Friday I received great news. I was cleared by a specialist to resume running. The tear in my calf would heal on its own, and that even if they were to stitch it back together, there has been no proven benefit to even consider going that route. That bit of good news came at no better time, as the next day was the Market to Market relay.
For those that are not familiar with this race, it’s a relay race where teams of 6,7, or 8 members cover 72 miles of bike trails and sometimes city streets, making their way from Jefferson to the Court Ave. Bridge in Des Moines. Teams shuttle from checkpoint to checkpoint in vehicles (we rented a van, actually one of the largest vans I have ever seen) and drop off, pick up, and cheers their teams on.
This was my first Market to Market, and I am thankful for the invitation to go, even though I was nervous on how the leg would hold up. We started off a little bit of chilly weather, and a guy in a pink ape suit and a trombone leading the official start. That alone should tell you what a day this was going to be.
I had the fourth and twelfth legs of the run. I missed a very cold rainstorm on my first leg, and was running on wet pavement that was slowly drying due to the heat. It felt good and the 4.8 miles went by quickly in the scenic farm country. I finished that leg in 41:16, not to bad for all the worrying about the right calf.
The weather was all over the board. From bone chilling rain, to clear skies, calm soft winds to 25mph crosswinds, from heat to a torrential downpour (poor Kara had that leg), the weather was everything and anything that day.
My next leg was 4.6 miles and just a straight shot. That would have been a piece of cake, except for the brutal wind that made me almost constantly hold on to my hat for fear that it would blow away! I finished in 42:40, and wondered why it took so long, even with the wind. Stephanie reminded me that we have been walking a lot between relay legs, and she had been measuring it. We had the distance for a half marathon each already. Maybe that’s the reason I was tired!
When Kara emerged from the rainstorm on the last long leg, we ran as a team for the last .3 miles to the finish line. We started off as friends and strangers, united by one member or another, all with one common goal. We crossed the finish line as a team, united by a day and a bond that will remain with us forever!
Live healthy, be happy!