Sunday, May 11, 2014

Relay Race Rundown

So I did a relay race Friday/Saturday.  I was invited to run for a charity organization by some people I work with.  I'll give a quick rundown of my legs and then give some random thoughts on the experience as a whole.

My first leg started somewhere north/east of Norwell and south of Weymouth around 3:30 Friday afternoon.  It covered 6.33 miles along a busy backstreet.  Road was pretty narrow - which I didn't like, and I wasn't really use to running races with no other runners - it felt a lot like one of my first runs in Groton CT 15 years ago when I didn't know where to run without traffic.  I think the series had us run on roads like this so that the vans could support the runners (water, etc) and, of course, so that the legs would eventually progress (vs. just wander around neighborhoods/town like most races).  In any case, I did pretty well: 7:21 pace overall:  7:22, 7:10, 7:17, 7:34, 7:17 and 7:15 (7:48 the last 1/3 mile).  I was pretty sore for hours afterward and a little worried going into the late night leg.

My second leg covered 4.44 miles somewhere in between Sandwich and Mashapee at 1:20am.  This was my 'easy' leg and I wanted to run it slower, but still well under 8s - so it was more of an excercise in pacing.  I ended up doing 7:31 overall: 7:39, 7:34, 7:39, 7:22 and 7:11.  Legs still felt like dog meat - but I think that was only partly from running, and mostly from being scrunched in a car.  At this point I was pretty happy about the first two runs, but had some serious concerns about getting the final leg in under 8s.

The final leg for me was kinda near Chatham - but the other side (Brewster?) at about 9am.  It went most of the way around Long Pond - which was very pretty - easily the best leg scenery wise.  I covered the 9.6 miles at a 7:35 pace - so a pretty good run considering my concerns.  Mile breakdown: 7:42, 7:44, 7:30, 7:32, 7:43, 7:28, 7:23, 7:59, 7:31 and 7:13.  1 hour and just under 13 minutes.  I gotta say I'm pretty happy with that - a good long run for 1 hour of sleep.  I'm also grateful that I got this leg, I think my feeling of achievement is tied-up a bit to the length of the runs - so I'm feeling good about knocking out a good longer one for team.  Total mileage was 20.3 or 20.4 in less than 24 hours.  

Thoughts on Ragnar?  Before I say anything - what an amazing job by volunteers.  I love to run, and really appreciate all the people that helped out.  For instance, after my first leg, there was a woman police officer (of course she gets paid, but I still consider them volunteers since it's not there normal gig) who's job it had to stop traffic for us, and  had been working since 7am, and had to keep working until 7pm.  I thanked her, but in my mind I was thinking, "damn that sucks!".  Also, our driver basically did a full time 30+ hour job for 6 people he'd never met - again, just incredible really.  I hate driving and could probably never do that without getting either real pissy or just giving up.

Loved the runs.  Always wanted to do a relay, and was lucky to get a good group in the van - very supportive, and made some new friends.  I'm not sure I was into the whole Ragnar vibe - seems like a lot goes into decorating the vans and costumes - and maybe not so much the training.  I got the sense many of the runners were not really looking forward to the runs and thought of the thing as more of a survival experience - but maybe that's a good thing - gets people doing stuff they wouldn't do this on their own.  Personally, I'm not sure I could do the thing again - mainly just lack of sleep. I'm a big sleep wimp - I need the sleep, and our team's "van 2" had a lot of short legs on their second round - which means our primary sleep time was too short.


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