Before we get to the "fun" that was Leg #25 let me tell you about our driver, Mason. You have to figure that any guy who is game to drive a bunch of strangers around for 3 days is going to be great. Factor in a willingness to don a sparkly pink skirt, allow photographic evidence of it, run 17 miles (yes, you read that right - 3 legs of the relay) with our runners to keep them company and feeling safe in the dark, and you have an amazing person all around. Oh, and I seem to have forgotten to mention that he's the President of Nuun. Yeah. Had you asked me if I thought a) I'd be hanging out with him and b) that he wouldn't be a stuffed shirt before the race I probably would have said no. Not only is Nuun a great company, but (and I know everyone else on the team has either mentioned this or they would agree) they have a superstar staff.
Much of the evening after my second run is a blur. Mostly because I was fading fast. The longer it was dark out the more I wanted to go to sleep. Unfortunately my body didn't want to let me. I would have been chugging Pepto sooner - yes, the now infamous pizza strikes again - but our other van needed it too. I had to wait until we could steal some out of Nuun Platuun's van. My dinner was sitting like a lead weight in my stomach and there was nothing I could do about it. At one point I seriously considered making myself throw up just so I would feel better.
Once we got to the van transition (and after finding our keys) we decided not to spend the night there, but drive on to the next one and catch a few hours there. A good idea in theory, but not in practice. Once we were close to Mist - the site of my 3rd run - we hit traffic. Yes, in a relay there is the possibility of a traffic jam at 3 in the morning. It took us 2-1/2 hours to go about 31 miles/50km. It should have only taken us an hour total. Thank goodness we didn't sleep at the last transition. We would have been S.O.L. the next morning and most likely would have missed our exchange.
At this point all I wanted to do was get what little sleep I could before my run and make my stomach not hurt. I got one of the two. We crawled into the parking lot sometime after 5am. Since only a few of us were awake we pulled out the necessary sleeping bags and all crashed in the van. I think I went to bed at 5:45am and got up again at 6:30am. That was the first sleep I'd had since 5:30am Friday morning. Not entirely enough to feel ready for my run.
Upon waking I was hoping my stomach would feel slightly better. No such luck. I ate half a banana, gathered myself as best I could and waited for Megan to literally appear from the mist in Mist. As I started my knee felt much better. I'd been able to get some insoles at Safeway at one of the exchanges. Thankfully they were a sponsor and were open at 2am. My pace was decent and I had the start of "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas on repeat in my head: "and runnin' runnin'/and runnin' runnin'/and runnin' runnin'." It really is a beautiful area and it was the perfect temperature - just cool enough to need a light long sleeved shirt. My groove was short-lived. Between my stomach (a nice way of saying GI issues), the start of chafing (sleep deprivation = no Body Glide), and my shin starting to act up I'd slowed down to a walk. When our second van drove by I just pointed to my shin as they drove by as an excuse for why I was walking. There are some things that just don't need admitting. Except that they turned around and came back to check on me. I can say after the fact that it really was appreciated. However, at the time, I was more than mortified about my issues. Jen, Mel and Kelly hopped out to see how I was doing and I promptly fell apart. They were extremely understanding. In fact, Mel
sacrificed let me borrow a pair of capris. Now that is teamwork.
Eventually Tricia caught up to me and passed me. I was pretty much done by then, had no idea how far I had to go and the little hill at the end didn't help. As much as I wanted to chick the guy that was even with me at the bottom of the hill I just didn't have it in me to push it. Handing off the baton was relieving. It just sucked that I'd once again made my team wait for me. I was 12 minutes over the expected time.
Once we moved along I was finally able to get a little sleep. I think I was out for about an hour during Kimberly's leg just curled up on the back bench. It was nice to both sleep and sleep off the disappointment of my run. After that I was able to enjoy the rest of the legs and once we were all done we were off to Seaside!
Next: Saturday 27 August 2011 - P.M. aka Things Are All Good Again