Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TransRockies Run6 - Stage 0

It all started on August 21st of 2013. This was the day that I clicked on the TransRockies website and registered to run the 6-day run with my all-time training partner Theresa. While I was under the impression that I had signed up for a 6-day adventure, little did I know I had signed up for a whole year full of adventures that would end with a 6-day race filled with excitement, emotions, pain, joy, tears and smiles.

Many things happened in the last 12-months to make me a stronger runner and a better person... and a lot of lessons were learned, but the biggest thing was that I lost my partner to an injury. Unfortunately, it was probably 3 months before the race that Theresa approached me to let me know she could not make it happen since an injury had her side-lined. After a lot of thought, I decided to continue the journey on my own instead of differing or cancelling the race. I had already put on a lot of time into training and I figured that while I'd miss my friend a ton, it wouldn't really change the actual race.

After I finished the race, it seems like it has taken a while for me to put my thoughts together about TransRockies and it's been hard to figure out how to best describe this experience without having to write a whole book about it (because so much happened!). Following the TransRockies newsletter format, I've decided to write one day at a time starting with Stage 0 and as I go through each one, I'll try my best to explain the pro's and con's of not having my partner and best friend with me.

The weekend before race week I had a ton of work, therefore I decided to fully finish packing on Thursday night. It was time to run through my checklist one last time and put everything away. I carefully planned each day's outfit and nutrition as well as all the extra gear for hanging out at camp.

Gear ready to be packed
On Friday I drove up to Vail to get one last run in before the race. While I was planning a not-so-long run, my brother was in town and getting ready for his marathon on August 31st... so we ended up running some 18 miles... luckily, they were all downhill!

Pretty views from the top of Vail Pass
After my run in Vail I went up to Leadville to meet up with the RaceRite crew. We timed the Leadville 100 MTB race on Saturday which meant my work day started with a 4:45am wake up call. After an 11hr work day at 12,000ft and a quick dinner I drove back to Boulder to work at the Outdoor Divas Triathlon in Longmont. After going to bed at midnight, I somehow managed to be at the race venue by 6am. Thankfully, this day was a tad shorter and I was back home by 2pm.

On Monday, I woke up early (again) and drove up to Vail to pick up my mama. We then had a big breakfast at the West Side Cafe and then drove to Buena Vista. Arrived at 2pm to go pick up my race packet right away. Finally, it was time to get this adventure started. Packet pick up was at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum and it was quick. I got my duffel bag, goodies and bib number with chip. Yikes. Things were getting real.

It's really happening
We went to the hotel to check-in, I took a nap, finished packing and went back to the race headquarters. I met with my now good friend Marna, who was introduced to me by Theresa over email. They met at a race in Oregon and she learned that Marna and her husband were going to do TRR and she thought it would be a great idea to introduce us... let me tell you, it was THE BEST idea!

The pre-race briefing was not too long and very informative. They introduced the course team, the medical team and race director extraordinaire, Mr. Houda. They all had some words of wisdom for us as well as some helpful pointers. After all that, they gathered everyone at the front, took a pre-race picture and they sent us back to our hotels to enjoy our last night.

All TRR runners the day before the start
And with that I went to bed... a little nervous, but not too much. I had a good night's sleep... I was at peace with my training and I was looking forward to start the adventure.

Up Next: TransRockies Run 6 - Stage 1

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