Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WWR: Working on our night moves

We arrived at Exchange 18 and attempted to catch a few Zs. We threw our sleeping bags down by the river. It was nice and peaceful... until some stupid ass team decided to all play movie trivia ten feet from our heads. Lauren camped out next to me did not notice this, but I couldn't sleep at all. Hey you stupid ass team - don't you see all the people trying to sleep?

By the time they got bored it was 8:30pm or so and I had no clue when our team would be coming in. The earliest estimates were 9:30 or so and that is if everyone ran their 10k pace. There were some really tough legs in that set though, so we weren't really expecting them then. But as captain, I wanted to be ready to roll.

So we waited. And some more. They finally came through about 11 pm or so and we set off.

Shaun started with a 9 mile leg with 1800 feet of elevation gain. Because he is a rockstar, he passed a bunch of people. It was colder - probably below 50 or so at the top of the mountain where I had to wait for him. But I get warm fast when running, so I braved it in shorts and a t-shirt.

So I know Paul, the race director, occasionally reads here and I forgot to mention it on the evaluation form, but the spotters were really bad this year. Last time, they were excellent at spotting runners with enough time for teams to get ready ("There's a runner coming! We think he might be British!") This time there appeared to be no communication so teams just had to be ready and recognize their runner themselves.

Anyway, this led to hilarity while we were waiting. I was chatting with an ultra team while we waited for our runners. All of a sudden, this runner comes barreling up yelling "142! 142!" Nobody makes a move. Then the runner looks down at his bib and goes "124! 124!" which happened to be the ultra team we were chatting with.

Shaun followed pretty closely behind and I started running. It was a gorgeous cool crisp moonlit night. I was running in Wyoming, where there is actually a nice large shoulder, so you don't have to worry about traffic. My leg started out flat but then it was downhill for the last three miles or so. I was cruising somewhere around 9:30 minute miles for a good chunk of that. One of the men's teams, The Pipelayers, came into the exchange a little after me and he was on my tail the entire time.

So the thing about the night legs? When you are about to be passed, you know it for a while. You see your shadow in the bouncy headlamp of the runner behind you. To top it off, his van stopped every 100 m or so and would tell me "good job" and then talk to him so I could hear him behind me too.

But the thing is that the dude never passed me! I admit I did push a little harder knowing he was right there. I did get passed a lady from the Reapers. I managed to stay pretty close on her tail the rest of the way, with the dude right on mine. When the exchange was in sight, we all picked it up a bit. We had to cross to road - as soon as we did so, I could hear the dude decide to pick it up and so did the lady so we all sprinted into the exchange. (This is where the spotters needed to be doing their jobs better - no one knew which teams were all coming in together so their runners could be ready).

I was actually last of the three at this point, but fortunately just behind enough to hear someone yell "Cattle Guard!" The dude caught his foot in it and tripped (but was okay I think) and I stopped and walked over it - I decided Jamie could make up any lost time.

That leg was 4.3 miles, and I averaged about 10 min/miles (the first mile was slow since it wasn't downhill).

I found Jamie in the mess of runners and handed off to him. He had a great leg, despite a jump in a ditch (this happened to Pete on the same leg last time - CO needs some shoulders!). Brady also had an awesome leg.

Dede didn't feel well after her first leg and hadn't been able to keep much food down. We had a backup plan of Lauren running both their legs (about 10 miles total). But Dede decided she wasn't coming all the way to Colorado to run only 5 miles. So she toughed it out like a trooper.

Then Lauren ran into Walden and we finished up around 4am or so. For the first time during a relay, I actually bothered showering because I was so cold after my leg. At Exchange 30, the only sleeping area was the grass, which is what we did last time and got rained on. There was no way I was sleeping outside when I was that cold, so we decided to stay at Exchange 24, which made me nervous - there is no cell service, so if we overslept, Van 1 wouldn't be able to find us.

