When we last spoke, I was about to tell you about my 3am, 8.5-mile leg. To preface this, let me first tell you that I literally wanted to CRY before this leg. Not kidding. I was rolled up in my sleeping bag thinking horrible thoughts about the race director who decided 8.5 miles in the dark on no sleep was a good idea. Especially when this is the elevation:
After a dose of caffeine and a little bit of courage, I suited up in neon-yellow New Balance jacket [which, btw, I got 102387 compliments on during the run. Yay for GLOWING, in your face reflective jackets.]
I wasn’t in the mood for music, so instead I put on a random Girls Gone WOD podcast episode that was already loaded onto my phone. It was a great decision, because I mentally zoned out and just listened to the hilarious, random and comforting sound of Joy + Claire [I listened to GGW the majority of my second half-marathon training].
I had told my van to meet me at 2-3 miles, so I could ‘get some water’, aka see some familiar faces. Because let’s face it. I’m afraid of the dark. Even ask Heidi, she likes to make fun of me for it.
When the van pulled up, it seemed like I’d hardly been gone long. I asked about my mileage and they replied 4 MILES. Woo hoo! Almost half way done!
I cranked my way up the giant hill, listening to Barbell Shrugged and then completely taking off my headphones all together. It was a quiet night, we were on a wooded path and I was so. lucky. to be there. I realized that by taking the leap of faith that my body could run 19.1 miles on little sleep [and on east coast time. bleh.], I would come out stronger, more confident and completely over joyed at this experience.
What goes up, must come down! The last 3 miles were spent at top-speed enjoying gravity and making my way to a completed second leg. It wasn’t until the last mile that I considered shooting myself in the foot [ just kidding, it never got that bad]. The last mile drug on, but it wasn’t terrible. I finally made it to the finish, handed the bracelet over to Melissa, and headed to the volunteer tent to eat the best meal of my life.
Not even kidding, I scarfed down chili and a big ol’ slice of bread at 4:30 am. I was HUNGRY. On longer runs, I usually don’t get hungry until an hour after the run — but I was ravenous. I chowed down, and promptly fell asleep for the next hour. 2 legs, CHECK!
The morning came and went, as we shuffled from one transition area to the next, finally stopping at a diner towards the final transition between Van 1 and 2. I dug into an apricot pancake, although at this point I don’t think I really knew what I was doing. My body wasn’t really digesting food, but I still kept feeding it. Because there’s nothing worse than running underfueld!
By the time my third leg came around, my thoughts on the race were along the lines of: ‘ I hate running’, ‘I need a nap’ and ‘this is going to be the longest 4 miles of my life.’
I drove the van back to Boston, and was ready to crawl into bed at 6pm. Instead, I took the best shower of my life, ordered a pizza and salad up to my room, took 3 bites and passed out. Sleep won out over food.
I can’t thank New Balance enough for the gear, travel and incredible hospitality. The weekend was incredible!