I had a blast today! I just love racing! This morning I woke up to a thunderstorm at 4:00am. I got up at 15 minutes later to get ready and by the time I was out the door at 5:05am the storm had passed. It was still raining but fairly warm out, and I’ll take rain any day over snow in June. The closer I got to Whitecourt the clearer the skies got so I thought we might be in luck. I met my team members at the Tim Horton’s in Whitecourt and we car-pooled to Mayerthorpe to the start of the race. The wind started picking up and it cooled off. By the time our first runner’s (I was with a group of two teams) had started my toes were numb. We hopped in our transport vehicle and headed to the transition area for leg 1 and 2. The poor leg one runners had a bit of a downpour and got soaked. After the leg one runners swapped with our leg two runners we were on our way to the second transition point. My toes had finally thawed out too! I couldn’t decide if I should wear my jacket or not because the sun kept peeking out and when it did it took the chill off, but when it went behind the clouds it was cold. In the end I left my jacket and just wore my tank top with a long sleeved-shirt over top. When my team member came in I quickly got rid of the jacket and took the timing chip off her ankle and transferred it to mine. Then I was off!
They weren’t joking when they said there was a 6 mile hill in my 12.4km leg. I pushed myself the whole way focusing on taking shorter quicker steps and keeping my breathing even. I lucked out for weather during my leg and the sun shone on me. It was windy the whole time but with the sun it actually got hot enough that I had to take my long sleeved-shirt off and tie it around my waist. I didn’t bring water with me because I knew I had two water stations during my leg. If it had been hot out I would have wanted water with that big steady hill. I was glad it let off a couple of times and almost leveled out so it didn’t seem quite so continuous. The end of my leg was a downhill and I loved that. I just took advantage of gravity and let it pull me down the hill. I finished strong in 1:05:46, which is pretty darn good for me especially since the majority of my leg was uphill. After a guy came up to me and gave me cheers with his water and said “Great run, you were fast. I was trying to catch you but I couldn’t.” That makes a girl (this girl anyways) feel pretty damn good!
While we were waiting for our second runner for leg three to come in we noticed a couple of leg three runners continue on with their leg 4 teammate after switching the timing chip. Since I hadn’t gotten a long run in this week I offered to run with our last leg four runner if she wanted company. She did so away I went again. I knew she ran at a slower pace and did 10 and 1’s (runs 10 minutes, walks 1 minute) so I knew I’d be okay. The last leg is 8.2km and we did it in about 52:38. Our second leg three runner ended up joining us as well and at the end the rest of our team ran across the finish line with us. It was great!
After the race they had a BBQ, but I came prepared this time and had packed food. They also had free 5 minute massages, which we all took advantage of. They were taking a lot of pictures during the race and I heard they’re free, so I’ll be keeping a look out for them.
On the drive home I started doing the head nod thing and had to fight to stay awake. The combination of lack of sleep and pushing myself so hard had made me tired. When I got home I jumped in the shower, then straight into bed for an hour. I didn’t really sleep well because I was hungry and thirsty, so I finally got up and made a quick dinner. Tonight will be an early night. Next weekend my long run is up to 32km! I can’t wait! I have to make sure I listen to my body this week though and let myself recover from today. Hope everyone else had a fun weekend!