Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hood to Coast: Third Leg, or "Victory in the Morning"

~5 min. w/u
5.77 miles @ 36:07 (~6:15 pace)
~4 min. c/d
Total: 7 miles
Course map

I didn't sleep at all between my second and third legs, but we did stop at Starbucks for some early morning caffeine, so I felt relatively awake and lucid at go time. Temperatures spiked dramatically after sunrise, and by the time our van took over for the third and final time at 9:30am, it was well over 75 degrees. My legs were absolutely trashed at this point and I was dreading another long leg with a substantial uphill in the middle. After reviewing the course rating, I discovered that my leg was ranked third hardest on our team, and I was definitely feeling this by the third leg. My goal was to run 6:40 pace but I doubted whether that was possible. Nonetheless, when I took off I was determined to give it absolutely everything I had. Rick's continuous war cry throughout the entire race was "Victory in the morning!" and I figured I should at least do my part to make that a reality on my third and final effort. By this point we had caught up with a much larger group of teams, and I counted 16 people that I passed on this leg as I ran through the undulating country roads. The last two miles comprised 1.5 miles uphill followed by a steep downhill, and by the time I approached the uphill I felt as though I was barely moving. When I crested the hill and began to pick up speed, I decided since my quads were already screwed I might as well sprint it in. I handed off to Alex at pretty much full speed and was pleasantly surprised to see my split. From there it was a quick jog followed by a celebratory Corona that Tara and I shared in the van to cap off the run. Now all we had to do was enjoy the ride while the rest of our van ran, then cruise to the finish in Seaside to watch our team come in several hours later. I can honestly say that the shower I enjoyed at our rented condo that afternoon was one of the best in recent memory...all it needed was some peach Lindeman's.