Monday, June 23, 2008

the wasatch back, my race report

leg #5

i started out this leg full of nervous energy. i really felt so unprepared. it felt surreal to have the first run come upon me. it was the one i was nervous about. before i started, i totally forgot my inhaler and had to run back to the car to get it. by that time i had it, i had like a minute to go. i saw julie and i was ready to run. she slapped the bracelet on me and i took off. i felt so very good. and it was simply beautiful. there was green shady forest everywhere. i was running pretty well and keeping up with everyone. it was great....for a while.

i noticed how hungry i was. i hadn't eaten anything but a granola bar at 5 am. it was close to lunch. i was feeling it. no big deal. i 'll push through. there were occasional signs about directions, but there were no mile markers on my route. i started to slow down. it was getting really hot, and the dust being kicked up by the passing vehicles was really sticky. and really hard to breath through. i had my hydration pack and i was doing well with my water, but i started to feel a knot in my stomach. i had taken some ibuprofen and i think my tummy was rebelling. so i stopped for a moment and picked some flowers and pinned them in my hair. it was stunning and beautiful everywhere! i remembered i had some sport beans in my pack, so i started rationing them out. it was getting hotter and not so shady. and it was getting tougher. the climb was steeper and the road was less desirable. and the support vehicles took the good parts while i had to scramble on the sides. running on dirt trails is much harder than running on pavement. i kept going, and i noticed a girl ahead of me. i kept up with her, matching my stride to hers. i bet i bugged the crap out of her. my support vehicle passed me by and dumped water on me. it was heavenly. i climbed more. and more and more. i kept track of my time on the watch, figuring at least 10 minute miles, so i'd be about half way. i started to get a little discouraged because my legs were really starting to shake. i felt like the air was so thick with dust, and it was. my teeth were covered in it. i caught up to the same girl as before and we sort of leap frogged for a while. i finally said, "why don't we just run this in together!" so we talked for a minute or two. and then she told me she needed to concentrate on running and not talking. so i slowed a bit and fell in behind her. i just kept going. my legs were burning, the sun was really hot and it was really starting to suck. i kept on the beans, and they weren't really helping, only making me thirsty. when i passed the one mile mark, i almost cried. one more mile.

my time was really off and i had become really slow. i figured i was doing about 11 minute miles and i was really bummed. i tried pushing it the next time some guy wanted to pass me, but i ended up needing my inhaler again. there were plenty of people on the side of the road who were dumping water on us, squirting us and cheering us on. that was nice. when i saw the exchange i felt much better and i used what energy i had left. i made it to the end and handed it off to melodee who got to summit the freaking mountain after all my hard work. but there was no way i wanted to run any more right then.


we had spent the afternoon in the sun, trying to get a nap in. and then we were in the car supporting the rest of the team. i was worried that it was going to be really hot. it was a super hot day, and those who had run before me were really suffering. when it came time to run, the day had cooled a lot, and the sun had set. i wasn't sure if i was going to get a night run in, but i did. sort of. i had to have the headlamp and the reflective vest. i didn't think i would need them, but by the time i ended my 5 miles, i was in darkness and it was nice to know i was being seen.

this run was my favorite. i was able to see the country side. lots of cows and lots of people sitting in the front yard. kids threw candy (at least i hope it was) as we were passing by. i was offered water a couple of times, but it was starting to get so cold, that i really didn't need it. as it started to get darker, the terrain became more hilly, but in an even sort of way. not so much the dirt uphill. a lot of down hills and i just felt great on them. i even started passing people. of course i was being passed too, but i wasn't really worried so much. then i passed a guy that had passed me. he looked like he was really struggling. we had made it to the 1 more mile mark, so i kind of even upped with him and told him, "one more mile, lets' go! we got this!". he gave me a huge crusty and sped way up and passed me. it made me laugh! i totally got him going again! i handed off to the next teammate and i felt really great. just really tired and really, really hungry.

