I am happy to report that I survived the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay Race. The team consisted of friends and family, many of them more consistent runners that me. Nevertheless, I assumed role of Team Captain (in charge of nagging, mostly) and took the set of legs with the highest mileage. What was I thinking? I was most concerned about the stress fracture on my ankle – which had been feeling great as of late, and my IT band which has been a consistent problem as of late. With the high mileage and some very long stretches of steep downhill, both injuries had opportunity to act up. Thankfully – neither did!!! Every muscle and joint was sore and has been since, but those injuries have been ok. In any case, here are the 3 legs.
1st Leg (Nr. 11)
The leg was absolutely gorgeous. The leg climbed from the Pineview Reservoir up to Snow Basin ski resort. The climb was exhausting and I ended up power hiking portions of it. There was a 1 mile downhill section in the middle that felt amazing. I just opened up and bombed down it, getting a 1 mile PR and a couple shorter PRs too.
2nd Leg (Nr. 23)
This was my night leg. I ran it from about 2:30-3:30. I started out a bit cold, but by the end was as hot as ever. I’m glad that I didn’t over dress. The leg went along Rockport Reservoir and would have probably been gorgeous in daylight. It was a slow steady climb for most of it.
3rd Leg (Nr. 35)
Before this leg we were able to crash at a teammate’s cousin’s house on the floor and get a hot shower and breakfast. Wow – it made a huge difference. By the time I started it was about 2:00 and although it was only 70, it felt hotter. My last leg was 10 miles and dropped a total of 2,636 elevation over the course of about 7-8 miles of it. Had this been my first leg, I think I would have loved it – just bombing down. But, I had already run 13 miles the previous two legs and I was already beat sore. At a number of points on the descent, I had to stop and walk for a bit. There was about 500 ft. of climbing as well – almost all of which I power hiked. I was just spent. Towards the end, there was about a 1/2 mile of trail. I hit that and blew past a bunch of people who were carefully picking their way down the trail. I was in my element and made good time.
By the finish I had hit 9.9 miles, so I did the hand off and went an extra .1. I hit PRs for 10 mile, 15 k, 10 k, 2 miles, 1 mile, 1 k, and 1/2 mile. So, that made me happy.
I was also relieved that my dreaded IT band, which I was afraid would rear its ugly head on all of this downhill didn’t hurt AT ALL. Wow.
In the end it was a very good experience. I ran 23 miles, which is more that I usually do – way more. Will I do it next year? Honestly…probably not. I think I would rather train for a trail race. But who knows . . . maybe.