We head to a local high school and pay $5 for showers - well worth it! I crashed out in the back of the van to attempt sleep before the NEXT round. Monica and Ian got stuck driving to Katy. They found the parking lot where our next exchange would be. Bad part, was at 4:30am a local DJ decided to get this party started!!! Gah! At 5am I got up to pee and then I was pretty much up. Even with almost no sleep my body was up. I felt hung over. Both hungry and nauseous, tired and awake. Vblah!
Leg 32 was through the Hershey Trail in Houston. I started at 8am, the mosquitoes were out in full force. I felt pretty shitty and was just hoping to make it through my 6 mile leg. Joe came charging to the exchange point racing another runner. I took the baton and turned to start. Then Red Shirt guy passes me and says "Road Kill #1!" What. The. Fuck? I get counting runners you pass, we did that too. I would never count out loud. Everybody is slower or faster than somebody else on any given day. This pisses me off. Red Shirt takes off down the path. Another runner sprints past me. (Side note: this is part of the starting strategy, faster teams start later and catch up to slower teams, so we all finish closer to the same time). A third guy passes me, but was very friendly. Slowly, I gain on Red Shirt. 2 miles in I am closing the gap. I try to wait, biding my time but this guy is dragging ass now that his team isn't around. I pass, on the right, "who's road kill now?" BITCH! I didn't say bitch, but I could have. Now I'm feeling hot, enjoying the run and the scenery. I pass the same speedy guy walking who passed me at the start. I come into the exchange point screaming "CHUPACABRA!" catching Heather waiting in line at the porta potties, ruining her last break. It was not my fastest 6 miler ever, but I did better than I thought I could do after 2 previous runs and no sleep.
|Texas Independence Relay Leg 8: Chicken Coup||3/31/2012||5.86||0:52:35||08:58.4|
|Texas Independence Relay Leg 20: Eagle Lake||3/31/2012||4.71||37:06||7:52|
|Texas Independence Relay Leg 32 (Hershey Trail)||4/1/2012||6.68||56:21||8:26|
Now I'm done running, but no where near close to being done with the day. We are now in Houston so the scenery is much different. I cool down while we bring Heather water 1/2 way through her run. Then Jennifer starts her last leg and we bring her water, too. It's starting to get hot and humid. Jennifer finishes her run in a park, a park full of bicyclists and families. Monica kicks off the Captain's leg now. I was getting changed and by the time I got back to the van we thought we would be too late to catch Monica at the one point in her run we could get to her. So we planned to go to the end of her leg and get Ian ready.
But here is where the 'be ready for anything' with a relay happens. We drive through this park in busy traffic, Heather is navigating and I'm mostly watching the cars. Suddenly Jennifer spots Monica on the side of the road waving. We panic and pull over a half a mile down the road when we find a spot to safely stop. Heather, Jennifer, Ian and I look at each other... who is going to run? Ian doesn't miss a beat and says "I'll go!" Heather jumps out and goes for Monica. Jennifer and I prepare ice, ibuprofen and clear a seat in the van. Unfortunately Monica is down for the count with a sprained ankle.
Now, there are 2 legs left to run for our van before Van 1 gets back. Jennifer and I meet Ian at the next exchange point. He says he's ok to keep going. It's probably 85 degrees now so we decide to meet Ian every 2 miles with water and ice. After about 6 miles he asks Jennifer to step in and do 2 miles for him. She is super awesome and cranks out 2 miles (after eating a shit load of candy, chips and soda). Ian finishes up the last 2 miles and passes the baton to Van 1.
Van 1 has 4 legs left and it is 90 degrees now. I get my running clothes on just in case they need help. Fortunately they are an awesome crew and the most I have to do is drive our van and then help run water out to our last runner.
|Me in yellow, bringing Shellie water and ice|
It's 2:30 or 3:00 when we meet at the finish and run the ceremonial last lap together up to the monument. WE take a bunch of pictures and get our medals. We take our pizza back to Monica, who is resting in the van.
The Running Chupacabras 162 Austin / Corpus Christi, TX Open Mixed
- 9m:10s Mile Pace
- 30h:47m Overall Time
- 54/101 Open Mixed
- 82/146 Overall
So, what's the final verdict? I feel like this relay was harder than a marathon. The amount of time I was physically UP was an extra challenge. I'm pretty good about nutrition before running, but having to think about it all day to eat at the right time after and before running was different. The heat and running during the day I was not at all used to yet. I'm glad it didn't rain - that would have been a huge beating. Sunday and Monday I said I wasn't sure I would ever do it again. But Tuesday I found myself thinking about what I would have done different (more sleep), what I should have packed (paper towels & pasta salad), and how we should have gamed the system (provided slower than planned pace times to start earlier). So would I do it again? Yes.