Well hello there little blog....it's been a while, hasn't it? Since July 30th...wowza I'm a bad blogger. I actually have some good stuff to write about that I've done during this little hiatus...I've done a couple of relays - Ragnar NW Passage, and Hood to Coast. And since I can't possibly recap BOTH of these in one post (and I suspect people have read a LOT of Hood to Coast recaps these days) here's my Ragnar recap, and I'll get to Hood to Coast next...and I won't wait a month to do it, I promise! Oh, and this is going to be LOOOOONG, but it's a long race, right?
The Ragnar NW Passage runs from Blaine, up by the Canadian border, down to Whidbey Island, WA. It's a completely beautiful place to run. We lucked out and had an absolutely gorgeous place to stay at the home of our teammates, Jay and Dawn, on Anacortes. We drove up the night before the relay and were greeted with this view:
While I would have been perfectly content to just stay at the house, we actually did have to do some running too - so off we went on Friday morning, up to check in on a cold and rainy day.
|Michelle and I - ready to head out to the start|
|Michelle, Mike, Roy, Marjorie, me and Ed = Van 1|
|Me with Mike and Ed|
|Michelle making friends - love the 'stache and sideburns|
|Michelle and the angler fish team|
|Michelle and I with Homer - he seriously tried to run in this get up!|
|Team at the start|
This team is comprised of really experienced runners and we've all done lots of relays, so we didn't have any drama or second guessing, we just clicked along making our exchanges. My running wife Michelle was runner 4 and I was runner 5. Michelle injured herself about a month before the relay, and was nursing a sore foot/calf the entire time. She was a trooper though, and always had a smile on her face.
|Mike supporting me and giving me water. He kept trying to talk to me |
and since I was out of breath from running uphill...I shoved him off the shoulder of the road.
Yeah, I'm sweet.
As this was my first race in almost a year and I was still working on getting my speed back, I wasn't sure how my pace or endurance would be. I told the team I thought I could run 8:30/mile average and I came in on my first leg with an 8:23 avg pace, so I was really happy about that.
|Leg one = DONE!|
I felt good on this run and averaged an 8:16 pace. This little teeny girl passed me right out of the gate on the downhill but I almost had her at the end...if my leg had been another half mile long I would've had her!
After our last runner finished we again WENT BACK TO THE HOUSE TO SHOWER AND SLEEP...again with the yelling, I know, but I just can't get over the luxury of the whole thing.
You know what's super awesome about being able to go back home between running (besides the obvious shower/sleep thing I keep yelling about)? It's that your van isn't filled with a ton of gear! We didn't have sleeping bags, all our food, all our clothes, etc in tow with us - we actually had room to stretch out. We would just grab a bag with what we needed for that leg and we were good. It was so nice!
We headed out again for our last legs and enjoyed some beautiful scenery along the way:
|van one angels: me, Michelle and Marjorie|
|I'm sure this random guy was happy I photographed him coming out of the toilet...|
Oh yeah, I suppose we had to run too, huh? Back to that...Michelle's last leg was super hard - 6.4 miles with two huge hills in it.
|holy hills batman!|
My last leg was 4.5 miles long, and was rolling hills around this pretty little bay. I was happy that there were lots of trees because it was starting to get warm out, so I had shade and a nice breeze too.
|Trying to catch my breath after that last hill.|
Then we had a few hours to kill....idle minds delirous after relay running can be a dangerous thing. We set off in search of a fabric shop....we wanted to buy some faux fur....normal, yes? Mike had this great idea that we needed to make beards for the team to wear in honor of one of our runners, Jay.
|don't ask me what I'm doing here...it's night...I'm kind of delirious....|
So, we searched around this sleepy little town for a fabric store, to no avail, but found this random little knick knack shop that had a faux fur hat in it. The lady at the store thought we were crazy when we asked if we could borrow her scissors to cut the hat up. We plopped down on the curb outside the store and cut that hat up into goatees enough for the team. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the making of our homage to Jay...but I do have pictures of the end result:
|Deception Passers - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly = FINISHED!|
We ended up finishing in 29:29, which was good enough for 3rd place in our division (I think there might have only been 4 teams, but who'se counting?).
This was such a fun relay. Besides the amazing accomodations, it was also really well organized with the exchanges being super easy to get in and out of, and no congestion at all. It just made the logistics so easy when we didn't have to worry about when and if we were going to make it in before our runner.
I was also really happy with how my foot held up and how my running is progressing. I still am not feeling as fast as I'd like to be, but this was a great test for me, and I'm glad I came out of it with my foot feeling good.
Anyway, this has been a novel - thanks for reading if you made it all the way through! Next up - Hood to Coast! Which is guaranteed to be a shorter recap because I'm an awesome blogger and only took one picture...sigh...
Fitness Health and Happiness for Fitness Friday!