Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nowhere fast

So, Tuesday of this past week, Josh turns to me and goes, "Do you wanna run in a 24-hour relay with a bunch of ROTC people?" 
Um, yes! I've always wanted to do a Ragnar-type thing so I was really excited for this weekend. And it was AWESOME. The race was unlike any I've ever done before, but luckily I have practice running trails (and I love it!) so I was able to take it pretty well.

My first leg of the race was around 1am so it was dark outside and I ran by the light of the (almost) full moon.
In the beginning my lungs were burning really bad from inhaling so much campfire smoke. But eventually the fire in my chest went away and I could breathe fine.
I love trail-running. It makes me feel so alive! And it also makes me feel like a mountain goat. 
I'm not just running. I am cruising and leaping and skidding and pounding. 
Thank goodness I have strong ankles.
I almost took a tumble many times going downhill because I was going so fast.  Or at least, I felt like I was. You always feel faster in the dark. I seriously thought that I was going to crash and roll down the mountain, but I never lost my footing so luckily that never happened.
I am a warm runner so even though the sun wasn't out, I got super hot when I was going up the first major hill so I ran in my sports bra and shorts for a couple miles. The breeze on my skin felt SO good.
The landscape was beautiful. I was all alone - blasting music from my phone, adrenaline pumping through my veins - following the trail of glow sticks. It was glorious.
At one point the moonlight made the dirt on the trail look like it was glittering. It was so cool.
Mile pace of my two loops:
M1 - 7:48                         M1 - 7:31
M2 - 6:53                        M2 - 6:29
M3 - 10:43                      M3 - 11:19
M4 - 10.25                      M4 - 10:00
M5 - 8.06                        M5 - 8:05
.35 miles - 2.42             .35 miles - 2:30
Overall times:  46:38 and 45:54.

And the race wasn't the only "first" that I experienced. 
I also almost got a blister. Almost. 
Towards the end of my second loop, I could feel it forming from all the friction of going downhill. Crazy stuff. I know it's hard to believe that I've never gotten a blister because I've run hundreds and hundreds of miles in my life. But I'm serious. My feet are super tough.
Also, I got to do something that not many people outside of the military get to do. I assembled and disassembled a machine gun. Yeah. They had legit M240 Bravos and they taught us how to put them together and take them apart. It was really cool. Apparently that is part of the Ranger Challenge competition so they competed to see who could do it the fastest. Josh got his time down to 1:20. I know he can get it down to sub-1 minute with a little more practice.

Other highlights: 
Meeting Joshy's ROTC buddies.
The smells. Camping has a lot of smells associated with it. Not all good. But you just have to embrace it. The desert air, the fire, the tin-foil dinners...
After I ran, I smelled like sweat and dirt and grime and campfire smoke. Lovely. And my phone STILL smells like a campfire.
Towards the end of my second loop, a couple of ROTC guys (from my team) surprised me by jumping out from behind some rocks and shooting me with water guns! It was actually refreshing so I finished strong. It was pretty great.
Riding a motorcycle. I got to go really fast. It was so fun.
They cut the run short (20-hour relay) which meant I didn't have to run a third time and we got to go home sooner. We went to Red Robin and I got to watch some of the Young Women's conference. I'll have to rewatch it anyway because I may or may not have slept through most of it...
I was a part of the winning team. Woot woot! And I ran proxy for Josh, so they didn't even have to change the name on the schedule. Huston. (Pronounced like Houston, TX, but spelled better.)

Moral of the story: Trail-running, binoculars, tin-foil dinners, sleeping under the stars, and motorcycles are a few of my favorite things.

And now for pictures...

This was me running all alone in the desert with only the moon and my music for company.

This is what we woke up to.
Oh and Joshy yelling that I was gonna miss my turn. Thankfully he was kidding.

The M&M's are what MAKE this.

This was the TRAIL. Rocky, slippery, and downhill. 
I almost died.

I want a motorcycle.

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