So P2C this year was an ABSOLUTE BLAST. I don’t know if it was just the fact that I knew what to expect, or that I knew everyone in my van reasonably well, or my husband wasn’t playing the role of grumpy van driver, but this year far surpassed last in terms of awesomeness. I decided that I am never going back to Van 2 (unless I run next year with Shayne’s team, in which case I’m pretty sure I’ll end up there). Van 1 is amazing. Probably because we were done and in Seaside by 7 AM and got to rest, shower, drink coffee, and eat real food. Also, I like walking at night, despite the fact that I’m blind as a bat after sundown, headlamp or no.
I was the third walker in our van, after JDL and my mom (pictured above). We stopped at least once during all of the legs to provide encouragement and water (the day was warming quickly). This picture was our first stop for my mom, whose first leg was on this god-awful busy highway that goes from the shitty industrial part of Portland into more picturesque forest land, and eventually, the beach. But it’s super dangerous, and walking on a narrow, gravelly shoulder is not that pleasant (thankfully the second half of the walk is off this highway). My mom saw me and thought it was time to hand off (she started ripping the bracelet off in preparation). Then, I had the unpleasant task of informing her that she still probably had at least four miles to go. She was a trooper, and we had a lukewarm coffee waiting to reward her at the exchange.
My first leg was on an even worse stretch of highway. Giant semi trucks full of hay kept blowing past me, and I almost lost my cubs hat once! Note our super cool tutus, which I lovingly and frantically crafted the night before the race to make us a little easier to spot, and because they are cool. A friend from work honked as she drove past on the highway, because she spotted the tutu. Also, I just want to say that they were some of the best tutus I spotted during the relay. My first leg was about 7.5 miles, but it was a stretch of road I knew well, and it really wasn’t too bad. My split time for this leg was WAY better than I anticipated, at 13.20 minute walking miles, and I cruised in well under two hours. I felt pretty good about this leg, until I saw my nasty blisters.
This is my friend Sharon and I in front of our van (hi Sharon!). She is the best, even if she shit talked me after I fell asleep, for falling asleep (yeah, I know ALLLLLLLL about it). I volunteered to be the night driver, then promptly fell asleep when I came in after my second leg around 3 AM, and slept in the backseat until all of our van walkers were done and we rolled into Seaside. Oopsie. My all-night stamina isn’t what it used to be (despite the fact that I was the youngest one in the van and no one else had a problem staying awake).
Eileen was kind enough to snap this photo of us blazing across the finish line like the champions we are. And when I say “blazing,” I mean limping like senior citizens and trying to just not keel over in the sand. It’s always fun to cross the finish with your final walker, and our timing was good this year so we didn’t have to wait long in the insanity that is the beach party.
And here’s all of us (minus JDL who was lame and had to get to a fantasy football draft) in our unofficial finish line photo, also taken by Eileen before she was yelled at by the “official” finish line photographer. After this, we all parted ways. I thought that maybe this year I would be more gung-ho about the finish party. Nope. I still just wanted to get the eff home and put my slippers on.
Highlights of this year’s relay:
1. My van was kick-ass. They are all awesome (and half of these pictures are theirs, because my camera was lost in the car for the first day). Also having my mom along was fun, plus she said she had more fun with us than with her van the last time she participated, which was all people her own age that she knew, so that’s pretty cool. She called herself our team’s “AARP representative.”
2. I paid to take two showers, after each of my legs. I don’t care that I paid $2/shower to hang out in a high school locker room with hairy shower drains – it was the best decision I ever made. I wasn’t nearly as cranky as last year and actually felt like a real person.
3. I got to walk at night. I was terrified of being eaten by a wild animal, but I DID get to see the very first runner as he blew past me, and managed to not fall off the road (I came pretty close a few times).
4. My mom and I discovered both a delicious coffee shop and a delicious brew pub in Seaside, which is quite a feat for someone like me who generally hates Seaside (sorry Seaside-ians).
5. My hubby finished the running relay after virtually NO training. I kind of wanted to smack him for not being better prepared, but I’m very impressed and proud with how he did. I may run with him next year. I can’t decide. I feel like I need to run a year.
Anyways, this post is LONG overdue, but it’s been hot and I’ve been lazy.