After a one year hiatus, I was able to participate in the Portland to Coast walking relay again this year. Last summer, I had a brand new baby, so participating in a two day relay race away from home was out of the question. But I must say that when I was still pregnant, I had dreams that I was walking it with my big ol' belly. I was pretty bummed I had to miss it last year. Knowing what to expect and knowing the ladies I would be participating with made this year a lot more fun for me. It also didn't hurt that I wasn't nursing tendonitis in both knees and had just found out I was pregnant (which made me a little moody/on edge).
Here we are the night before, after decorating our van. Everyone in our van was the same as two years ago: Marie, Janae, Jana, me, Deanna, and Julie.
We started at 4:15 am. Most of us were going off very little sleep, but I preferred this early start time. There was such a different energy. Two years ago, we were one of the very last start times, and most everyone was already on the road. It felt like we got to a party as it was cleaning up. This time, we got there just as things were getting started.
We didn't start at Oaks Park like two years ago...we were under a bridge somewhere close to the river (I think).
And they're off!
Because we started in the dark and had the exact same scenery (in other words, mostly Hwy 30), I didn't take many pictures this year. I did end up with the same legs that I did two years ago (which I was afraid of), and though it seemed long (because it was!), it wasn't quite as bad as I remembered it. The brightest spot was during my long walk between Scappoose and St. Helens. Adam drove out with the kids to see me walk. I told him not to - I would just be walking - but he said that it was important for the kids to see me competing in something, just as they'd seen him compete/participate in sports. It was so sweet of him to bring the kids out, and it totally made that walk better for me. One person on the sidelines commented as I walked by that I made this look so easy because of the smile on my face. I just told her that no, it was because I could see my family up ahead. I loved seeing them!
I completed my first leg, 7.68 miles, in 13.93 min/mile (1 hr 47 min), which was better than two years ago. While I didn't get any blisters like I did then, I strained my left upper thigh/groin muscle. So my second leg, the 5.97 uphill one, was completed in 14.9 min/mil (1 hr 29 min). I did not feel like I was going that slow - I still had 7 roadkills! - but I guess that just means I have to train on hills for next year!
Rain had been forecasted all weekend, but our van only saw a little of it on our second half, which started a little before 8 pm. Just as we handed off to van 2 for the last time, the rain really started to pour and the wind picked up. We drove to Astoria to sleep and wait for morning when we could have breakfast, but I was continually woken up by the wind, it was so bad. We were pretty worried about our teammates in van 2 who were still completing their last legs of the relay.
By the time we got to Seaside, we found out that the beach was closed and all events there cancelled. There were trees blowing down, many teams decided not to finish. There were 60 mile an hour winds...it was pretty dicey out there. We got in touch with Karen, our team captain, and she said we should just head home, so there was no party at the beach or team photos this year.
Out of 379 walking teams that completed (I'm guessing quite a few dropped out due to the weather), we came in 117, finishing in 30 hours, 18 minutes, 45 seconds. In our division (Women's Walking) we came in 28th out of 119. I'm already excited for next year!!