Wednesday, May 16, 2012

stronger [part 3]. {kelly clarkson.}

read part one here. and read part two here.
although our end of the beginning exchange was a little rocky we managed.
my mom was off to climbing her part of the mountain. 3. something miles uphill.
as our car started to make it up the mountain we realized how big of a mountain it was.
it was straight. up. hill.
we aided her at mile 1. she was looking good.
she then continued to climb.
realizing how uphill it was she had to walk.
the funny thing is, is that EVERYONE was walking.
there was not one person running up her mountainous leg.
her leg was full of switch backs. so as you climbed one part of the mountain you could look up and see where her next part of her run was.
it was unreal. i can’t even explain how uphill it was.
some people related it to hiking the Y. more like running the Y.
i personally have never done that so i don’t know if that does her leg justice but it sounds about right.
as we continued to aide her she asked where her exchange was.
we all looked to the top of the mountain and said in unison. “up there.”
it was an unreal climb. but she made it. and the greatest feeling was that she was done running.

next was rachel.
she had a 3. something mile uphill climb.
she did so great.
her goal was to run the entire time. and despite the hills she ran all the way.
at her exchange with jen, rachel was on a major high.
not only had she just ran all the way she was also done with her legs.
there were some woot woots out of her mouth along with some hugs.

jen had a 7. something up and down hill run.
seriously her run almost seemed redundant.
she would run up and then she would run down.
she started out really strong.
but after about mile 4 it hits you hard and she had a slight slowdown.
but she finished strong.
knowing i was again next i was half very nervous and half excited.
i was nervous because let’s face it my first run didn’t go as planned.
but i was excited because this time i was running downhill.
like straight downhill.
the kind where if you misstep and fall you will roll all the way down and off the canyon wall.
the kind where you have to lean backwards so you aren’t too top heavy.
the kind of hill where you might as well sit down and slide to the bottom because the chance of falling is quite high.
let me just remind you i was going down the other side of the death hills previously ran.
this is why i was excited.
i love running downhill. or so i thought.

as i saw jen coming i was nervous but i was ready.
the beginning of my run was a uphill.
but this time i knew. what goes up… must come down.
and down it came.
i was flying.
i felt so great.
i just let gravity pull me down the mountain.
my team would pass me and i would continually give a thumbs up and a big cheesy grin.
this was my kind of run.
this was a moment when i realized i actually loved running.
but don’t let me fool you.
my running high came to a crashing point.
i don’t think i mentioned. i was to run 7. something miles going down 2000 feet of elevation.
so that 7. something miles turned into a hurtful run.
as i learn in all my exercise science classes.
eccentric movements are way more powerful. therefore much more soreness after an eccentric workout.
running downhill is strictly eccentric movements.
around the killer 4 mile my thighs started to burn.
and then they started to be a flame of fire.
i started to definitely need my team.
because i was flying down the mountain the temperature started to get higher.
i started to need water. and i knew i needed to slow down.
but no matter how slow or quick i went my thighs continued to burn.
each time they aided me that was all i had to say.
“my thighs are on fire.”
as i came up to mile 5 i knew i would be ok.
i just kept telling myself it could be worse.. i could be running uphill!
i then came to mile 6. one mile left.
this was the longest mile of my life.
it was full of switch back where every corner i turned i expected to see the exchange flags.
but the flags never came in sight.
i just kept turning corners.
my thighs were still on fire.
after almost giving up because i honestly thought i couldn’t continue on my legs hurt so bad.
but then i rounded a corner and there it was. the flags.
i couldn’t have been happier.
i ran through and passed off to Lindsay.
once i was done i was so tired. and my legs were still on fire.
the greatest feeling was knowing i was done.
i downed some water and then we were on our way to aide Lindsay.