Anyway, it was the best shower ever. For real. Then we slept on a hard tile floor in a cafeteria. Best relay sleep I have ever gotten too. There were no snorers in the room! Can you believe it? Inevitably there is a snorer who keeps the rest of us up.

It was less than three hours of sleep, but we woke up ready to finish this mofo off.

Next up: There is no way in hell that this is an "easy" leg.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Alive, but more surgery

I appreciate all the people who have checked in with me this past year, while I've been struggling trying to recover from the surgery to fix my torn meniscus. It's been incredibly difficult to deal with reading about everyone doing all the things I can't do, like running, biking, even swimming, etc, so I haven't been hanging out much in the blogosphere.

Anyway, I just wanted to update everyone on what the situation is. I found out on Friday that the surgery I had in February didn't work. I am going back under the knife again, most likely this coming Thursday (at least I don't have to wait very long to get back in the surgical suite). I'm continuing to not handle things real well, so I don't expect this marks any substantial return to reading/writing running blog stuff, but I wanted to just let people know, I appreciate everyone who's checked in with me, it means a lot to know people care.

Thanks, and maybe I'll be on the road in 2010.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

WWR: I'm serious - this really didn't look so bad when Jessica ran it.

What? You actually want me to finish this thing? Okay, well, the story continues.

We got up at the crack of dawn, piled into our vans and went to the start, at the Budweiser Center. True to team BOMIAS form, we missed the exit (last time one van went the wrong direction on the interstate). Apparently Fort Collins is on the edge of BFE since we had to drive like ten miles to teh next exit.

But we made it, with about a half hour before our start (we were supposed to be there an hour ahead of time). I enlisted Allison as Van 1 Captain and set her to work doing part of the check-in, while I stood in the long ass line for the waiver check.

Then, we hear "Will someone from Back off man, I'm a scientist come to the announcer's tent please." I sent Allison over, figuring there was a problem. But no, they just wanted to interview us over the announcement system. After Allison gave a few tepid answers, I rescued her and tried to be chipper at 5:45 in the morning. I believe John has this on video, but unless he You-tubes it, you will never see it :-)

Anyway, with a few minutes to spare, we got Marie all ready to start the party.
I totally stole this picture from Brady's Facebook page. I'm glad someone took pics!

That's Marie in the pink shorts. Marie is a friend of Kelsey, who is president of the ISU Nordic Ski Club and who I went to Minnesota with for this race. I spent approximately one hour with Marie the whole weekend, since I was in Van 2. I learned after the fact that Marie was famous for opening the minivan door and leaning out and yelling things like "You're so sexy and I want to have your babies!" at the other runners. John also has video of this, and I really hope he does You-tube it for everyone' enjoyment.

So went Marie off and then the long wait for Van 2 began.

We went to the Waffle House.

We went to a very rustic looking Walmart and bought random last minute supplies. Since starting the diss writing, I refuse to read anything of substance, so I got the third Twilight installment (or chick crack as Jamie calls it). I don't even really like the books and I don't like Bella yet I can't stop reading.

We also got some car chalk and for the first time in BOMIAS history, we actually decorated our vans. It only took 4 years. Of course, I am not sure there are any photos of the vans. Other people took photos of our vans. Little known fact: John is an art nerd for his job and once illustrated a book where Chuck Norris was pitted against Mr. T. So Van 1 had a pretty good rendition of Chuck Norris on the side. Van 2 was not as artistic, but the smart kids liked the "Hey there, nice asymptote!" on the side. Which leads me to believe that the next time we do this race that something like "This is my asymptoting over the pass" should be our slogan.

We went to exchange 6 and waited and chatted with the other teams. Roughly at about noon, Van 1 rolled in and Kelsey handed off to Shaun. Shaun is like a bullet and only had a 3 mile leg, so we got ourselves together and sped out of the exchange to make sure I was ready when he got there.

This was my hardest leg. I knew I just had to get through this one and then everything else would be easier. As team captain, I assigned myself relatively short legs (12 miles total), mostly since my running hadn't been as strong as I would have liked it to be. So this leg was 3.8 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain, most of it in the second half.

