Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Relay Rehash: Part 2

For more of the relay please see: Relay Recovery and Rehash: Part 1

I left you all drooling for more at the end of Van 1's second leg (or at least curious as to whether or not we made it) - we were now 2/3 through, with only one more leg to motivate for!

At the crack of 6 AM, Van 1 was up and waiting for Mike to finish up Van 2's set of second legs - and for Chris to treck out on his third and final race...Mike came blazing in, but we were still not near the bloody matadors (read part 1 if you are lost)

Chris headed out on his 3+ miles and killed it - he was flying through his final leg and I was just ready to collect the baton for my last time in the relay - and start us out on the Cape Cod bike trail for a 5.1 miler.  Very pretty, a little off/odd on their monuments and mile markers along the way, but pretty none the less.  I am not going to lie - at this point, I was in pain - horrible quad dying type of pain, but hell pain makes me run faster (so I finish faster - it makes sense at the time).  I actually caught myself "pulling" myself up an invisible rope on one of the hills, to pretend I had help to propel me up...thank god i was semi-alone on that path...

Just hanging out - no big deal

One thing you must know about this relay, is they lie....they put these big 1 miles to go until exchange signs up, and so you begin to kick it in a little, and then it hits you that this is the longest last mile you have ever run in your life! I am convinced that each of these was strategically placed a good 1.5 miles away from the exchanges, so the exchange workers could laugh at those of us who kicked it in too early, and were consequently dying at the finish (or maybe that was only me :) ). Just thought I would mention that, as it was one of my one pet-peeves throughout..... 


Needless to say, I finished, tired and in a wee bit of pain - but...i could see the red cape of the matador at the exchange just before me, and I had passed 4 other teams in the process (not that I am counting).  Tripp sped ahead on his third leg, a quick 2.2 miler and promptly handed off to Jackie, who trampled the matadors during her run and rendered then no longer a threat! Jackie, who had not been feeling too hot earlier in the night/morning, busted out an insane time, and Laurie didn't let down - her quick feet got to Caitlin, who ran her glory run (1.8 miles) to finish up the relay for Van 1....ahead of the matadors.....making up 25 of the 30 lost minutes from the earlier legs, and all in one piece!

Van 1 headed back into the van and off to Provincetown for an insanely good breakfast at this little diner (think french toast made with vanilla custard, a breakfast burrito the size of your arm, and massive blueberry pancakes in maple syrup - don't worry, I drooled a little too) and then back to Truro to cheer on Van 2....I will not confirm, nor deny if the keg was tapped at some point during that time...

After cheering Emma in on her last leg of the relay, and ushering Sam out on his last leg - Van 1 packed it back up again (there was a lot of get out of the van and right back ins - I think that may have been more exhausting than running) and headed to the finish line.

You would think we would all be too tired to move after 3 grueling races each in less than 24 hours, less than 4 hours of sleep, and shuffling in and out of vans across eastern MA, to do anything but sit, and maybe drink some more beer....but low and behold, Tripp and Chris had other plans!

While we all waited for Mike to bring in the last leg for Van 2 and for Running on Empties as a whole, they decided to take out the trainer kite for kite boarding that Nate (the brewmaster) had so nicely packed in our van for our arrival at Truro's beach...Chris quickly tired and retired to beer and rest, while Tripp decided he didn't want to give in until he could "fly".  He didn't exactly fly, as the winds were too "squirrly" but he did get to play with the kite, and I got to take some cool pics...so it was a win-win.... 

Mike came blazing through the finishline, giving us a 25:38:10, and a 21st place overall, 13th in the mixed division (out of 217 teams!! not too shabby!).  We all tried to run over the finish line with Mike (and I was trying to get a photo) but he was literally blazing by (no one knows how he was still going so strong - bionic man) and we all had a little trouble firing our sore legs to run it with him!

Now that we were all back together again, van 1 & van 2 - we cheersed to a great relay, great results, and great friends - with some great beer I might add :)  We told stories of each leg in each van, drank some more beer, and decided to pack it up and head back to Boston - it is sad that what took us 25:38 to run in two days, took us only 2 hours to drive back...

