Friday, September 30, 2011

The Colorado Relay

Its been a month since the Colorado Relay, I guess I should probably blog about it!

I agreed to run on the First Descents All-Camper Team for the Colorado Relay in March. The Relay is a 200 mile relay race from Breckenridge, Colorado to Snowmass, Colorado. First Descents was a beneficiary of the race this year and the race director thought it would be neat to have an All-Camper team. Each team consists of ten people (unless you are an ultra-team with only seven), our team had ten. We were not going to be a fast team, but a team of cancer survivors, representing our camp, and having a great time. Since there was no expectation to be fast, just to finish, I said yes.

I began training in March, having not done any serious running since high school (a very long time ago). In June, I re-injured my knee (severely twisted it in college and then had it kicked by a horse a few years later - its a bit sensitive). I slowed down my training, ran my preparatory races slightly lame and kept slogging along. In July, my knee became pretty painful and I took some time off. By August, it was back to normal and I continued my training.

The thing about running, or any other commitment (whether it is athletic or of another endeavor) is that it takes a lot of time and dedication to do it well. Many of my other activities went unattended this summer as I ran. I rode my horses less, blogging became non-existent, communication with friends (which has never been my strong point to begin with) also went by the wayside. And I got less sleep, a runners no-no (and a cancer survivor no-no) because I still had to work, even if I was running.

The benefits of running did not go unnoticed though. And I was slowly getting faster and more efficient on my runs. The thing that worried me most about the Colorado Relay was the altitude. For those of you unfamiliar with Colorado geography, Breckenridge to Snowmass varies in altitude from around 6,000 feet to 10,000 feet. I was training at sea level.

It nagged at my conscience a bit that I had not trained more. I wish I could have gotten in more miles, done sprints, or more hill work, or something. I was nervous and I did not want to let my team down.

Bruiser, our team captain (and the only person on my team that I knew) sent out a final email, reminding us all that we were not racing to win, but to have fun. I felt better after reading that. On Thursday, August 25th, I flew to Denver.

Continued tomorrow...

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