The saga continues…

So when I say we “had to find it” I mean it. Laying the hammer down is a mental game. Our bodies are very capable of doing more than our minds often allow us. Being mentally strong for an Ultra Relay is key.

Once we hit dark and realized that sleep might not happen we had to dig deep. We passed SR in the van while she was out on her 19 mile craziness and asked her if she needed anything. She yelled out ” A bodyguard.” OK, done. At the exchange in the middle of her run Dave was able to join her. Serve, protect and pace. Thanks Dave. Just as we did during the day we took turns running in the night. Our nutrition was not great and sleep was not happening. It is so hard to sleep in a van when there is so much going on. It also comes down to feeling like a crappy friend if you are not there to cheer on your runner.

I laid down in the back seat, snuggled under a blanket and prayed that I would fall asleep. I even tried those weird relaxation techniques where you relax each part of your body until you are fully relaxed. It didn’t do squat. At least I laid down and “rested” but there was no sleeping.

At 5:30 a.m. it was my turn to run again. This time we were in Escondido heading into Carlsbad. I felt comfortable because I know the area so well. Finally in SD. I ate a bag of PowerGel bites and took off for 8.5 miles. The first leg was 3.9 miles and they were freaking awesome. A few climbs with some fast downhill miles in foggy weather. YEAH BUDDY! 

I was so thankful for this part of the course as I needed a little help. I hit 3 sub 8 miles on this part (let’s not get too crazy, by sub 8 I mean 7:50) and was hoping I would be able to make up some time for my team. Yes this was about fun and being smart but let’s be honest. Our group of gals are competitive by nature. We wanted to catch everyone. We wanted to freaking win.

I breezed through the exchange on my way to the second leg when I realized where I was. NOOO. The Carlsbad Marathon course. Time for a pace killer.

At this point I was in the high 8’s and passing a lot of walkers. It felt hard and I ended up running with another girl on a mixed ultra team for a mile or so. She told me that they had started at 11 am. Yes! We were catching people. I hit the downhill and finished strong. Total time for legs 23 and 24 1:11:38, 8.52 miles, 8:25 pace.

I headed into the exchange and talked with Pam and Chiara for a while. I felt positive about this run and actually thought to myself “Sweet, a negative split on legs. Maybe I can run low 8s high 7s for my final legs.” It was then that my stomach went into major fail mode.

Looking back now I was having a total nutrition fail. Total.

We were headed into the home stretch and knew what we had to do to win this thing. Now it just trying to figure out how to do it on no sleep.

To be continued…

Rangar SoCal Continued…

We moved from the start to meet SR at exchange 1. It was still overcast and we were hoping the weather would stay that way. We were following our 12-person team on Twitter and they had mentioned that the heat was bad inland. Shoot. If we could have brought the beach weather with us we would have.

SR finished her first 2 legs strong running a 7 min pace. The sun was breaking through and we could feel it getting hot. You know when you can feel the sun radiating off of the sidewalk? That kind of hot. Crap. At any rate, SR was done and OUAL took off for her two hilly legs. We hopped into the van and move to the next check point. We did this point to point transition for each runner on our team. We  would sit and chat and wait for the signal that our runner was coming through. We would cheer, offer water, ice, gels, whatever. SR was doing toe-touches and jazz hands. It was awesome. OUAL ran strong in the hot weather. It was not easy but she killed it.

Margot was runner 3 and had to battle not only the heat, but major hills and lots of stop lights. If you are a runner you know that any one of the three can be a spirit breaker. She was tough. She might have cussed out the trees at exchange 6 where she finished but, hey,  they might have deserved it.  Chiara followed her (runner 4) with again a hot, hilly run. I remember at her first exchange (we ran two legs at a time) someone handed her a cup of ice and she opened her sports bra and filled it up. That’s how you cool the girls down. HA!

By the time Chiara finished the sun was going down. We all put on our safety gear and Pam (runner 5) took off. I knew I had about 1:20-1:25 until it was go time so I just sat quietly, waiting. Pam’s hubby had brought Pizza but I couldn’t eat. I knew that cheesy deliciousness would not mix well with hills.

Before I knew it Pam cam cruising in, slapped the bracelet on me and I was off. It was freaking dark. No street lights, no bike lane, no sidewalk. I am a wuss and my imaginiation was running wild. What’s that sound? Is someone hiding out in that grassy field. I’m going to get kidnapped and noone will know! Run faster!! I took off to endure 10ish miles uphill running against traffic. I sorta wished I would have asked someone to run with me but by the time I thought about it I was 3 miles out. I had on a super bright pink vizipro longsleeve, headlamp, vest and taillamp. By god, if a car didn’t see me then the driver had to have had his/her eyes closed.

I remember feeling like the hills were dominating me instead of me dominating the hills. That’s never a good sign. I was breathing crazy and looked at my Garmin and saw 8:35. WTF? Why does 8:35 feel like 6:35. Eff. I am so screwed. I started talking to myself outloud “Go faster, your team is depending on you!” then I started singing outloud. There was noone around me so why not. I made it through the first leg and saw my team. That was so awesome! It gave me a little mental boost that was much needed. Plus it confirmed that I was going the right way, ha! I probably should have had a gel (I had not eaten a whole lot) but powered through. My average time to finish 10 miles in a race would be around, I don’t know, 1:16 ish. Good grief people this leg ended up being 10.11 miles in 1:28 (8:42 pace). I was pissed. I don’t know the last time I ran that slow (no offense to anyone, I do not think 8:42 is an awful pace. It just stings the ego when I had just busted out a 7:25 pace on a 25k 3 weeks ago). My heel was throbbing and I didn’t care. I was so mad that I had slowed us down. I just remember telling the girls that I thought it was hard, smiled, changed my clothes in a porta-potty in the dark (ewwww)and made my way to the back of the van. Ibuprofen? Check. They told me I did great but, like most people, I am my own worst critic.

At this point SR had taken off on a 19 mile adventure into the night and I had time to get over myself and suck it up. Being around all of the girls made everything so fun! I needed to STFU, adjust my attitude and enjoy this time with my friends. We cheered each other on and took on an all night running journey.  We were on a mission to catch a few teams. At 9:30 pm we had no idea how hard this race was about to get…we needed to lay the hammer down. But first we had to find it.

To be continued.

!@$*&!@#…and a Ragnar Slide Show

Well, somehow I lost my entire, sappy Ragnar post. I’m kind of ticked that I have to start over but it is what it is. Technology. @#&%^#%^%!&. Love it. Until then enjoy this little ditty I put together. It’s short and sweet. Just how you like it 🙂