Miles in 2014: 246.66 miles
After our van finished all of the second leg, it was time for breakfast. A real breakfast. A big breakfast. Last year we grabbed bagels at a Dunkin Donuts. This year was much better since we stopped at the Cracked Conch Cafe. I had a delish breakfast of fried conch (one of my keys favorites), eggs, and blueberry pancakes.
We drove ahead to the next big exchange, which was at a high school. There were showers (for $3.00) clean bathrooms, and best of all air-conditioned gyms to sleep in. By the time we parked the car, the temp had been creeping up and was at about 80 degrees. Not ideal.
Leigh's face says it all!
We grabbed towels, blankets, and pillows and headed inside. I was a little grossed out sleeping on wrestling mats, but thanks to real air conditioning and extra towels, had no problem snuggling up on the mats. I was exhausted and could have slept just about anywhere, but there were two things that stuck out about this particular gym. #1: SO much screaming. What necessitated hooting and hollering on the way to the showers and bathrooms is beyond me. I could nap through it, but some people may not have been ok with it. #2: Leigh and I made our little beds perfectly spaced away from any other people. We had been asleep for probably 15 minutes when this dude lays down RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Like as close as I was to Leigh. And there was TONS of room everywhere else. I was annoyed, but frankly too tired to care. Until he started snoring. The screaming was nothing, but this noisy human in my personal bubble was ridiculous. Lucky for him, sleep for me was still a priority, but he will forever be know as the creepy, snoring Ragnar dude.
Anyway, I woke up just after one in the afternoon, which was just about the hottest part of the day. It was a gorgeous, not-a-cloud-in-sight type day. It was also 80+ degrees and super humid. I run through Florida summers, but even this was silly hot. I was a little nervous. I slammed some extra gatorade, took a salt tab and waited for Rob to finish his last run.
The first mile flew by. I got passed by one guy who was flying and passed a couple people who were having a tough time. The support on this leg was great - random people were offering water, other vans were supporting runners, and our van was hanging out right after the second mile. I downed a bottle of water in about two miles, and two guys were handing out ice cold bottles of water. Pretty sure I professed my undying love for both of them. The scenery was great - the water was crystal clear and my favorite aquamarine color. After I saw the "one mile to go" sign, I picked up the pace. I finished the 4ish miles strong and happy.
All in all, the runs were great. Despite the heat, I could have easily run more and felt good on all each leg. Even after being cramped in the car, sleeping in the front seat, and running 10 miles in the middle of the night, I wasn't sore. A little tight, but nothing I couldn't handle or a little dancing in Key West couldn't fix.
After my run, we stopped at a gas station, grabbed a diet coke and beers (Caffeine and booze - priorities) and cheered on the rest of the our van. The last legs were all pretty short and we were on Key West in no time to battle traffic and rush to the finish line.
The finish line was set up totally different this year, but nothing changes the awesome feeling of running through the finish with 11 other awesome runners and friends.