Weak Link by Jean James
Attention all runners, I need help!! I was invited to join a relay race team to run in the 31st annual Hood to Coast relay race in Oregon at the end of August. The Hood to Coast relay race is the largest relay race in the world. The course is 199 miles long with 1050 teams of 12 runners. The first race started in 1982, and its popularity has grown exponentially. I guess that’s how I’m now somehow involved.
I like to consider myself a social exerciser. I don’t compete, and my only real challenge is getting out of bed to make it to the gym. I’ve never run a race in my life, okay except for field day, but that really shouldn’t count. I’m the last person to join the team, as they were down a man, and my friend interjected on my behalf. From what I can gather, I’m sure I’m the weakest link.
I’ll be running with a lot of overachievers. The team captain will be competing in the NYC Ironman just prior to this race, so you can imagine what I’m up against. I only have 38 days left to race time and I have to be able to comfortably run up to seven miles. However, I don’t find anything comfortable about the term seven miles.
So, it’s training time, and this is where I need your help. I’m fortunate to live in a place with a great outdoor trail. The problem is, it’s 100 degrees everyday, I have no clue what to eat before I run, and with three young kids I’m already bordering on exhaustion.
I feel like it’s me against the trail and the trail is winning. I head out determined to run five miles without stopping, but that trail’s a siren calling me in from the shadeless pavement, with her benches and rest areas. Just a quick break I tell myself, a few sips of water, then feet to the street. I know there’s no stopping in the real race. I know this, yet I’m lured in any way.
It doesn’t help that I’m both hungry and tired all the time. I’m hoping it’s anemia, at least there’s a cure for that, but I’m still waiting on my blood results. So I need a plan to boost my energy, improve my diet, and help me with tips on how to run farther without running out of steam.
I’m pleading to the runners, nutritionists, health nuts, and anyone else out there with advice to offer. I don’t want to let my team down. I don’t want to be the weakest link.
I plan on keeping this Wednesday journal from now until I finish the race, keeping you updated on my progress and hopefully having you update me on what it takes to run a successful race.
This week I cheated on my trail with the gym. I ran three miles on the indoor track (without stopping) and did 1.6 miles on the Stairmaster (I’m sure this doesn’t count). I’m PMS, cranky and tired this week. It makes running extremely difficult when you can’t breathe, your boobs hurt and you really don’t give a shit about any upcoming race. My only objective this week is to restock my fridge with extra dark Lindt chocolate bars or I might rip someone’s face off.
See, I told you I need help!