Monday, September 9, 2013

Blue Ridge Relay - AWESOME

What a great experience!!! I never even knew I wanted to do. It was so super strange. It was like I was meant to be out there. In the weeks leading to the race, I was invited to join by 3 separate teams. I would turn down one offer and I would get another message, asking me to come. I know now why I was I meant to out there. I faced fears and did things that expanded me. For instances,  I was super imitated by being asked to run with this fast team. I had a fear of not being able to pull my weight on the team. I was assigned the the lead runner position - so the first leg of the race. Yikes, really! I was the one who was to set the tone and rhythm of the race. This sort of freaked me out.  On the drive up to the race, my team captain said to me " Jamie, everyone is going to go crazy and head out at a sub-6:30 pace" do not go with them.   I was like okay cause I can't run that fast so problem. Well I ended up running the first 4 mile leg at 6:27 average pace coming in within 10-15 seconds of the leaders.  Another thing, I did not want a night leg at all. Of course, I would be the first person on the team to head out as night set in. I ended up running the most at night through mountains roads with no one around me but pitch black night air and the stars. On the leg that started at night fall with a 2.5 Mile climb up Grandfather mountain that rolling hills after that finished that 7 mile leg on that trashed quads. Than my 3rd leg was not only in pitch black @ just before 4AM but add dense fog. I could see only blinking lights of runners I was going pass ahead of me. It was so exhilarating and this something I totally thought I would not want to do!! I slept 10 minutes total which was probably not best to let myself sleep because I was super groggy and confused when they woke me at 3:30 - Team captain called in the van "Jamie - u run in 15 minutes". I had to dart to bathroom, get nightgear on and get my arse to the exchange point. Fun though :D Our team was actually in the led by over 25 minutes but in the night our #11 got lost..missed a turn and we ended losing our led plus gaining an additional 6 minutes by the time the 3rd leg of the race started..because I runner #1 I had to try make up some if those minutes..super happy as I was able to bring us within 3 minutes after my 3rd leg than it was pretty much a back and forth race at that point...but alas we lost by 6 minutes when our final runners came in. I made amazing friendships and connected with people in such an incredible way. Our team was so diverse in ages and background but we shared the most random & awesome conversations, experiences and laughs for 36 hours. In our Van, I connected with 27 yr guy, we laughed so much together that my abs are as sore as my legs.  I said once in the van that I feel I am talking a lot. Of my teammates said nope it is either u or Matt talking and if one of you isn't talking it is because u are listening to the other but we are mentally participating your conversations. There was a time we tried to sleep in the van and him and I would just keep talking. He commented that is was like a slumber party where you were told to go to sleep but you keep thinking of something else you want to talk about. It was neat to make a close connection with someone you normally would not spend time with. But this true of so many connections made out there.  I connected with another one of my teammates that had never run BRR and I can see the nerves in her just as I had them in me. It was comforting to know that I was not the only one experiencing those nerves.  This sort of tied us together and we become very comfortable and supportive of each other out there. Our connection allowed us to open up to each other and feel very truly connected. We were actually on the verge of tearing up when saying our goodbyes to each other and our other teammates.

I overcame a huge fear of not being good enough to run with these guys, I ran in the middle of night which I had feared, I climbed a fricking mountain road 2.5 mile climb, gaining +700 in elevation at 4,000 ft and I hate hills but ran them with no fear and usual dread of running a hill. 

Our team JITFO (Jog it the F*** Out) would take 11th overall out 150 teams and 2nd Mixed Teams Overall. 

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