Tuesday, May 21, 2013


The race that I have contemplated doing since middle school has been checked off the bucket list.  200 miles, new friends, stiff muscles, 31 hours later, we finished. The race supports Alzheimers,  JDRF (Diabetes), and DCR. Stuck in a van for 30 hrs based on common interest. Cheering and supporting each other to accomplish the group's goal is amazing and challenging in itself.

Members of our teams in both vans faced adversary and came out on top. People offered to take extra miles, moved their legs around as needed, and truly had team spirit. An extra few miles does not sound like a lot, but when you are running 15 miles and then find yourself accepting to run a few more, trust me, it's a lot and will cause anxiety. I can appreciate the effort given from those of us who took on more miles. But I cannot feel worse or more appreciative for those, of my team who got sick and stayed, to run/support the rest of us to the finish line. Driving in a full, cramped car with food poisoning/motion sickness/migraines to support teammates is a tremendous effort in itself.

Within our first hour of racing our van made a few new friends (Frito Lays) and made a few enemies (Tramps Like Us). Nothing made us as happy as when we left the Transportation Area (TA) before Frito Lays Team. Nothing made us angrier than Tramps Like Us writing Tramps on the side of our van.
  {{ "Tramp Stamping" us is a cute/fun idea, most teams had magnets to tag other team vans not car paint. When I first saw the tagged "Tramps" on the side of our van, I was a bit mad. I took a car marker and painted over the T with a CH. Had I known it was their team name, I might have left it. However, "Tramps" on the side of an all girl van... well, it just doesn't look appropriate. Had they included the rest of the lyrics, "Baby, we were born to run" - we probably would have greatly enjoyed it.}}
You win some, you lose some... in this case we actually lost to both teams ;)

We enjoyed when two Ultra RTB runners (aka a 6 man team instead of 12)  made a tunnel for one of our runner's finishes. She wanted nothing to do with it and tried to run around them. They managed to rearrange themselves directly in her path again and she was forced to run under their out stretched hands. I would have tried to run around them too! They were both clad in nothing but men's speedos. Everyone was laughing.

This is one race filled with tons of smiles, miles, and support.  Between karaoke "Call Me Maybe" running dances, doing the waves for runners as they passed transition areas, delirious conversations during twilight hours - this run will test your body's mental and physical limits. It also builds some great relationships in the process.


I was happy to run my first 6 miles through my hometown Boylston. My parents came to cheer me on and I even saw random friends along the route. Earlier in the race, we had driven by my Aunt's house. I yelled out, "Hi, Sandra!" as she was outside watering plants. Unfortunately, she could not place her niece driving in an insanely decorated vehicle, until after I texted her. I was lucky and ran in the cooler evening. I handed off to Molly who was the first to wear our night gear.

My second  6 mile leg started with me bundled up around 3 AM. Underarmour, hat, gloves, scarf, long socks, handwarmers. I was feeling good despite the beyond early running time. My knee started killing me in mile 10. The last two miles of my second leg were torture, but I finished them with an avg mile pace time seconds just slower than my last 6 miles. I thought I had long enough to rest up for my last 7 mile leg. But the moment I started moving, I knew I was going to have difficulties. I stopped within the first half mile to take off my patella holder. Thinking maybe I had overused the holder in the first 13 miles and it just wasn't going to work for this leg. About 100 ft later, I had stopped to put it back on. I knew I was in for a tough run. I hobbled to keep the two runners in front of me in sight and struggled to keep a purple tutu behind me.

By mile 17 I was done, not actually done, physically done. I felt like I was churning my legs as fast as I ever have. In reality, I was just barely going faster than a walk. I took the breathing techniques I learned in Bikram and used them to my running advantage. Left, Right, Left, Right - Breathe Out. Left, Right, Left, Right - Breath Out. Keep those arms moving.

At mile 19, I was being passed by a skinny, male runner and his van. Even if I wanted to yell out, pick me up, I don't think I physically could have. At that moment, I was way past my physical limit. It was then we both started running on huge beach pebbles. Please imagine 1. the pain, as my ankles twisted at each step 2. my tears as my knees burned and swore at me and 3. my mental state when I realized there were still 2 miles to go. There was such a strong headwind that the three tears that fell, quickly dried off my face. Surprisingly and luckily, the pebbles section ended quickly. But the stretch had certainly done its damage. Overtired and emotional, I was struggling to finish. Searching for yellow signs with black arrows, I was wandering through Horse-neck Beach's trailer park.

"I think your friends went that way"
"What friends?"
"Other runners went that way"
"....Are you sure"

By this point, I thought the universe was playing a cruel trick on me and was slightly delirious. I had apparently started running the wrong way. Huge props to the man who chased after me to correct my error and stayed with me until I believed him.

In the final stretch, people kept saying, "You're so close!" "Finish strong," but the finish line never came. Until I saw a pair of vibrant red pants, I was miserable. I have never been so excited to see red wind pants. They belonged to one of my teammates. Tears of joy were now masking my tears of pain from earlier and the last 50 meters were accomplished in a blur. I almost completely forgot to hand off our team relay stick to my big sister. I had planned to do this when I had learned I had been granted the huge honor of finishing the 200 miles for the team. Molly and my Big Sister had organized the entire group/trip. However due to injuries, my big sister was unable to run. However, she still came along for the 30+ hr trip as a driver/support captain and she more than deserved to cross the finish line with us as our team leader and baton holder.

I could not have asked for a better group to run my first RTB with. Most of the group was significantly older.  I was the youngest at 23, the oldest was 30. Half the group were experienced marathon runners, the other half were beginners. One individual decided this was going to be his first race! Another individual has qualified for the Boston Marathon three times in the past few years. It was a great group of people and a great race.

Joe came to pick me up and I slept for the majority of the following three days. Yes, I am still sore. But I know when the muscles heal, I will still be smiling at fond memories.

"& we will run 200 miles 
and we will run 200 more,
 just to be those who reached the beach hundred smiles
 to fall down at the shore 

Da lat da (Da lat da), da lat da (Da lat da) 
Da-da-da dun-diddle un-diddle un-diddle uh da-da 
Da lat da (Da lat da), da lat da (Da lat da)
Da-da-da dun-diddle un-diddle un-diddle uh da-da" 

  We Finished :)
Week 3 Squats: 100, 105, 110

No comments:

Post a Comment