I started out at about 12:30ish. You notice right away that there is no oxygen. But I went into this leg with no time expectations, so I just focused on getting through it. I even passed someone in the first half! I was petrified they would pass me back on the hill, but they didn't. We chatted as I passed them and they were from San Diego, so they were also feeling the lack of oxygen.

That hill seemed to go on forever. I told myself that if I started running slower than 15 minute miles that I could walk, but I never got that slow, so running was still a faster alternative. I probably averaged 13 minute miles up that hill. As an evil blow, the "1 Mile left!" sign was about 1.6 miles from the exchange. Fortunately because of Garmin, I knew the sign was a lying liar.

When the exchange was in sight, the girl ahead of me (from the Sofa Kings, who we yoyoed with quite a bit) was walking so I decided to add one more piece of roadkill to my leg. At the moment I was passing her, some speedy dude came out of nowhere and said "C'mon girls, we're almost there!" He blew by us but inspired her to start running again, bastard! But I managed to stay ahead of her and finished my leg. 3.8 miles/11:56 min/mi - hey at least I kept it under 12 min/miles!

Then we sent Jamie off - he described his leg below.

Then Brady went off for a big climb. The dude from Team 11 "Can You Beer Me Now?" was determined to catch him (after Jamie passed their runner). That dude was working and was on Brady's tail. He finally passed Brady, but he looked like he was hurting. So that established that team as our nemesis, even though I don't think they knew that AND our Van 1 really liked their Van 1 and had nicknames for them.

Dede and Lauren finished up our set of legs and we went to the same restaurant we went to last time (the Pot Belly) and began the long drive to Exchange 18.

Next up: Seriously, you need to run a relay just to experience the joy of the middle of the night leg.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

WWR: The pre-game

So like usual, I am going to do this race report business in installments. Partly because I'm lazy, partly because the posts will get really long, and partly because it provides easy blog fodder so I don't have to think of other things to write.

So the good times began on Wednesday night when Allison and Ryan rolled into Ames. I graciously offered them my sweltering attic room while I crashed on the couch in the nice cool living room. Allison had been talking about Pokey Sticks upon the return to her alma mater town but then she totally wussed out and did not get them and now I have been thinking about Pokey Sticks for a week.

Mmm, pokey sticks.

We met Dede, Brady, and John at the car rental place. I give total props to Dede and Brady, who didn't know anyone on the team, but signed up to run anyway. Such brave souls!

Then began the driving. I got a GPS for my car right before the trip. We named her Phyllis.

To put it lightly, Phyllis was a bit... slow.

Seriously, I never want to see Lincoln Nebraska again. We saw it for about an hour, trying to find lunch. And ended up at Godfather's. Ridiculous!

(Phyllis got her ass returned as soon as we got back. Always go Garmin. End of story.)

Nebraska still takes forever. I'm surprised there aren't more suicides off the arch in Kearney. You get to Kearney and have been driving forever and you are STILL only halfway through Nebraska.

Despite our little setback, we still rolled into Fort Collins at 6:30 or so and met up with Jamie and Lauren, who were complete strangers until that day but had hours to chitchat while they were stuck in the hotel waiting for us.

The eight of us crowded into the mini-van and went to an Italian joint in FC for dinner. Weirdly, the same exact one we went to last time, and I didn't even mean to do it! We met up with Kelsey, Lindsay, and Marie who were CAMPING (crazy people). And then Shaun and Caroline rolled in from the airport halfway through.

Let me tell you - the fact that everyone was actually in the state of Colorado at dinner time, was a major improvement over last time already!

After a Target run, we all settled in for the night at the hotel. Our slow asses had a 6am start time, so we had to be up at 4:30, boo! Nothing like sleep deprivation to start a sleep deprived race!

Next up: This leg didn't look so hard when Jessica ran it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We looked pretty hot at the start for 5:55 AM

Hey Team,

Here's the start-of-race-pic to compliment Caroline's finish picture.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What'd you do this weekend?

