Thursday, June 27, 2013

Relay Iowa (Part 2).

11am on Saturday, we completed the first 24 hours of our relay. Our team had previously set a goal to finish the relay in under 48 hours, and we were sitting right about the half way point. Most of the team was still feeling strong and we had a lot of miles left to cover. Through the middle part of the day our entire team stayed on the road together for a few hours, instead of some of us going to sleep.

After my 5 mile leg, I had almost 10 hours before my next leg. I did a lot of rolling and stretching, but my legs were feeling super awesome! My last leg on Saturday was at 7pm and my splits were 8:02, 9:25 and 8:58. My pacing over the course of the relay was not particularly stellar, but I was happy to be seeing lots of miles in the 8:XX area.
The weather was still pretty great- low 80's for a high, barely any wind and great cloud cover. 

Saturday afternoon some of the team was starting to get some aches and pains going on. All of us had double digit miles on our legs, and fatigue started to play a role for some of the runners. 

Ice-bath anyone?? 

Saturday afternoon we were stopped by the news crew that covered the relay and they asked if they could interview us. Yours truly got stuck with the microphone. Can I just say now that I hate my recorded voice?? 

Let's just be as awkward as physically possible, because the cameras eat that stuff up.

At 9pm we split into two shifts again and it was my turn to sleep. We stayed in a gym with showers and a very cold floor. I was tired, but had a really hard time actually sleeping. The night shift laid down some really good fast miles for our team and then called us to switch around 2am.
Running in the dark was my favorite part of the entire relay! It was just you, the road and the night! So amazing. Loved every minute of the night legs!! 

The day shift runners were excited to put out some pretty fast miles and keep up the good pace that the night shift team had set up. Through the night they had passed several more teams, and at that point there were only a couple teams ahead of us. When the night shift drove ahead to camp out, they counted and let us know that there were only two more teams in front of us, one just barely 1/2 mile ahead and the other one closer to 2 miles ahead.
Time to catch some runners. :) We passed the first team almost immediately, and then set our sights on the one remaining team ahead of us.  
We were running just a couple miles ahead of some pretty heavy storms, so it was cool and there was quite a bit of wind. The headwind made the morning legs a little bit tough, but still doable.

I was the 4th runner in our morning rotation, so by the time it was turn for my leg, we had pulled up close to one of the runners remaining in front of us. I knew he was far enough ahead of us that I probably wouldn't get the kill, but I wanted to shorten the gap between us so our next runner could pass him.
It was a perfect morning to run- my leg was at 4:15 and I was feeling really good. Just before I hit the 1 mile mark, I realized that I could see the red blinking tail light of the runner in front of me. He had some good ground on me, but I was determined to catch him. I got my 2nd kill of the relay when I passed him just before the 2 mile mark! Woohoo! I got a second wind after passing him and just kept pulling away from him. (Yes sir, you got chicked!!!) My splits were 8:19, 8:52 and 8:57. 

Field of dreams in the middle of the morning!! When the sun came up, the wind picked up even more. It was  almost chilly out! So far we had not run in any rain, even though we were sitting at 60-70% change of showers for the past 12 hours.
During the night legs you were required to wear a reflective vest, headlamp and tail light. We had two sets of lights, but only one vest, so transition took a little bit longer because you had to get the vest off & on the the new runner. At one transition, in the fumble of handing over the vest, the finishing runner forgot to hand the GPS off to the new runner. Tim had already taken off about 1/3 of a mile down the road before we realized. Our first response was to jump in the van and bring it to him, but that would have felt like cheating- even though he ran the entire distance, it was our error to not give him the GPS, and that didn't mean we could use the vehicle. One of our other runners took off in a dead sprint to catch him, while we went ahead in the van and told him to stop and wait. Thankfully we caught him and quickly remedied our error. Early morning brains don't always function the best!! :)

My 2nd leg that morning was at 6:30, and I was starting to slow down just a touch. This particular part of the  leg wasn't super well marked, and I was afraid that I was off course. I spent about a mile worrying that I was lost. Since we had passed all the other teams, there were no other runners or support vehicles out on the road to help reassure me. My splits were 8:41, 9:28 and 9:04. Thank you mr. german shepherd for chasing me and increasing my speed for the last 1/2 mile of my 3rd split.
At the end of that leg I was sitting right at 29 miles. I was ready to be done, but really wanted to hit 30 miles before I was done. :) 

We ran though the town where the night shift team was camped and they broke camp and rejoined us. It was time to get in our last 30 miles and finish!! Our team was excited, tired and ready to be done. It's amazing how tired you can be, but yet completely amped up on adrenaline at the same time.
There were quite a few runners on our team who were starting to feel pretty slammed, so we switched up the legs for the last couple of miles so that they could fall out of the rotation.
My last full leg was a 1 mile leg--- uphill. It was tough, and my legs felt pretty spent! I ran the last mile in 8:46, not horrible, but I had hoped for a bit faster.

9am on Sunday morning- the sun was up, the clouds were looming and we were within just a  miles of the finish!!

Stay tuned for part 3-- the FINISH!! 


  1. Super exciting read, very cool! Oops about the forgotten GPS, I do think my brain would quit working after all that running you were doing lol! And nice splits, super speedy lady!

  2. So cool that you were on tv! You should post the clip! I'm sure your voice is just fine, but I know what you mean about hearing your own recorded voice.
    I can't believe that guy is running barefoot. Just can't imagine that!
    Dang, look at your awesome legs! :)
    Can't wait for part 3!

  3. Wow what an exciting relay!! I really want to run a distance relay race, it seems like so much fun. And awesome mile times there!!!

  4. dang girl!!! love the side shot of your LEGS!!!! whoo!!!

  5. you are amazing and soooo brave to night run!!! you go girl!