Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hood to Coast 2008: More or Less Awake & Running

I slept for a grand total of two hours between rising Friday morning at 6am and collapsing Saturday night at 11:30pm, and in that long interim I served as the leg 7 runner for another Hood to Coast experience. It was fun? It was fun!

The leg by leg breakdown:

Leg 7: I got started at 6:13pm under sunny and humid conditions, and it was clear I had misjudged the heat and my hydration when I was already feeling drymouth within the first 200 yards. Fortunately my team handed me a water bottle a couple of miles in, so I drank some and sloshed the rest on myself over the remaining hilly miles in the countryside near Sandy, and arrived at the finish at 6:53. I was pleasantly surprised at the time I had made on this 5.69-mile leg -- it felt slower than the 7:05 mile/minute pace.

Leg 19: This was to be the leg where I would either make or squander my fame and fortune -- 5.89 miles and rated "very hard" over the hills near St. Helens, Oregon. Feeling refreshed after a 90-minute cat nap on teammate Mike's recliner chair and rejuvenated by the perversity of the 3:49am start time, I ran it in a total of 42 minutes (7:08 pace).

Leg 31: This was supposed to be the easy leg, "moderate"-rated, flat, and only 4 miles, but of course it was leg three, and I had somehow contrived not to get any sleep. Moreover it was hot (low 80s) and very sunny again by my 1:04pm start time, but I pushed pretty hard and came in at 27:30, for a 6:52 pace.

While I didn't run as fast as I ran in last year's H2C, I did set a personal best for road-kills (+1 for passing another runner, -1 for being passed): +13 on my first leg, +14 on my second leg, and +22 on my last leg, for a grand total of +49. There were three instances where I served as the road-kill for much faster runners, all three occurring in the second leg. Those guys were fast, and hats off to them.

There's more to tell about this H2C experience but my mind is still pretty addled from the long weekend of sleeplessness, stench, baby-wipe baths, portable toilets, and so on. For now I'm getting some more sleep.

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