I love the Hogeye because it's a local non-profit race that is made possible by volunteers and all proceeds go back into the community. It's also offers a marathon, half-marathon, 4-person relay, 5K, and a kid's marathon.
Our team was all female and consisted of runners with a range of experience. We had a girl who has run a 50K and does a lot of trail running, a girl who is a beginner, and everything in between. We did this for fun and no one cared about our time, we didn't even talk about what paces everyone expected to run till the day before when we were figuring out the logistics for each leg and planning when each of us would start. Yet, I was competitive with myself and still felt a self-imposed pressure not to let everyone else down. I had planned this leg into my training and was treating it as one of my speed workouts for the week. My leg was 7.8 miles (I clocked 7.7) and my goal was to run an average pace between 7:50-8:00.
Our outfits came together really easily. One of the girls on our team (fun fact - I actually met her through my blog!) is crafty and followed this DIY guide for sparkle skirts and made all of our skirts for $5.00. I contacted the Etsy shop owner who Elizabeth and I bought our iron on decals from for Little Rock and she made a flying pig iron on decal for us.
We came in 5th out of 17 female teams, 17th out of 68 teams overall with a finish time of 3:53:10. I ran my leg 1:01:28 with an average pace of 7:59. Overall, I'm happy with that...but it took a little pep talk from Brian before I realized I should be happy. Even though I crossed within my goal range, I had really expected to run closer to 7:50. I also really didn't feel as well as I had hoped out there, I didn't feel as if I had 'race legs' under me at all and that shook me up.
I also didn't get to warm-up. I had about a 15 minute range of when I expected to start my leg and wasn't sure when to warm-up. While I was waiting, I saw a friend who had come up from Little Rock who was running the same leg and I was talking with her. Then Brian showed up with the boys to see us off. It was definitely more of a social scene and I didn't get a warm-up and then I just took off mid-sentence when I saw my runner coming up. And I started too fast and that took some steam out of me (my first two miles were 7:48 and 7:35).
As I mentioned earlier, it was a hilly route......but it's Fayetteville and I'm used to it, I'm especially used to this route because it's what I run most of the time. We also had 15mph winds and that made the hills harder. I had one long downhill stretch and I couldn't open up as much as I would've like to there because I was running straight into the wind.
However, I was treating it like a tempo run and I haven't run an 8 mile tempo run at that pace before, so looking back now, I realize it was a good day for me and I (re-)learned some good lessons so I can avoid making the same mistakes next time!
Do you like relays?
Is it harder for you to get into a race mindset if you are running with friends or running for fun?