My favorite Lake to Lake relay with Lisa Western! It really is one of my favorites. We stayed with the same legs that we've done in the past. We both are comfortable with them and know how to handle them. Neither of us had the mental energy to deal with new routes :)
I did leg 1 & 2 - AP 7:53 for the 11.25 miles. I felt really good and controlled during the entire run. Pushing enough to feel good about it, but not enough to kill myself. I was pleasantly surprised the pace was under 8...it has been a long time since I've run that long that fast. I'm slow, old and broken now!
I handed off to Lisa and she did 3&4, she did a great job despite her thinking she was slow!
I then took over at leg 5. I like this leg. Nice and flat with a hill for about 3/4ish mile, but then downhill to make up for it afterward and a nice 1/4 mile downhill finish! AP 8:04 for the 3.95 miles.
Lisa took leg 6 and I filled up with gas and got a cold coke! It was cloudy and chilly, but getting warm and I wanted liquid sugar and caffeine. Besides, Lisa had gotten a coke on my last leg and it was taunting me!
Leg 7 is mine. Flat along the Virgin river parkway, then up a hill and back on the trail for some downhill, then flat to finish. A pretty flat run, but this is always the first leg that my legs are just feeling like lead. 8:24 AP for the 4.9 miles.
Lisa takes beast leg 8, up Washington Dam road. It is just a long drag up, up, up. Not horrible incline, but lasts forever!
My last leg was then leg 9 - I call it little Shaggy Mountain. It is a paved road that goes into red dirt hills...hills, hills! up and down, up and down...I had to walk a couple of the tops of the hills. I felt like a failure! Same way last year. I've got to get down hills when I'm tired. I feel like I just don't have the mental energy to keep pushing myself through. I did tackle the last paved uphill, then let it fly on the downhill and flat for the last 1/2 mile to my air hand off to Lisa. 5.9 miles with an AP of 9:20
She took off for the last leg looking as strong as ever, despite knowing that she was probably pretty darn tired, just like me. I went to the finish to wait for her and Jerry was there waiting for his partner. He had specifically asked me my finish time last year, because in HIS words "we want to beat it." He put together a 2 man ultra team specifically to beat me. Sigh. I don't know what I did to deserve his pointed competition, but for some reason he has to be better than me at everything...whatever. So, he had cramped up on little shaggy mountain and what WAS a 12 minute lead on our team was whittled down to 8 when Lisa took off after Shaun. Lisa didn't realize how the gap had closed or that Shaun was struggling for every step, so she did what she could and walked the big hill to the dam and then around the back side of the lake to take a gu. Then with about 2+ miles left she saw Shaun ahead, walking! She dug down and decided we needed to beat them! She threw it into gear and started throwing down low 7mm! She was cruising and catching him! At the finish line Jerry and I were both waiting and chatting, then he saw Lisa before he saw Shaun! The look on his face was priceless! The fear that we were going to beat him despite his best effort was just too hard for him to take. I just laughed! Shaun was still ahead, but barely and not moving fast. Lisa was closing quickly. We ended up finishing about 30 seconds behind them, but the last .15 I ran with Lisa was a 7:13 AP. If we had anouther 1/2 mile we totally would've won! But, the fear we put into them was enough to make us happy.
We both came into the race with little training and miles (just look at my January!), so the fact that we finished faster than last year (by only about a miniute, but still) was simply amazing to us both. I honestly think my AP for the legs were similar to last year, so it was Lisa that made up the difference. But, we really just had a great time and closing a 12 minute gap over the last 2 legs was epic.
We had to take off for home and missed the banquet, but her mom picked up our prize. We thought we would take 2nd ultra, because they don't usually separate men and women, but this year they did! So we were 1st place female ultra team. Epic! Now Jerry can't beat us if he tries. HA! I love it when things just work out.