Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cabot Trail Relay

Was this weekend :) There is SO much about this weekend that needs writing :) I bet this post is going to take forever to write :)

The weekend started for our team of 17 on Saturday morning (unless you count meetings Friday night) at 7 am with the first of 17 relay legs that take the team around the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. This trail is a tad hilly with 4 mountains and loads of coastal roadway.  The scenery is amazing and world Famous :)

After the kids went to their Grammy's house Friday Scott and I were free to take off Saturday morning when we were ready. The day didnt start the weekend well; I woke early with a cold. The weather was great tho and I got my run in then we eventually got the car packed and got going :)
My leg started at the tourist bureau in Margaree Forks.

It ended at the Lakes Cafe, 15.5 km later.

We drove to Cape Breton and started our trip around the Cabot Trail from the opposite end of the relay start; we wanted to check out my stretch of road, leg 15.  It was supposed to be a relatively easy leg, 15.48 km and only some hills.  It was, mostly up hills but few steep ones and mostly rolling hills and long gradual slopes. 

Ran past this pretty river.

We drove it backwards and I was regreting the drive since it sort of psyched me out a little bit.  We drove further around the top of the trail and back down the other side to meet up with the race and catch our team's water stop. 

On the way we saw the Brigadoon Guy.  Mark Campbell was running the relay alone in a continuous run of 280 km and started the race the night before.  He was doing this in support of Brigadoon Camp Children's Society; a noble cause :) He was starting some of the hardest part of the trail; heading up thfirst of 2 mountains in that area (Cape Smokey was behind him!).

Our team is the Tidal Boars Runners, after Truro's Tidal Bore.  The team was collected by a couple of old time members including my friend Chris Cashen who had a stroke last August after a good 10 K run in Truro.  He ran 3 parts of the Relay last year and was present this year travelling as support and central in planning :)

We met up with our support team waiting on leg 6 for the runner to come along for water.  He was in a rather difficult part of the leg (Long hill) and had some choice words for the hills :):)

Pretty :)

After delivering water we scooted through to Leg 7 where we were doing the water stop; teams take turns providing the water and usually there is some costume/theme/fun going on at these stops. Our team did Baseball (Chris is a huge fan) and we all had baseball shirts with our names and team number/logo and we played ball while we passed out the water. 

We were kind of wandering a bit after this; we had not eaten all day and we had to get back to our motel which was RIGHT on the start line of my leg *convenient* and it was a couple of hours away.  We went back the way we came and got some pasta for supper (neither of us felt well) and some sight seeing.  We saw Brigadoon Guy again;  he was over the mountains and into a flatter section.

So back to motel and off to bed; but neither of us got much sleep.  The room was fine, the bed was fine; but we couldn't stay asleep.  It was a long long night and made for a very early morning. I had planned everything out for the morning about 600 times during the night and gone over lots of things that could go wrong, which is likely why I didnt sleep.

The legs of the race all start at a particular time regardless of where the runner in the leg before is. This keeps the race moving; they cannot keep the public roads inconvenienced for too long and the race officials would be far too spread out if they had a continuous passing off of the "baton". 

My leg started at 530 am.  It was just getting light and it was COLD (0). Rain was forecast but it was not raining.  We got up a little bit after 4 am and I tried to eat (fail) and made coffee (big fail) and got dressed for lots of weather and left the room, walking down to the start :) SO Im standing at the start and all I can think is the poor start I had set myself up for; woke with a cold Saturday, didnt eat much while driving for hours and hours, no sleep, and a time limit on the run for getting a time, with a gazillion hills ahead.  If past the time limit, runners get the last timed time plus 5 minutes.  I did not want a LATE or a DNF.  I wanted a time. And I trained for it with speed work and really pushing it and I was on target after last week's 10 K in Halifax but really tired.  I needed to be less than 6 minutes a km and while for some that is no big deal, it is for me. Im not fast. I can go long but Im not fast and never will be. That's really pushing it.
Not a lot of time to warm up after waiting in a really long line for some reallllly nasty portapotties :/ I ran a few paces and jumped a lot.  I stripped to a long sleeve shirt over my tshirt and the tights and left the gloves. Good choice.  Then it was time to line up and we were off. 

Hill first thing and of course things start off quickly.  But the small group of 69 strings out into single file quickly.  Before long there are few people nearby.  Its good.  I was really missing my Ipod for pacing but since these public roads are still open to traffic it's an important rule to leave the noise makers behind.  Pace was pretty fast for the first 1.5 km then people seemed to settle. 

