Fun times in Brooklyn today!! The Cherry Tree relay was everything I expected. And then some more. Especially in the hill department. 😛
My team? The Gossip Girls!! My teammates? Uptown Girl and her TRD teammate AU. We all just wanted to have fun and run our best, whatever it was. So definitely my kind of team to be on 🙂 Hell, I even wore one of my running skirts over my tights because I thought it sorta fit with the theme 🙂
The trip out to Brooklyn was much easier than expected and even kind of scenic, with the Q going over the Manhattan bridge. We then decided what our team order was going to be…considering all 3 of us were pretty evenly matched, it really didn’t matter what the order was. But I volunteered to be anchor-for a couple of reasons. First off, I wouldn’t have to worry about transitioning at the end of my leg, the finish line calling my name can make me kick it in and finish strong. Second-I figured that since I didn’t get to run my anchor leg at Need for Speed last year, I wanted to do it today 🙂
We got to Prospect Park with enough time to spare and headed across the park to where the start line and the relay area were. Once we got to the relay area, we heard the announcement that the race would be starting in 10 minutes…then all of a sudden they announced it would be starting in 2 minutes!! oops!! AU headed to the start to kick things off for our team…we didn’t even hear a starting horn or anything, just an announcement “oh yeah, the race started x minutes ago.” Uptown Girl and I ran around a little bit to warm up and then headed back to the relay exchange area to wait. And to cheer-I saw lotsa Flyers who were running the 10-miler. Around 25 minutes into the race, AU handed off the slap bracelet (yep, the relay baton was one of those old-school slap bracelets! i love it!) to Uptown Girl who then ran our second leg. I jogged around a little more to stay warm (it wasnt crazy cold, but there was a very light rain-okay when running, not when standing around) and kept watching the runners. I saw Uptown Girl running strong and approaching the transition area so I got in position-handoff was done and I was off and running!!
So of course, I felt good at the beginning. I tried to seek out 10-milers and pick them off 😛 Was happy to see a mile 1 split of 7:17…wheeee!!! Of course I didn’t even realize how much downhill that mile was. (FYI-I used the autosplits on Mr. Garmin since the mile markers were all for the 10-mile runners and may not be totally accurate for the relay.) Happiness was short-lived with the evil hill in mile 2 (the one that is mile 11 of the Brooklyn Half)…dear god that was like mountain climbing. And my 8:09 split showed it-was a bit disappointed at that, I thought hill or no hill, it should have been under 8. And the hill just kept going in mile 3 for another half-mile…til there was finally some downhill relief. 7:41 for mile 3 was a little better, but just wanted to be done. Finally, I could see the relay area…meaning the turn to the finish line!! I heard some very welcome cheering, and I kicked hard to the finish. Around 25:40 for me, 1:16:48 for our team (12th out of 27 female teams!)
I caught up with some other Flyers, including fellow bloggers jb24 and Laminator, who both had great 10-mile races!! A bunch of us went to brunch at this great place in Park Slope that had a great breakfast buffet…yummy fresh waffles and unlimited Bellinis? Me likey 🙂 A long, leisurely brunch was followed by a subway ride back to Manhattan and a much-needed nap.
I’m definitely up for doing this race next year-and Flyers…if you are reading, I strongly encourage you to consider doing the relay next year-it really is a lot of fun. Besides, I’d rather save my 10-mile attempt for when I don’t have to do the evil Prospect Park hill times 3. As for my performance…not my best, not my worst. I wanted to know where I was at, and I found out that I have my work cut out for me if I want to have a decent race at Cherry Blossom.
And dear god-do I need hill training.