Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So you're gonna run a relay...........

If you are a runner- go find a relay to run. NOW. And, when you realize that you are 1 runner short of a full crew of crazy; call me. I will be your 3rd wheel, chatty cousin, last call, stumpy-short-legs, last ditch resort.
In all seriousness, relays are not exactly child's play- but they are so much stinking (ha to the ha-ha, please someone laugh at my pun!) fun!! Can I get an AMEN?!? You have to participate in one to fully appreciate them, but yeah- go get yourself some relay action.

Relay Must-Haves.

1). Game plan. This includes a training plan, a packing plan and a how-to-not-be-hated-by-your-team-mates plan. Make it and break it, but have a rule of thumb to keep you focused.

2). Sense of adventure/flexibility gene. Relay conditions can be less than ideal. Think; peeing in ditches, sleeping on a concrete gym floor surrounded by snoring runners, eating off the hood of your car (5 second rule becomes 5 MINUTE rule) and finding out you're up to run the next leg 12 minutes after you carbed-up. Do yourself a favor and decide to have fun no matter what, and be prepared to follow through!

3). Proper Gear & Fuel. Don't wait until the day of the relay to find out that your earrings don't match your running skirt. Don't be a pack-rat. Your team will have limited space for gear, so don't bring the kitchen sink  or the family photo albums- stick with the fine china and family silver and just the basics that you'll need.

4). If at all possible; leave your nose at home. Running + infrequent showers + a 15 passenger van housing your stankiness in 95 degree weather. Ya'll may or may not smell like a garbage bin on wheels. The good news is, your running mates likely won't notice your smell because of their own odor.

5). Peanut Butter and Jelly. I'm not sure if there is a situation in life in which pb&j is not a good idea, but I digress. Pb&j is terrific fuel, smells goods and makes you happy. Bring it, eat it; thank me later.

6). Awesome teammates that you like and that like you. It gets hot. You loose count of your mosquito bites. You spill chocolate milk. You leave your blinking tail light on while attempting to discreetly use the facility ditch it, so yeah- the whole van gets to see your business. It's super fun, but it's also still work, HARD work, and it can get tough. Your teammates are what will get you through. Laugh a little, laugh a lot.

7). An excellent team captain. Someone has to be in charge, and end up being the bad guy sometimes. Distributing legs, planning for fuel stops, navigating the check-points, staying on track, handling the paperwork, money work and getting you to run your legs off work........not just anyone can handle it. Be kind to your team captain, follow orders and be grateful. Remember, he holds the keys to your leg- do you want hills or flat.............

8). Recovery. Hello- it's the name of the game. Relays are amazing, and you will be astounded at what your body is capable of, but you must take recovery seriously. Get some supplements, stretch and foam roll like it's your JOB.

9). Pack the food you need. There is nothing worse than bonking out because you're not properly fueled & getting enough calories. You cannot count on the availability of a convenience store or restaurant or grocery store. If there is one available, you may not have time to stop, or you may not be there during their hours of operation. Bring what you need. It's no big deal if you bring food home or feed the L.O.'s to the birds, but you don't want to start gnawing on oak leaves because you don't have any grub at 3 am.

Also worth noting;

--there is no such thing as too many pairs of socks.

--take too many (pointless) pictures. you'll be glad you did.

--white shorts + impending rain is an absolutely perfect recipe for the fastest leg you will run over the course of the relay.

--it's perfectly normal to consume an entire gallon of chocolate milk over the course of your relay.

--on your last leg of the relay, your legs are going to be spent and you will be convinced you can run no faster. that German Shepherd the size of a golf cart hurling down the hillside towards you will prove that yes, you indeed CAN run faster.

--sleep IS overrated, and you don't need it to run capably. you may start loosing some fine motor skills, but no-biggie.

--smart phones are a relay runner's best friend, until you loose 3G or all 8 of your iphone chargers get lost in the van in the inky blackness of night.

--people will give you strange looks. get used to it.

--your toothbrush is your best friend. you may not be able to shower, but you can have clean pearlies.

-- running a relay is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you're a runner, go find a relay.

Anything I missed? 
What is your #1 MUST-HAVE when running a relay?

1 comment:

  1. AHH I have never run a relay, but this would be so much fun! I love that you were able to do this and I love all these tips/recaps you've done!! FOODD FOOOOOD is so key!! and water.