we didn't eat, we were trying to figure out where we going, and trying to figure the logistics of it all. i was starting to feel pretty light headed. i was pretty sure i was dehydrated, so i kept sipping water, but that water was making my tummy feel sick. i was trying desperately just to hang on for a bit longer. when we picked up our last runner, we headed off. i was in pretty bad shape. i kept wondering if the rest of the girls were feeling as crappy as i was. i felt like i was going to pass out. i think i had just pushed myself way hard, had not as much food, and not near as much water. so i really needed some fuel. i asked for the pretzels, thinking i just needed something in my tummy. i started munching on them, and then about 5 minutes later, i needed the van pulled over. i was going to barf. and i did. a lot. i finally got back in, and we made it to the high school. we got out and i totally lost it several more times. i almost had no control. it was miserable. we then went in to have dinner, only to find that dinner sucked big time. i felt so sick by then, i just wanted to sleep. we got our bags out and rolled them on the gym floor with about 200 other sweaty sleepy people. i think i was out before anyone else. those 3 hours of sleep were probably the fastest and easiest sleep i've ever had

leg #29
my last leg was moderate. i really remembered it only being like, 3 miles. so when i looked at the race bible, and realized i was going to do 4, i wasn't too happy. i still felt really weak, and kind of crappy. although i did feel much better than i had the previous night. it was cool-ish, but i expected it to be more warm. it was mostly downhill, but it was on a major road. that part really sucked. it was really loud, and the cars were passing us so quickly. my hip which had been bothering me a couple of days ago started acting up again, and my toenail blistered toe felt kind of funky. my boobs were hurting too, as i had left my nursing toddler at home, and i could tell! my legs were still fatigued from he day before. i felt terrible too, i had forgot to use my inhaler. i saw the van pass me, and i forgot to get my inhaler from them. i was so worried about making sure i had food and water. by the time i got to the flater part, going into the heber valley, my cell phone kept ringing. it was my dad! i tried answering it a couple of times, and i finally called him back....every time he called it stopped my music! so i stopped and walked as i talked to my dad. which was a really nice break. i kept looking for a sign to tell me how much further i had. i finally saw it, and it was coming up quick. thank goodness! i felt a person trying to pass me at the last minute, and rather than being another hash mark on another team's van, i totally sprinted (sort of limping) to the finish line. after that my asthma really kicked me and i sort of freaked out. but i got to my inhaler and i felt better after a bit. and that was it, i was done running. i was so glad that it was over, i immediately felt great.

i have to say that this race probably took everything from me. i don't know how i could have given any more than i did. i felt so weak at some points and so strong at others. i didn't really care how many people were passing me because, well, because i was out there doing it too. i'm not a strong fast runner. i'm sort of like a work horse. i don't look pretty while i'm doing it, but i'm going to get it done. and i kept telling myself that. even on my "easiest" leg. i'm just going to get it done. or "i run for when i'm done!". seeing that finish line for the last time was probably the sweetest thing ever. i was so glad for my sunglasses that were hiding my tears.

i really knew i could do it. but i didn't know it would take me to the edge. i had done the 18 mile run, and it was hard, but it wasn't hard like this race. this race was about running without sleep, food, water. running in the blistering heat and the freezing cold. and then doing it all again. it was really about sharing a victory as a team.

you can't push yourself to the limit and more with 11 other girls, and not bond with them. it's not the same as running any other kind of race. it's harder and sweeter and better. and harder. did i say that already? much harder. and now that it is over, i'm ready for it again, in about a year!


big d said...

i'm glad it was good! i love hearing about it! you're my hero! seriously!

Megan said...

How incredibly grueling. I have so much respect for you. Have I mentioned that you're amazing? Well, you are.

One Crazy Family said...

You are a badass runner. Boy I am glad you had some fun? and it sounds like you have a great group of people to support you. I hope next year we can cheer you over the finish line.