(So, I'm kinda dumb and can't figure out how to force Blogger to split this up into a front-page piece and an after-the-jump piece. If someone else r smrtr, please feel free to do so and delete this. Otherwise, Jesus, this is long. Sorry.)

"What did you do this weekend?" The simple answer is "something stupid." The more complicated one? I ran the Wild West Relay, a 200-mile, 12-person race from Fort Collins, Colorado to Steamboat Springs, Colorado across the Continental Divide at Rabbit Ears Pass.

My friend Danielle organizes these teams fairly frequently (and better her than me), and had several runners for this year get injured, so when she came to me to ask for my help, I said, "Sure, why not?" This led directly to me arriving a few weeks later in Fort Collins to meet everyone else on the team for the first time at a tasty dinner at a local Italian restaurant.

The next morning, bright and early, we drove two vans to the start point, the Budweiser Tour Center in Fort Collins, to check in, put the race signs on our vehicles, and prove we belonged in our division as Flatlanders (folks who live where there's, y'know, oxygen, below 2500 ft). We divided up into our vans there, too: Van 1, with the runners for the first leg, Marie, Kelsey, Ally, Lindsay, and Ryan -- all from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul -- and John, from Iowa, and Van 2, with Shaun from LA, Lauren from Chicago, Danielle, Brady, and Dede, from Iowa, and li'l ol' me.

Marie had the first leg, so at 6 a.m. sharp, she and a handful of other teams' runners went flying out of the parking lot. I should pause here and mention the crazy team names and van decorations. We were Back Off Man, I'm a Scientist. We spent a lot of waiting and running time with teams like It's Only a Flesh Wound, a masters team who did up their vans in Monty Python quotes and fake body parts, We Race the Reaper, a group of ER nurses, Worn Soles, made up mostly of the Annapolis Trail Runners, and the Pipelayers, an all-male team of construction contractors.

After we saw off Marie, my van had nothing to do until the first van finished their set of legs (to reduce congestion on the legs and at the exchange points, the inactive vans couldn't shadow the active ones), so we ate breakfast, picked up a few supplies, then headed to the sixth exchange to wait.

That was the longest five-ish hours ever. We were pumped up, excited, ready to run, and had not a damn thing to do, so we passed the time trying unsuccessfully to relax enough to nap, chatting among ourselves and with teams around us, and checking our watches. When our sixth runner, Kelsey, finally made it in, she had had a terrible time with cramping and oxygen debt, so a couple of us when and ran with her to urge her in the last few hundred yards, whereupon Shaun took the bracelet that acted as our "baton" and took off like a scalded dog. We finished our hollerin', made sure everything had gone OK for Van 1, jumped in our own ride, and off we went! The race was now on in earnest for us.

We kept the windows down and whooped and shouted and banged on the side of the van at every runner we went by, a habit we kept the whole race (save when it would disturb people at night), and one which made us more than a few friends. Van 2 did the same thing. If the Wild West Relay had been high school, Back Off Man, I'm a Scientist would've gotten the school spirit award, hands down.

Danielle took the next leg and ran like a trooper on the first leg of the race classified as "hard." She passed off to me at the base of a hill the constituted the first big altitude rise of the race: 6300 to 6900 feet in 3.6 miles. It felt like running straight up a wall, though the grade wasn't actually that bad. For someone who hasn't run up a hill bigger than 40 feet tall in the better part of a decade, it was challenging. It seemed to go forever, and I got chicked very early, which was sort of discouraging. It wasn't discouraging for very long, though: I got another runner partway up, then passed the woman who'd chicked me before we reached the top of the hill. The top itself was sort of brutal: the road went through a cut that acted like a wind tunnel, creating a tangible wall of air that didn't let up for several hundred meters. The last mile was a gentle downslope, on which I picked off another runner, and fairly flew into the exchange point to hand the bracelet to Brady for his leg. It took just over 34 minutes, which surprised the Hell out of me, since I'm not in what I'd think of as very good condition. I was so pumped about that first leg that I spent the next several minutes just hollerin' and carrying on.

