I sent this email at 6:45am: "About 2.5 or 3 hours until my last run. I'm tired. I hardly slept and I feel like I haven't eaten a meal in days. If I see one more goddamn bagel I'm going to throw it at someone.
The team is one hour behind schedule. Not just because of me... They added three miles to leg #7, and some of the runners are feeling really sick.
We are not really in danger of being kicked off the course yet.
Even with last night's awesome 3.9 run, the 5.5 seems SO long. It's longer than I usually go at home, and not having a clue where I'm going to turn next makes every half mile seem excruciating. That attitude isn't going to help. So maybe the lakefront and sunshine will boost my spirits."
The directions for this last run were simple: turn right. Run 5.5 miles. Arrive at exchange. I'm guessing the temperature was about 70 degrees. I was warned that there was no shade on this trail. I studied the elevation chart and didn't see a single blip. I was definitely exhausted, but I had also focused intensely on hydrating over the last few hours. One last pee, and off I went.
I imagined I was turning right out of my own driveway. I pictured every landmark around my house. I didn't look up- I stared right at the ground and imagined I was home. I turned up the music and sang- out loud- to myself.
Mile 1 - 11:26
Mile 2 - 11:14
Mile 3 - 11:24
Mile 4 - 11:23
Mile 5 - .... ok. Admission. At about 4.5 miles into the run I saw a bicycle stopped by a runner along the side of the trail. He called out to me, "Hey! Are you part of this race? Can you call somebody? This guy needs help."
One of our runners had just dropped water off with me, so I yelled for him to get over here. Did he have a phone? Yes? Perfect. Help this guy. During that whole exchange I stood calmly still, loving the justification for a small rest.
Mile 5 - 12:45
And done. My van had circled around to help the guy and pick up our runner. I had time to sit in the grass and cry. I was done. It was done. I wasn't thrilled with my time, but at least I hadn't bailed. And actually, considering how this whole thing started, finishing on my feet was a pretty amazing accomplishment.
I sent this email at 8pm that night while in a bathtub drinking a glass of wine (I passed out asleep in the tub shortly after sending the email which had the subject line of "Delusional"), "Seriously. I haven't slept since 12:30am on Friday morning. But I need to email you so I don't forget... we need to photoshop one of our runner's heads onto Darth Vader's body with the caption, "Darth Vegan". I might need your help with that.
Stephan is now imposing a 24 hour phone shutdown for me. I'll talk to you on Monday."
Leg 29 miles: 5.5
Leg 29 time: 1 hour 04 minutes
Leg 29 pace: 11:41 per mile
Total Miles: 16.1
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Average pace: 11:30 per mile
|Katherine, Teddy, Amy, Alex, Stephan, Helen, Charlie, Ashley, Diana, Kristin, Me, Matt|