The trooper award of the relay goes to Jackie, who not only killed her three legs, but then showered and got to work, to bartend until 1 AM! No sleep, sore legs, great attitude! A few of us went over to her bar and had some celebratory beers and apps, and then we were all off to crash in our own beds, and dream about the craziness that ensued just hours before...

Jackie, Laurie and Caitlin

Brewmaster Nate
In recap - 12 of us went into this, 12 of us came out of this - we came in 21st out of 217 teams, with an average pace of 8:04 min/mile - we came in with smiles and left with laughter - this was by far a definition of success! Thank you to everyone who contributed and participated and just plain rock! I am so happy I got to meet those of you who were new, and so blessed to get to share one of my loves (running) with some of my good friends!
My Relay Advice (if you are thinking about joining/signing up for one any time soon/future)

  • Sign up with at least one friend - you are going to want a familiar face out on the course and to maybe cry a little too in between/after legs (I was lucky to have 5, and meet 6 more).
  • Pack only enough to fit into a backpack, or small duffel, and still have clean underwear/sportsbra/shirts/socks for each leg (3 usually), as well as emergency weather apparal (something warm, something cool).  The pants aren't a necessity to pack 3 or 4, but I would recommend at least 2. Deodorant, hair brush, toothbrush & paste (or wisps), extra hair ties/hats, gloves, Garmin, sneakers & flip flops - definitely some flip flops to chill out in, a towel and a blanket & pillow.
  • Do not pack an immense amount of pre-cooked food, just the necessities - it not only takes up a lot of room in the already crowded vans, but it smells up the already smelly vans, and you will not feel good running after devouring it (if you even do eat it). Bagels & PB, bananas, granola bars, Luna Bars :), and trail mix (or GORP) work very well for in van snacks/food.
  • Plan to stop at least once, probably twice for "real meals" so you can get out of the van during your "off" legs and stretch out and digest and just plain chill. Plan to stop a couple more times if you have a port-a-potty phobia...on second thought, DO NOT sign up if you have a port-a-potty phobia, for everyone's sake.
  • If you think one case of water and one case of gatorade is enough, you're wrong...think at least two cases of water, and i guess one case of gatorade is fine (unless it is super hot, and then you need need those electrolytes!)
  • Never leave home without a magic stick or foam roller...we may or may not have had two magic sticks in our van
  • Always have more than 2 sets of night equipment - have a minimum of 2 sets per van (complete sets, trust me on that one - sweaty vests and headlamps are not my idea of fun).
  • Bring van paint and decorations, trust me - you will want to blast your team name, mantras and theme ALL over the vans! Or else you might feel like a stalker in a white van, telling kids you have candy in the back and they should get in....
  • Have fun with it - you don't need to kill yourself running out there, it is a TEAM event, and your teammates will work with you to get you through it - trust them, trust yourself, and have fun!
  • Make sure you take your time on recovery - this type of pounding on your body requires a marathon-like recovery....do not do any high intensity for at least 4 days post race, and even then take the following 7 days easy - cross-train, jog slow, elliptical....
LUNA bar heaven - makes a great post-race snack/pre-race breakfast
Oranges are great post-racing if you can't get food in...also keep
your night gear together, so it is easily accessible at  2 AM when you are
fumbling around for it before a 8 miler
Have you ever signed up for a 200-mile + relay? How did you like it? Would you do another one?

I have now signed up for and completed 2....they are one of those things you question yourself about all throughout and love yourself and the runners high when you are done with it.  They are a gratifying experience, and if you love team sports, it is a fantastic way to incorporate team into running! I would definitely do this one again, still contemplating signing up for the Ragnar one in two weeks, and would love to try Reach the Beach and Hood to Coast at some point in life - so if anyone needs a runner for those, please contact me :)

What is your favorite race day snacks?

I love dry cereal, GORP, and LUNA Bars during relays, dry cereal is my go to before a race and LUNA bars are great recovery options post racing, and oranges are great post race if you have trouble getting food in/down just after a race.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about your relay! I'd love to run a similar relay one day, this looks incredible!!


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