Brady's leg was even tougher, over 800 feet up in 5 miles. He did it like a bullet, finishing strong and handing over to Dede, who had another hard leg. She was hit really hard by the altitude, and felt crappy after she passed the bracelet to Lauren. Lauren breezed through the race's shortest leg and we turned over to the other van in a church parking lot around 2 pm. My voice was already starting to go from shouting and cheering more or less continuously at every runner in sight, louder than anybody else (thanks for the hollerin' genes, Ma).

After that, we went to the Pot Belly Restaurant, a quaint little sit-down joint in the middle of nowhere (not one of the East Coast chain of sammich shops) and snarfed down our chow like starving folks. Well, everyone but Dede, who ordered a salad, took a bite, and realized she couldn't eat. Her altitude sickness was worsened by the 60-mile dirt-road detour we had to take to keep the dust on the runners' route to a minimum. The poor thing sicked up a bunch of water -- that was the only thing in her stomach -- and felt terrible. The view on that route was amazing, however, and many of us got some terriffic pictures.

We reached the Woods Land Cafe and Bar, in Jelm, Wyoming, several hours before the earliest possible time Van 1 could be finished, found a spot to park, and tried to get some rest. It was going to be a long night, any way you cut it. We ate, drank, stretched out next to the creek on sleeping bags or curled up in the van, and waited. While we waited, night fell and the temperature plummeted, from a high of almost 90 when I ran into the 40s. There was no cell reception along most of that portion of the route, so there was no way to find out how far along Van 1 was; ten or fifteen minutes before we thought they possibly could have been there, we went to the exchange point proper to watch for them.

We could see almost a mile up the road, because it wound down the side of the mountain to get to us. All the runners were wearing headlamps or carrying flashlights, and the vans would drive past them. Every van that came into view was "Is that them? Are they here?" We waited, bouncing around to stay warm, and cheering for the other teams' runners as they came in and handed off to their next runner. We waited, wondering if something had gone wrong but knowing that they were out on the longest set of legs in the race. We waited, jogging back and forth from the exchange to the van to get drinks and snacks. Well into the wee hours, several hours after our earliest prediction, the other van pulled in, telling us that Kelsey had been having trouble again but was on her way down to us now. She rolled in to us hollerin' for her, tossed the bracelet to Shaun, and he was off, on a ridiculously hard leg, 9 miles continuously uphill, gaining almost 1700 feet.

He did it comparatively quickly and handed off to Danielle, who covered most of the remaining distance back to the Colorado border downhill. We were waiting for her in a rest stop by the side of the road in Medicine Bow National Forest, trying to stay warm and awake, as it was now past 3 a.m. She came trucking into the exchange neck and neck with two other runners, so I went flying out of the exchange with my counterparts from We Race the Reaper and the Pipelayers. The Pipelayer took off a bit and the Reaper almost immediately dropped the red blinky light we had to wear on our backs, breaking it, so I ran with her for a while until we got to where her van was waiting for her so she could get a new one from them.

The air wasn't cold once I was moving, and the night was positively beautiful. I reeled in a couple more runners, and the middle of the leg, a couple of miles, had no runners near me and no traffic on the road at all, so I switched off my flashlight and just reveled in the pure joy of the run alone in the quiet. Shortly after that, I was overhauled by a whole series of runners from faster teams which had started later as we crossed the border back into Colorado, but that couldn't dampen my spirits, and I kept up best I could until the end of the leg, my longest at 7.1 miles.

As I approached the end, I realized I had gone faster than what I'd told Brady I thought was my best possible time. I wasn't sure he'd be right by the exchange point, and the system of spotters the race used to let teams know their runner was approaching was unreliable at best. So, a few hundred meters out, moving fast and steady, I started hollerin' like a crazy man (and demolishing what was left of my voice) so they'd know who was coming, even though it only took me an hour and a minute. Sure enough, Brady was there just like he was supposed to be, took the bracelet, and away he went.

