. Dana would grab Starbucks. Kristi would bring bananas. And we’d all try our best to bring our A game.
As I drove into downtown Indy, I was amazed to see how much the sky looked like it did last year. I.e. gorgeous.
We parked, congregated and made the walk over to White River State Park to set up camp. The weather was projected to get up to 70 degrees, and the temps were in the upper 40’s when we arrived. Which wouldn’t have been half bad except for the fact that we were surrounded by water and a killer breeze. I slapped my wrists for not bringing enough layers with me. We kept bundled up until a few minutes before the serenity prayer, after which I made my way to the start line. I was runner #1!
We all chatted beforehand about how we didn’t have high expectations for our pace coming off our big races over the past couple of weeks. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you just cannot go into a race and say, “oh I’ll just take it easy today.” No siree. As soon as I took off, I immediately found my stride, which happened to be an 8:15 min/mile. When I first looked down at my watch and saw my pace, I couldn’t believe my eyes. First, because I hadn’t intended to run that fast nor had I run that fast in ages. And second, because I felt so damn good! My breathing felt right and my legs didn’t hurt one bit. I decided to see how the first lap went (just over 2 miles) and adjust my speed accordingly. I wrapped around the NCAA Hall of Champions and hauled across the finish line where I found Dana waiting for my ankle bracelet (timing chip). Once I got out of the chute, I checked my watch: mile 2, 8:01 min/mi. Hay hay, Boppy’s Back!
While Dana ran, I covered back up to savor some of my body heat. It was still cold as heck! Kristi, Farrah and I killed some time by walking up and down the strip, taking notice of all the fun costumes there were out there. Smurfs, Caped Crusaders, T-Rex hates Hi-5’s, and Darth Vaders were some of my favorites (check out the BoMF FB page for all the pics!). We did get quite a few compliments on our glasses and highlighter socks. We eventually started calling ourselves the Neon Nerds 🙂
The transition area was filled with racers waiting for their teammates to arrive. The race coordinators were great at keeping everyone aware of who was where and how many laps there were to go. And head honcho, Lindsey, did an absolutely fabulous job organizing this race for the second year in a row. BoMF is lucky to have her in charge and I’m happy to call her a friend 🙂
Once our first three runners were done, I found myself already on deck for lap 2. I kept my gloves on since it was still cold, though there were occasional hints of warmth peeking from behind the clouds. Farrah came sprinting across the finish line (this girl is FAST) and we made a seamless exchange. And back around White River I ran. Peaceful. And in my own head – this time, in a good way. I tried not to focus on my watch all that much, but I couldn’t help but check it a few times throughout. Lap 2? Let’s talk about how this girl ran a 7:57 and a 7:52 min/mile on miles 3 and 4 respectively. Who am I??
After our second lap was finished, we found the scoreboards (if you will), which indicated that we were in 27th place out of 86 teams, with an average lap time of 16:45 (for 2.2 miles). We were apparently on a mission. That A game? It’d been brought. So at that point, we decided we needed to keep it up. We were 3rd amongst the all-female teams and if we could stay there, that meant prizes – yay! Let’s do this one more time.
Lap 3 was definitely the hardest for me. My legs were fine (shockingly). It was my breathing that caught the brunt of my speediness. As I made the final turn (while filtering through TONS of people participating in another event just next door), I decided to push hard. Mind you, the truly fast people continued to fly by, making my pace look like that of a snail. But with a bit of a wheeze, I crossed that finish line at a 7:05 pace. I also finished with a “I want to vomit” feeling, but that’s neither here nor there 😉 I haven’t felt that way in a LONG time. And I’m not gonna lie, it felt good.
Going first has it’s perks,, in that I was done first! And I couldn’t have been more happy with my overall finish.
The rest of the girls were like freakin’ gazelles that last lap, though each one of them finished saying the same exact thing – that. was. hard. We planned on jumping in with Farrah to cross the finish line together, but girl was in the zone and whizzed straight past us without a second look! As we ran to catch her, I caught glimpse of the clock as she passed through.
And as we had hoped, we maintained our 3rd place status, scoring us some great prizes AND podium pics 😉
For a race I was “accidentally” signed up for and after a marathon I was not at all prepared for, us girls really rocked it out. I’m proud of every single one of us. It was a great time for a great cause. Plus I got to see some familiar faces and just enjoy myself in the fresh air. Always a win.
Now the inevitable question remains: how long should I wait before running my next race??