Once we got to Maker's it was time to meet up with the rest of our team from van 2!
And then, after seriously 5 minutes of hellos, handing off the clipboard, etc... our 6th runner was coming into the exchange.
A couple of people from our van did decide to buy a bottle and dip their own. So we watched them do that...
As we made our way back to the van we met up with exercise guru and celebrity:
Mr. Sweatin the Oldies himself: Richard Simmons. Hilarious.
We left Makers Mark and headed to a Snappy Tomato for pizza. My van ate at a Snappy Tomato last year, too (although a completely different one) and we were all pleased to see that this one had a buffet!
One lesson I learned last year that I implemented to a T this year: No gorging myself in the van all day and night with chips, halloween candy, etc. I only brought fruit and nuts and a couple of cliff bars and only ate them when I was really hungry or timed before runs correctly. Last year all that junk food made me feel like shit and I was determined to feel better this time. And.. I did and it worked!
Pizza, though, aside from it being the one food item that I could seriously eat every single meal of every single day and not tire of, just happens to be my favorite pre-run meal. So, of course, I was the pizza pusher of the van.
The buffet actually turned out to be kinda shitty. They had lots of pizzas, but it took them about 35 minutes to FINALLY get us ONE veggie pizza, which about 4 of us wanted slices from. And as soon as they brought it out, of course some other guy from another table who had just walked in came by and took like 3 slices of it. Dude. Don't mess with veggie loving pizza eating runners who have had to wait for 35 minutes on a pizza that has been "just coming out of the oven" for the past 12 times we've asked. We will cut you. And then run away, with the pizza.
After our bellies were full we drove to the next van exchange and tried to get in some sleep before we started out next legs.
It was at this point that I realized that being the first runner is actually kinda shitty and also that it's impossible to fall asleep at 9:00pm in a van with 5 other people. The problem is... everyone else can get settled in and try to enjoy their slumbers. They don't have to worry about oversleeping. Their bellies are full and their minds are relaxed.
Me on the otherhand??? Not so much. For one.. I'm not a big sleeper anyhow. Sure, I try to get my 7 hours every night, but I'm not one to fall asleep on the couch, on the floor (unless its a bathroom floor of course and there's a toilet nearby), or in a van. Especially at 9pm. So, I laid there for a little while, but eventually I had to get up and since everyone else was sleeping... I had to exile myself outside of the van, instead of keeping them up. So, I got outside into the FRIGID cold. (Once the sun went down, the temperature dropped FAST) and I hit up the porta potties and stood over by the exchange, trying to get amped up for my next run.
I stood around for what seemed like a LONG time. Probably because I was freezing my ass off. I kept looking around for signs of my team, but I assumed that must be smarter than I, and were cozied up in the van. Eventually, I saw the rest of my team from Van 2. And couple of them came over to stand with me until the exchange. I knew that the runner who would be handing me the slap bracelet would come in wayy under time... because that's how she is, so I tried to be ready at a moment's notice. I flipped on my blinky light and my headlamp, in hopes that I'd be prepared when she flew through the exchange.
My van-mates made their way over to me and within minutes, I heard the driver from the other van yelling NASHMASH, NASHMASH. And I barely was able to get out of my jacket and into the exchange for the hand-off. Holy shit, I wasn't ready to start yet! Too bad... relays wait for no one. And off I went into the dark night...