Monday, September 3, 2012

Surprising Legs!

LEG 10
Prepping for my legs for HTC was simple. I had to get ready quickly. My teammate Sarah was leg 9 and she is super speedy so it was a race to be ready to go. Here I am ready to go as Sarah was just about to begin. My first leg would be in the dark on a paved back trail (a little sketchy) but I knew what to expect since I ran it last year. When it was finally my turn to run I was ready. I had 5.04 miles to run. I am not sure what happened but I fell in the zone quickly. I had the perfect recipe
 Alone + Dark= Faster than I thought
I am not sure if it was P.R. but I am guessing it was right around 41 or 42 minutes. A ballpark average of low 8's! Surprise #1! When I made it to the exchange they begin to yell my number. 7 9 4, 7 9 4...but there was no one in sight.
I was breathing hard and wobbling around wondering where my team had gone. I don't even remember what my Garmin said as I was a little freaked that I was left alone in the dark....don't panic. But never fear my team arrived and I only waited 5 or 6 minutes. It felt like a really long time but that is all part of doing a  relay. Traffic and getting lost is part of the territory. We were back on track in no time. Whew!

It was then my teammates turn to run the night. Here we are in Portland waiting for Kelsey our final runner. Once she arrived we wished our Van 1 counterparts well and then we were off to try to find some food and hopefully a little shut eye.

 We ate a local pub and I welcomed a little diet coke at 12:30 a.m. We then drove to the next transition and tried to sleep. This did not go so well for me. Sitting straight up in a van seat without a head rest does not go so well. I did try to curl up into a ball, recover in my new swiftwick socks and snuggle with my blanket that Zoe so graciously brought for me. I definitely rested but not so sure on the sleep part.

 In think we were parked about 2 hours and then it was time to get moving and send Emily off on her next leg that would start the process all over again.  I decided to sport my swiftwick arm warmers as my run was going to be in the early morning. We also recieved custom HTC tough chik arm warmers that I somehow could not find but have run in at home since then. I am digging the arm warmers as they allow me to run in tanks!! Nuun definitely spoiled us along with these great companies!
LEG 22
Here I am after my second leg. This leg was my longest. 6.81.
This leg is beautiful. You begin by running up a dirt hill in the forest. You are on that for a short time and then you are on the road running along side forrest. I believe it was about 6:30 a.m. and the sun was up and there was a beautiful morning mist that kept me nice and cool. This leg surprised me as well as I beat my time last year by 2 minutes and 45 seconds with a time of  57:11. That is a 8:38 average. No sleep, minimal food. Ill take it!

In between all this craziness I was sweating!!! I was happy to have these handy wipes. Thick enough to do the job and I was relieved that they did not leave me feeling sticky afterwards. Thank you Shower Pill!! I need more!!
 The early morning then flew by with my teammates running their legs and tearing it up. We were accumilating some major road kill! It was nice as transition when we would see the other "Van Ones" and could all be there to cheer Kelsey on.

                                                        LEG 34
Here I am with Kelsey after my final leg and before her last leg. My last leg was my shortest. It is a bit hilly and the heat was on but I knew that I was feeling good! This was my biggest surprise...3.52 miles in 27:11. TThat gives me a 7:45 average. What the heck?? I don't think I have ever done that?? I guess all this REST has been helping.

Above I am with Kelsey after my final leg and before her last leg. She was gearing up for her final leg....that would get us all to that FINISH line that we had been dreaming about for many, many hours!
 Katie another one of my teammates was taking names and kicking booty along the way! Looking good girl!

 Wow, OK this has to be my longest post ever....but after all of that we made it!!Yeah for a quick pic in the NIKE tent with my Nuun vets (Jess and T) I wish I would have more time with them as well as the whole team!  Poor Kelsey and about 100 other runners somehow took a wrong turn while running that final it was quite the adventure which I am sure only Kelsey could recap appropriately. I am so proud of her perservereance and character along the way!!! You go girl!
And since Kelsey was a Tennessee girl....I just had to get to her to the pacific Ocean. After a long RUN to the water...we took a few snap shots! This HTC experience was compeletely different than last year. I didn't really get to know my vanmates and I am not exactly sure why but know that God has a plan for everything if I just sit long enough to figure out what it is! I am grateful for my experience and time to see old friends and meet new ones! Much love to all the new NUUN peeps I met! I look forward to stalking everyone and hopefully meeting up at a race or two!  Love you Seaside....not sure what surprises will be in store for next year...but I will be there!

And don't think this is the last you will hear of HTC!! I still have a few pics to share as well as a huge Thank You to all the sponsors that made our journey so comfortable!

Happy Labor Day! Hope you were able to spend some time with loved ones!


Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

This relay sounds like one of the best! So glad you have a great time.

Caroline said...

Great post Harmony! You had some great legs there..very fast!

a runner said...

I'm telling's The Don't Run, Run Faster training plan ;-) We're going to be rich! Now we just need to figure out how to market it :)

Love those pics of you and Kelsey...two simply stellar women :)

Megan said...

You ran so well and I feel horrible for being late to the exchange! We were late because you ran so fast! :)

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

Love reading all the HTC recaps from everyone. Glad that you got Kelsey to the pacific ocean she definitely got to experience one of the prettiest parts of northwest. :-)

Jocelyn said...

Wow lots of road kills Harm!!

On the Right Track said...

Love it!!! Great legs, and great times!! The pictures say it all...looks like you had the time of your life!

Molly said...

WhooHoo!! Those legs of yours did a great job : )