Yesterday was the inaugural Rock the Relay race in Indianapolis. A portion of the race registration went to Back on My Feet Indianapolis (BOMF), a nonprofit group that empowers homeless individuals and builds their confidence through running. I have seen firsthand how running has changed my life and I love what BOMF is doing for that community.
I haven’t done a race since the Monumental half marathon so it felt good to run with purpose again. This was my first time running a relay and it was definitely a different experience than doing the half. The biggest difference is that I didn’t train at all, compared to the half when I was incredibly diligent with my three month plan. Admittedly, I’ve been slacking on running since then but going to Crossfit Naptown has helped keep my endurance strong on the runs I have done.
I think part of the reason I wasn’t worried about training was the distance. The course was a 2.2 mile loop in White River State Park. My team, Living and Loathing in Indianapolis, had four people – Gretchen, Yana, Nicole and myself – so we each ran the loop three times. The total mileage for the day, 6.6 each, was more than I have run recently but two miles at a time didn’t seem bad. I did have some pace goals in mind but I went into the race really relaxed knowing my team wasn’t concerned about our overall time. We just wanted to have fun and log some miles for the day.
The weather this month has been all over the place and the morning of the race was freezing and windy. It was tough to figure out what to wear since you had to plan for the run but also for the hour or so downtime between legs. I powered through the cold but could have dressed a little warmer. When it was my time to run again, my body had completely cooled down and my legs were tight. It took a few minutes on each leg before I felt loose and settled in to the run.
Our official finish time was 4:27:36, though you could knock a minute or two off of that to account for time spent exchanging the timing chip between each leg. Again, we didn’t really care about our total time. We had a lot of fun and felt great knowing we rocked out! I was especially excited for Nicole who was racing for the first time ever. I love that she jumped right in and tackled each leg like a boss.
I can definitely see myself doing a relay again. The atmosphere was great at the start/finish line where all the teams were camped out. Each leg isn’t a crazy long distance but you still get in a solid number of miles for the day. And it’s a great bonding experience with your team. In fact, I’ve already got my eye on the BOMF 42k Relay in September!
Have you run a relay before? How did it compare to your solo races? Share your experience!