Reach the Beach 2012: Part 2
Hello from somewhere between Chicago and California. After one short day at home yesterday, I’m back on the road, heading to Anaheim for work for the week. At least getting up and running in the dark at 3 am this morning before my flight didn’t feel so usual because RTB got me used to little sleep and night time running.
When I left off my last recap our van had just finished our first rotation. We headed to Delaney’s Hole in wall in North Conway. I’ve been there before and love it because they have a little bit of everything. We ordered a round of chocolate milk (best recovery drink ever) as we studied the menu. I SO wanted the bacon, turkey, avocado, and caramelized onions on garlic Texas toast, but I didn’t think that would settle very well. I didn’t want a repeat of 2 years ago when I ate 3 giant pieces of BBQ chicken pizza and then had to run sooner than I thought. I ended up throwing up most of the pizza on the side of the road during my run! So I stuck with plain grilled chicken on a bun and asparagus. Not exciting, but safe.
|mmm food makes us happy!|
After dinner we headed to the next VTA to hang out until it was our turn to run again. It was only 8:30ish, but I was feeling sleepy. I knew I was going to be awake until at least 4 am, so I decided to try and catch some sleep. I took my sleeping bag out into a field, crawled inside, and actually fell asleep. All the travel for work has made me much better at sleeping in strange places. It was really nice actually, sleeping out under the stars.
I was woken up later by one of my teammates yelling my name. I guess he couldn’t tell which dark sleeping bag clad lump I was in the field. It was fully dark at this point, and our lights on the van looked super cool.
We all put on our night reflective gear to be safe. Also, a porta potty at night without a headlamp is a dangerous place!
Then we were on the road again. I woke up just a little hungry, so I ate a ¼ of a bagel with peanut butter and jelly to fuel up for my leg.
I was most nervous about my night leg. It was 9 miles with a LOT of uphill. I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel after hammering my first downhill leg, and I had a feeling I’d be pretty tired overall since it was 2 am when I started! Apparently preparing for it to completely suck was a good idea, because when I actually started it didn’t seem so bad. Yes the first 2 miles were brutal. It was a long ass steep uphill. But I knew it would be there and I just put my head down and slogged up it. After the uphill we turned off onto a side road which was nice rolling hills. It was dark on the side road which made the stars overhead seem super bright. I remember why I used to love running in the dark. I feel fast. It feels easy. It is just me and my breath. I can’t see my Garmin so I am not obsessing over distance and pace, and I can’t see far in front of me so I can’t worry about the hill I see looming in the future.
I was very glad to regain this sense of peace and happiness on my night leg. Last year I hated my night leg. It wasn’t long after I was attacked from behind while running, and so I was still very skittish. Last year I started on a trail and I was so freaked out in the dark woods by myself. Then I proceeded onto this creepy back country road and I hardly saw any other runners or vans. I was terrified the entire time. This year there were a lot more runners and vans all around me. I still jump and freeze up when I hear footsteps coming up behind me. So here is a tip for all your super fast runners. If you are passing another runner, especially in the dark, say something nice to them as you come up behind them and pass. Don’t just blow by, brushing their shoulder.
The 9 miles went much faster than I anticipated and I feel pretty darn good. I had resolved my chafing issue on my bottom half, so naturally I then had an issue on my top half. The blinkies weighed down my reflective vest and made it rub against my neck. It looks like a vampire bit me because I have 2 matching red wounds on each side of my neck. I held a solid 9:30 pace which was pretty decent given the dark and the hills. I tried to push it and drop sub 9 for the last mile, but my plan was foiled when the last mile turned out to be uphill. Really? Who planned that?
I ran into the TA around 3:30 and handed off to Tim. My hardest leg done!
|The checkmark photo had to wait to the next morning when it was light out|
And even better, after Tim was done we were going to get to sleep on real beds and use a real bathroom. Good family friends of ours, Julie and Lisa, bought a house in Deerfield, not far from the race course, last fall. I felt so bad when we got there because they had misunderstood and thought we were coming the next night! But they were amazing. They pulled out the couch bed, opened up the foutons, and blew up the air mattresses in no time. We gratefully collapsed onto them and passed out in about 3 seconds.