Thursday, May 9, 2013

Relay Iowa 2013!

Just before my marathon a friend of mine approached me and asked if I would be interested in joining his relay team. I was immediately super excited which quickly turned into totally intimidated!! I've always had a mini-crush on relays- they just look like SO much fun! Running, lots of people, over-dosing on Gatorade, lots of new scenery, sleeping in a van, carrying your own roll of toilet paper- what's not to love?!?
There were a few logistical problems, so after our initial conversation we decided that I wouldn't be joining the team after all. I was a bit bummed, but I knew there would be another opportunity some other time. However- over the weekend a spot opened back up and it didn't take any convincing to get me to sign up!!

I'll be running Relay Iowa- the longest relay run in 2013! Our 12-member team will be covering 336 miles over the course of 3 days and 2 nights, with the ultimate goal of finishing in less than 60 hours.
(to read more about the relay;

So- relay training begins!! Whaaaaat? What in the world IS relay training, and shouldn't you usually train for longer than 4 weeks? Meh, who knows!

The relay is June 7th-9th, so I have less than a month to prepare. I feel like I have a good mileage base to work off of and I'm excited to have a new goal to work towards post-marathon. Running is extremely important to me just for the sake of running, but I do want to improve as a runner and goal-setting is the only way to make that happen!!

My plan is to run 4 days a week and focus on a few things in order to prepare specifically for the relay.

Multiple surfaces- the relay will be run on all varieties of surfaces; dirt, sand, pavement, gravel, cheap 'n seal and maybe hot lava or snowflakes depending on the weather. I'm going to jump around a little bit and make sure I am comfortable on all the different surfaces.
(I'm also going to do lots of push-ups to strengthen my arms so I can arm wrestle my fellow team mates into giving me the dirt-road legs.)

Speed work- but with no snow! I will be incorporating one speed/interval run a week into my schedule. Speed work is simply good for all runners- training for a relay or not. It's not my favorite, but it will challenge me and teach me a new side of mental & physical endurance and ability that will be vital during the relay. 
Night time running. I've never run in the dark before. I'm not scared of the dark, but this girl lives in mountain lion territory, so you do the math. I intend to run at least 4 night runs prior to the relay- I'm actually fascinated and wondering if I'll run significantly slower/faster in the dark? 

I had already dedicated the month of May to running GPS-less prior to the decision to run the relay, and I'm interested to see how that blends with my training. I debated scratching the run-free goal in order to get those number & stats for the relay, but decided against it. There is no set time goal or necessary need for speed at the relay. Running free this month is exactly what I need to practice for the relay. I don't need to worry about the numbers- I need to run from my heart. 

I'm very excited for this next running adventure. I am looking forward to a tough and amazing experience. I am excited to challenge myself and work together with the rest of the team to accomplish something amazing !!

Have you ever run a relay, if you haven't would you consider running one?


  1. I've never run a relay but that sounds like a fun experience that you'll never forget. You'll do great with your training, awesome job planning it all out!

  2. I'm so jealous! I would love love to do a relay. I'm sure you'll have a blast!