A few weeks ago (December 2nd to be exact, I’m a little late on this 🙂 ) I went on the most fun run of my life.
Let me back up, remember how I’ve mentioned in the past a group I was in called Team Veg? It’s an athletic (mostly running) group that is 100% vegan. Yep! A plant based power group! It all started earlier this year when my mom, who created the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge and a long time family friend Jed (whom we had met up with after 16 years, only to find out that he was a vegan, and a runner, now too) decided that there was a need for an all vegan fitness team, to prove to the world that yes, you can thrive on plants! And what better way to prove this than to run a marathon?
And so, Team Veg began and people began signing up, ready to have a blast with the first event -the California International Marathon. Well, okay I didn’t sign up for the marathon -I don’t think I even can until I’m 18 anyway! But I signed up for the relay, thinking it would be an easy 6 mile run like I’ve done many times before.
Once everything was all squared away I found out that my leg was actually 7.6 miles. Farther than I’ve ever gone before. So. Excited.
I didn’t do as much ‘training’ as I’d have liked to. Between school, hw, activities, etc. I didn’t always have time for a run! But I still went out a few times, plus I go to the gym regularly so I was cross training the whole time. I went on one group training run in October, boy I wish I could have gone on more! I pushed myself and our team leader Jed was awesome- I ran 8 miles! For the first time in my life! I felt amazing. I felt strong. I knew I could do this!
Fast forward to December 1st. It had been raining all week, and hard. The weather was so bad it actually knocked the power out during my dance show (while I was onstage no less!). Because of my dance show, I couldn’t go to the team pre-run celebration/carbo loading dinner -sad face. But my mom brought me home some of the power smoothie that had been made for dessert, so I topped that with granola.
I started to get really excited at this point. And nervous -mostly because of the rain. We were scheduled for peak rainfall the next morning. One inch of rain plus wind between 4 and 10 am. For a 7 am race. Cool. I prepped some overnight oats, laid out my things for the next morning, set my alarm and went to bed.
Team Veg shirt, running leggings (new), cap and visor, shoes, and warm change of clothes!! Oh yeah, and a garbage bag….
okay, so maybe running 7.6 miles in a brand spankin new pair of running leggings wasn’t the best idea, but it was the night before and I didn’t have any long pants to run in!! All my yoga pants are too long!! And it was raining!!! oh well…
I woke up the next morning to this forecast
If it weren’t for the rain, the weather would’ve been perfect! But alas, we weren’t getting out of this one. I was so excited!!
Breakfast was all of the power foods I could think of (in our house)! I was gonna be ready for this race!
Overnight buckwheat groats in coconut water and almond milk with plenty of chia seeds, topped with apple, cinnamon, and soaked goji berries. Oh yeah….
Then it was time to suck it up, get out of my fluffy robe, and get ready for the time of my life…
#gameface (ps like how my lips are stained pink? Thanks full week of bright red lipstick from the dance show haha!)
Well, I walked outside and thats when I got a little more nervous. The rain was insaaannnneeee!!!! And then we got a little lost on the way to my station. When we finally found my relay station (number 2), I breathed a sigh that was half reluctant to get out of the warm car, and half “Alright Lacey. Lets do this!” I didn’t have my phone with me to take any pictures, but you should have seen me. On top of what you see above, I was wearing 2 garbage bags and a raincoat. Didn’t help one bit! I was soaked before my race partner even arrived! I would have to say that the worst part of the rainy relay was the time before I started running. I was standing in puddles for shoes, dripping wet, freezing, and wanted to start running just to warm up!!! Once my partner arrived, we clumsily transferred the timer to my ankle, and we traded my wet raincoat for her poncho. And then, I was off!
In the beginning I wasn’t much better than I was before I ran. Still cold, and I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to pull it off. Then it hit me. This is something I’ve never done before. I’ve never ran this far in a race, I’ve never been on a relay. I’ve never run in the rain, on hills, or even in this part of town. I’m surrounded by people in the same position as me, and a whole lot of them are going to be working even harder. So I might as well have fun!
And I did. I had a blast! I was smiling the whole 7.6 miles. I was laughing when the people behind me started singing “You Are My Sunshine”. I squealed with delight every time I splashed through a puddle. I giggled every time I realized over and over again how much fun I was having! I must’ve looked quite a sight! One of the younger runners, very short and wearing a poncho that went well past my knees, with a cap and visor and hood, laughing in delight the whole run! Oh man, I was so happy. When I finished my leg of the race I was sad to stop, I honestly felt like I could have run the whole marathon (or at least a half). I was limitless. I was unstoppable. It was incredible -I had run over 7 miles in the hardest conditions I’ve ever been in, and I wasn’t cold, or tired, or anything. Just a little (soaking) wet is all!
I passed the timer off to Leslie and went in search of those cool space blankets everyone was wearing (I had priorities. Cool blanket first. Water later. haha). I got that and my commemorative medal and then climbed aboard the bus that was shuttling everyone to the finish line. Longest. Bus Ride. Ever. But it was really warm and I fell asleep. I guess I was tired haha.
Soaking wet and happy as could be!
I ended up tweaking my knee during the run, but I didn’t notice until after. So I went and got an ace bandage to wrap it all up, and then met my stepdad to take me to our church nearby where my mom (who did the fun run and actually ran 2 whole miles! I’m so proud of her!).
I got all dried off, and blow dried my hair (okay and my feet. They were cold. No shame). oh man did it feel good to get out of those wet clothes! Then it was off to The Plum, a local vegan cafe, to meet up with the rest of the Team Veg members for an all you can eat Sunday brunch!
This wasn’t everyone on the team, but you get the idea! We had 2 relay teams, a few marathoners, and a couple of fun runners. (Oh look, the sun came out…after the run…)
This is our team leader Jed finishing the full marathon at a 2:50 time! He qualified for the Boston Marathon!!! We are all so proud of him, and our whole team!
Me and Jed at The Plum. This was definitely the craziest thing I’ve done, but I am so, so happy I did it. I proved to myself that I can do anything. Two years ago I could hardly run over a mile before I started having breathing problems (I had weak lungs and asthma throughout my childhood). And here I am. Running 7.6 miles in a storm with a smile on my face. Next up: Half Marathon. Lets do this.