Race Recap: American Odyssey Relay Race 2017 - Part 2


I was somewhat revved up for my second leg because I was very familiar with area. I actually ran the same route before while marathon training in the past. I liked having this advantage against other runners who were strangers to the area.

Once Bob came into view, I was pumped and ready to get some kills (the number of people you pass in a relay). He handed over the slap bracelet and I shot off into the streets of Boonsboro, resuming my 7 minute range pace.

I was pretty floored that I was able to pull this off. Last year, I can't recall ever seeing times like these. In fact, I can't recall seeing paces like this in any run/race I have been involved in recently. I was passing other participants left and right. In total, I had 8 kills and 0 deaths! I finished with a time of 26:21 and distance of 3.40.

I tried to hang on to the energy my runner’s high gave me, but I began to tire quickly. It was now after midnight and I was spending many of the remaining transitions in the van catching some shut eye. It was hard though as there was always something going on. Between driving from one destination to the next and teammates prepping their runs, there wasn’t much time for remaining quiet and keeping still. I turned into grumpy ginger and tried to keep that part of me to myself. I think I did okay. ;-)

Anyway, we ended up finishing our 2nd round of legs at about 2 am. That's when we went to a nearby hotel and crashed for about 2-3 hours. While we had a few hours to sleep, Van 1's runners got so much less just before us. We had shorter distances in our second leg while they rested in the hotel. They had some long sessions on the canal for their 3rd and final leg and since that was our time to rest, we were fortunate to get so much time.

We all rolled out of bed around 6 and were on the road shortly after.

We had about an hour-long ride until we would arrive at the final van transition in Poolesville, MD.

I was confident that I would be able to stay up with an 8 minute pace, as I already decided a 7 minute pace was pushing it at this point. When you've already run 2 legs at a pace which you're not normally programmed to do, you're tired and sore. You're legs have not recovered since the run you had just hours before.

My stomach was also acting up at this point, which really irritated me. I went out of my way to pack food that my body was used to, but for some reason, my stomach was like “Nope, not today!" So although I gave myself a few hours between the time I ate and the time I was projected to run, my stomach burned the whole time. I could have blamed it on nerves, but honestly, I was way too tired to be nervous. At this point, I just wanted to get my run done and start the recovery process. So believe it or not, I was thankful when I saw Bob come into view. Still, my stomach was objecting.

No sooner than I was tagged to go, my legs were fighting back. For once, I think my mind was working in my favor rather than my body. My legs were nagging about how tired they were, but I begged them to work with me for this final stretch. I KNEW I could do awesome, but I had to have a constant argument between my legs, my stomach, and my brain. I pushed them the best I could.

About a mile in, my van rolled up next to me to cheer me on. All I could say was "This sucks!" What I thought was going to be an easy 4 miler, ended up being hilly. Based on the elevation map, I thought it was going to generally be downhill, but it was pretty consistent with hills until the last mile. That was when I began catching up with another runner.

I had high hopes at this point that I could get a kill, but as we rounded the last turn, he caught site of me and sprinted down the hill. Though I had a pace within the 7 minute range, I could not muster enough strength to catch up and pull ahead, so I let him fly. That didn't mean that I wouldn't still push it to the end though. I sprinted with newfound energy and passed off to my teammate, Kirsten.

And like that, I was done my part in the Odyssey.

Most of the remaining legs took place on the C&O Canal and for those of you who have read up on me for a while now, you know that I LOVE running the C&O where I live. So needless to say, I loved seeing areas which I have not run myself and took lots of pictures.

The final leg took us off the canal and into the heart of DC.

All of our team met up for the first time since the final transition between vans a few hours later, while our final runner, Chris made his way towards the finish line. We waited on the street for him so, as a team, we could cross the finish line together.

Chris came a lot quicker than I thought. I guess with the hustle of getting to the finish line and seeing the other teammates waiting for us made time fly. So as soon as he reached us, the entire team crossed the finish line with him and quickly took a finish line photo prior to other teams rolling through.

The results!