We had been kind of worried earlier about Dede and whether or not she'd be able to take her leg, but she insisted she was ready for it, so we hopscotched past Brady to wait for him at the next exchange -- which featured a very welcome fire pit right near the exchange point itself -- and she geared up to run again. She did her more-or-less flat segment like a trooper, finishing strong and passing on to Lauren, who brought us to our last exchange for that set, the Walden, Colorado high school, where she turned over to Marie again. We high-fived the other van, they took off, and we took advantage of the comparative luxuries of Walden High: a gym locker room with showers and a heated cafeteria in which we unrolled sleeping bags and passed out. Well, they did; I felt sleep was more important than a shower, so I just stayed curled up in the truck and slept through until it was time to move out for the next van exchange.

That was only a few hours, but I felt amazingly energized by that little bit of sleep, so when we got up at a quarter after 5 and went to a gas station to fuel up and get something to eat, I was really chipper. When I asked the nice old lady behind the counter "How are y'all today?" she was really excited about someone from the South, who'd lived in Carolina, passing through her station. Caffeine, donut holes, and bananas in hand, off we went again.

Van 2 had a short set of legs, so we got to the van exchange and got ready for some of the hardest parts of the race, over Rabbit Ears Pass and the Continental Divide itself. The exchange was near a field of sage that was set up as a camping spot -- a freakin' cold and poky camping spot, according to the other teams who slept there -- along the side of Highway 14. After we spent some time dodging the folks who didn't think that slowing down around all the runners and such was necessary and cheering for other teams' runners as they came and went, Steve, one of the runners from the Worn Soles, and I bet a round of beers on who was going to win between our teams. It added a little spice to the race. Van 1 rolled up and let us know that their runners had mostly done pretty well, but that Kelsey was struggling again. I went partway down the hill that led up to the exchange point and ran up with her again. She turned over to Shaun, then stumbled off the road, crying, and told us it was the hardest thing she'd ever done. She held up, though, and made it to the end. We made sure she was OK, congratulated Van 1 on finishing their part of the race, and jumped in our own vehicle, since Shaun wanted us to meet him 2 miles up the road to give him some water (there were no water stations or anything along the course; we provided everything for ourselves) before he got to the bad part of the hill heading up to Rabbit Ears Pass itself.

We stopped next to a beautiful mountain lake to wait for him -- in the process watching a guy from That's What She Said togged out in a lime-green mesh shirt, a fake handlebar mustache, a sky-blue wig, and absolutely scandalous tights fly up the hill -- and gave him some water. He told us it'd take him longer than he thought, as he was dead legs running. So we went up to the pass, took pictures of ourselves under the sign for the Continental Divide itself, used the porta-johns, and got Danielle ready to roll. Shaun came trucking up that murderous hill, 900 feet up in 3.7 miles, turned over, and we started leapingfrogging Danielle. We stopped twice for her in her 4 mile, to make sure she had enough water, so I started warming up and stretching while we were waiting on the side of the road. I was afraid of what the next leg, 6 miles down the side of the mountain, would do to me if I weren't warmed up properly. Brady did the same, since his upcoming leg was even worse than mine.

Danielle ran straight through, hit the exchange, handed off to me, and away I went, down the mountain. There were actually several nasty uphill spots in the early part of the leg, but by that time, there was nothing left to lose. So, no surrender, charge the hills, which put us over the west peak of Rabbit Ears Pass. There wasn't any question of going slower on the downhill, either: that would've resulted in me somersaulting to the exchange with Brady. My legs really started to feel it about this point; the roads were steeply crowned, which resulted in a lot of stress on the outer side of my left knee. By the time I'd started down from Rabbit Ears, though, it felt like both knees had been worked over with a ball-peen hammer and the rest of my legs hurt, too. No surrender, no slowing down: I trucked as fast as my body would let me down the hill, and came around the bend to see the exchange.

