Monday, May 9, 2011

Relay Recovery and Rehash

Cape Relay Rehash: 

So, as you may know, I spent Friday and Saturday running from Easton, MA to Truro, MA - a 189 mile treck by foot with 11 fantastic friends/runners/athletes.  As grueling this is on the body, it is truly a fantastic experience, that I would recommend for anyone who enjoys adventure, running, or all of the above! This is my second go around with the 13 Cape Relay, and it was just as fun, or funner than the year before! Not because it was a different team or people or time in my life, but because I knew what to expect, but was still happily surprised and anxious (you can never predict a running or athletic event, the weather, the actions, the outcome).  I ran it with a great mix of old and new friends, and we got through the two days with smiles, laughing, cheers, positivity, and encouragement - not an ounce of negative or bad blood.  

Captain Chris before leg 1
After weeks of endless emails from our fearless captain, Chris, we were finally placed in our respective vans, with our respective legs assigned and our not so respective van decor ready to roll.  I was place in Van 1, picking up where Chris left off, and handing off to Tripp - it was a pleasant sailor sandwich I must say.  Tripp and I rolled up to DCR's Borderland State Park in Easton, MA, promptly 30 minutes late, but don't worry - we still had time to check in, claim our "vegas gold" t-shirts, pile our bags into the already packed van and wish Chris good luck as his 10:45 AM cannon shooting start was off!

Heat 10:45 AM Starting Line

Van 1, looking damn good and excited to get going!
Chris was thoroughly pumped for the start
The first 3 miles of the 1st leg and entire relay was an unexpected trail run, which although it was hott and daunting, Chris crushed and sailed through the next 3 miles to meet the rest of Van 1 and myself, waiting to run my first of three legs for the day - a 5.8 mile run through dirt roads and new greenery - yay allergies! I am not too proud of my first leg, as I was a bit anxious, started out too fast, hit the dirt (which was now swirly around my face) and realized how hot it really was mile 2 I had hit a wall! I mean really, mile 2 of 5.8?! Well my most awesome van was waiting for me only a half mile up the road with gatorade (which I will not be able to drink again for probably 10 years after the amount consumed in 25 hours), cheers, and encouragement that there really was a down hill only a few paces away....breaking through the next 3.3 miles was tough, but when I saw Tripp waiting at the exchange 2 to grab my purple sparkly wrist snapper baton (oh yeah, those snap bracelets we had when we were itty bitty were the batons), I put on the jets...

Tripp was off and I was sweaty, tired, and in need of some of that keg sitting in the back of the van, but alas, I had 2 more legs to go...oh yes I forgot to mention we had a world class brewer on our team and yeah....we got our own brew and keg for the relay :)

Jackie handing off to Laurie - it was hot! and it wasn't just the ladies running!

Tripp handed off to Jackie, who handed off to Laurie, who handed off to Caitlin - and at around 3 PM Van 1 was through the first sixth of the race and off for subs, thank you very much to Jackie's boyfriend and her brilliant idea to go hit him up for some mob-themed sandwiches for lunch/dinner - let's just say my Vito Corleone did me good for my next two legs...

Did I mention I had an awesome van?

Van 2 admittantly had a rough race...they not only had the longest # of miles cumulatively (20 more than Van 1 I believe), but because of those extra miles, they were running longer and resting less (which means inevitabley, we were resting "more" and running "less") Greg started Van 2 off with a nice 8.2 miler, while Nate (our resident brewmaster) clocked in a very impressive 10.4! Nate handed off to Karin, who passed it to Emma, who handed off to Sam, who handed off the Mike, and low and behold Chris was about to start his second leg at the crack of 9 PM. 

reppin the LUNA Chix gear for my night run
Now you have got to know one thing about what I love about these overnight races - I love, love the night legs! It is a little creepy I know, as they are dark, lonely, and on sketchy roads with very little shoulder to run on - but the serene feeling that comes from being alone with the sound of your steps pacing along your run, and the soft sound of your breathing calming you down - well there is nothing like it! I also may or may not enjoy looking like an alien with all the headlamps, butt lamps, neon vests, flashlights, etc...

Going into Leg 2 of the relay for Van 1, we were a collective 30 minutes or so behind our predicted finishing time, and were in need of some inspiration...cue Nate and the matadors...Nate had mentioned trying to beat this one team, called the Matadors, because they were running with red capes and drawn on mustaches - and it plain annoyed him....knowing that little tid bit was apparantly enough to light a fire under our bums and we were off to start Leg 2!

Chris passed the sparkly purple baton off to me at about 9:45ish and I took off for my 7-miler through the hills.  It started out awesome with a nice downhill and I actually caught up to and passed my first runner of the relay, and was experiencing that night running runners high (explained above) - until....the hills up....there were a cumulative 4 i believe throughout the whole run, with a wopping 2.5 + taking me from mile 5 through 7....needless to say, this is where my quads screamed out in contempt.

I had to stop to walk part way through the 2.5+er (not proud of it, but my quads were dominant) and was greated by my absolutely amazing van, with more gatoride and a positive cheer that the hills were going down in just a few turns....that didn't exactly happen the way they were telling me it would, but I did get to end the leg on a nice downhill - which meant I got to pick up speed and feel like I was finishing strong, even if my legs felt like jelly. Tripp took the baton and was off for his 5.9 miler.

Everyone took turns driving

Some enjoyed it more than others....

After Tripp's leg, Jackie and Laurie got to run the Cape Canal, which was a route I had the pleasure of running last year, but a little new format.  Jackie tackled half of the canal and handed off to Laurie who crossed the Sagamore Bridge on the Cape and ran half the other side of the canal - all the while, Chris is pedalling next to them, talking them through the dark, sketchy routes.  Chris was a little bike happy, and decided to ride alongside Caitlin for her 6 mile leg 2, and the two of them prevailed to bring Van 1 to sleepy time...

Our make shift "beds"

Yes it is still light out and I look like I am going to bed - you
try to keep busy for 6 hours in a school parking lot! I was actually just
really pumped for my bag of cereal I biggie
To be continued...

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