Thursday, August 25, 2011

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Training...

So it looks like I'm doing a relay this weekend!

Yeah, I know. Outta the blue for me too.

Here's how it came about: my friend Elizabeth, who is a former co-worker of my husband, Dan, and like us the parent of boy/girl twins, runs this relay every year. (In 2005, I was actually on her team and had a wonderful, magical horizon-expanding time.) She was all set to do it again this year. But her mom has become ill and is in the hospital, and Elizabeth doesn't want to leave her. Another example of how my awesome friends put the really important things first....

Last night she put a plea up on Facebook asking for someone to fill in. I posted how I wish I could. Well, after talking with Dan and my kids' school, it turns out I can. So tonight I'm heading to Breckenridge, where the nearly 200-mile course begins tomorrow at 6 a.m.

I'm in Van A and am Runner 2, which Elizabeth tells me is the third-easiest assignment of the ten. The three legs I'm running look like this:

Leg 2: 3.04 miles, starts at 10,350 feet, gains 444 feet; despite the short length, I think this one will be the hardest; it's on something called Boreas Pass Rd.; says it all!

Leg 12: 8.97 miles, starts at 10,500 feet, but DROPS almost 2,000 feet, to 8700; could be hard on the quads

Leg 22: 2.88 miles, starts at 5840 feet (oxygen!), shows a tiny elevation loss of 56 feet

I can definitely handle the distance (totals a little less than 15 miles), and I know from my last time doing this that it will be an amazingly fun 24 hours. But what I'd like advice on is how to make this so it approximates as closely as possible the 22 miles I have scheduled for my Top of Utah Marathon training this weekend.

Right now I'm leaning toward adding another three to five miles to make it twenty total. This would entail tacking 1.5-2 miles at the end of each leg. Or I could just go for a five-mile run on Saturday after the team finishes. Does anyone out there have an opinion on this?

And while I have no regrets about this, there are some things I know I need to avoid to make this work FOR my training:

1. Sleep deprivation--I can't avoid this completely; it's a 24-hour relay! But I do plan to take naps. Elizabeth has said one of the other team members has lined up a condo, so there should be a place to grab a quality nap at one point. I'll also bring my sleeping bag in case other chances arise. I'm actually more concerned about getting back on track next week. I don't handle sleep loss well and I do have kids, a job etc., plus a church volunteer obligation that I have to get up super early for on Sunday.

2. Injury--that downhill leg....I just need to be careful. And I owned a headlamp at one point, but I'm not sure where it is. Best be looking for that this afternoon! Or expecting to borrow someone's.....

3. Illness--with sleep deprivation comes cold susceptibility. Do me a favor and remind me to wash my hands lots over the next week!

Wow! What an adventure is ahead! ANY advice you can share with me, either in comment form or email ( will be appreciated. I'm psyched to fill in for my friend (and so sorry she's missing such a fun weekend), but I'm also keeping my eyes on the Boston prize and on my marathon in just three weeks.

Back to our regular program for a tempo run update: I ran 10 miles this morning, with 6 at tempo pace. I nailed it! Here's how it broke down:

Mile 1 & 2 (warm-up miles): 12:18 and 9:45 (I start slooooow on these kinds of runs)
Mile 3: 8:23
Mile 4: 8:18
Mile 5: 8:13
Mile 6: 8:13
Mile 7: 8:03
Mile 8: 7:55
Miles 9 & 10 (cool-down miles): 10:02 and 9:22 (I sped up a bit when I should have been slowing down because I was having a bathroom emergency)

Happy about that run. :^)


  1. So great! You'll have a blast, without a doubt! Can't wait to hear the details.

  2. LOVE that you are able to do this!!!

  3. Nice job with the tempo run and have fun with the relay!

  4. I have no advice but want to wish you lots of luck and fun!!!!! Can't wait to hear about it!

  5. Have fun. I did my first relay this Spring and had a blast. Tended to run my miles much faster than I would have for a marathon though, what with the pressure to perform for the team. That should help make up for the fewer miles compared to your planned long run.

  6. Nice pace on the rtempo run! Have fun at the relay!

  7. Ooooo, that is so exciting. By now, cuz I'm always late reading blogs, you'll be well on your way to your first leg. I know when I did the CO relay two years ago while training for the Portland Marathon, I talked with the track coach at school and he told me as long as my mileage totalled what my long run was scheduled for that weekend then I was good. So I'd add the extra miles on Saturday, before you go home and sleep for 30 hours straight!! :)

    Have a blast girl, look for my friends while you're out there, they are an all male over 40 team called the Pickled Prostates - and they are uber fast.

    btw, I tried to find you on FB but couldn't :(.

  8. You should come down here and do Dirty Girl!