Photo credit to my mom
When I left off yesterday I had just started my first leg of the day!
After I grabbed the slap bracelet from Rena, I took off running at a pretty fast pace. I knew that I wanted to try to keep it as close to 9 minute pace as I could and I wanted to give it my all for the team.
I hadn't been running for very long before I saw my car (our support crew used it for the day) up a side street. I saw Rena's boyfriend Stefan and Cat's step-dad Tom getting out of the car and I started yelling to them, "you're going to miss me!" I didn't see my dad anywhere but then I saw him already at the side of the road taking photos. As my dad later said, I was all smiles at that point in the leg.
I was trying to make sure they saw me!
The van passed me and cheered as they went by, I made sure to wave at them!
Giving it my all
That's when I started to feel hot. I was really dehydrated and my long sleeve shirt and capris weren't helping matters. I kept getting passed by other runners, which was slightly frustrating, but before I knew it I saw bright green, pink and yellow up ahead.
Still smiling at this point
As I alluded to yesterday, my dad, Tom and Stefan truly motivated all of us to do our best. It was hard to give up when you knew that they were going to be down the road waiting to cheer for you. They were amazing and we all really appreciated them being there for us! (Other teams even told them that they were awesome). They were some of the only supporters there and they might have been the only ones who drove around the entire lake. I saw them one more time before they got ready to cheer for the next runner, Mike.
Struggling a little bit
My first leg was 4.1 miles and as I approached 3.5 miles I knew that the exchange point was just around the corner. I saw a volunteer directing me down a side street and I flew down the hill to Mike. I loved that we got to do two exchanges with each other!
My paces were 8:40, 9:37, 9:41, 9:22 and 6:25 (.05 miles) with an average pace of 9:18 for the 4.05 miles.
The elevation profile for my first leg
We got in the van and headed to the next exchange point. I drank 20 oz of water/nuun which would later come back to haunt me, but I definitely needed it! I also changed into my t-shirt and shorts since I knew that I was going to be hot on my second leg. Everyone else changed during their second legs as well, except Mike that is since he was already wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
Mike's second leg was TOUGH. He hit 6:55 the first mile because it was all downhill, but then he slowed to 11:21 pace on an evil, steep hill. My dad, Tom and Stefan drove by him at this point and gave him some encouragement (they may not have actually been allowed to go down this road, but they did it anyway and Mike definitely needed their support).
Giving it his all
Indicating how steep his hill was to the support crew
As the day went on, we kept hitting sub 9 minute pace as a team! The course was extremely tough, so that was encouraging. My mom passed A LOT of runners (if the roadkill report is right, she passed 52 people!!) and we even had a goal to pass these girls wearing "floaties" on their arms (their team name was "Fish Out of Water"), which my mom did! Unfortunately, they eventually passed us and never looked back!
At one point while we were at the bottom of the lake we were able to use actual restrooms, which was nice! However, by the time we were near my next leg I had to go to the bathroom again. I knew that porta-potties were going to be at the exchange point where Rena and I would hand off to each other but when we got there, they weren't there!
My mom and I asked the volunteers where the porta-potties were and they said that for some reason they didn't put them at the exchange point. I mentioned that I had to go to the bathroom and I would be running the next leg and some other runners told me to go in the woods. Umm, that was against the rules! I asked the volunteers if I went in the woods, would they penalize us? After they told me no, since it wasn't my fault, I headed to the woods and my mom was my lookout. As I was going to the bathroom I heard a volunteer say, "the sheriff said to hurry up!" I guess it was the deputy's property, oops! Sorry for peeing on your property!
At that point I was ready to run my second leg! Rena came flying in, as usual, and I hit the road. I apologized to the volunteer for causing trouble as I passed her!
I think Rena always pushed the hardest at the end of her legs
See ya later exchange point!
This leg was tough! I knew it going into the race that it was going to be my hardest leg mentally. It was all uphill.
I tried to stay positive and got a boost of encouragement when the van drove by me, cheering.
As usual, I got passed by some of the same runners that passed me before! I tried not to let it discourage me, but it was hard to keep going. I finally saw my dad, Tom and Stefan and that helped me push harder.
Yep, he passed me
Always trying to look somewhat positive for the camera
That boost was short-lived though and as my pace hovered right below 10 minutes per mile, I had to get myself out of the mental spot that I was in. I kept telling myself that I was the one who wanted to do this relay and got everyone to do it, so just keep going! I felt like I wanted to walk, but I knew I would see my dad and I didn't want to disappoint him.
The support crew turned up just in time and told me that the worst of the uphill was over and I continued on. Although the worst was over, it was still uphill and I just pushed until I could see the exchange point at the top of the hill.
At this point all I could do was nod when they told me something
Alright let's keep going uphill
I handed off the slap bracelet to Mike and we rushed to the van since his leg was only 2 miles! (My leg was 3.84 miles and I hit 9:48, 9:55, 9:44 and 9:54 for an average pace of 9:50).
I think the look on my face says it all, I was happy to be done!
The elevation profile for my second leg
Stay tuned for the final push to the finish line! Will we come in under 9 minute pace?