klondike road relay 2014: part 2
First of all, if you found your way here from the KRR FB page or the from @SportYukon, welcome!!
Here's part 1 if you missed it.
Ok...leg 3. It was dark, rainy, and foggy by the time I started my leg. I was excited to be running and little nervous to be running in the dark...alone. I had all my reflective gear and a flashy light on my shoe so my team could identify me (best idea ever), so I felt safe from cars...but as always, I was kind of worried about bears. I'm not used to running without my four-legged sidekick, especially not when I'm mostly alone.
I tried really hard not to look at my watch to see how fast I was running, but I could tell that I was clipping along and a nice pace (i.e. too fast to sustain and/or run again in 9 hours) due to the mostly downhill profile of leg 3. My first two miles were 9:48 and 9:42 which is WAY faster than I have been running all season. Reel it in Rosenstein.
I finally settled into a better pace and just went with it. I decided to stop trying to talk myself out of slowing down. Sometimes you just have to change the plan and go with what feels good at the time!
Once I came down out of the fog, I could still see a little bit of the scenery, which was almost as awesome in the dark as it is in the daylight.
I saw my team a couple of times in all their gold and cowbelled glory (note to new readers, I like to make up words). Got some water...and kept on running. Somewhere around mile 5 I think I told them to just go ahead and meet me at the exchange zone, they had to go through Canadian Customs while I was running and I didn't want them to get stuck there.
I rolled into the exchange zone for leg 4 at 1:21:06 (9 minutes faster than my estimated time!) and tagged off to Michele! My legs were tired and sore and I started worrying about my next run (we had two team members drop out and weren't able to replace them, so Audrey and I volunteered to run two legs). When I got back to the RV I focused on getting into dry clothes, eating, and hydrating. Then I tried to take a nap...which was very unsuccessful!
This part of the night is kind of a blur. We cheered for Michele and then Val and finally sent Ashley off on her 16 miler. When we pulled into the exchange zone for leg 6, Heather and I both noticed the giant hill that starts that leg off (as evidenced by the huge line of tail lights trailing up it). We both told Ashley not to look.
Ashely killed her run...and she was easy to spot in her gold legwarmers!
After Ashley, it was Alex's turn for leg 7. He rocked his leg in gold tights! While Alex was running I was getting ready for my second leg. My legs were still tired, I was tired, and it was still raining (good thing I like running in the rain)!
I decided earlier that I was going to run 4 min and walk 1 min for this leg. I have to say, I'm glad I made that plan. I think this leg would have been incredibly hard for me if it had been my only leg, but given that I had already run almost 8 miles 9 hours earlier...it was a challenge.
Looking at the elevation profile, I definitely do not recall there being that much downhill. It felt like endless uphill. Somewhere around 4 or 5 I think I asked Ashley "where the *$#& is the downhill?" But I just kept plugging along...in the torrential downpour.
I definitely don't think that I could have done this leg without my team cheering me on. I was so tired, but they just kept telling me I was doing a good job and to keep going. And ringing cowbells. Cowbells always help.
When I finally hit the 1k marker I was SO. HAPPY. I was also greeted by Heather who said she was going to run the last little bit with me (she's recovering from a stress fracture which was why she was driving and not racing). I am not sure that I would have made it without her.
These photos capture the moment perfectly.
I have never been so happy to be done running in my life! 20.6 miles in less than 12 hours! I ended up being faster than my original time estimate (before I told Ashley to add 15 minutes when I said I would run a second leg), which is great! If I had run another 0.7 miles (half marathon distance) I would not have run my slowest half marathon either. Considering the way I felt, I feel very good about that.
Audrey kicked butt on her last leg. She said she felt pretty good and kept it nice and steady. When Audrey was done it was FINALLY Bethany's turn. She gets a gold star for patience...she was so excited to finally get to run!
I think she also gets points for most enthusiasm while running! After we sent Bethany off, we stopped a few times to cheer for her, and then headed to the finish line so we could catch the finish. Parking in a giant RV was kind of a pain, so we dropped some people off to make sure we didn't miss her completely and then parked and the rest of us headed to the finish line.
When she came into the finish area, the announcer said "and now the team we've all been waiting for...Solid Gold Inferno!" Awesome!
And of course...the obligatory team photo!
Don't worry...there will definitely be a part 3...the drive home was almost as interesting as the race :)