Race Recap: The American Odyssey Relay, Part 1

200 Miles. 12 People. 1 Destination: Washington, DC. This is going to be a long one, so I am dividing this recap into 2 parts! Here's Part 1!

It all began on May 1st in Waynesboro, PA. I met up with my teammates early to load up & decorate our temporary home.

Because the team name was "Green Leggs & Hamstrings," we decorated our vehicle to match.  Aren't our cars nice as hell?! We were driving in style!

Girls photo!!

Carly (Team Captain), Megan, Kirsten, Me

Before we began, we took our "before" team photo, then our first runner, Jason, was off to lead us to Washington, DC. 

Front: Megan, Chris, Bobb, Kirsten, Carly
Back: Chris, Stefanie, Tracy, Jason, Michael, Vince, Me

Shortly after he left, I stuck with the first 6 runners in Van 1 since I didn't want to travel back home only to come all the way back again to meet with Van 2, my crew. I also wanted to get exposure to the race since this was my first relay. 

The first 6 runners: Jason, Carly, Kirsten, Chris, Vince, and Michael, all did great. They were ahead of their estimated pace, even for the more difficult runs, like leg 6. It was actually considered the hardest leg of the entire race. For all runners who completed it, they were awarded a beer mug after. But is it worth it?

After Michael finished leg 6, he handed off to the members of Van 2: Tracy, myself, Chris, Stefanie, Bobb, and Megan. Tracy was first, then I would follow. This was when the nerves finally hit! Since she only had about 4 miles, we had to rush to the next transition. That's where the butterflies swarmed in my stomach. 

I knew that this was going to be difficult. My leg (leg 8) was rated as "hard" since it was a climb for the first 2 miles on trail. 

When I saw Tracy in the distance, I got my watch set. She handed off the "baton" which was actually a slap bracelet (how awesome, right?) and I was off. 

As I journeyed into the woods, the hill that I couldn't see was now in my sight and it looked brutal. It didn't take long to know first hand that it was, in fact, brutal. 

Borrowed from @lalarou
As I made the climb, I quickly began to tire and knew within minutes I wasn't going to be able to run the whole way. Still, I waited until I saw a runner from another team start to walk before I did. Once I started walking, I quickly made a plan: Walk for .05 miles, run for .10 miles until the climb wasn't as steep. I was able to fully resume running at about 1.8 miles, but didn't hit the crest until after 2 miles. That was when the trail went from a grueling uphill into an amazing downhill.

My pace went from the low 10s to about a 7:45 minute pace. It helped balance out my first 2 miles. The downhill allowed me to really enjoy the scenery. I loved every minute of it! Once I came out to the next transition, I immediately handed off to Chris and went for the cookies! Forget being gluten-free. I DESERVED that cookie.

After all of our runners completed their first leg, we had enough time to go out and grab dinner. We went to Chipotle in Hagerstown. I got a burrito bowl, but only ate half because I didn't think I would have enough time to digest everything. 

After eating, we went to Boonsboro High to send Tracy off. She had about 30-60 minutes till she had to run, so I tried to take advantage of time and sleep in the dark van. It wasn't successful. I only had enough time to just rest my eyes. Before I knew it, we were off to my run, leg 20. I was excited because I would be running right near my home, but I was exhausted and wasn't sure how I would perform. I also wasn't feeling the best after dinner. 

I didn't have a lot of time to prep myself for this run. Things moved so fast. So once we got to the transition, Tracy was rounding the corner and the slap bracelet was on my wrist.

It was completely dark for this portion of the run so I was required to wear my headlamp and reflective jacket. This was not foreign to me so I think I did rather well running in the dark. My stomach screamed in protest though. I dared not to check my watch to know how fast I was going or far I was going because I felt like I could have thrown up my Chipotle by the end of the leg.

The hills were rough, but I think my legs were broken in from the climb in my first run and I was able to conquer the hills on this course with no problem.

As we climbed one of the final hills, a runner next to me asked if we were almost done. When I checked my watch, we were about a half mile away, so I sprinted towards the finish and luckily didn't throw up. Instead, I was able to meet up with my husband who came to see me! He didn't stay though since our van had to move to the next spot.

I remained in the van for the remainder of our transitions that night because I was absolutely wiped. All I wanted to do was get as much sleep as possible before our final legs in the morning.

We headed to a hotel in Shepherdstown, WV once Megan finished her 2nd leg to sleep for a whopping 2 hours. We had to be in the car and traveling to Poolesville to meet up with Van 1 again. You never appreciate such a small amount of sleep after racing around from town to town all day.

Continue to Part 2

No comments

Post a Comment

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig