Sunday, July 23, 2006

Relay, part two: Redemption

Continued... The heat slowed us all down, so we had a good, long wait at the next major transition. We had some dinner and visited Starbucks, then Eric, Steve and Margaret found a grassy spot to lay out their sleeping bags and try to catch some rest.
Five of the Van 2 runners.

Patch was the sixth Van 2 runner.

Rob, Sonya and I laid in the van with the doors open and had a good old-fashioned slumber party. We talked and we laughed so hard my tummy hurt. One of our discussions was about whether you could call it "hitting the wall" or "a bonk" when you've run less than 5K, or whether those were marathon terms. I was trying to find a little solace in the fact that I'd just had another taste of the full racing experience. I have to tell you that I thought Rob was going to bust a gut laughing when I said that I was a weenie-face for pulling out.Meeting up with Van 2.

We finally got the call that Van 2 was almost in, so we broke out the night gear and moved over to the exchange. It had cooled down wonderfully - but was still tank top weather. We were required to wear a reflective vest and carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp. In addition, we had some great glowsticks to carry. My leg started just after 2:00 am which was nice - by that time, the drunks and truck drivers seemed to be off the roads. Rob and Eric made me reset my walk timer to 5 minutes running, 1:30 walking. They wanted to be sure I was totally recovered and didn't have any heart issues. I had to promise I'd pull out if I felt anything. I'm happy to say that I felt strong and comfortable the entire way. Rob and I made a mid-run switch to run 5, walk 1, run 5, walk 30 seconds. It worked like a charm and we cruised in. Rob told me that it was Redemption, part 1 and that part 2 would be to maintain the same good pace in the morning. Our exchange was at a pitch black section of the highway. No street lights at all - the only light came from our headlamps. Rob kept going with Sonya while I piled into the van.

Summary leg 2: 3.71 miles, 41:57, average hr: 144, peak hr: 168 (that was on a little kick at the end). Much better, and better yet, not a single twinge or problem.

Sonya's leg ended at the high school where we got to shower and sleep a little. She and I slept in the van while the others went into the gym to sleep. I woke up about 6:00 am, and sat up to see an almost empty parking lot. I started worrying that we'd overslept, and sure enough a few minutes later the call came that the last Van 2 runner was on the road. We all piled in the van and took off. We made it with about 15 minutes to spare and started our legs off again.

My final leg was about 9:00 am. It was smooth sailing - mostly shaded, very comfortable. It was warm out, so we kept the 5/1 run/walk for this leg as well. We were surprised to come up on the exchange quickly, only to find out later it was in the wrong spot and made my leg about a half mile short. I was bummed! And poor Sonya, it lengthened her already long leg even more. Sonya's leg was in full sun - she started feeling the heat and decided to pull out where her leg should have ended and let Eric and Rob complete it. Summary leg 3: Should have been 3.63, was probably about 3.2. 34:00, average hr: 136, peak: 151. Redemption!
After that we were done. We had breakfast - kind of greasy, left me feeling a little sick, went to Rob's house, showered and headed to the finish to wait for our team. It was a great race and we were all satisfied.
After the finish, we went back to the house. Some of the team napped, while five of us went for a walk. We live on Puget Sound with rocky beaches so the sandy, wide open ocean beach of Ocean Shores is a treat. We peeled off our shoes and started walking. It was beautiful and sunny and fairly empty of people. We walked and talked and walked some more. Two and a half hours later, we made it back to the house. We picked up pizza, beer and wine for dinner, and finally headed for bed about 9:30. We'd been up since early Friday morning and had had two hours of sleep during the night, but we still were having too much fun to call it quits.Sunday morning, Rob and Eric headed out for a beach run about 6:00 am. Margaret, Steve and I went out about 7:30. We ran down the beach for an hour. It was foggy and the tide was way out. We could just see the water on our left, and couldn't see the dunes on the right. The sand was bare except for two sets of footprints - probably from Eric and Rob. After a while, a group of runners went by, then turned around and came back. I'm pretty sure they had run the relay too. We were running on my 9/1 run/walk cycle at a nice comfortable pace. My hr stayed low - an average of 136 with a high of 151 - back to normal. Our plan was to turn up to the road at the Best Western. Eric and Rob were waiting there with the van, and we went off to find our morning coffee. It was a great way to end a great weekend!

21 comments:

Ironayla said...

I am glad to hear all of you guys had a great time and that you felt better for the other 2 runs. Are you going to do the relay again next year? I don't think I can let another year pass without doing it with the group :) I loved all the picture!

robtherunner said...

All's well that ends well.

And Yes Darcy we will be running again next year. I am afraid that soon the relay team will be overrun by women and then maybe I can make my solo attempt.

olga said...

Good story made up for little fuss with the heat. I am jealous of the weekend.

Wes said...

It's been a great story. Thanks for sharing it with us...

TryAthlete said...

Loved the story, loved the pictures. It was almost like I stowed away in that van somewhere. The window decorations are hilarious!

Thomas said...

Nice report, and nice pictures. So glad that the second part of the run was so much better than the first one.

Sounds like you had a lot of fun and that's definitely the main thing!

E-Speed said...

I love all the van decorations! Too much fun!

Robb said...

Was that a 'stink meter' on the back of the van? If so, that's really funny Michelle! Stink, stank, stunk! An excellent round-up of events. Felt like I was right along with you (aprart from the stink and sarcasm). Congratulations of 'redemption'. That's a great finish!

backofpack said...

Two-b Robb, yes it was a "stank-o-meter". It started as a "rank-o-meter" then changed partway through the trip.

One-b Rob, now I know you're joshin' - if the team fills with women, you'll be begging us to let you drive and run. Especially if we wear skirts!

Annette said...

I ran R2P also! It was fun to read someone else's play-by-play of the run. In the picture of your van 2 members, some of my team members are in the background - how weird is that? :) I remember seeing your van - my team was Hoof-Hearted. Glad you survived the heat and had a good time.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

what a great recap, and a great end to the race!

Lana said...

Awesome report!! Sounds like you all had a blast. I am so glad you redeemed yourself - nice job!!

Nicole said...

What an awesome report. I'm glad to hear you are okay. And, you are defintely not a weenie.

And, how aweseome to live on puget sound.

Happy recovery.

Anne said...

Love the report, the outcome and the car "art." The Stank-o-meter is a hoot. It sounds like everyone really enjoyed the relay, and that's exactly what you want to hear and we love to read. Congratulations. Well done.

Running by.... said...

Very nice! You should be proud. I really liked your account of the whole relay--I felt I was running right along with you.

Rose said...

Wow - great report! Found you via Wes. I'm bringing up the rear of the back of the pack!

*jeanne* said...

How much FUN!
:-)

Wanna-be 5k-er said...

A relay!?!?! That is crazy cool! Congratulations:-)

Sarah said...

Great report! So glad to hear you "redeemed" yourself and ended on a high note! What fun. : )

Sarah Elaine said...

This is the happy ending that good stories are made of! Great photos of smiling runners, too.

Dori said...

Sounds like an incredible race. I can't imagine getting up to run at 2 a.m. Good job--you're one tough woman!