Midway between me and the exchange was a fella I thought was the spotter letting the teams know who was coming in, but he was acting weird and not responding to me when I held up my number so he could see it. So, I resorted to my favorite tactic for letting my team know I was coming: I started hollerin' when I was only 30 or so feet from him. Turned out he was a nature photographer or something, totally unrelated to the race, and I scared the bejeezus out of him. It had the intended effect, though, and Brady was there to take the bracelet. I had such a hard time slowing down that I actually ran about fifty or sixty meters with him before I could come to a stop, which is saying something, because he was flying. The leg only took me 49 minutes, and I was done. I stretched for about a minute, then we grabbed van and hauled ass to get past Brady and put Dede at the exchange.

Brady's leg was one of the more dangerous of the race, because there wasn't a shoulder on the left, so runners were forced to run with the flow of traffic. He had a nearly 7% grade, too. We got to the bottom, and waited, looking for his signature bright-red ballcap. I saw him and said, "Hey, I think that's him." A total stranger piped up next to me and said, "Yep, that's Brady." His aunt and uncle, who lived not too far away, had driven out to see him race. Pretty awesome. He'd been forced to walk for a couple minutes by the sheer punishment of the hill, but he still came barrelling down the hill and passed off to Dede, who was fully recovered from the day before and ready to go.

Dede had a nice, relatively straight stretch with a gentle downhill that took her into the town of Steamboat Springs, winding up along a bike trail. She came in and turned over, and Lauren took off on the last leg, headed for Steamboat Springs Middle School on the bike trail that followed the Yampa River (and boy, was she pissed about the folks taking their ease and tubing down the river). We waited for her at the finish anxiously, ready to call ourselves finishers, while chatting with folks from other teams and chugging chocolate milk, which sounds nasty but was actually kinda nice. She broke out of the woods and onto the track where we immediately joined her, all in our matching team shirts, for the last hundred meters or so, hollerin' and carryin' on the whole way as the announcer read off all our names. We crossed the finish line, together, after 33 hours and change of continuous running, an overall pace of 10:17.

What did I do this weekend? That's what I did this weekend. What'd you do?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Congratulations BOMIAS runners!!

The best-looking team ever got its ass over the pass and reached the finish line with a big smile!

Way to go!

-- Caroline

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Happy July 32nd!

I am in denial that it is August. It's not even possible. So I refuse to accept it.

So, in less than a week, team BOMIAS is off to the Wild West Relay!

No one on the team is injured.
Van and hotel reservations are made.
Awesome team shirts are ordered, courtesy of John:

Team number has been assigned: 3. Turns out that Paul gave #1 to the team that won last year, so Armed and Dangerous did not steal our number at the last minute. That seems fair. And it is probably good that we did not have to show them who's boss on the race course... Of the four Flatlander teams, we have the earliest start time - 6am - by several hours. Which probably means that we are by far the slowest Flatlander team. So sadly, our chances of bling are probably non-existent. Armed and Dangerous is next, with a 9:40 start time.

The bonus of the early start though is that, like last time, I expect we'll be one of the first teams to hit some of the exchanges, which means clean port-a-potties, w00t! Our team's average pace is 8.7 min/mile. If everyone actually runs what they say they run, then we'll actually be within minutes of hitting some of the exchanges after they open, which makes me a little nervous, but the hills and altitude will probably keep that from happening.

In other news, I had an excellent run this morning. I ran the first half with Megan from our MC200 team - then she left me in the dust. But I did 7.25 miles at 10:05 pace. My six mile runs up at the lake have been 30 seconds/mile slower than that! All those stupid hills! We have some hills in Ames, but nothing like Okoboji. The weather was beautiful and I felt like I was comfortably running the whole time without any heavy breathing.

In dissertation news, it is still not done. My goal is to make it to Seattle in time for this. I am totally doing the Brew Ha Ha 5k. AND THEY HAVE A SCAVENGER HUNT. I love Seattle and I don't even live there yet.