Travel Magazine

Pre-Relay Jitters

By Travelspot06 @travelspot06
Tomorrow, I embark on something I have never embarked upon before. A relay race. I am scared.
Vanessa posted this the other day, and it's a funny video where a runner explains to a non-runner what a relay race is all about.

It is pretty funny, because I have been asked many of these same questions. For example: Our relay is raising money for Organs R Us. We raised a few thousand dollars. We also got a sponsor to pay our entry fees. So when I told Mr Lovely that we had to pay to run this race, he didn't understand why. Why do we have to pay? Good question.
We have to rent our own vans. As the video states, we need baby wipes (lots of them apparently). And gas. And snacks. And water. And whatever is left over goes to a good cause! It will be fun (if you haven't already, see above video)! Right? RIGHT?
Sometimes I wonder.
I have to admit, as it's getting closer, I am wondering why the heck I joined a GROUP running effort. I loved playing soccer as a team, but the logistics were fairly easy. 1) put on cleats 2) drive to field 3) play soccer 4) drink beer. It only took a couple of hours. There was no, "who's going to bring the GPS and who can get 5 headlamps and where will we sleep and who is going to drive and what about reflective vests and snacks and iPod chargers and signs and BABY WIPES??" I know we don't need 10 iPod chargers in one van, and there has to be a semblance of order but I don't like relying on other people. I would rather have my own checklist with all the stuff I know I will need on it. I don't want to share my Garmin. I know; I'm mean.
I don't play well with others. I mean, I do, when it's organized and things happen at a certain time. But this has so many unknowns! How fast do people run? This makes a difference. If the first 10 people (I am number 11) run slower or faster than they said they would, we will have to run at a different time of day than we are expecting. I have routines I always follow. I need to eat a certain kind of food a certain amount of time before I run. This usually isn't a problem, but I am not normally dealing with 5 other people. I am going to bring my own Cheerios and hope we can stop for milk (and have a backup granola bar and squirreled away apple just in case we can't).
When asked to choose our slots, I said I would take any one that wasn't between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. (that is basically 7 of the 12 runners). But when my friend asked me to take one of the harder legs, I said "no problem". This leg? Is at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning. I didn't know this, since I didn't know everyone's pace at the time. Not only that, but now that friend is sick so I am going to take one of her legs (and maybe two), adding an additional 7 miles to my total, as well as causing me to run at... 2 a.m.!
So my "schedule" (as we know it) looks like this (V = Very Hard, H = Hard, M = Moderate, E = Easy):
~ 6:30 p.m. Sat -- 11th Leg: 6.9 H
~ 2:00 a.m. Sun -- 19th Leg (sub): 7 H
~ 4:30 a.m. Sun -- 23rd Leg: 1.9 (used to be 3.7, but there is road construction) E
~ 3:00 p.m. Sun -- 35th Leg: 6.2 VH
TOTAL:  22 miles
I have cold feet. I am worrying about everything. I am dreading this race! It's not the 22 miles that scares me; it's the two middle of the night runs, which are not back to back. So I will run 7 miles and then probably try to sleep for an hour and then run again. Or try NOT to sleep for an hour and then wobble along for LUCKILY only 1.9 miles! But that one point nine miles is my blessing and my curse. If I didn't have to run it, I could try to sleep, but I have to stay up for 1.9 measly miles? And yes, right now they are "measly".
I know, I know. I need to get into the spirit of things. It's going to be a new experience and I will get in a few extra miles this week and it will probably all go very smoothly and I will be fine. And most of all... it will be fun! (seriously, watch the video)
Have you ever run a relay? If so, please reassure me... Do you work well in large groups? Are you are morning (2 a.m.) person?

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