Danny @ A Quest for Running Perfection posted quite a detailed prediction of how he thought I would perform on race dayS and I will leave it up to you to decide whether that influenced me or not.
If you hadn't seen the elevation maps for my runs, you can check them out HERE (Yes, I put up leg #1's map as well now that I have it).
8.5 miles in 1:00:03
This was pretty early in the race, so I was obviously the most rested and given that it was still early in the race and I knew the first leg was run at a pace slower than I knew I could keep up, I really wanted to put some distance between us and the other teams. I would pay for that down the road though.
Danny, I'd say your 7:07 pace prediction was pretty spot on here.
8.1 (OR 8.5) miles in 1:00:28
7:27 (OR 7:06) pace
Coming into this leg, I could already feel the fatigue in my legs. I questioned how well I could do and when I finished, I was convinced that I had run something around an 8:00+ pace. The course was written out as 8.1 miles, however, both my vehicle's odometer and another runner's GPS clocked the run at 8.5 miles. So despite feeling horrible on this run, I may have very well maintained my original pace; Awesome. However, dehydration had me slurring my speech after I finished. =\
Danny, as long as I give you the clocked mileage, you were again spot on! Impressive.
7.5 miles in 1:00:49
Going into Leg #26, I was lucky to be able to walk (more to come on that). The entire 7.5 miles felt like a shuffle and a complete lack of sleep both hurt (no recovery) and helped (hilarious tangent thoughts while running kept me entertained) me here. I rounded a corner that I knew was only 0.2 miles from the finish, looked at my watch, and thought "No fucking way! I'm going to hit one hour flat again." Haha. I was even MORE surprised at my pace this time around. More importantly, I was just happy to be finished.
Danny, it looks like your predictions finally broke down. But two out of three ain't bad at all.
It's always odd for me to come back to "real life" after this kind of activity. 30 hours in an SUV with five other people I had never met before running around New England at all hours of the day and night, depending on one another constantly... It's a situation not many people would put themselves in, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat! And without doubt, we are all very close friends now. On top of that, events like this reinforce the idea that if I ever get good enough to have a shot at going pro, I would drop EVERYTHING to do it. I never feel more alive than when I'm in a race and I am glad I had the opportunity to participate in a TEAM based race this time. It was an experience that words will never live up to.
Stay fit. Stay healthy. Stay safe.