Monday, May 30, 2011

#rtbrelay : a twitter recap

"The Reach The Beach (RTB) Relay is the longest distance running relay race in the United States. The relay will consist of (a maximum of ) 12 person teams that will rotate through 36 transition areas as they cover the approximate 200 mile distance of the race. This means that each relay team member will run 3 legs of varying lengths and difficulty and will cover an average total distance of ~16.6 miles. There will also be an Ultra Distance division that will have a team limit of 6 members. In this case, the average distance covered per Ultra Distance Team runner would be ~ 33 miles. The runners will rotate in a set order once the race begins and will be obligated to follow this rotation until the final runner Reaches the Beach!"

so yeah, long story short... we did this last weekend. or a variation of what the above says.

so now for the long story long... im going to go out on a limb here and say that when my kids grow up (wait, im gonna have kids?! me?! I KNOW!), they're going to look back on some of the things our generation did when we were growing up and think we were freaking crazy. which is probably not far from the truth, but i sure as hell am going to tell them we had a great time doing what it was that we did!

one of those things our generation does right now is "twitter". or im sorry, we "tweet". my husband doesnt understand it so he thinks im weird. also probably not so far from the truth.

two years ago i joined twitter, i started this blog, i finished my first marathon, and i did my first ever "reach the beach" relay. i had no idea what i was getting myself into (in regards to all of those things, but since this is a blog about #rtbrelay, ill stick with that). i got hurt mid race (stupid IT band issues), i was sleep deprived, and majorly dehydrated... it was an experience like none other, and yet i had a blast. yay team wicked"!

here are some highlights of the tweets that came from me during the relay that year:

QOTD: "she could run the 200 miles by herself, i dont see why she needs a team". Thanks greg haha 5:53PM Sep 17th 

"im up at 4 to drive to a mountain where we will run 200 miles in 24 hours without showering and sleep in a van... what is this, the army?"4:04AM Sep 18th  

one leg down. Knee hurts. A lot. 4:54AM Sep 18th 

37.83 miles down. 280 minutes. Team wicked van 1 is averaging 7.4 minute miles :-) 5:41PM Sep 18th 

port-a-potties are awesome. 8:05PM Sep 18th 

If the team wicked van is a rockin with flashing lights....8:34PM Sep 18th 

"i didnt see that battery operated machine on our approved list" after we hear a vibrating noise coming from kellys lap 8:36PM Sep 18th
Our nap time turned into a coed giggling delerious slumber party like 12 year olds. Quite comical. So tired. 9:08PM Sep 18th 

Oh! I forgot all about this... got to raise my hand when asked during orientation"do we have any virgins in the room" he he 10:34PM Sep 18th

Direct quote from Leigh: "this whole thing has been pretty fun except for the whole running part" 2:41AM Sep 19th

Rise and shine! Someone is going to have to literally drag me out. Ugh. 6:18AM Sep 19th

IM DONE! Knee replacement monday should leave me in good shape for october 4th. And i still need to figure out this whole crying thing! 12:25PM Sep 19th

As of right now i have been awake for 40 hours with 2 hours and 20 minutes of sleep. 35 minute drive. Shower. Bed. Oh yeah. 7:57PM Sep 19th

Pretty much just bathed myself in icy hot 2:42PM Sep 20th

Tonight i am thankful for: icy hot, ice, ice cream, and bud light 8:59PM Sep 20th

sounds like fun, right? clearly it wasnt bad enough to steer me away, as i ran it again the next year. there was less knee pain that next year, more water so no dehydration (i guess i learned something), and again very little sleep (our van was full of girls who, at 3am, resembled more of a 6th grade slumber party... you try sleeping during that! haha... of course i had a huge part in that. shocking). go team "run faster, finish sooner"!

despite the many differences, both years were similar in that our teams set out to do one thing: reach the beach. we started at a mountain and ran 200ish miles, through the wind, rain, day and night, until we got to the sand. this year was no different... well, alright. thats a lie. i had a different team (#dirtylittlefreaks), in a different state (MA, not NH), and, well, alright, the experience was nothing, and i really mean NOTHING like the two years before it. BUT we still had the same goal: drink a lot of beer! just kidding...


and reach that f-ing beach we did. oh yeah, and there was some "tweeting" going on.

