I left off last post with SarahOUaL leaving Murrieta for her night leg. I had promised her great fun in Temecula Old Town with the drunken people but, alas, we arrived too early in the evening. During the time she was running I had tried to get some sleep and possibly got about 30 seconds. Possibly. I started the very beginning of a dream and then something woke me up.
The nausea at this point was mostly gone so I was feeling less freaked out about running again. Just an hour or so earlier, when I felt like I was on Mars, I was pretty worried about running again. Somewhere in Fallbrook, a church parking lot off Old 395, was the next handoff exchange. Pam got to say hi and hangout with her hubby Rocky, daughter, and step son who were volunteering. Did I mention Pam’s family is awesome? If I have, it’s worth repeating.
Margot, again, had the wackiest looking leg to run. The first part dropped like 900 feet in elevation over 6 miles. It was like the Fontana Half. Second part was another hill climb (Margot, were you a billy goat in a former life?) of like 600-700 feet. Sarah had left her husband Brian with Margot to pace her on the uphill climb so she drove the creeper van to Exchange 18, Welk Resort. As we drove up the hill and saw how steep it was (and also had yet another brain fart and forgot to note the time she left) we figured we had some time.
Had I not had the foresight to bring all my crap with me over to the portajohns with Sarah (I almost didn’t even go with her, mind you. And she almost delayed leaving the van because she was feeling slightly lazy), we would have been crazy late for the exchange. I had just enough time to catch Nicole vlogging, go the bathroom, and then come out to hear the table call out “38!” Almost missed that part, too. I have to ask the table if they in fact had called out 28.
I was still getting my reflective vest adjusted, headlamp on, and LED butt light in place when they arrived. Because she hated hard on that hill, she was in no mood to wait around for Sarah and Brian to help me get all my safety gear on so she dropped (threw?) the bracelet on the ground and ran away. Margot’s handoffs are some of one of my favorite memories of the relay.
Anyway, so off I went on a mercifully short 7.7 miles in cool, misty weather. I LOVE the night runs in relays. This one did not disappoint. I actually wore my Garmin but I haven’t downloaded the splits. First part looked like this:
Climb Every Mountain! Forge Every Stream! I was clearly in denial about the elevation profile on these legs when I asked for runner 4. But I’ll take a hill in the beginning over a hill at the end any day of the week. Our van passed me on the course and cheered me on – I was feeling so great I yelled “I feel awesome!!!” and I did. I stayed conservative going up – around 9:30-9:45 pace. Then came the fun!
I really wanted to go crazy on the downhill. Like sub-7 crazy, but my mind kept reminding me that I had 14.9 miles still to run in the morning and I couldn’t waste all my energy on this leg no matter how good it felt. I ended up seeing splits in the 7:30-7:45 range. My headlamp also kept sliding down my forehead which was so annoying. I handed off to Pam who also must have felt like a million bucks because she finished in 7:19 pace. And then it was Nicole’s turn for another night leg. Let’s face it, she looked the cutest in the reflective gear so it was a good fit. At this point we had some idea of where Team Sparkle was based on their tweets and it seemed that we were catching up. But with the fact that we started 90 minutes later, we just weren’t sure what the gap was.
While we waited for Nicole, Pam, Sarah (SR), and I got our tooth-brushing on which was felt better at that point than showering did at the end. The sun was coming up and the realization that the real pain was going to start soon was not sitting well with me. The high of my night run was gone. My legs were starting to get sore and I hadn’t gotten any sleep. I knew Sarah (SR) was going to be fine (because she is one of the strongest runners I have ever met) but I think, and maybe it was just me, the rest of the van started to get a bit uneasy. There was much less chatter. The “yay! exchange! pictures! fun!” was almost non-existent. As we waited for SR to arrive in Encinitas Nicole recorded her last vlog and while we were all still funny and put on a good show (well, I put on a good show as a potty mouth), we were shaking in our boots. At least I knew Margot, Nicole, and I were.
Because its getting close to bedtime, will have to continue into a part 3. Sorry readers.