Day 2 of Wasatch Back. Got the baton on leg 25, from Jordanelle Reservoir to Oakley. I expected the leg to be a challenge, I just did not realize how much. Got the baton from James and went for it mumbling BINGO under my breath to get the legs going. First mile was OK, was going at a good sub-6:00 pace. The lack of sleep must have altered my perception. I could have sworn the first mile was downhill, but the elevation profile shows it was a slight up. I could not understand why I was so hard to run so slow. But I was passing people at a good rate. Then I saw a runner that was coming to me at a rate that was slower than average. When I got closer, I realized it was Ron Greenwood. I was a bit surprised, he should not have been coming to me that fast. Then I realized that there was perhaps something about this leg I did not know. I was supposed to run it at 5:56 pace. I was running at 5:56 pace, but there was a big hill coming up, and even without it, I was working pretty hard already. Later I realized that the WBR calculator is way off when there is an uphill of any kind at over 6000 feet. You can run downhill almost the same at a higher altitude, but uphill slows you down a lot more, especially if you do not live at that altitude.
The grade gradually increased, but I did not notice it at first, except the pace started getting slower. I was second guessing myself. What is happening? Why are my legs not moving? Did I overtrain? Am I hitting the wall? I am not feeling like I am out of gas, and I should not be out of gas. What is going on? And why is Ron not passing me back? The pace gradually digressed to 6:20, then 6:40, then 7:00 and then 7:20. At 7:20 the climb now became very obvious, but still did not look bad enough to be running that slow. What I did not take into account is the elevation gain and being at a higher altitude. We started at a tiny bit over 6000 feet and gradually made our way to 6500. Finally by mile 5 the climb was over, and I was going again - hit a downhill quarter in 1:25, followed by another in 1:20, and I felt a lot better.
Finished the 5.57 in 35:28, 2:14 off schedule. After looking at how other runners did on it, it was actually not that bad. Ron was about 2 minutes slower, while Nate Pollard was 3 minutes slower.
Handed off to Dustin, and we continued chugging a lot trying to not get beat too bad by BYU and Weber. Did some more running pacing Cody at the end of his leg, and then ran Steve Olsen's leg (30)
with Paul for his cool down.
We ended up third after BYU and Weber. We managed a 6:16 average, which I consider to be very good on this course. Last year's version was faster - you started at the Blacksmith Fork Canyon instead of downtown Logan, and you ran a much nicer version of the Trapper's Loop. That, and the course being 7 miles longer. Even then, with that pace we would have beaten Weber last year. But they learned their lessons and brought a better team. So did BYU. If only BYU learned how to follow the course and plan for their runners arriving on time, they would have done a lot better, though. I think they lost a good total of 30 minutes to logistics. On the bright side of things, Nate Pollard observed a BYU hand-off when one runner finished his leg and the other was not ready for him. The one who finished yelled: Where are you? Nate commented that he was waiting for him to swear, but he did not. I do not know who that runner was, but I am very glad he practiced what he believed at in this frustrating situation. You have not slept much, you've been running hard, you are trying to catch a competitor, you've given it all you've got to do your part, and now your effort is being just wasted. You stand there and just watch it go. If swearing is a part of your vocabulary at all, this would be the time for it to come out. If it does not, this says a lot about your character. Weber may have gotten to the finish line first, but on that particular exchange BYU won in a special way.
Ran a little bit more with Jenny riding a bike in the evening. Felt OK afterward, just tired from the lack of sleep. Legs feel fine.