lindsay had a 8 mile down hill run.
hers luckily was a gradual downhill to start our way back into the “city”
we met her at mile one and she was flying and was so strong.
lindsay’s leg was lucky enough to have cattle roaming a couple feet from the road.
being a 14 year old girl she was scared of the cows.
as we passed her she yelled out to  us “please stay close to me. i am scared of the cows!”
we stayed nearby her to protect her from the roaming cattle.
as she was approaching mile 2 we drove up a little and we parked our car behind this other car full of young college age boys and girls.
as my mom jumps out to help lindsay we hear this from a boy in that car.
“that’s my girl right there she is the one.”
we then heard mumble from another one of their teammates.
then “yep that is her. i am asking her to dinner tonight.”
obviously this throws my mom into “mother mode.”
she flips her head around and says.
“you know she is only 14 years old.”
my mom then gives lindsay some water and walks back to the car followed with a..
“and she is my daughter.”
this obviously sends an awkward silence but luckily we were ready to move to follow lindsay to her next mile.
this is when things went downhill.
before lindsay ran the race she was dealing with a bum knee.
right as she passed mile 3 she yells to us “my knee hurts really bad.”
this makes us all nervous because she had 5 miles left.
next thing we know she starts to cry but she continues to run.
all of us in the car had been very teary the entire race because we knew how much we needed each other.
this again threw my mom into “mother mode.” but in a different sense.
as we were following her with her crying my mom stops the car and says
“i have to go out and help her.”
my mom jumps out as we switch drivers and slows down her running pace.
their conversation went a little like this.

lindsay “my knee hurts so bad.”
mom “you need to slow down a little.”
lindsay “but it just hurts so bad.”
mom “how about we walk.”
lindsay “no way! i am not walking. i am going to finish my leg.”
mom “how about you let me run a mile for you while you rest your leg.”
lindsay “no way! that is cheating i want to finish this. we are not going to cheat.”

side note:
there were a lot of teams who would have multiple runners run one leg. so they would switch runners in the middle. this made us so mad because we were dying on our runs and then someone would just jump in for their strong runner. therefore we were bashing their teams all the time calling them cheaters.

this conversation went on for a little longer before it finished like this.
mom “well then Lindsay if you won’t let me run a leg for you. or if you won’t walk then you need to quit your crying.”
this was enough to make lindsay get her head back into the run and she continued to run.
she then decided she didn’t need anyone to run by her anymore and that she was ok.
we were then coming up to mile 6.
my mom decided to leave rachel and i at the mile marker why jen, sue and her drove up to get sue ready for the exchange.
rachel and i cooled her off and ran with her until my mom came back to pick us up.
lindsay was going strong again with only a mile left.
she finished strong and had an awesome run despite her minor break down.
after the exchange we realized how close we were to the finish.
we all got super excited because we were almost done.

sue had a 6.75 mile run to bring us to the finish.
it was a slight downhill and she had a strong run.
the last 2ish miles was running on a path through a park.
because she wasn’t so sure about the path rachel jumped out to run with her.
we told them we would meet them at the finish line to all run through together.
as we saw rachel and sue coming in to finish we were all so stoked.
we started meeting her stride as we ran through the rest of the park through the finish line.
i am pretty sure we were all smiling so large crossing the finish line together.

we had finished our race. one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.
we definitely earned our stripes.
after 65 hot hard miles not only had we completed the race we were not the last ones done.
we watched people run in after us and we realized how awesome we were.
we were an all girls team who beat multiple all girls teams.
one all male team.
and we beat 15 mixed male/female teams.
we were pretty proud of ourselves.
we had just ran from 8:15 am – 7:54 pm.
we ran a average of 10.45 minute miles.
and we tied for 29th of 45 of the female teams.

if you would have asked us that night if we would do it again it would be a massive HECK NO!
but now that we have had some days off and have forgotten our total struggle and hatred towards the race we now say we would like to do another relay again. but we would probably never do the moab red rock relay.
lets just say it was a very hard experience.
but it made us grow and realize that we truly can do hard things.

rachel at the end of her run. if you look close you can see the mountains below. that was the elevation our run started at.

mom helping lindsay out on her run.

we finished!!

our medals we earned.

we earned our stripes.

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