Monday, August 27, 2007

Van One Dominates Legs 1-6

After dinner van 1 headed out to purchase supplies to fortify ourselves for the adventure. This quickly turned into a battle of wills. I tried to put food in the cart and implored people to make food selections. In turn, each of my teammates showed disinterest and decided things like one gatorade or a pretzel would hold them over. Now we're headed off on a two-day running adventure. With guys. And no one wants food? What. The. Heck?? I haltingly inquire...I kind of think we need more food. So, just to be clear, no one is planning to eat for a few days? They all stare at me and someone explains that when we're not running we can stop for food. Like actual meals. Oooooohhhhhhhhhh. Fortunately my new friends weren't going to make me subsist on Saltines for two days while running 19 miles.

Friday morning I awoke at 6:30 AM and headed down to breakfast in the hotel. Because I am stealth like a cat (not-just ask my college roommate) my hotel roommate Danielle soon woke up and joined me. We had breakfast and chatted until Shaun joined us, at which point we, in all our class, left him at the table. Shaun=had on running clothing. Ladies=had on pajamas. Happily the rest of the guys soon joined Shaun as Danielle and I went to get our running garb on.

Van 1 headed out to the start of the race along with a smattering of van 2 teammates who had woken up early to send us off (Danielle, Kimberly, and Tim). Nisha and Kori of van 2 stayed at the hotel to get their sleep on.

There were announcements and various picture taking: The inhabitants of van 1 are above (Al, Shaun, Laurie, Audrey, John).

These are our second and first runners Laurie and Shaun.

We were sent off at 9 AM. Shaun, though he would be running two legs in a row for a total of 15 miles to compensate for one of our missing/injured runners, led all of the teams out of the starting area. We hurried to the first exchange ~7.5 miles away to hand Shaun water as he cruised by us on his way to exchange two. We expected Shaun to be the first person from our start time to hit the exchange. With the excitement of having started the race we anxiously awaited his arrival. And waited. And waited more. We checked to see if he had already passed through (negative). So we lost our teammate 45 minutes into the race. Cool.

All of a sudden some guy comes running into the exchange from the WRONG DIRECTION shouting, "I just ran an extra 6 miles!!!" Shaun declined water, blew threw the exchange point, and headed back out on the course. We quickly scramble back into the van and head to the second exchange, doing quick math in our head. We decide Shaun probably ran an extra 3 miles or so :) Still, nothing to laugh at!! Unfortunately, however, we got lost on the way to exchange two. We still made it in good time though. And waited. And watched Laurie get geeked out to run. She wins for most electronic running gear! With her ipod and Garmin she dominated us and our mere watches-except for Al who doesn't even have a watch. But I digress...We were busy waiting for Shaun. And waited for Shaun some more.

John approached Laurie and I and says...hmmm...what's with the three placard on the exchange? Three...Three...What about exchange...2!!!!! Laurie, John, and I (without exchanging a word) went from standing still to a flat out sprint. We were at the wrong freakin exchange. We drove back towards where we thought exchange 2 was, stopping the van momentarily to let Al in who had started to run the leg in reverse to seek out Shaun. We finally found exchange 2 where Shaun, after having been waiting for 40 minutes, was mingling with, well, everyone. For the next two days everyone on the race course chatted with him, wanting to know-tongue in cheek-if his team had found him? Or admonishing him not to go to far in the Mississippi River b/c his team would leave him behind...

So we find Shaun, who had just run 17 miles in under two hours but then had to wait 40 minutes for us to find him, throw Laurie out of the van who takes off sprinting, and then head back to exchange 3 to await Laurie's arrival. She blows into the exchange having massively PR'd her leg (a trend that would continue for 3/4 of her race legs) and there are high fives all around.

Next up is John. Then Al. Then me. Pictures below.

I don't have any close-ups! Sorry, I was the photographer. See Danielle's pic of moi in the previous entry.

I can't speak for the others [feel free to chime in all, and anyone can check out Laurie's blog for her recap], but I can describe my own leg. After cool temps all morning, the sun came out in force. Al sped in after a blistering leg and slapped the slap bracelet (the baton) on my arm. I took my first running steps since my half ironman triathlon (that I was undertrained for) 6 days before. Oh. Yeah. Legs. Still. Trashed. That was a pleasant realization. And I'm hot. So I run ~6.7 miles of my leg which was dubbed "hard" by race organizers in 1:02 (9:15 min/mile). This was definitely not an even effort. I started fast, realized how not good an idea that was, slowed, realized further it was going to be a LONG 24 hours, slowed again, chippered up after I got halfway through and realized, hey, I'm almost done and I'm going to make it, and kicked it in once I saw the "one mile remaining" sign. In my opinion I had one of the best runner positions (runner 6) because once I finished I had my van cheering me on as well as van 2. I was handing the slap bracelet off to the second van, who would be completing legs 7-12.

On a sidenote, as for our 40 minute delay in getting Shaun, I just checked out the results. The team that placed one ahead of us beat us by more than 40 no harm no foul...except our pride...


Laurie said...

I had no idea your legs were so trashed. You did an awesome job girly! It was great meeting you and I hope to run with you again sometime :)

Danielle in Iowa in Ireland said...

You forgot to mention Laurie's HRM as well - she's like RoboRunner!

peter said...

Wow. Way to run late in the relay.