Once taped up I started getting on all of my layers. I put on my race gear including Josh's arm sleeves then the sweat pants, windbreaker and hoodie. I knew it was going to be cold up there while we waited. With my gear check bag packed I headed out the door to meet the team.
We all walked to the park where the race was going to end and jumped on school buses up to the canyon. We got to the bus stop in the canyon at 8 am..to wait to very cold hours for the race to start. At least I was able to kill about 45 minutes waiting in line for the porta-potty. Apparently a lot of people have never used one and didn't realize when any number of porta-potties open, you jump in regardless of if it is the one right in front of you. Why this concept was so hard for people to wrap their head around I have no idea. I mean come on...not that hard. Jenn and I started cheering people on to get them into them.
After about a 1/2 mile walk up to the starting line I stood with Aaron, Amanda and Tina anxiously awaiting the start. The race actually started a bit late but that's ok. Having all of those people around me really kept me warm. The race started and we were off. For about the first 2-3 miles it was pretty crowded. Slowly people started dropping bag so it was easier to get through the crowd.
My legs felt like they were made of cement. They felt heavy and sluggish but I was able to maintain a pretty good pace. By mile 6 or so I saw some awesome TNT volunteers cheering me on which really helped me get my feet moving. I ran into Deanna shortly thereafter and she was nice enough to run with myself and Amanda for a few minutes. After mile 7 I was off.
I knew there was a hill coming up around mile 9 but I was determined not to let it slow me down. My legs started to feel much lighter and before I knew it the hill had come and gone. I could almost see the end of the canyon where we made the turn into town. The stretch from the hill to the turn seemed to fly right by. The weather and scenery were beautiful and I was feeling good...no gel digestive failure finallly!
I made the turn into town and knew I needed to pick up the pace. I was on track for a new personal record which was super exciting and unexpected. About a mile from the turn in I saw Josh and a group of TNT supporters. It was awesome seeing them.
I handed Josh my fuel belt because it was dragging me down. I didn't realize he was going to run along with me. Jeans and all Josh ran the last mile or so with me to be my personal photographer.
The rest of the team started trickling in. It was such a beautiful day we hung out and soaked up the sun before walking back to the hotel.
You better believe I rocked my compression socks. Those downhill portions were brutal on the legs.