Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wasatch Back Relay Wrap-Up

Yes Ladies, I did it. I am alive. Exhausted but alive. It was one of the trippiest races I've ever done, but I'm so glad I did it. Now, if only I could convince you two to do it next year? It would be out. of. control. .... uber awesome!!
Pretty much the raddest gnarliest and hardest race, ever. Loved it.

Started out Friday afternoon (I was in van #2) up in the valley. We hung out waiting for our first exchange with van #1. It was great getting to know the ladies a little bit more and eating a free "dinner" (if you call like 10 noodles and 1/4 cup of salad a dinner...but, heck it was free!) and hanging out with a live band and a BAzillion runners. BAZILLION. Our runner went and off we went!! It was CRAZY hot. HOT. Our first full exchange started in Liberty and ran until the base of Snowbasin. My leg of that run started up by the monastery, down to the highway and back up the marathon road. It was only about 3.5 miles, the distance was fine, but Holy. Hot. We were dowsing each runner with water. My run was at 6:30 at night and they would pour a bottle of water on me at each mile, by the next mile my clothes were BONE. DRY. It was crazy!!! Our leg ended well, we had some totally rockin' runners in our van, it was fun. When the 1st exchange was done, we had about 4 hours til we ran again. We hung out at the Snowbasin lodge for awhile getting FREE massages, washing our faces, changing into warmer clothing, etc. We made the unwise decision to cop out on the free Fazoli's at Snowbasin and drive ahead 36 miles to the next exchange point and get our free Fazoli's there...well... by the time we got there, walked over to the Fazoli's tent it was 11pm... and they were out of food. SAAAAAAD. We ate Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches... yummm. Now it was the time for us to figure out how to sleep. We were in a huge parking lot with all the other runners. I was a rock star and brought my air mattress, so I blew up the twin mattress, shoved it in front of the van (so i wouldn't get run over by a car) and tried to sleep. 3 of the other runners spread out in the car and the last runner wrapped up in a sleeping bag and slept on the hill behind the parking lot. It was sooooo cold so I buried into a ball inside my sleeping bag... but then i got SOOO hot. So I tried to pop my head out but there were cars EVERYWHERE, people talking, etc. I decided I just had to succumb to the noise, so I pulled my ear warmers over my eyes and tried to sleep. I finally fell asleep for about 10 minutes when my alarm went off. Time to GO! Ugh. Got up, threw everything in the car and headed up to the next exchange. We were off and running again! (it was now 1:30ish am)

The nighttime runs were really cool. We each had to wear a headlamp and reflective vest. It was really peaceful and serene. Our team ran from some random town, by Echo reservoir into a little town right before Kamas. It was gorgeous. My run ran for about 7 miles right along the Echo Reservoir. It was BEAUTIFUL. The moon was out, the stars were shining and the sky was totally clear. It was reflecting off of the water. I LOVED it. I took out my ipod and just ran to the complete silence. Even though I had only had about 40 minutes of sleep and was 100% sick to my stomach it was my favorite run. Plus, I totally rock running in the cold. We ALL do, friends, something about winter training!! Lol. So, our van cut off about 5 minutes from our pace during our night runs. It was awesome. Now, the trick once my run was done was a) not throwing up because I HAD to eat to refuel for the next day (my stomach was hating me), b) try to stretch out my legs while driving and c) get some sleep once my driving shift was over. Well, a & b happened...but sleep? uhhhhhh, no. I did fall asleep in the car for a little bit, my body just finally gave in.

Once our exchange was done we went to a sleeping area they had set up at a local middle school in Kamas. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, changed and passed out in my sleeping bag surrounded by 100 other exhausted runners (the room? STUNK). I got a good hour or hour and a half at that gym....when my alarm went off. Here we go, again!!!!

It was amazing how much better I felt after that rest. Problem was I needed to EAT. I needed PROTEIN. We had packed soooo many carbs that we were all dying for protein. I ended up finding someone with bacon, lol, so I ate that about 11am. Now... this stretch was the absolute HARDEST of the entire race. It was in the MIDDLE of the day, it vacillated between 93-98 degrees... we were running on crap food, no sleep, and a lot of delirium. Luckily, the girls in my van were absolutely hilarious and we all found ourselves to be the world's funniest people by the end of the race. I don't think I've had so many people burp and fart in my face in such a short period of my life. Oye. We started critiquing each runner... we were brutual.... there were some mighty FINE runners on this little relay...but there were also some peeps that needed to put on some clothes. We're MEAN. There was this ONE girl that seriously was wearing her underwear. And NOT running underwear... she obviously had had some work done and was proud. Silly silly. Anyway, we got sooo punchy. We started driving past runners and throwing water out our windows onto them. We slowed down, gave them food, whistled, got out and attacked a few... really... we were out of control by the end. My last leg was BRUTUAL. It was at 2:30 in the afternoon....HOT. We had been running with either the water belt or camelpack with the team going every .5-mile and dousing the runner with a cold bottle of water. It was insanely hot. INSANELY HOT. My leg was 3.5 miles straight up hill, up a gravel mountain road... I was sooo spent by this point that I only ran the 1st mile, I walked the rest until my right calf seized and I buckled. I tried to re-coop and start running but the best I could do was speed walk. Apparently I was dehydrated and the heat was taking its toll. They got me in the van, threw water and gatorade down my throat and gave me cold compresses. It took about 20 minutes for me to calm down and my breathing to be okay. It was a little scary, but I learned a lot about heat exhaustion and dehydration.
I don't think I'd chose to do that leg again, though. Actually, I might, I just would need to be better fueled and hydrated before I started. Other than that, it was an amazing race. :)

Our team finished up after a few more legs... and a few more insane and crazy moments involving scantily clad runners.....and ran across the finish line all together. It was awesome. The race took us a total of 29 hours. I ran about 13 miles, it took me a total of 2 hours and 20 minutes (ish) I didn't get home til 9pm and didn't get to sleep til about 11 o'clock. It was a LONG day...but super fun. It was more physically challenging than the marathon...probably because of the sleep deprivation and malnutrition-ness. Nothing is as mentally challenging as the marathon, though. I would totally do the Wasatch Back again... especially now that I know some of the tricks. Good times!! There's the race report. Fun Fun!!!!! No matter how many professional races I do, I am always surprised at HOW. MANY. blasted runners are out there! It was crazy. So many different peeps, all running, all for their own personal reasons. What a cool sport.

How were YOUR weekend workouts? ;)


kate said...

thanks for the recap! we watched for you as we drove back and forth from wedding to reception to youth conference (i drove around echo reservoir to get there) it really looked fun! you are awesome woman!

Erin said...

yEAH! I waited all day for this post! I am glad you had a great time...I am proud of you :) My mom enjoyed it too...looks like everyone had a good time

Heidi said...

That sounds exhausting and like a ton of fun! I ran 2 miles at 4 pm on Saturday and thought of you because I thought I was going to die with the heat! It took me over 1/2 hour of sitting on the vent with the A/C blowing on me to feel like I wasn't going to pass out, yeah heat exhaustion can clearly hit fast! I would so love to do this next year with you! You're amazing!!!

Holly said...

Hey Lori. I am so glad that you did this post so I could read about the race. I am so bummed out that I wasn't there to participate, but maybe next year.
Who know's - maybe I'll be in the states visiting next summer? Looking at the pictures, I think I know everyone except for a couple of people. Great Job!!