Once we finishing up our first 6 legs we decided to travel on to Portland in search of food. We'd decided on pizza, but Twitter kept displacing the need to settle on a location. It took a while - eventually light-headedness won out over debating how good the place should be - but we stumbled across Pizzacato. Seriously good pizza. And it was meant to be because when we walked in we discovered that they had a gluten-free crust option and their menu's "new" logo was a Nuun-esque N in a circle.
|Excellent one-time-only parallel park by Mason.|
|Took a picture so I could remember the name next time I'm in PDX.|
|Like my fashion sense? |
Who wouldn't want to be seen in compression socks, long shorts and a sparkle skirt?
My hip started to give me grief so Kimberly was kind enough to tape it up. I thought I'd try a little jog across the parking lot and back before my run and knew something was up. The tape was doing its job, but my knee was starting to twinge a bit. I thought that maybe it was just the after-effect of my long downhill and then sitting for hours in the van. I thought I could tough it out and then tape it up too after the run. I should have known better...
The transition area was very busy and for all the looking for Megan that we did we still ended up not hearing our number. All of a sudden she was there and I was yelling, "Hey, hey, hey" like an idiot as she passed me. I took off like a shot and had high hopes for my second leg. I met up with Becker (our photographer) on the deck of the Hawthorne Bridge and he took shots of my crossing. Unfortunately I got to the middle of the bridge and discovered that the gates were going down for the bridge to go up. ARRGGHH!!! I was (along with about 20 other runners) delayed by 6 minutes for a sail boat to take it's sweet time going down the river. Once the gates were up we all were on our way again. However, this is when I knew that my run wasn't going to go all that well.
When ever I get knee pain - generally below my knee cap - it's my shoes. Seriously?!? What worse time could they go? I knew I had a lot of mileage on them, but really thought that they would last until after the relay. I guess the run down Mt. Hood and the lack of time for the foam to rebound really killed them.
Leg 13 runs along the river through Portland. It really was a nice route - lots of people were out for the evening so it wasn't too scary. I knew that I was pretty much at the back of the pack from the bridge, but I followed the blinking lights in front of me at pretty much the same pace. At one point I had to cross some train tracks and am very thankful that I ran my little heart out to beat the train coming off the bridge (it was about 100m away). Tricia told me after that she got stuck there for 13 minutes! After I passed that point my knee was killing me so it was walk-run all the way to the exchange. It was frustrating to say the very least. Not only had I been delayed by the bridge, but now I was adding quite a bit of time simply because it hurt to run. For as much as we all said that this wasn't a race and it was for fun it sucked to think that I was letting the team down. I hated knowing that they were standing around wondering where I'd gotten to. I was having quite a little pity party until Nuun Platuun's van drove by and cheered for me. After that I started making deals with myself about how far I'd run before I would allow myself to walk. Since I was running blind (no GPS and I think in km not miles) I was so grateful to see the exchange. I handed the baton/bracelet to Dorothy and I was done!
|You can't say you didn't see me coming!|
(headlamp, vest w/blinkers, fluorescent sleeves, shoe blinkers and reflective laces)
This run was a struggle. As said above, it's hard to feel as though you've let down your teammates in some way. I'm not the fastest runner by any means and I know that I was probably the slowest runner in the van. To come in 10 minutes (at least) over the predicted time was crushing. Obviously I made an effort at the end because everyone thought that I looked like I was doing really well. The pizza that was so good a few hours ago also wanted in on the party and kept trying to come back up. A few hours later I would have been pleased if it had... Hard to stay positive when the only word you can come up with when you're asked how the run went is "shit".
The interesting thing about a relay is that you can't dwell on things for long. The run blew. There's no other word for it. Yes, there were extenuating circumstances. I couldn't control the bridge and I thought the shoes would be okay. But it wasn't like I could sit down and cry about it (stand, yes). You just climb back into the van and hope you get to the next exchange when your runner does.
Next: Saturday 27 August 2011 - A.M. aka You Thought The Last Leg Was A Soul Killer