Our team finished in 26:32:26! That was 2nd out of 34 in the mixed division. We placed 7th out of 94 teams overall! So, to say the least, I think we KICKED ASS! Oh and I think I should add that we won Best Team Name. If I haven't already mentioned it, it was Green Leggs and Hamstrings. :)

Anyway, I felt that this year far exceeded last year. I had a lot more fun and felt that my performance improved a lot!!! Our team just really seemed to mesh and we all seemed to go beyond performance expectations! It was pretty killer! There's one thing about running a race alone, but working as a team to accomplish 200 miles is beyond anything you feel alone. Celebrating with others and also sharing struggles over the course of 26 hours is unlike anything else.  :)

The Lumo Lift

So I found this little do-dad called the Lumo Lift!

Race Recap: The American Odyssey Relay Race - Part 1

Happy Monday, my friends!

After a very eventful weekend, I am now able to tell you all about my experience at the American Odyssey Relay Race. This was my second year taking part of the event with team Green Leggs & Hamstrings and although I have had my running highs and lows over the past few weeks, I was completely surprised about how well it went! So let me rewind back to the beginning to give you the details of our adventure!

For those of you not familiar with the American Odyssey, this race very much resembles that of a Ragnar Relay event. This one, however, takes place on a 200 mile course from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC.

Each team consists of 12 runners (or less if you wish to compete as an ultra team), who take turns running a "leg" of the course. Each runner will run a leg, then repeat the cycle until each has had 3 runs under their belt.

Depending on the average speed of your runners, that will determine your starting time. Runners that are running at a slower pace will run earlier in the morning, while your faster-paced runners will begin later. This will end up allowing many of the teams to finish in generally the same timeframe so we can celebrate in DC together.

Despite having a 10:30 start time, Peter and I were up at 5am on Friday going through the same motions we always do. Though I was going to be going on an adventure that required me to run a total of 12 miles with little to no sleep, I still did my scheduled 22 Minute Hard Corps workout. Crazy? You betcha!

After breakfast and packing up some final items, we shuttled our dog, Beta to a friend's to stay while we competed.

Once she was settled, I drove Peter to Waynesboro, PA to meet up with the team. Peter was actually replacing a runner who had been ill. Though we had him down as an alternate for a while, it wasn't until early last week that we found out that he was going to be running.

Peter was in Van 1, which consisted of 6 runners total. These were our teammates who were running the first 6 legs of the course and starting at the 10:30 time. Because I was the 7th runner and in Van 2,  I didn't need to stick around for their portion of the race. I actually went home after dropping him off since I had several hours before I started my trek with the 6 members of Van 2.

I took this time to eat lunch and go grocery shopping (I did not want to go grocery shopping after all this was done). I left at 1 to meet up with a fellow teammate, Chris, and we ventured out to Waynesboro, where we would pack into our own van and begin our legs.

As runner 7, I was the first one up in our van. Once van 1 completed their first 6 legs, runner 6 would hand off to me and I would be on my way. Needless to say, my race nerves turned on. Food wasn't settling and I felt like I had to pee even if I had just gone. Still, I would attempt to use the nerves to my advantage and run the leg pretty quickly.

It was actually my longest leg, almost 5 miles. It was probably my most difficult leg as well. Though this one started with a 1.5 mile downhill, the next 1.5 miles was uphill, while the remaining steadily went downhill. I had no idea what this route looked like, but regardless, I was going to push the best I could despite my lack of hill training.

When I saw our 6th runner, Bob, emerge from the fog that afternoon, I went into race mode. It was my time to shine. I grabbed the slap bracelet and went on my way.

I flew through the downhill portion, pushing a 7 minute pace for the first mile. My confidence was roaring because I felt I could keep up with this pace with no problem. That was until the downhill went flat. I actually had to work for my pace at that point. It wasn't long either until I saw the dramatic incline. That's about the time my van drove past me. While they were cheering me on, I pointed them to the hill ahead, basically saying how much that was going to suck.

