Unlike just about everyone else in the running world (or so it seems), I have never run a relay race.
I’ve heard about them, read about them, and actually been invited more than once to run on them. Alas, life got in the way, and I found myself still a relay-less runner.
So I decided late last year to change this. Without ever having done one, I already know that relays are totally my jam. Mashing together running, organized chaos, and a team environment is my kind of fun—so I began doing some research into races.
There was one *tiny* thing I wanted though: I wanted to do an ultra-style relay. Sure, I know I’ve never even done a 12-man relay race (which is the norm for the 200 mile distance), but what can I say? I like miles. And I liked the idea of a new kind of challenge.
Long story short—I found a race, recruited Nicole, we sent out some emails, we wrote some checks, Nicole announces she’s with child so she’ll be cheerleading from afar instead, and bada boom, bada bing…ultra team!
So, in August we (Tasha, Rose, Amy, Jordanne, OPEN SPOT*, and me ) will be running the Spokane to Sandpoint Relay—all 200 miles of it.
*let me know if you want to run/know anyone who would want to run!
I’ll leave information on distances and legs for another post (and once we actually figure out the specifics 🙂 ) but for now all I know is that I’ll be running as many miles in 24 hours as I sometimes run in one week. Through the night. In the summer heat. It’s going to be a party.
Oh, and one other thing:
I’m running ANOTHER ultra relay in July.
WTF? How did I go from a relay virgin to running two ULTRA relays within a one month period? When it rains, it pours I guess. Does anyone want to loan me their IT bands this summer?
In all seriousness, I’m really excited for this…um…adventure.
The relay in July is Ragnar Northwest Passage, and after hearing all the Ragnar hoopla from all over the country, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to run it so close to home. Plus, I like to think that I’m in the business of meeting new people nowadays…and what better way to do so than by exchanging niceties and body odor smells in a packed van?
Our Ragnar team captain Lauren recruited me along with 4 other ladies (Rebecca, Rira, Jessey, and Bethany), and I’m designated Runner 6. I don’t know much about what this means except that there are a lot of miles, but I’m excited. Will be fun to bring our team into the finish.
So, in a nutshell I’m feeling both really excited and really unprepared. I have no idea how to train for these things. There isn’t any “Hal Higdon’s Ultra-Relay Training- Novice” plan out there; in fact, there is very little on how to train for this type of race. Which I’m mostly happy about, as I don’t feel much like subscribing to a schedule at this point in time.
However, I will be keeping up my mileage. Without draining myself too much, my plan is to capitalize on my fitness from Eugene and keep up some relatively high miles every week—most of which will be slow.
I think I’ll try and work in one double-day a week or so (running in the AM and PM) as well as a few back-to-back long run days. Lucky for me, I’m not burnt out, and running is really the only exercise I’ve been feeling up for recently—so let’s hope that carries out into the summer 🙂
I have no doubt that these races are going to be a whole new type of challenge. They are going to be tough—no doubt about that, but I’m looking forward to a new type of endurance training that isn’t just standard marathoning. Plus, having other runner peeps to share the ups and the downs with will make it all so much better.
So there you have it. This summer will be the summer of relaying and ultra-ing, apparently Perhaps a few halfs thrown in there as well…I’m interested in having a little fun with that distance.
So now I plead with all of you who have done relays/ultras/ultra relays before:
How do you prepare for these???
Let me know, if you figure out an optimal training plan! I can’t believe you’re doing two!!
I am so freaking excited for Spokane to Sandpoint! I have never done an “ultra relay”, but have have participated in Hood to Coast before. I never really trained much for HTC, but I am thinking that having some longer runs and maybe double days will be good for S2S. I have no idea! Let me know if you get some good tips so that you can share them with me. You will be a relay professional by time it is S2S weekend.
You’re going to have so much fun! I really wish that I could commit to S2S! I have so many unknowns right now! We decided that we wouldn’t plan our vacation till we had my job situation figured out, and well, I can’t plan to take more time off work for a relay till I know how much time I need for vacation! Everything is confusing! 😦
I would honestly follow a marathon training plan if I was training for an Ultra!
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