Monday, June 25, 2012

Epic Oregon Relay 2012 - What an experience!!

Our team, Fueled by Fine Wine at the starting line. This was my first relay experience. I spent quite a bit of time reading blogs trying to figure out how to pack well for this adventure. I prepared by upping my regular training with a few days of doubles followed by another run the next day. Basically simulating what I would be doing in the relay by running 3 times in about 36 hours. I was in Van 2, which meant after our first runner from Van 1 began, we had several hours to kill before our first Van Exchange. We chose to go for a yummy breakfast at Murrayhill Cafe and then stop at Walgreens for some last minute essentials. 

Van 2 - all decorated. 

 My drawing of Cyndie and her wine glass...

 Midway point of my first leg 3.4 miles in 84 degrees - amazingly enough I smiled for the photo. As luck would have it our first really warm weather so the next 2 miles really sucked. I got out of the city, which was nice.. but the farmers burning fields did not make running in the high heat any more bearable... I stopped and walked for a minute when I thought my lungs were going to explode. 

And the hand off after the first leg- thankfully Cyndie didn't get a photo of me starting to throw up... Somehow I still managed 10 min/miles - so happy about that. And that I didn't pass out. 

I recovered quickly and changed in the the back of the van . Here we are all matchy matchy..waiting to give Amy some support on her leg...

Pretending to sleep at Scio High..I might have gotten 10 minutes of sleep.
This was the second Van Exchange point at Scio High School. We got showers here which was an experience in itself. We quickly had to check modesty at the door, as the shower situation was a center shower with 5 or 6 heads all around the pole. We planned for about 90 minutes of rest, which made it even harder to sleep, knowing each minute that passed, was one less minute of sleep... the other team made amazing time so when we got up we realized that our first runner had about 5 minutes to get ready to run. How Kelli pulled that off, is still a miracle!!

Leg 2 - Middle of the night run.. My long leg was 8.6 miles at 1:00 AM. The run started in the city.. which now, one week later, I can't recall the name of. I was following 2 other runners, who thankfully quickly noticed we had missed our first turn. We got settled into our straightaway down Highway 34 and about 2 miles in the lights were gone.. It was me, my Road Noise reflective vest which allowed me to hear my music without the danger of wearing headphones at night, and my headlamp. I kept hearing some animals off in the distance and my overactive imagination started worrying about coyotes. (For the record, I later found out that the "coyotes" were actually cows.) The temperature was great.. but it is a little disconcerting having cars whiz by at 55 mph+. Not a ton of traffic, but enough to keep me praying that no one was drunk or texting. Handed off to Melanie and then changed my clothes in the gas station parking lot. I averaged 10/min miles again here.. 

Saturday morning - we got to Corvallis High School around 6am and were able to rest for about an hour or so.. I think I actually fell asleep! This was a huge feat for me. We grabbed breakfast at Panera and coffee at Dutch Bros. Between adrenaline and the coffee- I was super hyper before my last leg...

 Me and my running buddy Melanie

Chilling/Stretching - waiting for the final Van Exchange
Leg 3 was amazing. It was definitely warm, but my body felt good and I was just going to give it my all. I ended up passing 4 people, which translates into 4 'kills' in the relay world - which I was super excited about. Another team had purchased a garden sprayer and was hosing down other runners which was a HUGE godsend. I was able to douse myself with ice water a couple of times and just tried to keep pushing. I finished this leg with 9:20 min/miles. The runners high of this leg lasted a while.

We finally made it to Eugene... 

Amy leading us to the big finish!!

Team photo at the Finish Line

 Family at the finish line...

Best beer ever!!

We spent some time celebrating with our team at Alton Baker and then headed over to my friends house to for my ice bath.....

Best tips/advice, best things we brought, etc
 ziplocs for each running outfit (and the wet/smelly clothes after each run)
stretching whenever you can
elevating legs and compression leggings after each run
IT Stick or, as our team renamed it - "The Love Stick"
Foam rollers
Marianne's Rice Crispy Treats
a team of wonderful friends

Excited for another relay adventure... next year!!!