As my support drove off in comfort, I pushed as hard as I could up the first hill, which never seemed to end. My pace dropped in the second mile from 7 minutes to about 7:30. The next mile was even worse, ending with a 9:30ish pace due to the fact that I had to walk one of the hills to catch my breath.

Fortunately, I was able to redeem myself once I crested the series of hills. I was able to catch back up with my 7 minute range pace and push through to the end. I ended with a distance of 4.75 and time of 37:28.

The only thing that ran through my mind was "If I could have pushed through to another quarter mile, I could have broke 40 for my 5 mile time." That would have been a 2 minute PR. Guess I will have to prove myself in the future.

The benefit to being runner #7, is that I could relax while the other runners in my van took their turn. My nerves were no longer shot and I had a few hours before I needed to be ready for my next leg.

Once our van completed our first set of runs, we were in close proximity of my house, so we traveled there to eat, shower, and play games while Van 1 took over for a couple of hours. We ordered pizza, played Fibbage (highly recommended), rolled sore muscles with our sticks and foam rollars, while watching John Mulany stand-up on Netflix. It was a nice time to decompress and ready our bodies and minds for the next round.

Running shoes every where!

But time flies when you're doing a relay race and before we knew it, it was 10:30 and we had to head out to Boonsboro High. It was going to be my turn to run around 11, so I had to be ready regardless of the fatigue that was setting in.


Recipe Time: Breakfast Pizza

One of my favorite dinners really isn't dinner at all! It's breakfast!!! So when you breed these two meals together, you create what I like to call Brinner! Although waffle sandwiches or eggs and potatoes hold a special place in my heart, breakfast pizza takes the cake...or should I say pancake! Hardy har har!

For this recipe, I used eggs from my mom and dad's chickens! Talk about the best eggs ever! Also, you may have noticed that I have pita bread, which is not gluten free. That's for another time, but yes, I am having gluten again. Not much, but every now and then, I will have it. But again, more on that one later.

For now, check out my Breakfast Pizza recipe and try it for yourself! It's super easy and SUPER yummy! Also, 21 Day Fix approved! :)

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Breakfast Pizza
21 Day Fix Conversions: 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1/2 Green, 1/2 Blue
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 piece whole wheat pita bread
  • 2-3 tablespoons crushed tomatoes
  • Pinch of Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/8" slice diced onions (optional)
  • 1/8" slice diced peppers (optional)
  • 6 julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
1. SET oven to broil.2. BEAT eggs, salt and pepper in small bowl until blended.3. HEAT coconut oil in 7 to 10-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Tilt pan to coat bottom of the skillet. Pour in egg mixture. 4. PUSH cooked portions from edges toward the center with inverted turner so that uncooked eggs can reach the hot pan surface. CONTINUE cooking, tilting pan and gently moving cooked portions until no visible liquid remains.4. PLACE egg omelet onto the pita bread with a spatula. 5. MIX crushed tomatoes with Italian seasoning and spread on top of the egg omelet. Add cheese and desired toppings.6. BROIL pizza in the oven until cheese melts and crust of the pita bread begins to brown. Remove from oven and cut into desired slices and serve.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 serving

Recipe Time: Slow Cooker Pasta Fagioli

It's been a while since I have posted a recipe! So here's my try at a 21 Day Fix Approved soup!

I made my own version of pasta fagioli. I was quite impressed by how good the soup turned out, considering I had to BS some of it. You will also notice I don't use the traditional pasta that is required in this recipe. That's because my grocery store doesn't have it. So brown rice pasta will have to do!

Try it yourself and let me know what you think!!

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Slow Cooker Pasta Fagioli
21 Day Fix Conversions: 1 Yellow, 1/2 Green
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 onion, whole
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup dry brown rice shells
1. In your slow cooker, combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, onion, parsley, garbanzo beans, and Italian seasoning2. Let cook on high for 3 1/2 hours.3. Add dry pasta and let cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until shells are cooked through.4. Top with chopped fresh parsley and grated cheese of your choice (optional) and serve.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 5
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