Monday, May 21, 2012

Reach the Beach Ultra Relay (the before)

Reach the Beach Ultra Relay
The before and leading up to my leg

So much to divulge on Reach the Beach this past weekend, that putting into one post would be mind numbingly boring and impossible to read in one sitting.This was my 4th relay, however my first time doing it ultra style, so there was so much to learn- what I did right and where to go from here. I love coming back from these relays because it always renews my love for the run and especially all the camraderie and joy it can bring into your life. Cheesy? maybe. Truth? Absolutely.

So we'll start out with "The Before"

About 1/2 way through my work day on Thursday I was looking over arrival times of the rest of my team for later that night and I realized Scott and I came in at the same exact time. I texted him if he had a layover anywhere, and sure enough we were on the same connecting flight from Baltimore to Boston!! I normally travel alone and meet my party at XYZ destination, so its always a treat to get to fly with someone and actually talk on the plane - especially because I haven't seen Scott since October and it would be nice to catch up.  (as a side bonus, that meant I would be able to save some of 50 shades of Freedom for return flight... yup, priorities in check)

We both had free drink coupons complimentary of Southwest, and considering heavy drinking is always a ritual the night before a relay (I mean, ya carb loading comes in all forms folks), he told me that for my flight from Nashville to Baltimore get 2 drinks (the max you can order on a SW flight) and ask to be able to pour yourself so I can stowe the alchol for later in the night- a grand idea. I order a cranberry vodka and when they brought out my bottle of vodka they had brought it to me capless- crap. Obviously Scott had a simliar experience on his flight from Tampa to Baltimore, so our plan of free drinks for later was unravelling. We'll get to further unravelling later...

So last week I had posted that we hadn't decided on which runner we wanted to be and I had it narrowed down to runner 3 or runner 5, with a strong conviction toward runner 3 so I could get my longest run out of the way. So shortly after meeting up with Scott in food court he asks me with some skepticism what made me decide on runner 3. I thought the answer was obvious- longest run first to get it out of the way, duh!

Apparently even though I PROMISE you  I did look at all the elevation charts for these runs, I underestimated how to interpret the ease / challenge of these runs. He pointed out that because we are running it ultra style, we have to factor in the total elevation gain and elevation loss for our entire runs to get an idea of what our body was going to be put through. Runner 3 had 2473ft elevation of uphills, and just as many downhill 2487 ft, now factor that with the mileage I normally don't run and it wouldn't be wise. 

Since no one else STILL hadn't chose their leg (nevermind the race is only the next day) he gave me the option of runner 1, 5, or 6. No way I was going to be the last runner, and the fact that runner 1 had 750 ft uphill climb (a ski lift) in the first 1.5 miles, I decided on runner 5 (nevermind the fact that runner 1 was 28 miles and runner 5 was 33 miles.)
*sidenote- the hardest runner was #4 with 39 miles.... it wasn't decided until driving to the start line on who was going to tackle that beast (Scott) procrastination at its finest.*

Once we arrived in Boston we started to try and connect with those that had already landed- after many confusing back and forths with Kyle, we realized that Southwest flies into the International section of the airport, while every other flight across a few parking lots that you have to hustle and bustle through a skyway to get to. It was the better part of midnight before everyone connected and we were settled into the van and on the way to hotel.

Apparently Boston is SUPER lame and everything closes REAL early. Craig and Katy had flights that came in around 9:30ish so they had quickly got the van and headed to grocery store to get our food before they closed at 11. Since they were cutting it super close before getting kicked out of store, they didn't have time to get alcohol. After a few ppl were calling around to their Boston friends we realize that you can't even really buy alcohol after 11pm anyway--- CrAzY TaLk! Reluctantly we decide to head to our hotel and grab some food on way there, however it has be fast food because no restaurants are open on the outskirts after midnight-- so far Boston you're really making us mad.

On our never ending journey to figure out how to bypass construction and get in the general vacinity where we need to go, we realize Scott booked the room by the finish line... not the start- aka 1.5 hours away from the airport and over an hour of where we needed to be in relation to start line. Luckily Craig happened to be driving during our mad confusion on what were going to do about hotel and food, so he remained calm the entire time and never once raised his voice. He's definitely a 'go to person' in time of crisis because surely any one of us would have pulled over on the highway until a decision was made.

We decided we might as well make the drive to hotel and find some fast food that was still open around 1am. The only *hard limit* was McDonalds. We ended on Wendy's where I got my bacon fix and all was well with the world.

We got to hotel around 2ish- normally we would be breaking open the liquor and beer, but since none of that was to be found, we started prepping for next day outfits and comparing what others bought.

Apparently all the boys coordinated and bought the same pair of TIGHT spandex shorts- Scott showing off the shorts the boys bought to match-- they were perfection! You can't tell in the photo, but the hilarious part about the shorts was that there was an obvious difference b/n the length of the 2 patterns... it added even more charm to them.

When it was time for bed around 3ish, per usual all the guys piled into the same exact bed to sleep, and remained there till our bright and way too early wake up call at 7:30 am.

I maybe fell alseep around 4ish and kept tossing and turning all night. Large Starbucks coffee at 4pm apparently was a bad choice, and I was nervous that coming into the relay, I would have at best 3 hours of sleep...

The morning of
Right on schedule we get up at 7:30 so we have time to eat, shower, drive to the start, and have time to decorate before our 12:30pm start time. I tried to stock up on protein since I knew I'd be lacking during trip and went with omlet, 2 hard boiled eggs, yogurt, and some breakfast potatoes. No bacon served... le sigh.

We loaded up the van and were on road by 9, about 30 min later than anticipated. Loved the looks we got from everyone in the breakfast area

On the hour drive to the starting area, Craig and Scott got busy making our Robot head. The 3 guys are very much perfectionists when it comes to making things, so they had to measure Scott's eye length to make sure that the opening of the mouth is where one could see properly out of...
Their tediusness paid off because I think the end result is pretty hilarious ....

Craig used black duct tape to create cheetah spots on his yellow shorts. I kept referring to him as the Flinstones.

I'm aiming to have everything recapped before the week is out, so this is 1 of what will surely be 4 or so posts.... 


  1. OMGosh, sounds like a fab time...can't wait to hear more about the adventure...the picture of the boys in bed had me laughing...too funny!

  2. I LOVE the recap so far! Sounds like SO MUCH FUN - and I'm glad you got everything straightened out with the hotel/food/location.

  3. Were you in the actual city of Boston at all? There are 24 hour grocery stores actually in the city, which is where I live! The airport is on the outskirts of the city and the further that you get outside, things obviously close much earlier!

    1. Meant to add that I hope you had fun doing the relay!

  4. hilarious! can't wait to read the rest:)

  5. sounds like you had a great fun time!!!

  6. I want more! Am loving the shorts!

  7. shocked about boston. would not have expected the booze and food issue. can’t wait to read more :):)

  8. drinkin' pre-race, now that's my style. too bad it didn't work out as planned :)

  9. This is so awesome. I need the rest of the recap!!