Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wild West Relay Report: Leg 3 + Team Finish

Shannon woke up and checked her twitter to see that Alesha was getting ready for her final leg. It was showtime. Everyone was up and at 'em to get ready for her to run through and do the van exchange. After getting ready, we couldn't understand why she wasn't there yet. Someone was finally able to get cell service and found out that she had just started her leg--about 45 minutes after we thought she had. AHHH! Oh well, it's not like anyone was really sleeping anyway. We handed off roughly around sun rise and Melissa got going on her almost 10k.

She rocked it pretty hard and looked STRONG on her finish.

We are all looking oh so jealous that she's finished and we still have to do our legs. :)

I started my third leg at about 10am, less than 24 hours after my first run had started. I had studied my elevation map quite a bit before the run to mentally psych myself up for my final run. I knew the last mile would be rough, but figured the adrenaline of being finished would push me through it.

Had to stretch the hamstrings before the run. Take note of the strong breeze causing it to look like I'm giving the volunteers a show. Hey ladies. ;)

The handoff from Amanda to me. 4.2 miles here I come!

Amanda looks ecstatic to be finished up with her final leg.

As soon as I started out, I was taken aback by how strong the wind was. Normally I don't mind wind because I know if I start out running into it, I'll get the benefit of it at my back at the end. Not the case with this run, unfortunately. It felt like I was climbing up, up, up for about 90% of this leg. I'd get to the top, enjoy a short downhill, and then start trekking up again.

At one cheering point (about 2.5 miles in) I was struggling to keep going up, when Amanda, like an angel from the sky, yelled out that as soon as I finished going up, I'd get to enjoy a nice downhill stretch. I almost started to cry I was so happy. I kept had kept looking at this huge mountain in front of me thinking that I had to continue up THAT, and didn't see a small fork in the run where I got to go doooooooown. I think I almost kissed her I was so happy. Luckily for her I was running low on energy so I didn't. :p
I really tried to enjoy the downhill. And it was VERY nice change of pace from the up. But I just kept looking at where the bottom was and where the up started again. I tried to look at the fields and the mountains surrounding me, but kept coming back to the Up. Stupid Up. :)

When I did have to start the final incline, I was beat. I really thought I could kick in my final gears to have a strong, fast finish since I knew I was going to be done-done, but the final gears weren't there. I started getting very winded because of the altitude, and light-headed because of how hard I was breathing, but not getting enough oxygen in. Stupid altitude. Haha. Plus, the higher I got up, the stronger the wind was.

Giving what I have left on the final stretch. Hint: It wasn't much. :p

Melissa came back to run me in. Thank God. I was about to start walking. jk. THANKS MELISSA! You helped so much. I did have to fight the urge to ask her to run in front of me to block the wind for the last few yards. Didn't want her to get in the way of any finishing pics, ya know? Hah.

Also, for some reason, I thought I got to finish on a short decline, but that was not the case. Still going up on the handoff. :p

And then it was time to do the classic-hands-on-the-knees-dear-God-I-want-oxygen pose.
Here it is in another angle. Almost looks like wow-I'm-going-to-hurl-pose. But it's not. Just to clarify.
After walking around for a few minutes, I felt GREAT (now that my brain was finally getting oxygen again) and realized how b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l it was UP there. :) I had to take some pics (from far away so you can't see what a hot mess I was at this point of running 18.7 miles sans shower).
Apparently this is what I look like in a "runners pose." I'm such a loser.

Julie was the final leg from Van #1 and us gals were ready at the van exchange to run her booty in. Well, most of us were ready. I had changed into flip flops so I could lance the ginormo blister I had on my big toe, but no biggie. :p

Here's the team (minus Julie who was still finishing up her leg) at the final van exchange.
And the whole awesome crew at the finish line about 33 hours after starting. Don't ask me what our finishing time was, because I couldn't tell you. With all the stop watch errors, plus leap frogging, I'd be shocked if anyone figured it out, to be honest.
Next up: Celebration!! Stay tuned. (yes I realize that it's ridiculous that I'm still working on these reports. leave me alone. :p)


Trying To Heal said...

oh, there I am. I'm reading your posts backwards on google reader...my bad.

btw, look'n hot on that hill. oh yeahhhh

Anonymous said...

LOVE all these pictures - especially the hands-on-the-knees + the hands on the hips (YES-I'M-DONE pose) :)

Love that one of the girls came to run the last stretch with you!

and LOVE the idea of this relay! Especially the fact that it brought some random bloggers from across the country together :) I'm intrigued.....

X-Country2 said...

It really was beautiful up there. Congrats on getting it done! That elevation looks pretty hardcore.