I realised within about 4 minutes I had made a mistake with the running tights.  Are not supposed to try anything new on race day DUH. The tights were new; but I had tried them on and run a little bit in them and they seemed fine. I guess "really" running is different; I quickly realised they were not going to stay up and settled continuously somewhere around mid hip...letting it all hang out is not something Im all that fond of.  They dragged my unders with it; I spent the entire time hauling them up.  UGH not a gooooood thing!  UGH. Lesson learned.

Anyway...;) got to 2-3 km and settled into a pace; I had lots of people in front of me but also lots behind me so I relaxed and just went along at what I hoped remained a nice sub-6 minute/km pace; Im just not fast!  lol I was however not really labouring so it seemed comfortable.  I was managing the hills without much loss of speed, just increased the effort to remain very steady.  It worked well.

Walked a few steps at the water stop to swallow an energy bean but I never seem to manage this very well LOLOLOL I only had one....pretty useless I think. 

There was this chick in front of me who I caught up to and when I drew alongside, she would speed up.  and then she would slow down.  She was obviously making me her "person to beat" lol I do that, there is always someone I am going to beat and damned I wont let them pass. But she was obviously struggling so I just kept my pace the same and allowed her to play herself out lol.  Again and Again she would get a few feet ahead of me and then slow back down so I would catch up.  At about 7.8 km I said "we are about half way done, just in case you were interested".  *Snicker.  I couldnt tell what she said in response, but I do believe at that point she gave up, I passed her by 8 km, and never saw her again.  ;) See her in the photo behind me. :)

At the top of a steepish hill at about 8.7 km I met my support team in the form of Scott and Jody who gave me water and half an oatmeal bar; I find this keeps my belly settled if I eat something really small part way through.  Otherwise I tend to get nauseated. Walked a few steps there and then off again; wasnt going to let any of those people behind me a chance to catch up.  Scott told me he expected me to have passed the chick in front of me by the end.  And I did before 10 km were past...she completely lost it and I flew past her!

From there on there were a lot of hills....rolling but with a tendency to go UP.  Every time I came around a corner there was another hill lol.  Lucky I run hills at home and didnt get too discouraged; my last 5 k was a little slower than the previous 10 but not a lot and I am glad I banked a little time in the first kms. 

I could hear the finish line way before I could see it;  I could hear the music and cheering from about 12 km. It was awesome to hear.

I kept coming around corners to see another hill!  The support teams were awesome, driving along and stopping to cheer. Some teams did it over and over but they cheered for everyone and were totally positive it was great!  One group was telling how much further it was...then because there was no sign anymore (where did it go...blow away??) the race officials were waiting over one hill to tell that there was 1 km left. Then I could not hear the crowd anymore; I think the next group may have been leaving.

Got to the top of a hill and then it was downhill to the ending :) Was able to get a good speed on and came in with a time!  Im sure its no great feat but my worst concern was getting a "late" which is no time; anyone who is late gets the time of the last "timed" person plus 5 minutes. I didnt want that...I wanted to earn a time. Running all that way to get the same time as someone who walked it was not what I had in mind.  And I Did it...I got a time. I had to run 6 minute km and I did...well close, 6:02 kms for 15.48 km and I got a time! :):):) 1:33:40 was my official time.  LOADS of people behind me got a "LATE" and a time plus penalty.

So it was a little anticlimatic after that. We went back to the hotel room, I was snacking to keep the nausea at bay (it stuck around; might be a little of the cold and medications...) showered, checked out, and met the rest of the team at the finish line to cheer in the last leg. Then we went to the banquet but neither of us felt like eating (blech) although I DID get the carrot cake yum and ate that, we skipped the steaks and lobsters, saw some speeches; there was a standing ovation for Chris Cashen who despite his stroke was instrumental in gathering our team and "ran" his own leg late at night, as far as he could.  I would not have taken part in the relay without his inspiration; I joined after his stroke, in support of him.  We talked to the team, and then left for home. 

I already cannot wait for next year!


Gaspegirl said...

Congratulations on your time!! You continue to amaze me... and you look AWESOME girl!

Scrappytbear said...

awwww thanks!

lornamorris said...

First of all congratulate to you for your great time spend in that competition. This is really awful and you are looking gorgeous in running wear.
running tights

2012 km Goal