i now bring you the 2011 #rtbrelay: a twitter recap via the #dirtylittlefreaks and their supporters

i was running on very little sleep, so i was not impressed we had to sit through orientation

why are we doing this again?

orientation was boring, having had already read the 7,000 page handbook. but since i was a terrible super awesome team captain, i didnt make my team read the handbook pre race so they had to sit through it and learn about runner safety (dont get hit by a car, ie: wear a reflective vest/headlamp/blinking lights from 630pm - 630am), town cleanliness (please dont litter or do things on peoples personal property you wouldnt done on your own property), and the total let down that there would be no beer tent at the end (WTF?!)... but dont worry, youll get a mini lobster roll. sweet, $100 well spent.

our team pretty much almost got kicked out of orientation since we were too busy talking to each other, making fun of people (who us?!), and getting shhhhushed after cracking jokes. it probably didnt help that @gksarahj5 's phone went off mid orientation... and she answered it.


clearly not impressed with orientation, or @gksarahj5 's phone

after orientation we headed downstairs to get our race bibs and tshirts, and had about 10 minutes before kelly started off on our 200 mile journey. we had a gps system, but really all we had to do was follow these reflective arrows. how tough could that be? (we got lost three times.)



kellys ready to go!

after kelly ran straight up the mountain for a little over 2 miles, the rest of us headed to the transition area to drop off @kissing_frogs and wait for kelly. @kissing_frogs was really pumped, can you tell?

"im gonna put on my happy face and forget what ive gotten myself into..."

"...but i get to dress up cute with a reflective vest! thumbs up!"


so the order of our van went kelly, @kissing_frogs, me, @swimrjul, @fiftyforbilly, and kate. my first run started right after this sign:

clearly i was meant to run this leg :)

there was a bit of miscommunication among volunteers (PLEASE NOTE: im not dissing the volunteers, they did an OUTSTANDING job, better than ive ever seen before... just had a bit of a miscommunication issue amongst the different transition areas)... so i had to wear the vest @kissing_frogs was wearing after her hot/sweaty run (mmmmmmmm). i had a bit of difficulty.


theres too many holes (thats what she said?)


k i think i got it now...

lets do this!

being my first leg, i felt great. obviously.

leg 1: 5.91 miles
difficulty: moderate
time: 50:08
pace: 8:28

hr: high


@swimrjul took off after my first leg for another 6 miles, then i ran again. @fiftyforbilly, who had gotten hurt the week before the race, had re-joined the team but wasnt going to be able to run all the legs. so i picked up her first 3.3 miles. NBD. thats what captains are for, right?

@gksarahj5 snapped this pretty sweet action shot:

shhhh no one knows theres another bib under there

my heart rate got way out of control on this run, peaking way too high. i had to stop and walk for a bit to get it to come back down.

leg 2: 3.30 miles
difficulty: easy 

time: 27:18
pace: 8:17
hr: out.of.control. (peaked at 192. yikes!)


and while i was running that leg, this is what my team decided...



after i came in, kate took off and he headed to meet up with van 2 at a vehicle transition area. we looked like some dirty little freaks, let me tell ya! while we were there, @semperfi8 came over to meet up with us, which was cool to finally meet him after talking to him many times on twitter.

i might look like a dirty little freak but hes wearing a kilt
(and those ladies behind me are absolutely checking out my zebra print thong. busted!)

van 2 rockin it before they head off on their first legs

we also saw a van full of hot guys...



we had about four hours to kill while van 2 finished their legs, so we went over to my friends dan and heathers place to relax for a bit. we also badly needed to organize our overpacked van.

heather, dan & lily
thank you all so much for letting us crash!

around 6pm we headed out again for round 2. kate d came running into the transition area and handed off to kelly and we were off again. we stayed and chilled with van 2 a bit before driving out to support kelly. thats the one sucky thing about having two vans... you really dont get to hang out much with the other people on your team. im kinda angry you cant bring a limo...

while waiting for kelly to run by, i snapped a pic with my long lost twin, @kissing_frogs. i swear this girl and i were separated at birth... what, you cant see the resemblance? weird.

i can hear the angels singing still....

incase my kids really do ever read my blog someday i figured i would add this pic in here...

an icon from our generation, macho man randy savage, died while we were out there running (he wasnt out running with us... you know what i mean). there was also this thing going on this weekend called the #rapture... apparently the world was supposed to end on saturday may 21st 2011, so we had that to look forward to. (it didnt happen. phew!)

moving on...


ohhh isnt that the truth...

my night run started sometime around 7ish. the headlamp came in handy for the pre-run port-a-potty run (remember i said "run" right here for later on in this post... i put it in bold. RUN. i RAN to the port-a-potty... we'll just say it was 0.13 miles from where i was. k good).



oh yeah, this run was epic. about a mile into the run i rolled my ankle in a pot hole and took a nice digger.

