Erin took off on her second leg and we headed to the exchange so that I could get ready. And then it hit me. My food baby of van food (think chobani yogurt, kind bars, brownies, trail mix) was not settling well. It was a mad dash to the port-o-potties. Let me tell you one thing about these: they are nice. If there is such a thing. There is always toilet paper and hand sanitizer (unlike many races). They are as clean as they can be, if ya know what I mean.
I’m all ready, Tyler checks on me, and it hits me again. We think I have time. I am coming out of the bathroom for the second time and I hear “#48.” I literally throw my pants (it was cold, had to stay warm) and NUUN at him and haul it to the actual exchange point. Katie ran up there with me prepping me with my inhaler and ifitness belt and turning on my lights. (Thank you!)
It was instant hard breathing for me. I don’t know if it was the rushing or the actual hills but it hurt. I could not get my breathing down at all.
This run wasn’t as fun. It was hard. I wanted to get a picture but honestly, the effort of taking my phone out was too much. Trust me though, the view was stunning. The sun rising over the mountains was gorgeous.
Thank goodness for my awesome teammates. They went by with cowbells once, stopped to cheer for me, and then drove by with cowbells again. I needed it.
Half of the run was on gravel roads too-so getting my footing down was key. The gravel road also meant dust/dirt, and sucked even more when vans were going to fast. Luckily, Marjorie let me use her water bottle on the run-I needed it to-I could taste the dirt. At one point a guy passed me and said “This is tough. But I think this is it-we made it.” For a guy to say that-you know it is hard. But he was right. We hit the second downhill. And I flew.
Run #2 Leg #20 (6:11am)
Despite the struggle, I still killed it. I beat my projected time again. Talk about a runners high.
The morning went by fast. Stopping and taking pictures and cheering on each of our teammates was fun. Some of the exchanges were more lively than others and offered food/coffee for sale. I apparently am really southern because I found out here that I say “hayum” instead of ham. Who knew? Maybe I should vlog more so everyone can get a laugh.
We passed off to Van 1 and had a plan to head to the final exchange for a decent meal and more sleep. Turns out HTC had other plans for us. REALLY bad traffic. It took us 2 hours to get to the exchange. Tyler ordered us to sleep in the van while we could and turned up some relaxing tunes. I slept for 20-30 minutes.
We finally made it to the exchange and had the opportunity to hang out with the other NUUN teams for a while. Soon enough, Erin was up and I knew I was next.
I was hungry though. We hadn’t had time to eat a real meal, so I ate peanut butter pretzels before my run. Tyler said he would get me a cheeseburger from the country store/gas station while I ran my last leg. Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures. I said from the country store/gas station.
I was so excited to start my last run and see what I had left in me. Apparently, I had a lot. The first mile I was running close to 7 min miles (after looking at garmin stats-sometimes sub 7). And then it happened. I got hurt. I sprained my ankle (this story deserves it’s own post).
Tyler and the girls drove by and saw me limping. I had tried to continue to run-almost another mile or so-thinking it was just a stinger and I could run it off. AND-I almost passed somebody on a gimp leg. Talk about adrenaline.
I was in tears. They picked me up. Tyler finished my leg. I cried. I apologized. I cried some more. I stuck it out in the van though. We saw a medic at the next exchange and he said there was really nothing that could be done. Just R.I.C.E. it. And honestly, I came out for the experience, was running the best race I had run in a while, and just spent 24 hours in smelly van, eating random crap, using port-o-potties, but loving every minute of it with some amazing ladies. I didn’t want to leave. So I stayed till the end.
I was carried piggy back style through the finish. My teammates were incredibly supportive. It wasn’t the way I expected it to end, but it is what it is.
The post race Nike party wasn’t as fun as it could’ve been. I had to stay put in a chair all night. I have no pictures. VERY much not like me. It’s tough to not be social and dependent on others to carry you from point A to point B. Either way, the entire day is a experience I will NEVER forget.
More to come on the injury tomorrow…