Pre-Relay Jitters

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?


  1. That video is so funny, I found it last year and shared with my Ragnar teammates. You will be fine! Just try to relax, have fun and it'll all come together. The night runs aren't too bad. Energy wise I seemed to figure it out. Well, either that or the fact that I was running in the pitch black with woods off to the left, no one around and my team ditched me for about 45 minutes (they would leap frog so none of us were alone for too long) for a convenience store raid, my adrenaline kept me going. Oh, wait, that didn't help you much. Seriously, though, it'll come together and you'll be surprised what you can do on little sleep (I'm one who typically needs sleep too!).

  2. Ha, that video is really funny. :) "So what do you get for running 200 miles?" "A shirt." Ha!

    I hope it all comes together! I haven't done a ragnar race because of the sleep deprivation thing. I am thinking of others, really - because I am a bear to be around if I don't get a solid night of sleep!

    Good luck! You def have a challenging schedule w/ those sort of back to back runs at night! Hope the van doesn't get too stinky!!!

  3. That video is too funny!! Just so I'm reading this right...you have to run at 2am and then again at 4:30am? Yeah have fun with that!!! It should be fun though all in all! I've never run a relay but always wanted to! I was talking with friends this year about doing one next year on Cape. I just know I would want to be with people I know so when I get cranky they will understand!!

  4. I still think relay races sound like fun. Enjoy it! Ultra teams are ultra cool.

  5. Keep up this great blog and keep great information coming for new people like me.
    Gill sailing

  6. Wow this sounds like quite an undertaking! Still, I imagine it'll be really fun to look back on. What an adventure!

  7. have fun!!! I have relays are a great experince.

  8. Wow! I think you will end up having fun and doing great:) I have never done a relay but from what I have read on other blogs, it is a great experience. I wouldn't want to share my Garmin either. Doesn't everyone have their own?:) Good luck and have fun! Can't wait to hear all about it.

  9. I always wanted to run in a relay, but never got around to it. A friend tried to organize a Hood to Coast team, but damn if that race doesn't fill up fast! I think you have every right to be worried (that's a lot of miles under unusual conditions), but you will have fun and it'll be a great accomplishment to check off your life list!

  10. You will do awesome once you're in the moment your worries will go away!!! I did a midnight relay and it wasn't a race so I got to have the experience without all the pressure. That being said relays are not for everyone (like me who hates sleep depravation) but my friend on the other hand lives for them and couldn't imagine not doing them. Have fun and just enjoy!!

  11. I ran a relay a few years back and had a blast, you will love it :) I am not a night person or someone who plays well with others and survived. A couple hints: sleep when you can, pack each running outfit in a seperate Ziplock bag then it is easy to find and change, believe me the van becomes a mess!

  12. I've never done a relay... I can imagine I'd be feeling the same way! I bet the adrenaline will carry you through more than you think... have fun! I'm looking forward to hearing the details afterward!

  13. I agree with the comment above - I'm sure the adrenaline will kick in and help you through! And then cause to crash later that day, I'm sure. I look forward to reading about how you do this weekend - good luck!

  14. I really want to do a relay one day! Have fun!!

  15. I did a relay and thankfully sort of just went along for the ride. I was the newest runner and they all took care of me (I picked my legs based on time of day, etc). And I just showed up. The rest of the team did a lot and a few people had done relays before. Sorry, I'm no help.

    You'll have fun. Its crazy, but super fun.

  16. Kyria I know you're going to do great! But, I totally understand and can relate to everything you said. Especially the running at night. I don't know the times yet for Ragnar but I'm sure there will be at least 1 night run. Ragnar in July will be my first. I like to feel in control so working well in large groups doesn't come easy for me.

    I'll expect tons of advice and tips when you return from your fabulous experience :)

  17. I forgot to add...love the video. Freakin' hilarious! Mind if I use it on my blog :)

  18. OH MY GOD!!! THAT'S INTENSE!!!! Wy to much to do and to think about for a relay race. The video was funny, because Im a non runner and these are some questions I would of asked. Im sure you will do great, just think about the experience and what it will bring to your life. Plus if you ever do another one you will already have the knowledge. Good Luck, stay strong.


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