#roadrash #yaaaaay

doesnt look as black and blue in this photo

leg 3: 7.43 miles
difficulty: hard (yay)
time: 1:12:07
pace: 9:44
hr: stable

then it was time for van 1 to try and get some sleep. its not easy sleeping in a van, so we found a comfy sidewalk.


this is NOT my sleep number bed

we woke up late, wasnt able to grab a quick shower like we had planned, and then ended up going to the wrong transition area. #fail. we finally found our way to van 2 and off we went once again.

and then it slowly started happening...


but i kept on running...

leg 4: 3.37 miles
difficulty: easy
time: 29:52
pace: 8:51
hr: didnt wear it, we were fighting

kate ended up getting sick (sad!) and she left, so 4 of us picked up her 8 mile leg, split into 2 milesish each. it actually felt good to get out of the van and stretch out. this was where i decided a 9 person relay team would probably be idea. less sitting around, more miles.

leg 5:
2.14 miles
difficulty: hard
time: 19:52
pace: 9:16
hr: still fighting



while @swimrjul was out on her 2 miles, i did some really poor math in my head and realized i would be finishing all my runs with a total of 25.9 miles. #notgonnanletthathappen! so i ran around the parking lot of the transition area with my garmin on, in my flip flops. for 0.30 miles.
leg 5.5: 0.30 miles
difficulty: eaaaaaasy
time: 3:14
pace: 10:52 (i was in flip flops, i think this is a good flip flop pace)
hr: nah

time for more rest!! and by rest i mean giggling and listening to "despicable me" on @swimrjul 's phone

and look who came and found us!!

an @susanruns sandwich!


#dirtylittlefreaks apparently like neon

obviously i took the next two pics just for @thisamazingday

her name was hadley

on kellys last run a car drove by her and offered her a rocket pop!

who wouldnt accept a rocket pop!? duh!

@kissing_frogs taking off for her final leg!

my next and final run was coming up. this was there things got really emotional for me. i have this little crying problem. its pretty ridiculous.

as i saw @kissing_frogs coming down towards the transition i knew i had to give it all i had. i had captained this team through thick and thin. we had done it, despite the many challenges thrown at us. i was about to head out for a little over 7 miles out of the nearly 200 we had already run. the #dirtylittlefreaks were really going to reach.the.BEACH!


i pre loaded tweets to my phone in order to focus on my run but still get them out there while i was on my last leg.





and finally...


leg 6: 7.45 miles
difficulty: moderate
time: 1:11:10
pace: 9:33
hr: finally semi under control, minus the freak out on the hill trying to pass a runner

post race refreshments


a lonely, foggy finish line
but we reached it with pride

so remember that bad math i did in my head early on? thinking i was going to finish with 25.9 miles so i ran that extra 0.30 miles to have had run a marathon this weekend? yeah... well that math was REALLY bad.

leg 1: 5.91
leg 2: 3.3
leg 3: 7.4
leg 4: 3.37
leg 5: 2.14
leg 5.5: 0.30
leg 6: 7.45

total: 29.87

soooooooooooo were gonna say i ran 0.13 miles to/from the various port-a-potties, which means i ran 30 miles! #ultra #winning

needless to say i felt like junk on the ride home. ice baths and carbs helped a lot in the following 24 hours.


i know this blog was long winded but there were so many people that went into making this work and im so thankful to have such a strong community of friends/runners who ran with us and also supported us. a special thanks go out to the following tweeps for all your messages throughout the weekend. you have no idea how awesome it is to have the support! and thank you thank you thank you to all the volunteers and race staff! you all did an incredible job putting this whole thing together, and i hope to run this race again sometime! #butprobablynotnextyear


 Sam Pierson 


 Shabby Princess 


 Ryan Triffitt 

 John Torrone 








 Andrea Lapointe 

 Brendan Murphy 

 Ashley Niven 


thank you to all!