Monday, September 20, 2010

how i ran 26.55 miles in 45hrs 37mins 55secs

my 1st ever marathon took me 4:43:13. my marathon PR is 4:15:25. so why did it take me over 45 hours to run the same distance? where do i even begin....

race #9 of my 12 in 2010 resolution was this past weekend, the reach the beach 200 mile relay in new hampshire. for those of you that have never done this race before (or something like it), its an extremely unique/insane experience. for those of you that have done it before, we all know were crazy. its that simple. but its awesome. and i recommend you add it to your list of "things i should do before i die". (ok maybe not, but its pretty sweet)

total distance: 209.06 miles
oldest runner: 77
youngest runner: 18
average age: 38
males: 2752 (55.78%)
females: 2182 (44.22%)

winner: "washed up NH XC all stars"- 19:53:31 (pace- 5:42) (in-freaking-sane)

i packed all my stuff on thursday night since we were leaving very early friday morning. i had to lay it all out so i made sure i didnt forget anything. the apples i had got left in the fridge. whoops.

it sure takes a lot of crap to run a 24 hour race

still not sure how i got it all to fit

in the rtb handbook they map out the elevation chart for the entire race. doesnt this look like fun? (if you split the page down the middle from top to bottom, the left side is van 1, the right side is van 2)

read: shoot me before i even start running

last year we met up as a team and drove up together with both vans but this year was different because i had to drop my car off along the way so i could drive home after my 3rd leg to attend my brothers wedding saturday night. i picked up lee in scarborough at 5:45am and van 1 runners met at the york maine park & ride and headed up to the mountain. as we were driving along the highway, lee (sitting in the back seat) casually said "guys, i think our stuff just flew out of the top carrier". um... WHAT!? we looked behind us to see all of our sleeping bags and the contents of mistys tote bag all over the highway.


nothin like dodging highway traffic to collect your stuff

we eventually made it to cannon mountain and went inside to stay warm and wait for our 12:40pm starting time. it was about 49 degrees and raining. gross. we entertained ourselves with some pizza and people watching. this was one of my favorite team outfits we saw during the morning

our team before the start

andrea, kelly, and misty modeling our sweet team shirts

run faster finish sooner

fortunately for me the rain subsided and at 12:35 they announced the team names for those departing in the 12:40 wave. with ten seconds left they did a countdown..... it was go time!!

only 209 miles left to go!

elevation chart for my first leg

taking off from the start line was really exciting, but scary at the same time. i didnt want to disappoint my team so i wanted to run real fast! but shortly after leaving the start we ran down a very steep hill which was all muddy from the rain we had all night/into the morning. i literally creeped down the hill so slow because i didnt want to fall. i figured that was a safe decision and i could explain later. there were a few little hills throughout the starting mile or so, and then it was smooth sailing after that. since we couldnt have headphones for this race i tried to sing to myself. unfortunately the only song i could think of was ke$ha "your love is my drug" and i sang it over and over and over. i could not for the life of me think of the lyrics to ugh! but overall i loved this leg of the race. i even did a little dancing for matt as he took my picture coming down the road.

note to self- dancing really tires you out

special thanks to my teammates for the water stops along the way

attempting not to choke on my water

leg 1: 7.95
difficulty: moderate
time: 1:07:07
pace: 8:26

at the first transition area after i handed off the slap bracelet to jason (oh yeah, we had reflective slap bracelets as our relay batons!), andrea showed me what she had done to the van while i was gone! clearly we needed to promote ourselves (and it proved helpful at the finish line.... you will find out about that later)

this is the view from the third leg of the race, which i ran last year. it was so foggy last year you couldnt see any part of mount washington. this year you could just see a little bit of the bottom. i think this hotel (mt washington summit hotel) and the scenery along this road is beautiful

at one transition area early on someone went around and drew a bicycle on everyones van. they must have thought they were pretty clever.

last year jason and i took a picure infront of mount willey...

so we thought we sould take the picture again this year

and then we went into the lake for a little ice bath. this lake was freaking COLD!!! i thought the ocean was cold enough, but i swear this lake must have been 10 degrees colder. it was ridiculous. but like i said before, people who run this race are crazy in the first place, so of course we were in the lake anyway.

at the next transition area i saw this guys hat and fell in love!! of course i asked to take his picture (who wouldnt want a pink dunkin donuts fleece hat?!). he was happy to comply with my request, and then we starting talking to his team and soon became friends. he was a part of a 4 man ultra team (c.r.a.z.y) and we ended up seeing them a lot over the next 12 hours. we lost them somewhere along the way but it was great to meet up with them and chat when we could.

