Wednesday, June 24, 2009
There is this crazy race called the Wasatch Back where you put a 12 man/woman team together to run a 188 mile relay race from Logan to Park City, Utah. Everyone that's ever participated has told me it's the funnest race they've ever done.
Well . . . about 6 months ago a friend of mine asked me to be on her Wasatch team. There was only one catch; she was forming an Ultra Team, a 6 man team instead of a 12man team. I did the math. This meant that we would each have to run twice as far as people doing the regular relay -- it ended up being about 31 miles a piece. It sounded crazy, but I agreed to do it. I just kind of hoped that race day would never arrive!
But, it did! Friday morning at 8:40 a.m. was our team's start time. Our name: "The Lazy Marys". I was the first runner. I felt great. At about Mile #2 the guy in front of me turned left. I followed him. About 1/2 mile into the left hand turn, I realized that no one else was following us. We'd gone the wrong way! I backtracked and sped up, trying to catch back up to the pack. The guy that had led me astray did not backtrack. He just popped back out on the main road -- ahead of me again. I was a little miffed!
After finishing my first leg of the race (11.5 miles), I started to feel a bit nauseous. I made about 3 trips to the porta potties. As I sat in the car watching the other girls on my team run, I felt sicker and sicker. I couldn't eat and couldn't drink. Everyone kept saying, "Vanessa, you have to get something in you so you can run again." I just couldn't do it! Even water sounded and tasted disgusting.
The girls on my team were amazing. One had a stress fracture in her leg and still ran all of her miles. Another ran a 17 mile leg in the middle of the night! It is shocking what our bodies will do.
I used the porta potties about 20 times during the 32 hours of our race. My sore bum kept my mind off of my sore legs!! I completed all of my miles though my pace slowed down quite a bit from my ambitious beginnings.
The most memorable part of the race was Ragnar Hill. It is a 7.5 mile run up the steepest mountain I've ever seen. Donna, who had already completed a 17 miler during the night, was supposed to run it, but got wildly sick to her stomach. She insisted on completing the hill, so Marisa and I got out to climb it with her and try to keep her mind off the pain. Of course, the heavens opened on our way up the mountain. The rains came tumbling down. We were drenched, exhausted, shivering, and sloshing through the mud. When we made it to the top, our whole team huddled together hugging and crying. It was a huge bonding moment.
It's funny, but this race was kind of like delivering a baby -- it was awfully painful at moments, but totally worth it in the end!