After I handed the baton to Nisha at exchange 7 our van took off in search of FOOD. Throughout the few days of running it was always a challenge to figure out when, what, and how much to eat. I know for me, after meals my teammates would be all set, but since I had the last leg in the rotation to run I had to keep snacking for hours. You really had to pay attention to yourself and your leg and not just follow whatever everyone else in the van was doing. I don't know how people finished legs hours before me and just hung out waiting for hours to eat. But, they did wait, of course, because we were busy shuttling runners/the van around for hours until each 6 leg block was finished.
After eating we headed to exchange 12 to await van 2's finish of legs 7-12. Four van 1 runners then ran with Al running twice to compensate for our missing runner....the other runners will have to blog, check out Laurie's blog...and then, what you're all waiting for...MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
I hopped out of the van and Shaun has pics of me so I am revealed:
Laurie and I (on right) before one of my legs.
It was dark for my second leg. Approx. 2 AM. At night you are allowed to shadow your runner on the course by bike or with another runner or by meeting them periodically in the van. The plan was the team would surprise me somewhere on the course around 3.5 miles in to check in and let me know how far I had run.
They ended up checking in three times which made me super supported runner chic. At mile 1.7 they cheered and shouted the distance at me as they drove by. At mile 3ish they were parked on the side of the road and I waved at them but they missed me b/c I was ahead of schedule and it was dark. Once they realized I had gone by they drove up next to me again and cheered and all of a sudden another runner came up on my shoulder. They had chucked Al out of the van to let me know way up close how far I had gone (~4.4). That was cool :)
So I'm booking. The temps are cool by this point and I feel great. I turn the corner somewhere in the last mile and see a HUGE hill. HUGE. AND, a pacer. Shaun was waiting to run with me. The last 1/2 mile of my leg had multiple turns and, perhaps having learned from our earlier mishaps, they decided I needed accompaniment. This was awesome because not only did I have someone pointing out the turns for me, but I had someone saying random encouraging things to me as I could barely breathe going up this hill. I'm embarrased to tell Shaun this b/c I'm sure he has never run this slow in his life (earlier I had asked Shaun and Al to figure out my pace on the previous leg and they were momentarily stumped b/c I'm sure they've never had to figure out min/miles in the 9 range so they were in uncharted runner math territory!) but I definitely picked up my pace on the hill and passed at least one guy (maybe a woman too?). Yes, that was picked up pace. Thank you Shaun! So I zoomed into the end of my 7.5 miles and handed off my bracelet. It took 1:04:30 (8:36 min/mile).
By this time various members of the team were beginning to complain of slight stomach ailments. You know, we were running multiple times a day. With different food. And no sleep. And for anyone who has read my blog, you can surmise that if other normal people are having stomach problems then I definitely am. So my stomach started bothering me which was kind of a surprise since I've been better recently. But then again, I haven't been running in relay races through the night lately (ever) so that probably explains the difference. OW.
Anyway, leg 18, CHECK, and van 2 was off to run legs 19-24.
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