run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bourbon Chase Relay: Part 3

"You know you're running a relay when you're excited to use a waffle house bathroom."

So, after the round 2 legs were over, we loaded up into the van and started to make our way along the almost hour long drive to the next exchange point. Along the way, we happened upon the crown jewel of late night/early morning dining:

It was about 4:30am when we stepped inside and for some of us, I think it was the only time they'd been to waffle house sober. It was definitely the first time for me in a LONG time. Mary and Adrienne opted to sleep in the van, while the rest of us got some food.

I was starving. And I ordered a cheeseburger and scarfed it down. It was what I needed. I was perking up after my mini breakdown. And now I realize, it was more from the exhaustion than anything else that got me so upset. It had been a long day and I put a lot of pressure on myself during the entire process. I wanted everything to go perfect, especially since I had planned it all. If I'd just cracked open a beer after that last leg, I can guarantee you that I wouldn't have cried like a baby for a good 20 minutes... but, at 3:30am you aren't thinking too clearly. Next year, I'll know.

After our breakfast? we headed to the next exchange spot, Woodford Reserve, and decided to try and catch a little sleep before our final round of legs got started in a couple of hours.

I ended up in the back seat with Adrienne, who is tiny. So, it worked out well, we both had enough room to semi-stretch out. The only problem for me, was that I was in the aisle section. So there was a gap between the seat and the window. I tried to lean into the gap, but it was too big and I ended up sliding down and waking myself up. So... I had to try and sleep upright. Which, I normally can never, ever do. Regardless, I think I managed to get in about 45 minutes total, which is more than I expected.

Once people started waking up and moving around... I cheerfully said... "Wow, I can't believe that with 6 other people sleeping in such proximity that no one snored!!" No one said anything. Uh-oh. Yeah, VandyMontana told me later in the day... "dude, you snored the entire night!" Oops. Sorry. That's what happens when I sleep upright, people!

Once the sun started coming out and brightening up a bit, we all got a second wind. Adrienne took off on her last leg and we drove to the next exchange point.

See those smiles?? This is probably around 7am? Maybe 8?

Throughout the night our van had racked up some major roadkills...

VandyMontana took a few minutes to get warmed up. You could tell he was feeling good... he even gave the double thumbs-up:
We headed down to the exchange point and waited for Adrienne...

And finally, we see her chugging up the hill... with another Roadkill in her sights...

Here she is (in the green and pink) taking this roadkill on an incline!

She handed off to VandyMontana and we rushed to the next exchange. Along the way we noted how hilly his last leg was. Like seriously... a HUGE long incline. Knowing that he's the hill whisperer, I knew that he'd nail those hills. So, I made sure that Mary was at the exchange and ready...
And of course... here comes VandyMontana blazing his way to the exchange...

He hands off to Mary and we rush to the van to get to the next exchange...

These last legs featured some shorter runs, so we were definitely more in the RUSH mode. It was kind of nice actually... to have to hurry, made the legs go by super quick.

Jonathan's last leg was next, and he was exchanging at Buffalo Trace.

Jonathan, for each of his last two legs tried to sandbag us... "Oh... you shouldn't expect faster than 8 minute miles this time." He'd say. And each time... he came in wayyy faster than he expected.

Here he is stretching it out and talking strategy with Jeff.
And we see Mary approaching for the handoff...


Once Jonathan got the wristband. We had to book it to the next exchange. His run wasn't even 5 miles and I wanted to get in a porta-potty trip and a little warmup before my run started.

I decided to sport my new marathon maniacs jersey for this run! Here I am trying to memorize the route while waiting for Jonathan...

I know that my upcoming route is supposed to be fairly hilly, but it's rated a Moderate, so I don't expect it to be any worse than my other two legs... Jonathan comes flying into the exchange and it's time for me to start my last leg of the Bourbon Chase.

The exchange took place in the middle of a hill. So, Jonathan ran up half of it, handed off to me and I had to run the next half. It was a long, gradual hill. The type of hills that I actually don't mind. I chugged my way up the hill. At the top of the hill was a race volunteer who asks me... "Are there many other runners behind you?" I'm like... "ummm... lady, I have no idea." Why do people always ask me questions when I'm running?

I continue along my route and it gets a little hillier and hillier. I start seeing some people running the opposite way (some of VandyMontana's earlier route) and this is a huge boost. Every person that I saw, I offered up some inspirational words like.. "nice job." or "good work." or "almost to the top." and most everyone offered up some kind words to me.... some people were struggling, so I forgave them for their lack of encouragement.

At one point, I reached an intersection that I had to cross. There was a policeman in the road and a volunteer on each side. I got up to the intersection, thinking that the police officer was there to stop traffic for me. But instead, I was told to "wait" by the race volunteer while the police officer let some cars through. W.T.F.? I was pissed.

After most of the major climbing was over I finally spotted myself a roadkill up ahead. I still had about 2 miles left and I knew I would catch him. The van passed me just as I making my move... as I approached the guy, we chatted briefly. He said... "I knew you'd finally catch up." And I told him I'd see him at the celebration party. (Funny enough, I actually did! haha). I flew passed him and was feeling good. At this point, I was running part of Adrienne's old route, which for me... was a lot of downhill. I saw another potential roadkill up ahead, and tried to best to catch him. When I passed Adrienne's exchange, there were some people standing there cheering and after I passed them, I heard someone say... "you got this. you can pass her." to someone behind me. WHAT? Someone's behind me? F*CK. I kick it into higher gear, hoping to stave this guy off and catch up to the guy in front of me. He ends up passing me with a little over a mile to go. I try to keep up with him, thinking that maybe I can torch him at the end. But, it's obvious that he's about a full minute per mile faster than me. Drats. I keep on trucking in hopes of passing the guy in front of me, to make a net 1 roadkill.

The exchange was one of those exchanges where you think it's sooner than it is. There was a tent at the top of a hill and I crossed the street, like the guy in front of me, thinking that it was there. But, it wasn't... it was actually on the other side of the hill. It worked out to my advantage though, cause it made me turn on my burners faster than I normally would have.
I ALMOST caught the guy in front of me, but didn't before the exchange. You can see how close I was in the picture. The chick in front of me and Jeff was the next runner on that team. You're welcome, Jeff.

I hopped in the van. Ecstatic that I got a roadkill. Slightly disappointed that I didn't get a net roadkill, so I couldn't mark it on the van. But, I was happy enough. I passed one guy on one team and got passed by another guy on a different team. No big deal. It was a tough route and I felt like I ran hard.

We drove to the next exchange where we met up with the rest of the team. Jeff flew through his extremely hilly route and got to the exchange way earlier than expected. And just like that... we were done. All our legs were finished. Now it was time to head into Lexington check into hotels, take a shower and get ready for the celebration party.

Part 4: The aftermath to come...


Melanie said...

I have REALLY been enjoying reading these posts, and I am REALLY jealous I wasn't there!

Spike said...

yeah, these posts make me long to do a relay...I want to roadkill people like you.

great job, hills suck...always.

Mauri said...

i have really enjoyed reading your blog lately! it's awesome!

i linked you in my blog today :)

April said...

Yep, I agree. These race reports on your relay are great!

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