I’m back to using words to say hello again, since I’m running out of clever gifs or memes to use. So, hello. My post title comes from a kid’s show that Kayli used to love. It has a catchy song that I’ve never quite been able to shake. You’re welcome.
I’ve talked about this Ville to Ville relay thing once or twice, but on Saturday it finally happened! Four of us took on 75 miles of highway, from Asheville, NC to Greenville, SC.
We arrived in Asheville on Friday afternoon for packet pickup at Highland Brewing Company. There was a pretty cool outdoor area where all of the runners were gathered. We did a celebratory arrival shot of whiskey in the parking lot and picked up our stuff. We got some pretty cool stuff with our packet pickup (and a free beer). There was a variety of food truck food. I got a burger with some cheese topped tater tot patty things. Everybody else got an oyster Po’ Boy. Oysters aren’t my thing (right, Abby?). The tot patties were MAGIC.
We left the brewery and headed to downtown Asheville. If you like beer and people watching, then ASHEVILLE IS THE TOWN FOR YOU!
We managed to escape downtown Asheville after one beer and get to our hotel rooms. Wiser heads prevailed and we ended up in bed by around 10:00. 4:15am came pretty quickly, so I showered just to wake up and we headed out the door. The shower was probably a great idea, since we were about to be 4 grown men in one car with 75 miles between us. Nasty, just nasty.
I was runner #4, which meant I had about 2 hours before it was my turn. The excitement made it tough for me to relax. I wanted to nap some, but that never quite happened. Once my turn came, I shot out like a rocket. My first leg was my hardest leg overall, but the adrenaline made it seem pretty easy. I looked cool and calm for that one.
My 2nd leg (Leg #8 overall) was a downhill runner’s dream. I couldn’t help but run sub-7 minute miles. There’s no sense in fighting gravity. After 6 miles of it, things started to fall apart some. It was pouring rain (this was the only leg out of our 12 where it really rained, lucky me) and my calves started to take turns acting up. There was a 0.8 mile climb at the end that was a little unexpected.
After I finished, I definitely felt the pain of over 15 miles done. I needed a drink and I needed food. My feet were sore. I was dreading the thought of another leg to go. I had a Michelob Ultra. That helped a little. I needed REAL food. We didn’t have any. I started to get a little hangry. This was one area where I think we can do better in the future. We had some snacks, but not nearly enough. The other teams were packing serious goodies, but we really didn’t.
I destroyed a pizza from a food truck as soon as we found it and I also ate a gluten free/sugar free donut. It was a pity buy. The guy looked so excited to have a customer, so I kind of had to follow through. The pizza made me feel a little better, but I was dreading the thought of another leg. I wasn’t worried that I wouldn’t finish, but I was worried about how much it was going to hurt.
After another 2.5 hours of “rest” it was time to finish up. I was the last to go for my team, so I was kind of bummed as my teammates got to feel the sweet relief of finishing before I was able to. I headed out for my final 8.8 miles. The first 2 miles went well enough, but after that it got tougher and tougher. The heat started to get to me. I needed water. I needed different feet. I needed my mommy.
My various parts started to seize up and continuing on took SO MUCH FOCUS. I had to push myself to the next milestone for what seemed like every 50 feet or so. “Get to that sign. Get to that tree. Get to that other runner.” It was agonizing. My brain somehow believed that I had 7.8 miles to run, so once I figured out that wasn’t true I was pretty let down. Running is such a mental game.
I saw the “one mile to go” sign, and that was an instant pick me up. I visualized my friends waiting for me and the beer to go with them. I smiled to myself and I carried on until they became a reality.
My great running buddy Brooke (and her mom too) handed me a beer as my teammates and I ran to the finish line together. We received our medals and I tried to gather my thoughts (it took a while).
We had done it! 75 miles, together. We found the food (I ate MORE pizza) and we found the free beer. We laughed about some of the highlights (and lowlights) and smoked good cigars. We talked about next year. Yep, we’re already signed up. 🙂