Saturday was my first race of the season...exciting yet depressing at the same time...I can't believe it...i'm so late starting this year because of my foot. But guess what...the race turned out great and I had zero pain whatsoever during the run and even afterwards it was just a little stiff but no big deal at all. I'm so happy and relieved, what a great day! This means there are definitely more races in my future this summer, wahoo!!
Ok, on to the good stuff. I arrived at the start of Leg 7 way early because last year I arrived a bit late to the start of my Leg and didn't want a repeat of that. I barely had enough time to use the bathroom before my teammate had arrived and it was time for me to go! I do like arriving early but saturday was a bit too early...if I had known, I would have brought a book! There's no cell service where I was either so I occupied my time with a few games on my iphone. I was feeling sleepy and even dozed for a bit. Finally more and more people arrived so I figured it was time I get my running gear on and get psyched! The sun was out and it was starting to get hot. I was feeling pretty anxious waiting around and wondering when our runner would come along!
I was feeling nervous as I haven't raced since October and have been injured ever since so I have had majorly inconsistant "training" until recently. When Tanya arrived (our Leg 6 runner), I took off fast...way too fast...what was I thinking? I couldn't help it though! I felt great and it was a rediculous downhill for the first 4-5 km so I took full advantage! It felt effortless to hit 4 min/km and I was loving every minute of it! At about 5km was the start of a hill, which seemed to go on forever...it was only 2km but it felt like forever to me! I was impressed that I flew up the first part of it feeling good...then it flattened and turned into a bigger hill. That was where the suck happened...I was still feeling strong initially but all of a sudden it started raining and I was running into a gross headwind. I immediately felt like ass. I cursed myself for going out too fast...rookie mistake!...and just allowed myself to slow down...and then finally I crested the hill and it was flat once again.
Up to about the 11km mark it rained and was super cold...my arms and legs started to go numb but I actually felt pretty good. I was relieved it wasn't hot out there and preferred these conditions anyday! My teammates in the support vehicle brought out a longsleeve for me but I decided i'd rather keep going as is. Even though the weather was kind of gross for part of my leg...I soaked up the amazing scenery out there...wow, Kananaskis is so beautiful. I ran into Blaine (another fellow Newfie and ran Transrockies last year as well) before the start of my leg and he had said he thought Leg 7 was the most scenic of them all. I think he was right! I just wish I had some pictures to show!
Anyhow, I took a gel at about 11km and it gave me a huge kick in the ass...suddenly I felt great again and my last 5km flew by. I kept surprising myself with the pace I was able to hold...and really relieved that I wasn't going to let my team (or myself) down. The last 2km had a lovely downhill to lead me into the finish and I just let my legs go. I was hurting but it felt great! I ended up finishing the 16.5km in 1:15:29. Not too bad. Bring on some real training again and speedwork. I can't wait! Man I love to race!
Our team did awesome! And I can't wait to do it again next year! We finished 3rd out of 28 in the Mixed category and 21st out of 164 teams overall.