continued from Part 1.
After the high five SR exchange, I took off like a freaking banshee into the Santa Ana mid-day desert for my first ever (aw, so special) relay leg…
It was hot. The river trail is boring. There’s no big race-day cheer section, and there weren’t many other runners since only a handful of teams started when we did, and we hadn’t caught up to the earlier starters yet.
But I didn’t care.
I think y’all know I’m not an “OMG I LOOOOOOOVVVEEEE RUNNING! THIS IS SO FUN JUST BEING ABLE TO RUNNNN” runner. (right? please tell me you know that.)
But being out there knowing 5 other girls were counting on me was the most motivating freaking thing in the world. Knowing my run meant more than just a finish time. The sooner I finished the sooner Margot could start. Every mile I ran got us closer to the finish line.
It was about more than just ME.
So when it got hot and I got tired, I thought of them waiting at the exchange, eager to hear “number thirty eight!” called out like I had been waiting for SR.
And I ran faster.
It looks like I’m walking. I’m not. It looks like I’m happy. I am.
Handing off to Margot (runner3) was so fun. It was like a little homage to all of our Track Parties, and we decided from now on all 800s will be completed relay-style. With fun slap bracelets and everything.
Piled back in the van, still high on endorphins and super sweaty, peeled off my clothes and immediately zipped them up in a ziploc bag. I’m sure you’ve heard this trick already, but it’s seriously a lifesaver. Not only for post-run nastiness containment, but for 2am delirious “where’s my freaking sports bra!” drama avoidance. Having everything pre-packaged was super brainless and easy. Do it.
The next few hours were a van-blur of speeding to exchanges to either cheer or hand off to a fresh pair of legs.
SR using her day job mariner skills to spot incoming runners
You guys knew that’s why we wanted you on the team, right? To tackle those really hilly parts? I didn’t want shit to do with runners 3 or 4.
Thanks for that, btw…
All our transitions were pretty seamless and stress-free. Driver Brian worked at 100% accuracy and even let me sit up front for a while before kicking my crazy relay-loving ass and all my exclamation points to the back.
Exchange 8 approached which meant pizza delivery from Pam’s husband (!) and also safety gear. During “night” hours (6:30p-6:30a) runners are required to wear a reflective vest, headlamp, and blinky light on their back. Apparently this is bc when you run on roads at night with only a 4″ shoulder it’s important for cars to be able to see you so you don’t become roadkill.
Good thinking, Ragnar.
But also, for some reason, any person outside the van during this time needs to wear a vest as well. Incredibly inconvenient when you really have to pee, jump out the door in a dead sprint to the portas, and are informed by safety officials you need to sprint your exploding bladder back for your vest before you can pee.
Not that that happened…
ANYWAY! Here’s Pam & Nicole supermodeling the required safety gear. Pam at 6pm in still-daylight when it seems silly to wear reflectives, and Nicole at dusk, looking really super excited to run 10 miles in the dark.
And here’s the rest of us, NOT running, but making use of our required accessories anyway.
- p.s. reflective BIC Bands were not required but should be, bc they’re awesome
Exch10, powered by day-glo green and reflective tape!
Pam handed off to Nicole (Runner6) around 8 pm, and we prepped for round two. Each girl had about 6-8 hours between runs, which (to me) was enough to refuel and gain some energy back, but not too much to get stiff or achey. Awesome.
Disclaimer : see above mention of the exclamation points. You probably could have run me over with the van and I would’ve still been excited about the relay’ing.
Nicole returned and SR took off for a slightly sketchy/scary 19 miler through Lake Elsinore. Luckily, she had someone on call for assistance…
At this point we’d started losing a little steam, and the excitement at exchanges started fading. We took turns [trying] to nap and started caffeinating heavily before legs (please to note 20oz gas station coffee in above photo).
At Exch14 I got all situated for my next and longest run, 14.9 miles through Murrieta and Temecula. The weather was perfect (50s and balmy) so I dressed in my fav running skirt, Pro Compression socks, tech t, and arm warmers. Got my reflective/blinky on, and headed to the exchange to wait for SR and Dave around 11:30pm.
I bet you guessed by now this was going to end up being more than two posts. Hah, sorry bout that. Stay tuned…