The 3am and 3:30am alarms came too early. Despite popping a melatonin, I had had trouble falling asleep and ended up with maybe 3 hours total in the tank. But we had a start line to reach and we had to be there by 5. We got up, ate, and dressed as quickly as we could. I was glad I laid my clothes out before bed
I was also happy I brought a toaster with me, but my stomach was doing a dance that was definitely not nerves (jalapenos and bad sour cream came back to haunt me). I only ended up eating half a bagel with peanut butter and a banana. And an Imodium. Breakfast of Champs, I tell ya...
Soon, Sue, Therese and I were on the road. Alida and Lucy were leaving about 15 mins later and would meet us at the start of leg 2. The rest of the team would arrive later in the day.
Oh...and it was pouring. I must mention that. Torrential downpour.
|Ready to rock.|
This is what my phone said, later....never a truer screenshot was taken...
Check in at the start line went much faster than anticipated. The hour they ask for is a bit of overkill. With my bib in hand, I went to sit in the car until closer to the 6am start.
As we sat, it seemed like the rain was letting up a bit. It was only lightly raining when the gun went off.
The race started off really quickly. I was struggling to keep up and this was with the 6am "slow" people. I looked at my Garmin and I was doing about 5:09/k for pace. I needed to slow down or I would burn out and need my support vehicle to drag me to the hand off. It was time to run my own race.
I slowed slightly as we looped through Longview and then came out onto the highway. As I ran, I saw Barefoot Neil and his camera - though we'd never met in person (just on twitter), he cheered me past by name. Later, on the highway, he slowed down as he passed to introduce himself, in case I hadn't figured out who he was.
Thanks to his blog posts about the k100 last year, I was totally prepared for how crazy the traffic would be as we left the town. Bumper to bumper as far as the eye could see.
I was feeling good, though a bit cement-legged. My poor food choices and lack of Friday hydrating was giving me cramps, but I was managing them. The biggest obstacle was the rain. It was pouring steadily. I started off wearing my rain jacket, but it was so warm out that I felt like I was in a sauna. I ended up ditching it by 2k and then just running in my tank.
It was actually nice. After 6k, I stopped cramping and felt pretty good. And look - I wasn't in last place after all....
At 8k, my support people said they needed to head to the leg 2 handoff to use the portapotties and told me they'd be back soon. I siad I'd be fine for a bit so off they went.
I was aiming (best case scenario) for 2 hours in leg one. When I hit the halfway point, I was here...so I figured that wasn't bad for in the pouring rain.
And I was feeling FANTASTIC!
But then I took my gel at 10k...and emptied one bottle of Nuun. My energy didn't pick up again like it normally would, so I decided to down a second gel to give me a sugar burst...and then drained my second bottle. I was suddenly out of water and waiting for my people to get back.
14k. BIG hill. (only hill so it was of course a BIG hill). Dehydrating fast.
|you can see the start of the hill in the distance.|
Up the hill. Down the hill. 15k. Still no support vehicle
16k - lost cell service. My texts were not only going unanswered...but were now unreceived.
Instead, I focused on distracting myself with scenery. That didn't work. It was apparent they weren't coming back. This was quickly becoming the worst race I'd ever had.
Finally - I saw the "one mile to go" point and figured I would just do my best to get through and tag Lucy so I could be done. The chute came into view and then I was in it.
I pointed to my hand and said to Lucy "right here" and a high five later, she was gone.
|The leg wasn't quite the 18.7k that was advertised.|
I was dehydrated and upset. The first thing I did was go off on Therese asking "where the hell was my support vehicle?" (I did apologize for that later. She didn't deserve my heat of the moment anger. I later found out that stomach issues had hit Sue and they COULDN'T come back) Then, I crumpled to the ground and the tears came. It had been such a struggle. I was over heating and mad and generally hating the world.
I guzzled about 6 cups of water. There was no food at the end of my leg. This was an EXTREMELY bare-bones race so I wasn't expecting that. I figured no aid stations along the route would mean a decent spread at the end of each leg...I was wrong.
Garmin Geekery from Leg 1:
At this point it was only 8am...and we still had 12 hours to go in this race. It was time to go support the rest...
...to be continued...