*fun fact: after posting this pic below in my facebook album, my step brother wrote a message saying it was his friend josh! small world.

seriously though, who wouldnt want a pink DD fleece hat?!

we continued to add things to the van as we went along... thought this was a good one, just incase
luckily it didnt open again... including when i left. forgot my sleeping bag inside.

van 1 finished almost exactly 5 hours after we started, which had us at an 8:00 pace. we were off to a pretty good start! once our 6th runner handed off to van 2 we headed into north conway for some dinner at a little cafe. we then headed to the van transition area to try to rest before our van started again. our dinner was SO good and i recommended it to Rebecca ... but i couldnt remember the name of the cafe. fail. we also got ZERO rest at the TA due to us girls in van one getting giddy and having middle school sleep-over like conversations. good times.

i was pretty sleepy at this point but alas, i had to get out of the van at about 10pm and head out for my next run. last year at this time my knees were absolutely killing me, but i felt really good this year and was pretty excited for my night run.

getting the handoff from our van 2 member

on paper this leg looks pretty tough but it really wasnt that bad

leg 2: 3.91 miles
difficulty: easy
time: 32:04
pace: 8:12

after finishing my 2nd leg i tried to fall asleep in the van. definitely wasnt happening. i was really hungry so i was looking forward to getting to the end of beckys leg where we would be able to get some american chop suey at the community church. this was definitely the best TA of the whole race... clean bathrooms, hot food, homemade cookies... score! andrea took off from this spot and we followed her in the van. she was not pleased with all the hills on her leg. ill just say there were a lot of swears in what was supposed to be a "quiet zone". (im pretty sure she wont be doing her same legs next year)

we met up with van 2 at lakes region community college at about 3:40am and headed inside to get a few hours of sleep. last year this place was packed... we were seriously the ONLY team sleeping inside. was there a memo that we werent supposed to do this? oh well...

6am came VERY early, and off we went again. we brushed our teeth and packed up the van and headed to dunkin donuts before meeting up with van 2 at the bear brook TA. they have an awesome firemans breakfast here full of coffee, eggs, sausage, pancakes... but of course i had to run right from here so i unfortunately did not partake in this breakfast. in hindsight its probably a good thing because this leg was the most difficult run i have ever had in my whole life.

leg 3: 8.49
difficulty: hard
time: 1:18:34
pace: 9:15

sad to say, i left shortly after i finished my third leg due to my brothers wedding starting at 4pm back in maine. but my team pushed on without me (i know, i know, i didnt think they would be able to either... hehe) and reached the beach a little after 6pm.

my total miles: 20.35
time: 2:57:45
pace: 8:44
team total miles: 209.06
"run faster finish sooner" finish time: 28:51:27
pace: 8:16
place: 168th out of 430 teams

remember when i said our twitter advertisement on our van helped out at the finish line? i had been tweeting back and forth throughout the race with @sarahhodges and she saw our van and went over to meet our team! sadly i had left for the wedding, but she took her pic with andrea for me :)

i was also texting a friend of mine from high school as well as the twin sister of one of my brothers friend all throughout the night, but sadly we never caught up to them (both of their teams had earlier starting times that we did). it was really great to keep in touch with them throughout the race and hear how they were doing!

my drive home was tough... running on just 2 hours of sleep it was tough to just stay awake! but i made it to the wedding on time and had a great time with family and friends

so you might be asking yourself… "your reach the beach distance was 20.35 miles… where did the other 6.2 miles come in?" well, if you have been reading my blog for awhile you know i dont usually make the best decisions. this weekend was one of those times. i ended up running a 10k race on sunday morning. yup, not so smart.

this was sarah's first race back after having her baby so i told her i would go and run it with her. i figured it would be a good cool down for my legs. i woke up at 7:30 completely regretting the decision i had made.

whether i was ready or not, off we went along the coast of portland maine on a beautiful september morning and the finish line was none other than the beach!!

10k finish line...i reached the beach!

post race with my biggest fans :)

portland trails to ale 10k:
pace: 12:34

so there you have it. 26.55 total miles from 12:40pm on friday afternoon to just 5 seconds before 10:18am sunday morning. lucky for me there was free pizza and beer at the end of the 10k race!! needed that. a lot.

9 races down, 3 to go. coming up: maine marathon on october 3rd! i had decided to do the half a few weeks ago but im gonna go for it. hardcore, baby. (read: probably not a good idea but im gonna do it anyway)

94.45 miles down, 32.4 to go


  1. Fun recap! Our teams were sooo close! We finished 171 with almost the exact same paces. Nice work! That last leg was killer.

    Side note: I have the same exact running shoes - a pink and a blue pair. They're packing some serious mileage these days!

    Glad you had so much fun! I can't believe you ran the next day - crazy!

  2. I LOVE relays. I can't wait to do another one. And you're insane for doing a 10k after. wow.

  3. I can't believe you ran a 10K the next day. That is just a little bit nuts. And you are tight about the last leg for the first runner--it is a killer. It just goes on and on and on with that great hill in the middle. Be there next year? My team (the Rosie Ruiz Fan Club) is thinking about trying the new Spring version in Massachusetts, too.