For relay newbies out there when you run an ultra you have the option to run 6 legs (instead of the usual 3) or you can run 3 double legs, essentially 3 long runs. Instead of being runner number 1 in a regular 12 man team you might be runner 1 and 2 or runner 1 and 7 for example. We are doing it the 3 long run way and the best part about it is getting to yell "running through" to all the volunteers as you enter an exchange and you still have one more leg to run. Hopefully I'll be able to muster an enthusiastic "running through" instead of a mean, sarcastic, I wish this run was over with one ;).
Let's break down my runs shall we?
I'm runner 3 and 4 for the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage. I'm kind of obsessed with analyzing elevation and don't trust those maps they provide on the Ragnar website so I plugged my runs into mapmyrun.com to give me a more realistic view of my run.
Run #1 - Legs 3 and 4 - 12.1 miles total distance (well 12.3 according to mapmyrun.com)
These 12+ miles will take our team east of Birch Bay to start our journey towards Bellingham. They wind you around a lot in this relay to make sure and get the total team distance to around 200 miles so it is kind of annoying seeing that I'll basically be running in a box for a few miles, but I understand the whole 200 miles thing is the Ragnar way.
The first part of this run is yes gradually uphill but gradual is the key word and I'm going to try not and focus on that and remember that the last half is all gradually downhill. Goal will be to try and not "race" this 12 miles but treat it like a slow long run...aiming for a 9:45ish pace. According to Ragnar's handy dandy pace calculator I should be running this around 11:30, so this run will probably be my warmest.
Run #2 - Legs 15 and 16 - 10.8 miles total distance
This run takes us south of Mount Vernon along the Skagit River and then we start heading West to make our way over to Anacortes. NOTE: should probably wear bug spray on this run.
This run is SUPER flat so depending on how my legs feel I'm just going to aim for a consistent pace and stay hydrated and fueled so I can prepare for 10 miles on no sleep the next morning. Should be running this leg around 9PM so I'll be decked out in reflective gear and hopefully enjoying a cool evening run.
Run #3 - Legs 27 and 28 - 10.1 miles total distance
Talk about saving the hardest run for last when I probably haven't slept and already run 22 miles...yeah! This run will be on Whidbey Island which is absolutely gorgeous so I'm hoping the scenery will distract me from that 7% incline. This run takes our team west of Oak Harbor then south directly on the Puget Sound towards Penn Cove. To say the running on Whidbey Island is gorgeous is a huge understatement. Running as the sun comes up on this island is seriously one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had in past years. I should be running this around 8AM so cool temps will be very welcome.
|Supporting Holly last year on Whidbey Island|
Surprisingly I'm not super stressed out about this relay despite the fact that I really haven't run much high mileage in a row for this race. I'm fairly certain I will survive and might even be able to actually run most of it at a decent for me pace. I think I'm mostly looking forward to running with some new lady friends and having fun with them along the way...the running will be an added bonus/challenge.
Oh and how could I forget our sweet logo!? My brother and his friends have a clothing company along with a super talented designer who made this for us! Thanks Jon, Jeff and Swagger and Young!
|Yes...those are boobs!|