Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hood to Coast - Round 3

I woke up to find the van almost to the next super exchange.  I had been fighting tummy troubles since my first leg and my second run was more of the same.  I ate enough to feel good during leg 22 but immediately afterwards I was nauseous with hunger again.  Thankfully, the farm house at exchange 30 runs a grill so I knew real food was waiting for me.


Catching some z's

Sleeping area

I'm surprised I was able to sleep for as long and as well as I did this HTC (the hour in the van ride brought my total up to about 5 hours in two days).  I didn't even bring a sleeping bag or pillow because I knew the vans are too uncomfortable and the resting areas are too loud.  For example, the one pictured above was right in front of the actual exchange and next to the lines for food and Honey Buckets.  Teams cheering, volunteers on bullhorns, vans honking, the commotion of the lines, baristas pulling espresso shots - basically nothing that equals a peaceful rest.

Layer of dust from legs 20-21

Darrin's final start

Nerves hit me hard after we dropped off Darren for his last leg.  Afraid that leg 34 was going to be another slow roast in the afternoon sun and worried about how much my quads had left, I was dreading the run. I even told Erin, "This is going to hurt."  (Yes, our van had Darren, Darrin, and Erin.)  I told myself that this was a short run - only 3.36 miles - do the damn thing and let's go home.

I was hoping for 30 minutes but thought that 35 or even 40 was probably a better estimate.

The leg started off with a decent hill, which my legs did not appreciate.  After that intial climb, the road was to true to the rolling hills advertised in the guide book.  The other two hills were very manageable climbs and the heat wasn't as awful as I feared.  There was little shade on the course but the thoughts of frosty adult beverages in Seaside helped ease the pain.  As I gunned it for the next exchange, I was able to reel in two more roadkill, doubling my total to 10.  I handed off to Erin and hoped that leg 35 would be good to her.

Back in the van, I checked my time:  31:43, a 9:26 min/mile average.  Negative splits!

It was done - I had finished my third Hood to Coast and I managed to end faster than I began.  I wanted to break down and cry thinking about everything it took to get me here.  Fighting postpartum depression/anxiety, moving to the other side of the planet, juggling two boys while training, not giving up when my weight plateaued and fitness refused to improve, leaving Isaac overnight for the first time, pumping in a van full of people, and literally the effort to physically get the boys and myself to Oregon.

Jaime taking us home on leg 36

Seaside - we made it!

Mulkey sisters - woot!

Already wondering what leg to sign up for next time...

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