Forewarning- this post is long so I could get it into one summary.
Spokane to Sandpoint was the big event of the summer for me. It was the relay I had been looking forward to since December and was also the event I was most anxious about. Being responsible for running over 34 miles is a lot and I was just worried at how I would feel towards the end of the race.
I couldn’t have done this race without 5 other amazing women: Jordanne, Amy, Rose, Kaitlyn & Robyn. They were all rock stars during this race. The conditions were less than ideal with temperatures in the 90 degree range, but they were troopers and killed each of the legs that they ran. I also couldn’t have done this race without Luke. He was the best van driver a group of women could ask for. Even when we appeared to be getting delirious, he remained encouraging and supportive. Thank you to everyone for making this race a fun and a memorable one!
Left to Right: Myself, Robyn, Kaitlyn, Rose, Jordanne & Amy
Luke was the best van driver ever. The guy drove over 200 miles without a wink of sleep #RockStar
On to the good stuff….
We left my house at 5 am on Friday morning and immediately hit up Starbucks. We were all a little groggy and antsy about getting the race underway. Since I was runner 1, I was already in my running clothes and in the “zone” trying to get mentally prepared for the half marathon distance that awaited me.
We started at 7 am and had to be checked in 45 minutes prior to our start time. Due to the timing I wasn’t much assistance with the van decorating, but the ladies and Luke did a fantastic job. Before I knew it, it was go time and was running down a mountain!
By mile 5 of my first leg I was running through the first exchange point. I felt like I was flying down Mt. Spokane! I decided to just let my legs carry me down because when I did try and slow down it seemed it hurt more. By mile 6 I started thinking I would rather be in bed or enjoying another cup of coffee. My quads were burning at this point. My left big toe was being jammed into the front of my running shoe which I knew might cause problems further into the race.
Weeeee...Flying down a mountain. #NoBigDeal
Leg # 1
My 2nd leg was on a familiar part of the Centennial Trail in Post Falls, ID that I have run on before. It was my shortest leg of the entire relay. I felt fine minus my left big toe that was really starting to bother me. Towards the end of my leg I started to unravel. I just felt exhausted and my toe hurt so I started to really slow down. There was a lady who was about 100 meters behind me the whole time who kept on shouting out encouraging things to me. I really didn’t want to be her roadkill so I pushed it the last mile as best as I could. At the exchange when she came she gave me a hug. Just proves that runners are awesome people!
The start of my 2nd leg in Post Falls, ID
*In Coeur d’Alene at the next major exchange I ended up going to the medical tent so they could wrap my toe in tape. It seemed to help keep my sock from rubbing on it.
I am not going to lie- I hate running in the dark. It freaks me out! This leg was no exception; I was petrified to be running in the dark, especially in North Idaho. It was VERY dark, there was hardly any shoulder alongside the highway, trucks were driving VERY fast, I ran past some sketchy bars and trailer parks, and saw lots of real roadkill alongside the road. I ran alone until the last 1 ½ miles were I passed 3 runners. It was a good feeling to check this leg off of my list!
My last leg was by far the worst leg of the entire race and one of my worst runs ever. It was awful. I hurt so bad and I had no energy (would have been nice to know I was pregnant then!). I walked a lot. I actually would run 2-3 minutes and then walk 15-30 seconds. I really just wanted it to be over. My team mates were awesome and kept on encouraging me and giving me cold water along the way. I don't know what I would have done without my Nuun! It was a real lifesaver. I could not have finished without them. I wanted to stop and kiss the “1 mile to go” sign because I was so excited to see it!
The start of my last leg. That first step hurt.
The final hand off to Jordanne
Cooling off in the sprinkler at Priest River High School
It was fun to cheer on my teammates as they completed the last legs of our journey into Sandpoint. It was a long race and we were all excited for Kaitlyn to do the final hand off so that Robyn could run us into the finish line.
Playing team photographer, which I absolutely LOVED!!!
Group high fives! (Minus Rose who was kicking asphalt on her last leg!)
After we crossed the finish line we were elated to find out that we won the women’s ultra division. Some huge celebrating definitely ensued! Robyn gave each of us our medals which was a definite highlight and wonderful way to cap off our 201.7 mile journey from the top of Mt. Spokane to Sandpoint, ID.
Crossing the finish line
Getting my medal from Robyn
Group photo at the finish line
My favorite photo of everyone
Left to Right: Kaitlyn, Rose, Robyn, Amy, Jordanne & Myself
All done :-)
Thank you Girls Just Wanna Run for a truly memorable weekend. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet everyone and form new friendships. You were all an inspiration to me, including Luke who is an Ironman! I hope to be able to run races and even more relays with everyone in the future.