Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cabot Trail Relay 2013

Fast becoming one of my favorite weekends of the year, I looked forward to the CTRR and the weekend did not disappoint.
I think this year I knew more of my teammates than usual :) and they seemed enthusiastic about spending the weekend running and/or supporting the race(rs).   So it was bound to be a great weekend.  I lucked out to get on the team since they had someone drop out and I took that leg.  I believe most of these people know each other through work and/or family and/or the gym, although Im not sure how a couple of them fit in.  But I got a leg.  And IT WAS A MOUNTAIN.  If I intend to run all 17 legs of the relay, then I have to run the 4 mountains at some point.  this year I had Leg 10. 

We spent more time there this year I think than any of the 4 previous years.  I had ball hockey the night before so we did not go up Friday but we got up Saturday and prepared and were on our way pretty early. It was pouring rain here. That didn't bode well for night time runs! 
But the closer we got to Cape Breton the better the weather was, and by the time we got to the causeway, it was sunny at times!
not all the time sunny lol just at times.
we caught up with the race by the end of the 5th Leg, and joined in with the cheering and visiting then.  Our team had shirts made that were amazing :) The leg descriptions right on the shirt!  I want to use something permanent to mark off the 4 legs I have completed :) Its nice to be able to point and say THIS one. :) and THIS one :)

Some of the view as we drove; This year I decided not to drive my leg before I ran it.  I usually do, to get an idea what Im getting into; but when running a mountain maybe it's better to not know. 

We were really well looked after this year ;) Our group had super supporters and a great lot of food and places to sleep lol out where we were, midway on the trail, there was a supper set up with awesome sandwiches and snacks.  I ate almost 2 hours before my run, and had a banana for later.
Then I attempted some rest, as it was evening and I was going to be up late.
I had had an upset stomach for 3 days before going to Cape Breton so was a little worried about what I ate and where the bathrooms were.  But what can ya do?
When it was finally time for my leg, I put on my reflective vest (ugh I hate these things but WOW did I glow or what?)


The sun was setting so it was time to be warming up (short run, a little dynamic stretching)

the first 3.2 km were just nice rolling hills and it was nice and fast.  I reached the foot of the mountain in less that 17 minutes. It was quiet and I could hear the waves on the cliffs at a number of spots.

Then the mountain started. It switchbacks up the mountain and then gets less steep but climbs for the rest of the run, to a fairly steep spot near the end.  I bet its nice during the day ;) we run in the dark. It was not pitch dark as the moon was full and the clouds parted often for some light despite rainy forecasts.
The climb lasted a long time. I walked at 3 places, thanks to some cramping in my calf which is something I have never had happen before; of course I never climbed a steep mountain either ;)  I was way ahead of the person behind me and could see the person in front but it was pretty "alone". IN fact I was sure there was something in the bushes beside me, most of the way HAHA. 
The run was ok. I felt like I was going faster than I was; must have been the slow times on the steep part because on flatter and less steep hills I am sure I was doing ok pace wise. I knew I would not likely make the 6 minutes/km deadline but I thought I would be closer.
And I had some TERRIBLE belly pains near the end of the leg.  I think that didn't help. Cramping calf, stomach pain. All new :(

I was very grateful to the support vehicle which made many stops to cheer and encourage (night legs they are not allowed to give drinks or snacks); it made me feel less alone and less likely to get caught walking LOL.

I finished the 14.6 ish km in 1:42 which is awful and quite past the deadline.  But 1 mountain is done, only 3 left to tackle! And they say this is one of the worst (although the one that has 20 km to complete sounds pretty bad to me). 

We went back to the car and I felt ok, but after changing clothes I felt really nauseous and climbed in the back of the car to lie down while we drove to the cottage.  I barely made it there and ran to the bathroom to throw up.  Who knows if it was the run or the previous upset stomach but after I showered and ate some toast I felt better.  Wasn't sore from the run, and I actually didn't even feel any lasting effects from the cramping calf.
We got about 3 hours of sleep before getting up and packing, travelling to catch up with the race, finding the start line with the pancakes, barely getting my pancake before taking our last runner to her start spot (weirdly different from before). and then we headed to the finish line.
We met up with the team and waited for our runner to finish the race. 

 We created a tunnel for our runner to run through; she is there, you can see her feet!
And team Got The Runs was finished. Once times were all sorted out we placed 42nd out of 70 teams. 
It was a sad moment at the end when a team who lost a runner last year on the last leg all ran in together to honour their runner.

 Then we were off to lunch and the last celebration before everyone headed home. 
This was an awesome weekend, as usual. Looking forward to next year!  :)

1 comment:

Char said...

Sounds like a lot of fun - except the vomiting bit. I think I would have enjoyed running the hill better in the dark because you can't see just how much more hill there is to go. Sometimes I'll give up because it looks like I'm no closer to the top.

2012 km Goal