I've always shunned away from having to run the first leg of the Del Sol Ragnar Relay. That very first leg is extremely difficult. 8.7 miles, mostly uphill. But we have a few injured runners and a few novice runners in our van, so I decided to finally run it. Earlier this week I asked my wife if she'd be interested in going with me to Wickenburg and being my support vehicle while I ran it. I really wanted to gain some confidence that I could do it. She said yes. The plan was to leave at 8am. That would put us there at 9:30am. I figured it would take me about an hour and 45 minutes to run. Then we could go to our favorite restaurant, Anita's Cocina. Well we after getting up a tad late, cleaning up dog poop, packing a bag so I could change my clothes, dropping stuff off at Good Will, and gassing up the Kia, we finally got on the freeway at 10am. Still, it was cloudy out and the weather was beautiful. About 30 miles outside of Wickenburg we drove through some heavy rain. But when we got there it had cleared up and stayed dry the whole time. It was cooler than I thought it would be, but it was nice. I stretched out and started to run. The first 1.75 miles is actually downhill. Then you turn south on Vulture Mine Road and you start the climb. It was around mile 2 that I saw my wife for the first time. She went to a Walgreen's or something to use the restroom, but they didn't have a public one. She didn't think I had made it to Vulture Mine Road yet, so she drove back down looking for me. Then she turned around and found me. She asked if I wanted water, but I didn't take any until mile 3. I was feeling pretty good. At about 4.1 miles I told her I was almost half way there and I still felt good. But right about at mile 5 it started getting difficult. I knew I only had 3.7 miles to go, so I pushed on. At mile 6 I contemplated throwing in the towel. But then I thought, "I didn't drive all the way out here to only run a partial amount." The hardest part was at 6.7 miles. My wife had stopped to get me some water, so I started walking. I probably only walked about 30 feet, but it was a steep incline. I said to myself, "I only have 2 miles to go, and I know the last three quarters of a mile is downhill." So I powered up and kept going. At mile 7.7 I imagined seeing the One Mile to Go marker. I could also see the top of the hill I needed to get to. I kept plugging along and got to the top. It didn't seem like it was really dowhill until the last 0.3 miles. I made it. It was difficult, but I'm glad I did it. I'm still real sore, so I hope I can get some quality runs in over the next three weeks so that I have no problems running my next two legs.