Our Team place 395 out of 432 teams. We were 121st out of 138 in our division. Our average pace for the team was 9:16 and the total time it took the 10 of us to cross the finish line after completing 200 miles was 29:40:28.
Heading into Registration in Franconia, NH
I did this relay to try to step out of my comfort zone, to push myself, physically and mentally, and to have a lot of fun. I think all in all it was a success. I had a blast. Sure there was tough times, but we had so much fun. It is amazing what you will find hysterical on little to no sleep!
Who knew Santa was such a ladies man?
I would say that I was more drained mentally than I was physically, and let me tell you, I was sore and tired after my runs so that just lets you know how mental this whole thing was! I like my sleep – a lot! I go to bed really early and like to get in 8+ hours every night. I like my routine and schedule and I like organization and cleanliness. All of that HAS to go out the window when you sign up to do a multiple person ultra relay. There is only so much organization you can do in a Dodge Caravan with 5 other people – I did try though!
I was the 10th runner in a team of 10 (most teams were 12 but there were some teams with as few as 1 or 2 members!) Since I was the 10th runner, I was the last one to run. I felt like for the first 10 hours of the race that we were on a driving trip and not a running race. We got lost, we missed turns. Roads were closed due to Irene from a few weeks ago. Things were a mess. We got frazzled and then we recovered and kept on.
Steven and Debra reading Maps to figure out where we are supposed to go
It was hard watching everyone else toe up to their start line and I knew I had HOURS before I got to run. I just wanted to become apart of the race and for a while I felt disconnected. However, eventually it was my turn for my first leg. It was 8pm on Friday, the weather was in the high 40′s and I was ready!
*for those who read my blog regularly you know how much I love cold running!
Afterwards, I felt good. However, good soon became, not great, and then bad! I think I might have fall allergies and sometimes when I run in the fall from breathing too much through my nose I must get something from the air and I can’t stop sneezing. It has happened before in fall races last year and it definitely happened this time as well. After I stopped sneezing, I lost my voice, my throat hurt and my eyes were dry. I felt horrible. I knew I needed to rest up before my 9 miler up hill at 4am. I tried to sleep a bit and warm up from the cold temps. I just felt horrible though. As I toed the line to start my 9 miles I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish all 9. If I did finish I knew my time wouldn’t be great.
It was pitch dark, I was alone on the roads and it was 4am. I was nervous, I felt sick and I was not in the mood to run. There were so many times I just wanted to stop and be done. However, I knew I could do this. I mentally had to tell myself to put one foot in front of the other. When I no longer could do that I had to think about anything else. I started to pretend that I wasn’t doing RTB, that I wasn’t in NH, that I was in Burlington, that it was Saturday morning and that Mama was next to me and we were just doing a typical training run like we’ve been doing the past couple of weeks. During our training runs we don’t always talk so it was easy to deal with the silence and still try to keep that mentality. I pretended that my labored breathing and heavy foot falls were hers and that it was just the two of us, and the time that it took didn’t matter. Having that mental image and that frame of mind I was able to complete all 9 miles in a decent time. I said it before after the Mad Marathon and it was true for those 9 miles in the middle of NH – I couldn’t have completed them without her!
After I finished my night run I knew my next run wouldn’t be until around 1 the next day. I wanted to sleep for a little bit in between since it had been a long day already with the driving and the two runs already. As soon as I crossed the finish line I got back in the van and fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later in hot, wet clothes. It was the most disgusting feeling I have ever had. I changed immediately and tried to stretch and relax. I felt really good. Still congested and sickly but not too bad. I really wanted to bang out a faster time for my next run since it was my last and shortest distance.
I am really happy that I was able to do under 8 min/mile averages especially with being sleep deprived, lack of proper fuel (after my previous runs nothing sounded good to me so I ate very little if at all for refueling and fueling for my next run) and probably slightly dehydrated. I was so glad to be done! After my leg we relaxed some more and then headed to the beach to watch Betsy run in. But before that I had to have an impromtu photo session!
Finally, we see Betsy running. We got the great idea of running through the finish line with her as a whole team. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did not have that last leg. She had to run in the sand for a while before she could cross the finish line. The little bit that I ran in was SO HARD!
After we finished we got our finishers medals and had a group photo taken with Van1 and Van2.
I would definitely do this race again. I had so much fun. I was out of my comfort level but somehow running through discomfort helps to adjust to your surroundings, at least for me. Mentally I don’t think I could have been thrown into a van full of people I don’t know and be able to get along just fine. Running helped clear my head and it was a great time! I would do a few things differently next time though (having 12 people on a team would have helped) but all in all a great time, and am so happy I did it. Looking forward to some more relays in my future. But not too near, I need to catch up on my lack of sleep!