I now understand very clearly all of the the words of warning about the quad blasting 8 mile 2200 ft downhill run leg of the Ski to Sea. My choice to do this 6 days after running a 50k ultra-marathon was simply my own typical "wise choice". Smiles still all around, its all in good fun and I was happy to help out Team Deep Cove Outdoors http://www.deepcoveoutdoors.com who were in desperate need of a runner at the last minute due to a sickness.
All aside, the Bellingham Ski to Sea http://www.skitosea.com/ is a fantastic event. Beginning at the top of Mt Baker with 8 athletes per each of the 500 teams relay down to the sea (Fairhaven, WA). It begins with a cross-country ski, then downhill ski, run, road bike, 2 person canoe, mountain bike then finishes with kayak. Unfortunately, the weather gods decided to ignore us for the day and gave us a steady downpour of lovely west coast rain. We all just smiled, shrugged our shoulders and thanked god for Gore-Tex.
Knowing I was competing on last year's 3rd place winning team, I was mighty anxious that my lack of preparedness would effect the team and didn't sleep a wink the night before. I pulled out my road runners, laced them up good and tight, and just aimed to keep my leg turnover quick and my stride smooth. Seeing as I couldn't really feel my legs because they were wet and frozen I felt quite super for about 6 miles the rest was a quad cramping suffer-fest but I kept my spirits high with "she'll be coming around the mountain" ringing over, and over in my head! (Too boot I ran my first sub 40 minute 10k on the way down, even though it doesn't really count). I passed on the timing chip to our biker who had the bluest lips I have ever seen, gulped down my bottle of water, plunged into my warm bag of warm clothes I left with the biker and then laid down, put my legs up a cold cement wall, and watched the world upside down for a while while I tried to get the blood from rushing to my damaged legs.
During the remainder of the 3 hour wait for the remainder of the runners to finish and for our team cars to trickle down the one lane mountain road, myself and the rest of the 500 soggy runners stood in puddles, and did our best to just keep the laugh going.
So happy to sea my teammate's VW Westifalia, I slopped myself in the backseat as they drove back to Bellingham. Along the way we received text updates on our ranking and we made it to the finish in Fairhaven just in nick of time to greet our finishing kayaker. I polished off a couple of IPA's (awesome recovery drink in my world) at the beer garden and then received our award for 3 place in the Women's Competitive Division.
So glam I am, taking no time to smile for the camera too distracted by my jacket zipper. Soggy but fun day, with the world's best sleep after (and very moisturized skin)!