More than four months ago I committed to running a leg of the California International Marathon. I was going to join the gang that invited me to take part in the Eppies race last summer. The marathon went off this Sunday morning but not without a week of worry leading up to it.
I developed a nasty sinus infection early in the week. By Wednesday my head felt like it would explode because I was so stuffed up. I finally gave in on Friday and went to a doctor who prescribed me antibiotics.
The other issue was the weather. Our meteorologists were promising a weekend full of rain and cool temperatures. So the prospect of running a little more than seven miles feeling like crud in cool, rainy, weather didn't sound too appealing.
But miracle of miracles the weather started warming up on Saturday. And while working Saturday night I actually started to feel good again. Even though I was short on sleep because of work I got up at 6:30 a.m. to 50 degree temperatures and clearing skies.
So I made it to my relay spot at 7:40 a.m. and waited about 20 minutes or so for our first team member to arrive. Steve Holmes, our captain of sorts, had told me that he had given me the toughest leg. I thought he merely meant longest because it measured at 7.6 miles. It turned out to be the toughest too!
I never knew there were this many hills just a few miles from my apartment. It was unending up and down for the seven plus miles. I was worried because I haven't been running much since St. George, but I managed a steady 8:20 pace. I focused on catching the pacing groups that were in front of me hoping to make it all the way up to the 4 hour gang. I missed catching them by about a minute but I was pretty happy all things considered.
The surprise came when I got home and was informed that we had won our team category. I suspect the high school athlete we had running anchor reeled in a few teams to help out the cause.